AR


About Our Farm


Woodland Woodland

Gerard (Jerry) van der Salm immigrated to the United States of America with his family from Holland in 1980.  He chose to move to the Pacific Northwest for the rich soils, temperate climate and due to the history of the modern lily hybrid in this part of America.  In 2010, Anke Yarnell (van der Salm), Catherine van der Salm, Niels van Noort and Ruud van der Salm started Van der Salm Farms, Inc. DBA Our American Roots to continue the bulb and perennial growing tradition.  There is a great history of lilies here in the Pacific Northwest, beginning with the birth of the modern hybrid lily more than 80 years ago and continuing today as we carry on that tradition.

The van der Salm Family has been involved with growing lilies commercially for over 40 years now and the van Noort family has been growing bulb for almost 50 years.  In Holland there are many uncles and cousins working in the bulb industry, most on their own farms.  This direct connection to the Dutch market and our relationships with the bulbs brokers in the Netherlands allows us to stay in touch with the new trends in products, equipment, and techniques.

 

Lilies field tractor Woodland Woodland


The home farm is where we grow our lilies, peonies, hostas, crocosmias, and hemerocallis.  While we are not currently hybridizing new lilies, we do still have a selection of seedlings that we are testing and expanding.  This will allow us to introduce new varieties into the coming decade.

At our Woodland, WA location we have approximately 15,000 square feet of cold room storage space.  In these coolers we can store each product at its ideal holding temperature.  These not only allow us to ship our lilies year around, it also allows us to import Dutch lilies, Gladiolas, Tulips and Dutch Iris.

 

In a year...

January - March

During this quarter we plant a majority of our crops. Although March is a great time to plant, but here in Woodland we often have to wait for the weather to cooperate, but that is how it goes with farming.  We also finish processing our hostas and crocosmias during this time.

 

         

 

The first "new" crop lilies (harvested the previous fall) are ready for shipping from January on.  Most of our customers will wait until we have our imported product in before receiving any of our lily bulbs.  Our imported Dutch lilies will usually arrive via container in February.  These will join our domestic lilies and will be separated by type and stored at the correct temperatures.

 

April - June

Things usually slow down during this time.  The only deviation from this is when our cut flower peony crop is ready for harvest.  Much of our cut peony crop is grown in the Columbia Basin in Eastern Oregon.  During the harvest, these crops are trucked to our home farm in Woodland, Washington, where we process each variety.  When they are ready to be cut (any time in the first half of May), we will be busy for at least 3 weeks.  This season is short in duration but very enjoyable.  Our goal is always to maintain the highest levels of quality in our cut flowers, and we do that by keeping the flowers as fresh as possible.  We want our product to reach our customers as soon as possible to increase the flower life and maintain the quality.

 

          

 

During the summer months our work load switches to crop maintenance.  At this time we will disbud our lily crop prior to them flowering.  We do leave at least part of each lot to flower so that we can double check the quality.  Disbudding the flowers helps the bulb focus on growing bigger rather than focusing on flowering and producing seed.

 

As always, our loyal mascot Lily makes sure to supervise our work!

    

 

July-September

Our goal is for our peony roots to begin shipping by the middle of September, so in August we will begin harvesting this crop.  Our goal is to have shipped the majority of our peonies and planted back all of our planting stock by the end of September.

Certain large dry sale customers take delivery of our lilies, hemerocallis, and hostas at this time as well.  Our goal is to have the product to the customer as soon as possible.  Due to the harvest time, these products are very perishable and need to be replanted quickly.  We have more than 20 years experience with harvesting lilies at this time, and in order to maintain our quality, we must be very vigilant and use our experience and knowledge.

 

Tractor with Bibiano Tractor with Bibiano  

By the end of September our imported Tulips and Daffodils will have arrived.  The Dutch Iris arrive in the second half of October.  The tulips, daffodils, and Dutch iris are ready for planting when we receive them.  

 

October-December

This is the quarter when the harvesting of most of our crops takes place.   It is at this time that our lily processing line runs at full capacity for over a month.  Our coolers go from the lowest point to the highest point of inventory on hand.  The commercial sized lilies harvested will not be ready for planting back until they have had at least their minimum cooling requirement.  Hostas and Crocosmias are harvested whenever the weather allows.

       

 

 

 
 
 

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