Rodale Institute, a global agricultural research and education nonprofit, will launch its u-pick season in the Skagit Valley in mid-June.
The Rodale Institute Pacific Northwest Organic Center at Cascadian Farm (PNWOC), the historic property formerly known as Cascadian Home Farm, is set to open its fields to the public for u-pick berries in mid-June. A beloved destination for tourists and local residents traveling along Highway 20, the idyllic farm is nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the Skagit River.
Founded in 1972, the site is the birthplace of the Cascadian Farm brand of grocery products. While the Cascadian Farm brand quickly outgrew the Home Farm, it had remained a working organic farm and hosted visitors at its farm stand for over 50 years. General Mills was the steward of the Home Farm from 2000 until 2022 when it donated the property to Rodale Institute, a global agriculture research and education nonprofit.
“We are grateful to General Mills for the generous donation of the historic Cascadian Farm Home Farm,” said Jeff Tkach, CEO at Rodale Institute.
“We are excited to bring Rodale Institute’s renowned research, education, and consulting capabilities to the Pacific Northwest via the Home Farm and create a beacon in the region for all farmers, producers, and consumers. We look forward to welcoming people to the Rodale Institute Pacific Northwest Organic Center at Cascadian Farm for u-pick this season.”
U-pick strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry fields will be open on Friday and Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm during the growing season, which will run from mid-June through August, dependent on crop availability.
Farm tours will be offered every Friday June – August from 10 am to 11:30 am. Tours will focus on the history of the farm, Rodale Institute, and regenerative organic farming practices.
Beyond u-pick, the Rodale Institute Pacific Northwest Organic Center will serve as a regional resource for farmers interested in utilizing regenerative organic farming practices.
Pacific Northwest farmers face many challenges related to unpredictable climate—extreme heat, wildfire, smoke, drought, and flooding—impacting both the health and financial wellbeing of farmers, farm workers, and farm economies. The region’s organic farmers are in need of guidance on research-based practices that allow them to adapt to extreme weather events while improving soil health and successfully managing pests and diseases. The Center will help farmers navigate these challenges by conducting regionally focused research, providing training and direct farmer consulting services, and serving as a demonstration and education hub.
ABOUT RODALE INSTITUTE: Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the regenerative organic agriculture movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and education. The Institute’s groundbreaking science and direct farmer support programs serve as a catalyst for change in farming and food production worldwide. Over its 75-year history, Rodale Institute has proven that organic farming is not only viable but essential to humanity’s survival.