I am Oregon agriculture.
My name is Anna Scharf, and I’m part of Scharf Farms. Our farm is located 20 minutes west of Salem, 20 minutes south of McMinnville and 10 minutes north of Dallas in Perrydale, a community based in agriculture. The Scharf family has been farming in the Perrydale area since 1933, and it is still a family owned and operated farm today. In fact, it’s currently being passed on to the fourth generation.
The first 35 acres of Pinot Noir grapes were planted in 1991, and today that’s grown to include 105 acres of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Cascade varieties. The fruit is contracted to local area wineries and one in Washington. There are also 35 acres of Barcelona hazelnut trees on the farm, planted in 1983 to add further diversity. In addition to established hazelnuts and vineyard grapes, we currently grow wheat, grass, clover, silage corn, and radish.
Clover and radish are grown for seed. We also grow soft white wheat for seed, once it is grown it is mostly exported out of the U.S. and used in pastas and pastries. Some of our wheat is grown to be sold, and is sold direct to Great Western Malting to make beer. Our grass seed is sold to companies that ship it all over the U.S., and some is exported overseas to locations in Europe and Asia.
Perennial ryegrass and tall fescue grass seed are found in lawn mixes and golf courses, and our annual ryegrass make its way to golf courses and cover crops. Seed cleaning has become one of the backbones of the Scharf operation, and grass seed has always been one of our crops. Our farm currently cleans grass and clover seed for eight other area farms, and last year cleaned a total of over 4.5 million pounds of seed. Scharf Farms has also worked hard at gaining water rights. With five ponds and two creeks to pull water out of, irrigating is a large part of the operation. It allows for much more versatility in what crops we can raise, and irrigated row crops have included broccoli, green beans, squash, and silage corn. Irrigation has also played a valuable role in helping boost yields and establish new fields of various grass and grain varieties.