Enjoy farm-fresh produce and treats this summer
The Mid-Willamette Valley is home to dozens of farms, nurseries and orchards. Pick your own fruit at the farm, cool down with a sweet treat at a farm stand or meet the growers at one of the many local farmers markets held throughout the summer. Here are 12 places to purchase seasonal treats this summer:
Aspinwall’s Produce and Nursery
For more than 50 years, Aspinwall’s Produce and Nursery has provided the Salem area with farm-fresh, seasonal produce. Today, the farm store also sells plants, flowers, ice cream and homemade treats. The store is open April through October.
Bauman’s Farm and Garden
Bauman’s Farm and Garden, in Gervais, has produce, plants and gifts available throughout the year. Order freshly baked pies from the farm’s bakery or head to the grower station to taste the farm’s hard cider.
Situated on an old, 100-acre farmstead outside of McMinnville, Bernards Farm features a small nursery, u-pick and we-pick produce throughout the year and homemade candy. Open seven days a week, seasonal produce includes spinach, potatoes, and berries.
The entire family will enjoy a trip to Cherry Country, a family-owned and operated cherry orchard and chocolate factory in Rickreall. Known for its dried cherries and chocolates, the cherries are grown and harvested in the Salem area. Stop by the orchard to sample the cherries or schedule a tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the cherries go from tree to packaging.
E.Z. Orchards Farm Market
Starting in late May, visit the E.Z. Orchards Shortcake Stand to indulge in a fresh shortcake or biscuit topped with heaping servings of fresh berries or peaches, ice cream and whipped cream. The stand also serves up milkshakes, floats, smoothies, ice cream and espresso. Afterwards, head inside the farm market to shop from an assortment of local produce, gourmet foods, artisan goods and fresh-baked donuts.
Fir Point Farms
From strawberries and peaches in the summer, to apples and squash in the fall, Fir Point Farms sells seasonal produce throughout the year. Stop by the country market to enjoy a scoop of Tillamook ice cream or purchase specialty foods from the Northwest, including jams, syrups and snacks. Kids will enjoy the farm’s resident bunnies, chickens and goats.
McMinnville Farmers Market on Thursday
Bringing the community together since 2001, this McMinnville Farmers Market is open every Thursday from May 18 to Oct. 12. Each week, the market brings dozens of local vendors to downtown McMinnville, including farms, bakeries and gardens.
Minto Island Growers and Tea Company
Located next to Minto-Brown Island Park in Salem, Minto Island Growers produce organic vegetables and plants starts. Visit the farm stand from May to October to eat at the farm food cart, pick tomatoes or berries, buy produce and plants or have a look around the farm. Also located on the farm is the Minto Island Tea Company, one of the only farm-scale tea plots in the country. While the tea farm is not normally open to the public, the farm is opening for three events this summer.
The Salem Saturday Market, Hospital Market (held on Mondays) and Wednesday Farmers Market are open every week starting in May. Held in three different Salem locations, each market features a variety of vendors from the Mid-Willamette Valley. Pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers, produce, homemade crafts or lunch at the markets. Click here for times and locations of each market.
Red Ridge Farms
Red Ridge Farms has grown wine grapes for more than 40 years. Now, the farm has expanded to include a specialty plant nursery, Oregon’s only commercial olive oil mill, olive grove, wine tasting room and gift shop. See how olive oil gets from tree to table during one of the farm’s mill tours or explore the farm’s 17 acres of olive trees. After the tour, visit the onsite tasting room to taste Durant Vineyards’ Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris or Chardonnay.
Willamette Valley Cheese Company
Nestled in the countryside of Salem, Willamette Valley Cheese Company’s tasting room is located on the family’s dairy farm. Taste a variety of cheeses at the farm, including Eola Jack, Creamy Havarti and Farmstead Gouda. As one of the first farmstead cow’s milk cheeses to be produced in Oregon, the cheese is made the same day the cows are milked.
Willamette Valley Pie Company
Willamette Valley Pie Company, located in Salem, is known for its frozen fruits and handmade desserts. But in the summer months, the company opens its fields for pick-your-own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and marionberries. The fields are located a quarter of a mile south of the farm store.