Harvest in Yamhill County is much more than just hauling in and crushing the grapes that become wine. As one of the richest growing regions in Oregon, local farms of all sizes can, and do, grow seemingly everything short of tropical produce. From sweet corn to apples and so much more, Yamhill County’s crops feed the region, the state and beyond.


Bernards Farm sits on a 100-acre plot adored by a historic barn just south of McMinnville. Founded in 1975, the farm is well known for its fresh-pressed apple cider but also offers an extensive selection of pre-picked and u-pick fruits and vegetables. Michael and Chris Bernards started the farm selling sweet corn out of their pickup - their five children still run the operation.


The McMinnville Community Garden is a 0.85-acre property on the north side of McMinnville owned by McMinnville Cooperative Ministries. There are currently 81 raised beds on the property, more than half of which are maintained by a team of 33 volunteers and the product of which is donated to Yamhill Community Action Partnership’s food bank. The garden donated more than 14,000 pounds of produce to the food bank last year and is planning to add another 56 raised beds for food bank production. The garden is a joint project of between the church, the McMinnville Garden Club and Oregon State University Extension Service’s Master Gardeners.


Draper Farms, located on Baker Creek Road in McMinnville, has been family-farmed for four generations. Situated around one of the oldest existing structures in Yamhill County, the farm gained notoriety for its corn. In 2015, Keenan Draper took over the day-to-day operation of the farm from his parents. Though Keenan has expanded some of the farm’s operations and staff, the majority of the day-to-day work is still done by members of the Draper family.

Keenan Draper of Draper Farms picks a couple of large carrots at the farm. Draper will usually package eight or so of these carrots in a bunch for sale to farm customers; those bunches can weigh as much as two pounds.

Master gardener Gail Stolz wheels in a wagon load of tomatoes at the McMinnville Community Garden. Volunteers were aiming to pick every tomato with even a tinge of color to them this particular Monday; though the tomatoes ripen much better on the vine, they said, the threat of rains which might spoil the crop was more pressing.

Pedro Martinez of Bernards Farms gathers ripe peppers at the farm south of McMinnville. Pickers often wear long sleeves, hats and hoods to avoid sunburn from long days in the fields.

Charlene Drake, a volunteer with the McMinnville Community Garden, reaches around to pick a tomato plant. Volunteers, master gardeners and garden club members meet at the garden twice a week to bring in produce for Yamhill Community Action Partnership's food bank.

From left, Joe Knox and Keenan Draper of Draper Farms bring in honeydew melons. Draper says that honeydews ripen very well even after being picked and that, when kept dry and handled gently, these melons can say fresh into November or even later.

McMinnville Community Garden volunteer Bob Westbrook stacks containers of cherry tomatoes bound for the food bank. In addition to the allotment of raised beds dedicated to the food bank, many of the gardeners who rent beds donate their produce to YCAP.

From left, Gilberto Martinez, Manuel Zaragoza and Pedro Martinez return to their vehicle with a load of peppers . Gathering in this load - two baskets of ripe, ready-to-market peppers - took the crew about a half an hour.

Keenan Draper loads pumpkins into his truck. The farm grows several types, as well as other varieties of squash, corn, melons, tomatoes and more.

Portland, Ore.-based photojournalist

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