Hopewell Farm, Everson, WA
Hopewell Farm is a four-generation family farm located near the Canadian border in Whatcom County’s Nooksack Valley, northwest of Mount Baker. Originally established as a dairy, Pete and Dorene Dykstra have diversified the farm over the past thirty years by expanding into certified organic blueberry and mixed vegetable production.
The farm was started as a dairy by Pete’s father, Jim Dykstra, in 1967. Fifteen years later Pete began diversifying into growing vegetables for wholesale marketing to food processors. Today Hopewell Farm has 16 acres in certified organic blueberries and 40 acres in mixed vegetables, plus 240 acres of pasture land for their certified organic dairy.
Hopewell Farm is a member of Organic Valley dairy cooperative and in 2010 Pete and Dorene were honored with Organic Valley’s Gold Dairy Quality Award for Washington state.
In addition to blueberries and raspberries, the Dykstra family also grows broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, corn, cauliflower, leeks, onions, pumpkins, and winter squash. While they continue to do some regional wholesaling, including sales to Farmer’s Own Organic in Seattle and Organically Grown Company in Oregon, approximately 85% of Hopewell Farm’s crops are marketed in Whatcom County, including direct retail sales at their own farm stand and the Bellingham Farmers Market. They also sell their crops through local restaurants, the Bellingham Community Food Coop, Terra Organica, and The Markets LLC.
The Dykstra’s donate extra vegetables to their local food bank and participate in the Small Potatoes Gleaning Project, which coordinates volunteers to glean farmers’ fields for surplus produce for distribution to hunger agencies.
Environmental stewardship is central to the family’s organic ethic. Eliminating the use of toxic chemicals was just the beginning.
According to Pete Dykstra, “We have made our farm more sustainable through efforts to reduce the use of water by providing drip irrigation to our berry fields, promoting animal habitat by planting trees on our berry fields and at the dairy, rotating crops for the dairy and vegetables, and growing cover crops. We choose crops that grow well in our climate and soil. By planting crops and varieties that grow well in the area we eliminate crops that have pest issues.”
Pete added, “There is something very satisfying about not spraying chemicals on the field and watching the natural systems. The fields are healthy, they produce great crops and there is life in the soil. My hope is to keep the local production going and to offer fresh, local and organic produce for my community for years to come.”
In recognition of the Dykstra’s concern for healthy soils and pure water, Hopewell Farm has been certified “Salmon Safe” by Stewardship Partners, a non-profit organization that works with landowners to protect water quality and restore fish and wildlife habitat.
Through the integration of dairy, vegetable and berry production, direct marketing, and environmental practices, Hopewell Farm exemplifies the local adaptation, community engagement, and entrepreneurial spirit that can make organic farming truly sustainable.
Organic Valley Cooperative
Farmers Own Organic
Organically Grown Company
Bellingham Farmers Market
Bellingham Food Coop
The Markets LLC
Small Potatoes Gleaning Project
Stewardship Partners Salmon-Safe Farm Certification