Day 1 You'll See:
- Al’s Garden Center
- Mountainside Lavender
- Smith Berry Farm
- South Store Cafe
- Oregon Heritage Farms
- L Bar T Bison Ranch
- Helvetia Lavender Farm
Whether you’re a life-long local or a Portland-bound tourist, all people who know anything about Oregon know that it is highly celebrated for its eco-friendly scene, a scene generously splashed with many successful local farms and ranches! This one-day tour is the perfect way for your group to see exactly this, the natural and gorgeous scenery along the Willamette Valley that is known as Oregon’s Farm Land. Visit lavender farms, a berry farm, and apple orchard, and even a bison ranch! Your group will love the chance to immerse yourselves into the agriculturally rich life of the locals!
Al’s Garden Center - Established in Woodburn in 1948 as Al and Ann Bigej’s Fruit Stand you will find your group's first stop, Al’s Garden Center. This highly popular Oregon gardening center is a third generation owned and operated local business that sells everything from potted herbs and flowers to BBQ’s and outdoor furniture. This location is the largest full-service indoor garden center in the Willamette Valley, with three total retail stores throughout the area. Here in Woodburn your group will get the chance to see everything, from behind the scenes to on the shelves, as well as take part in any of the various daily special events, workshops, classes, or (if young enough) the Kids Club.Explore the large store full of seasonal plants, outdoor living items, indoor living items, tools, supplies, soil, compost, and bark. Al’s Garden Center is a veritable landscaping paradise, the place in Willamette Valley with the absolute best selection and widest variety of healthy plants.
Mountainside Lavender - Mountainside Lavender is a small family-fun farm nestled deep within the hillside of Chehalem Mountain in the quaint town of Scholls. Here your group will find over 2,000 various lavender plants representing over 20 varieties of French and English lavenders in several different shades of whites, pinks, and purples. A visit to Mountainside Lavender does well to soothe guests spirits, teach them about the horticulture of wildflowers and herbs (especially lavender), and allow them to see some of the most photogenic spots in Oregon, all from the farm! Explore the unique aquaponics garden, the sustainable spot where fish and veggies can thrive together in a closed loop symbiotic environment or shop the many farm-made products made and marketed here, such as massage oils, satchels, neck and eye pillows, dried flowers, lip balm, and much more. You will see how and why essential oils are made, a large local market for fresh lavender oil. Kick back, relax, and smell the lavender!
Smith Berry Farm - The Smith Berry Farm was established first in 1978, as a humble yet locally loved U-pick raspberry farm in Hillsboro. Today this 30-acre family farm offers much more than just berries, the farm as a whole offering a wide variety of fresh produce, local food items, gardening tools and educational items, and even various seminars and workshops to help locals plant their own bountiful harvests.The farm also owns a small five-acre apple orchard featuring over 20 varieties of apple and stocks each of its farm’s corners with fresh seasonal produce. Your group will learn about the farming practices used here, sustainable agriculture in general, as well as the farm’s personal goal to provide the freshest, highest quality produce in the local market. You will find excellent seasonal choices such as pumpkins and Christmas trees, and you will even have the chance to grab an espresso or milkshake while looking around! This is the perfect spot for students hungry for horticultural knowledge and fresh local foods!
South Store Cafe - The South Store Cafe has been sitting on the corner of Scholls Ferry Round and Hillsboro Highway for over a century now, a humble yet highly traversed general store turned cafe that has been around since 1903. In the past South Store was a general store and meeting hall, a place where local farmers and merchants came to stock up on canned coffee and sacks of flour while complaining about the weather and hazelnut prices. Today this cafe serves the best espresso, cappuccinos, coffee cake, soup, and sandwiches, though you will still find local farmers, artisans, or authors still complaining about the weather and hazelnut prices. Your group will have the chance to fill up on delicious old-school breakfast or lunch, though if you are just stopping in for a snack be sure to try any of the espresso or cappuccino options paired with pastries or coffee cake!
Oregon Heritage Farms - Welcome to Oregon Heritage Farms, the apple orchard that has been successfully running for over 25 years, complete with a seasonal farm direct store with the best apples, cider, and fresh local produce seasonally. Though the store is only open from the end of August through mid-November, the farm itself is busy year round with horticultural happenings and great family fun! Once here your group will have the option of taking any daily customizable tours, each chock-full of important horticultural and marketing information! You will see the 10 different varieties of apples, from Gravenstein to Melrose and every delicious Fuji and Granny Smith in between, as well as locally grown seasonal produce. Enjoy free samples of cider and apples and even see the Zucal apple pickers do their work before the apples are cooled, sized, and sorted, then head over to the gift store for some local country crafts and gifts!
L Bar T Bison Ranch - The L Bar T Bison Ranch was established in 1991, a bison-filled venture that started as a mere hobby but has since then grown into a thriving Oregon business. This particular ranch has on average about 14-15 animals regularly, between the constant process of breeding and butchering. Once on the ranch your group can explore the ranch or take a tour (by appointment), each great ways to learn about the grain fed (alfalfa hay and corn silage) animals. There are several monthly talks and lectures on both bison and Native American tribes. The ranch sells skulls and hides, both green and tanned, as well as calves and processed meats such as preformed patties, bratwurst, hot dogs, jerky, spices, and smokers. Bison meat is an absolutely healthier alternative to red meat and is also known to be more flavorful, sweeter, and richer. What better way to learn all of this and perhaps try bison for the first time than at one of the most acclaimed ranches of its kind in the Pacific Northwest!
Helvetia Lavender Farm - Located just 30 minutes west of Portland is Don and Nancy Miller’s beautiful and historic Helvetia Lavender Farm. While on this lovely farm you will find the most commonly grown lavenders in this region (English, Spanish, and Lavandin) as well as rolling fields of Grosso, Super, and Royal Velvet. Helvetia itself is a locally celebrated historic Swiss settlement that sits amidst the countryside of rolling hills overlooking the gorgeous Willamette Valley. On the farm your group will have the opportunity to participate in the hospitality of tea time, learn about the properties of lavender and how to grow it, and shop for artistic gifts and lavender products. The farm holds antique surprises, fairy gardens, and acres of fir trees for your viewing pleasure, and the on-site pavilion serves scones and sweets to your hearts content (it also serves sandwiches and a few lunchtime fares)!