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For the love of growing things

May 13, 2014


“We did it together,” he said. “We wanted to start a family business, and we did.”

Hinely, who splits his time between a job in Portland and the farm near Sheridan, also credits farm manager Beth Satterwhite.

“She does a lot of the planning,” he said. “It’s a group affair.”

Yamhill River Farms grew out of the Hinely family’s love of gardening, cooking and dining.

“It’s the eating thing, definitely,” he said. “We have a lot of friends in the restaurant business, and we always love different perspectives in cooking. We’re always testing what we grow.”

Hinely said he and his family enjoy planting new varieties and less common types of produce, and using strategies to extend the growing season, such as greenhouses. “We like to raise a really diverse supply of fruits and vegetables,” he said.

He has enjoyed eating less familiar products as well. Since the farm started, he’s developed a growing fondness for kohlrabi, for example. But while he appreciates this member of the cabbage family far more now, he said, “it doesn’t mean I’ve elevated it past snow peas.”

Salad greens, tended by Hinely’s mother, account for the main part of the operation’s vegetable business. In addition to about 60 kinds of plants, the farm raises chickens, turkeys, pigs and occasionally a steer.

The family started the farm on property where the elder Hinelys, Robert and Janice, have lived for more than 30 years, raising Aren in the process.

“It’s really just a big garden with animals integrated,” he said. “We just love living in the country and enjoying raising animals and growing food.”

Hinely and his family sell their Yamhill River Farms’ products to area restaurants. They also operate a booth at the McMinnville Farmers Market. They’ll be back for their third year when the market opens for the season on May 22.

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