Fresh produce, local honey and acres of hops
Salem, Oregon, is situated right in the middle of one of the richest agricultural areas in the country. From fruits and vegetables to tea and beer, the Salem area has a farm for everything.
Aspinwall’s Nursery and Produce
For more than 50 years, Aspinwall’s Nursery and Produce has provided Salem with farm-fresh, seasonal produce. Today, the farm store also sells plants, homemade treats and, arguably, some of the best ice cream in the area.
Ballyntyne Learning Farm
Ballyntyne Learning Farm sits on 40 acres of land in Salem, boasting a garden, pond and nature trails. From March to November, the farm hosts a variety of fun and educational classes for young children. The classes explore topics such as engineering, paleontology and bug life.
Bauman’s Farm and Garden
Bauman’s Farm and Garden, in Gervais, Oregon, started as a small, family farm in 1895. Since then, the farm has become a go-to spot for fresh fruits and vegetables year-round. There’s also an on-site nursery with more than 10,000 hanging baskets every year, a cidery producing hard cider using as many ingredients from the farm as possible and a bakery offering freshly-baked treats every day.
The entire family will enjoy a trip to Cherry Country, a family-owned and operated cherry orchard and chocolate factory in Rickreall, Oregon. The cherries are all grown in the Salem area and are handpicked every summer at the peak of their ripeness. Stop by the orchard to sample its famous dried cherries and chocolate 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
The E.Z. Orchards Shortcake Stand is a local favorite for refreshing, summer treats in Salem. It’s known for its shortcakes and biscuits topped with heaping servings of fresh berries or peaches, ice cream and whipped cream, but it also serves up milkshakes, smoothies and espresso. Head inside the adjacent farm market to shop from an assortment of local produce, gourmet foods and fresh-baked donuts.
Fir Point Farms
Featuring strawberries and peaches in the summer and apples and squash in the fall, Fir Point Farms, in Aurora, Oregon, has a rotating selection of seasonal produce throughout the year. Visit the country market to indulge in 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.
Flying Bee Ranch is a family-owned and operated farm in Salem. With hundreds of beehives, the farm produces some of the finest raw honey in the state. In the farm’s tasting room, which is open year-round, you can try free tastings of more than a dozen local honey varieties.
Since 1964, Fordyce Farm has been a true family endeavor. The berry farm, which opens for the season every spring, has a variety of u-pick and already picked fruits and vegetables, including red gooseberries, black currants and boysenberries. At the Salem farm, you’ll also find a bakery, display garden and a corn maze in the fall.
Minto Island Growers and Tea Company
South Salem is home to one of the only farm-scale tea plots in the country. Minto Island Tea Company, which produces organic, handpicked, small-batch crafted teas, schedules private tours of the farm for groups of at least 10 people.
If you can’t get in on a private tour, visit Minto Island Growers next door. During the summer, the farm has u-pick strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, a variety of organic vegetables and plant starts, a food cart serving lunch on select days.
Rogue Farms & Chatoe Tasting Room
If you love beer, Rogue Farms is a must-visit. The Independence, Oregon, farm grows acres of hops, marionberries and other ingredients for Rogue Ales and Spirits. Take a tour of the farm, have a drink in the tasting room or bring your four-legged family members and children to enjoy the patio and yard games. If you prefer to travel by boat, kayak or canoe, you can stop at the farm’s private beach on the Willamette River.
Willamette Valley Cheese Company
Nestled in the countryside of Salem, Willamette Valley Cheese Company works with a local dairy to make all of its cheeses from a single source of milk. Taste a variety of all-natural, handcrafted artisan cheeses at the farm’s tasting room, including Eola Jack, Creamy Havarti and Gouda.
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 blueberries. The fields are located a quarter of a mile south of the farm store.