The bare branches and muddy soils of winter may keep you away from the garden; however, Mother Nature is always working. Tualatin Valley farms are an example of that. While some farms in the region are closed to visitors while winter work is underway, I’m sharing five Oregon farms to visit this winter.
Heart2Heart Farms is as soulful as its name suggests with heritage livestock and sustainable growing processes. Co-owner Liz Boggs keeps the energy of the farm buzzing with winter workshops. The fire cider workshop uses ingredients you can grow at home to make a zingy, cold-fighting cocktail.
Northwest Alpacas’ owner, Mike Safley, was one of the first alpaca breeders in the United States. Nearly 30 years later, his farm has grown to include not only alpacas but also a welcoming barn store where all proceeds go toward aid in Peru. The farm is also home to Oakwood Gardens, an Airbnb property with three enchanting retreats overlooking the grounds.
Fridays are for winter farm happy hours at Sherwood’s Our Table Cooperative. The scenic, organic farm opens its farm store for a weekly mix of wine, beer and food from the farm kitchen (4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday). From house-made beet root hummus to a winter spelt salad, I’ve never had a bad bite here.
Smith Berry Barn is a favorite summer destination with its fresh picked apples and berries. From February until spring, the barn store is open weekends for a hearty offering of winter squash, beets, potatoes, and onions. For a sip of summer, Smith Berry Barn freezes its berries to use for year-round milkshakes. Insider tip: order the strawberry lavender milkshake.
While not a farm itself, the Beaverton Winter Farmers Market showcases the best of Oregon’s crops right now. Every Saturday, fill your market bag with winter produce, cheese, cured meat and baked goods. For an easy-to-pack winter farm treat, the heirloom popping corn from Forest Grove’s Sun Gold Farm is a true treat.
Weathering winter is hard. But friendly farms offering a peek into winter farm life are a good reminder as to why the season is so great, too.