New this year, Taste Washington has added three unique farm to table experiences to Friday March 27, including one at Willie Green’s Organic Farm. Each TasteWA Farm to Table experience includes a tour at a local food producer, a chef prepared gourmet lunch and Washington wine served by the wine maker. Exploring the Lush Snohomish Valley at Willie Green’s Organic Farm will include a farm tour, gourmet lunch prepared by Sam Crannell, chef and owner of LloydMartin, wines by Robert Ramsey Cellars and special guest. Dan Albert, of Farmbox Greens.
From chef to farmer
In the 80’s, Jeff Miller was a chef working in California when his restaurant started buying micro-greens grown a roof top garden. He was fascinated by them and ordered them whenever he could. He checked out the gardens and started to dream. The winter of 1987, he bought some seeds, packed his motorcycle and drove up to Washington state. He leased 1/4 acre of land in Woodinville that spring to plant those seeds. He sold his micro-greens to 8 restaurants that year, just like someone sold micro-greens to his restaurant back in California.
The family farm
Willie Green’s is owned by Jeff Miller. You might wonder where the name comes from. Like many good ideas, it originated around the dining room table with a bottle of wine and friends and family. Jeff knew he wanted to focus on fresh greens and he wanted a family farm. As they bounced ideas around the table, they decided naming the farm after Jeff’s grandfather Willie and using Green as the last name.
The second summer, Jeff’s brother came west on his summer break to work the farm with Jeff and his wife. As the farm and family evolved, it was common to see family at the farmers’ markets: Jeff with his kids on his back working the farmers markets, extended family members making change at the market or farm family asking customer’s about their families on their weekly visit. The kids grew up riding on Jeff’s lap on the tractor.
Willie Green’s Organic Farm today
Located in Monroe since 1989, Willie Green’s Organic Farm is now encompassing 70+ acres of greens, berries and vegetables. Now there is a processing plant on the farm and you can buy your Willie Green’s Organic Salad mix at your neighborhood Whole Foods. The processing plant doesn’t imply that your baby mesclun is being stripped of flavor and nutrients on way to market. It means that is being cleaned, inspected and packaged to ensure maximum freshness, safety and nutrition when it arrives on the grocer’s shelf. You don’t have to wait until your farmers’ market day to get your fresh Willie Greens’ any more.
Exploring the Lush Snohomish Valley: Willie Green’s Organic Farm
March 27, 2015 10-4pm
$165 includes luxury van transportation to and from the Seattle Convention Center.