Green Bluff Growers
Just 15 minutes north of Spokane the land opens up to farms as far as the eye can see. When you reach that sea of green with farm plots dotting the landscape, you’ll know you’ve arrived at Green Bluff Growers. A community of small family farms, Green Bluff encompasses more than 35 farms within an area of about 12 square miles.
Many farms invite you to pick your own produce, an activity some city folks may have never had the pleasure of experiencing. You’ll also find country stores with fresh produce ready for purchase, places to eat that redefine farm-to-table dining, picturesque wedding venues, and wineries and breweries taking locally sourced ingredients to new heights.
As a farmers’ paradise, the offerings at Green Bluff are, or course, dictated by the seasons. Winter and spring are the least busy seasons as the plants regenerate and prepare for a new life cycle. Fall is perhaps the busiest season with the harvests rolling in by the mega truckload. However, whenever you happen to visit there’s sure to be something new sprouting up.
Spring in Green Bluff
While the snow melts, one of the best things to do in the springtime at Green Bluff is to explore the winery and brewery tasting rooms where beverages have been expertly bottled for year-round consumption. Come St. Patrick’s Day, you might be able to find a green beer at Big Barn Brewing Company, a farm-to-bottle brewery where the hops and grains are grown on-site.
For Easter, there’s egg hunts in the open fields reminiscent of a Beatrix Potter tale. While you’re in the area, stop by Townshend Cellar’s tasting room to sample any of their red, white, dessert, or sparkling wines and find the perfect complement to your Easter dinner.
The major spring event, Blooms on the Bluff, comes in May for Mother’s Day weekend. While the produce is still in the process of greatness, some spring flowers have bloomed for picking. Along with listening to live music, shopping arts and crafts from local artists, and filling up on food truck fare, you can buy lavender plants from Fleur de Provence Lavender Farm or browse a wider selection of plants at Hierophant Meadery’s plant sale where you can also sip mead or kombucha on the patio. Additionally, both High Country Orchard and Beck’s Harvest House host brunches for the holiday.
Summer - Time to Pick Your Own Berries & Peaches
The first opportunity to go on a pick-your-own-produce spree is in June when summer is firmly in season. Strawberry Celebration takes place in June and July when two weekends are selected as prime picking times. Pick by the handful or by the flat because you can’t beat the freshness of these sweet strawberries. At Beck’s Harvest House, you can special order the Klicker variety of strawberries already washed, stemmed, and sliced for all your strawberry shortcake, jam, or snacking needs.
The biggest summer event at Green Bluff is the Annual Cherry Pickers Trot during cherry season in July. The evening of family fun begins with the Cherry Pit Spit competition where men and women vie for the longest pit spit record, currently held at nearly 50 feet! Next up is the Tot Trot, a short run for kids under 5 years old, followed by the main event, the Cherry Pickers Trot, a 6.4K-race through Green Bluff’s orchard country on paved roads. A tradition for four decades now, the event also includes music, vendors, and food. If you miss the event, you can still pick cherries in July with at least six varieties to choose from, along with summer’s other ripening fruits like blueberries, raspberries, apricots, rhubarb, and dates.
Peach season arrives in August and you can celebrate by picking juicy tree-ripened peaches. Smith’s Hilltop Orchard boasts one-pound peaches while Walter’s Fruit Ranch refers to their selection as Bend-Over Peaches—if you don’t bend over while you eat one, you’ll have juice running down your arms. Weekends from late July to about Labor Day are referred to as the Peach Festival and are full of family entertainment. You can visit different farms to seek out fresh peach ice cream and homemade peach cobblers, cakes, and pies.
Green Bluff Fall Harvest
Weekends throughout September and October are when Apple Festival reigns supreme. Join the apple-picking frenzy to get the best apples for cooking, baking, or snacking. In between picking and cracking into an apple fresh from the tree, there are craft booths, live musical entertainment, and plenty of activities for the whole family. Kids and adults can get lost in corn mazes, straw mazes, and even barnyard mazes—the 5-acre corn maze is not to be missed. There are also plenty of wagon rides, pony rides, blow-up slides, jumping castles, petting zoos, and kids’ rides. Apple treats abound as well; take your pick of just-pressed cider, freshly dipped caramel apples, jams, apple butter, syrups, and applesauce.
Apple season blends into pumpkin season and a general celebration of fall. Before Halloween and Thanksgiving, visitors can explore pumpkin patches to find the best jack o’ lantern or best pumpkin for pies. The gourds are so plentiful you can buy them by the truckload; conversely, you can also skip the picking and select from ready-to-go pumpkins. See if you can spot the cannon shooting pumpkins into the air or the corn-firing air gun using pumpkins for target practice.
Be sure to check out the pumpkin donuts too, several farms offer them and all claim to be the best, but you can be the ultimate judge. Beyond pumpkins and apples, you can also go picking for walnuts, pears, and plums; pick up giant sunflower heads with thousands of seeds to plant or eat; and get corn by the bushel.
Winter - Green Bluff for the Holidays
November and December present the opportunity to make winter memories at Green Bluff. Selecting and cutting your own Christmas tree has become a holiday tradition for many Spokane residents with farms typically offering this activity the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve.
With a hot cocoa or warm cider in hand, you can choose from different types of firs or spruces in tabletop sizes or 10-foot beauties. You can shop fresh fruits and wine to gift, and select from lovely garlands and wreaths. There’s also the opportunity for pictures with Santa in a setting more natural than a shopping mall. Green Bluff Christmas Tree Farm offers horse-drawn sleigh rides to cut your own tree, and Sunset Orchard on Green Bluff decorates their cherry grove with thousand of lights you can walk through.
Year Round - Yoga. Drinks. Pie.
Check with individual farms for details on their festival offerings as well activities during the off seasons. Along with Big Barn Brewing, Townshend Cellar, and Hierophant Meadery, there are tasting rooms for 238 Brewing Company and Twilight Cider Works. Look out for Big Barn Brewery’s yoga and beer events, or Townshend Cellar’s yoga and mimosa events. Plus, the Bistro Grill at High Country Orchard is open daily, as is the Orchard Café at Walter’s Fruit Ranch where you can also pick up take-and-bake pies.
While you’re in the Spokane area, be sure to spend some time at Green Bluff Growers for an experience you’ll never forget.