Ralphs Greenhouse, Mount Vernon, WA

During the 1950s, Ralph DeVries moved his family from the Netherlands with dreams to find a better life in America. He started out with a dairy farm and worked it until he could no longer able to without help. But living in Washington State, the Skagit Valley, Ralph would decide that the fertile floodplain is perfect for growing fresh vegetables. What started out as a 3 acre hobby for Ralph has grown to more than 40 acres. It not only feeds his family, but is sold to others in the area.

Ralph refused to use any chemical pesticides or fertilizers, keeping his crops organic, because that is how they did it in the old country. The land along the Skagit River is rich in minerals and is rock-free. It is the perfect setting for a 45 plus acre farm to raise leeks, which have been described by everyone as “stunning”. They were long and thick with the white “meat” that is desired when cooking a hearty winter soup.

Today, Ray DeVries, Ralph’s son, guides the farm and it continues to prosper. Besides the “stunning” leeks, they also grow beets, carrots, chards, assorted greens, kale, seasonal zucchini, and red and yellow potatoes. Ray and those who work on this farm are in complete focus of providing the area fresh, healthy, organic produce. Ray is so in-tuned with this endeavor, he assisted in setting up an Organic Program via Tilth Producers of Washington.

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