It is officially the season to go out and explore our great region. What better way than a tour of some local farms in beautiful Lewis County?
Our area has many opportunities for the agri-adventurer. Why not begin with some of the several exciting u-pick farms in the area? They not only educate us about farming, but bring us closer to our food sources.
The sun is out. Grab the kids and some bags and prepare to fill your bellies and your senses with the sights, smells and delicious tastes of Lewis County.
1. Bunker Creek Berry Patch
Bunker Creek Berry Patch
214 Bunker Creek Rd. Chehalis
Open: Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
This little blueberry patch is located approximately five miles west of I-5 in Adna. Shereen and her husband, “Tractor Operator” Jeff Bennight, and their three youngest sons are in their second year of offering blueberry u-pick. Bunker Creek Berry Patch has eight varieties for sale on this historic and picturesque property and the blueberries are pesticide free.
According to Shereen, last year, their first year of u-pick was surprisingly busy. They had quite a few visitors through their word of mouth campaign, and even saw a visit from a larger group from JBLM. Shereen said, “We are excited about our prospects this year, and expect more visitors to the farm.”
Blueberries are $2.50 a pound. The Bennights recommend that people bring their own containers in which to transport their berries. “We have flats and picking buckets, sunscreen and water,” said Shereen. “We provide little benches because the plants are still quite small.” They will be open through August.
2. Cowlitz Falls Lavender Company
Photo courtesy: Justin Claibourn
136 Falls Road, Randle
Open Friday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Anyone who wants to experience the pastoral vision of wafting purple fields and the fragrance of lavender in the air should make their way east to Randle to experience the blooming acres of Cowlitz Falls Lavender Farm. Justin and Jordann Claibourn invite pickers to hand-select bunches of lavender and explore the many products which they have produced using lavender. This is the Claibourn’s first year providing u-pick opportunities to the public.
Cowlitz Falls has 5,844 plants in the ground. Prices are $5 a bunch. In addition to u-pick, the Cowlitz Falls Lavender Company is hosting a farm stand where people may purchase a multitude of lavender based products such as soaps, oils, lotions, pillow sprays, essential oils, laundry soap and much more. Pay them a visit, and bring some lavender freshness into your household.
3. ABC Tree Farm
ABC Tree Farm
107 Pinkerton Rd, Ethel
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The ABC Tree Farm is approximately 9 miles east of I-5 east off of highway 12. While the strawberry u-pick season is over, their produce stand sells seasonal fruits and vegetables. In addition, they sell other cane berries such as raspberries, marionberries, boysenberries Triple Crown blackberries during the months of June through August. Most of these products are organically grown.
If that isn’t enough, they are also offering inflatable rides for children to enjoy on weekends through mid-July.
4. Best Family Farms
Best Family Farms
126 Urquhart Rd, Chehalis
Open Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Pick vegetables and herbs through September at Best Family Farms. Owners Gary and Marcy Best and their son, Brandon, along with his wife, Deena, run this innovative farming operation which is driven by their the float beds in which they raise fish for aquaponics.
5. Nearby Farm Stands
Along with these u-pick opportunities, why not stop by and visit some excellent farm stands on your way?
Newaukum Valley Farm
482 Spooner Rd, Chehalis
Open Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The long awaited Newaukum farm stand is now open. This is a great opportunity for local consumers to dine on the same veggies that are served in the award winning Tom Douglas chain of restaurants. Don’t miss the chance to visit regionally renowned farmers Melissa and Josh Hyatt at their new farm stand.
Just yards from Newaukum’s stand on Spooner Road is:
439 Spooner Rd, Chehalis
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed Thursdays
There you will find a charming little cheese shop run by Gary and Sharon McCool. They sell many types of Swiss cheeses right there on the farm. Some of their options are Country Herb and Garlic, Caraway, Smokey-Peppercorn and chives and Spicy-Pepperoni Swiss cheeses. Swing by, have sample of cheese, and take some home to add to your home tasting menu.