Winter at Allen Creek Farm
Burrs forming in late Spring
It's Fall -- harvest begins
BIRDSEYE VIEW OF THE FARM: Take a look at a Google
view. You'll see the trees and even the maze. It
will show you a map. You need to click on
"Satellite" at the top of the screen to see the
photo. You can zoom in and out to get different views.
The white "splotches" at the bottom are our equipment and
THE BEGINNING: Allen
Creek Farm, located in Southwest Washington at the very northern end
of the Willamette Valley, is the pride and joy of Ray and Carolyn
Young. Like so many folks who've spent their lives in careers
in the city, they made the choice at retirement to escape to the
country where the air was clean, it didn't take half an hour to
drive 5 miles on Friday afternoon and they couldn't hear the
neighbors TV next door. Little did they know at that time what
lay in store.
they find themselves with a larger than average size chestnut
orchard and all the work that its management and maintenance
entails. While their friends may have personal trainers, the
Young's will tell you that they have an orchard, and that in itself
provides more than enough exercise. They do all the work
themselves from weeding to fertilizing to harvesting to processing
to marketing, and everything else in between. And yes, we even
do our own website, complete from start to finish. Whatever it
takes to produce the finest quality chestnut they can.
Young's have been concerned about the environment since the '50's
when they began hiking and climbing throughout the United States,
Central Europe and Scandinavia. Their boys would tell you that
insecticides were never allowed in their home garden and that they had
to pick the tomato worms off the plants for two cents a piece.
They could also regale you with the "midnight snail hunts"
the family went on in the backyard. If it was a good practice
then it still is, and no insecticides are used in their orchard today,
but in the Spring and Summer you'll see non-pesticide traps hung
around the perimeter to control shot hole borers, the only insect
attracted to the trees in this area.
chemicals aren't disallowed in the orchard, an annual analysis of
the nutrient content of the trees is done so that fertilizer use can
be minimized. A portion of the nitrogen requirements are
provided by mulch which is used on each tree.
you're in the area in the fall on a weekend you're welcome to
visit. You can pick up your nuts while you're here. Harvest is an exciting time and is fun to watch.
You may also like to visit our authentic English-style maze -- the
only one in the area that we know of. Nothing like a corn
maze, the original design was a modification of the Hampton Court
Maze, found just outside London. It was changed when the
Young's decided that maze was too easy, that folks needed something
more challenging, and challenging it is.