Yamhill Valley Grown, Your Guide To Local Food - Page 9

W t Valley es Agriculture Logging Music A Land All Its Own By Carrie Sendak The West Valley lies in the eastern coastal foothills bounded by the Siuslaw National Forest to the West. Sheridan, Willamina, and Grande Ronde are the primary towns of the Valley. An invisible line which runs east-west just a bit south of of Willamina’s downtown, divides the Just a taste of what the farms in the West Valley West Valley into two counties: Yamhill and Polk. currently offer. Picture: Carrie Sendak While Sheridan and half of Willamina lies in valley are using more diversified and organic Yamhill County, the other half of Willamina and methods. From pastured meats, eggs and locally grown vegetables to Old World grain farming, the West Valley is an up-and-coming sustainable farming hub. Willamina has a farmers market on Saturdays. Several of the new farmers with passions for organics and sustainability have started small farms to produce vegtables, livestock and grain. The West Valley is also home to artists, food producers, a winery, and a distillery. A music most of Grande Ronde lies in Polk County. scene is growing, revolving around a popular The West Valley arose in the mid- to late- 1800’s music festival during the summer and a music when a few families started a saw mill and a venue at the historic Wildwood Hotel. grist mill. In the early 1900’s a thriving clay plant was established; with it came more people It’s an exciting time to live, grow, and play in and a railroad connecting the area to the outside the West Valley. world. Grass and grain farming, and even a few dairies formed the agricultural base. Logging and sawmills provided more industry in the West Valley throughout the 1900’s. Although still dependent on the local timber industry, a growing number of farms in the PICTURED ABOVE: A West Valley Ranch, ~1939. Picture provided by Willamina Museum of Local History PICTURED RIGHT: The Wildwood Music Fest in Sheridan, 2012. Picture: Kim Hamblin 9