The Greenbank Farm was a special gathering place for Native Americans from prehistoric and historic times, probably because of its location at an unusually narrow juncture of Whidbey Island and its attraction for hunting, fishing and trading.
- The Calvin Philips family owned and operated a family farm at Greenbank in the early 1900’s, harvesting trees and maintaining a dairy herd. The main barn at the Farm dates from 1904 and the other buildings replicate farm buildings of the early 1900’s.
- In the 1940’s the property, which then consisted of 522 acres of fields and woodlands, was sold to John Molz, who introduced loganberries and built the Farm into the largest loganberry farm in the United States by 1970.
- Chateau Ste. Michelle acquired the property in the early 1970s in connection with the purchase of the wine company. In 1995 the company shocked the local community with plans to sell the property for residential lot development. In 1995–1997 residents, islanders and friends rallied to save the farm!
- In 1997, a consortium consisting of Island County, the Nature Conservancy and the Port of Coupeville purchased the 522-acre property, the Port acquiring the 151-acre operating farm and the other parties acquiring the adjacent woodlands. In 2008, the Greenbank Farm Ag Training Center was established to train new farmers in sustainable agriculture. Participants in the seven-month program study organic crop production, business planning, and sustainable land stewardship as well as grow vegetables for sale through a local CSA program which offers community members a weekly share of fresh organic produce.
- In 2009, a new Master Site Plan, developed and written with community volunteers, was approved by the Port of Coupeville and is now the Farm’s “road map to the future.”
Though some might argue that Greenbank should be designated as part of central Whidbey, there are many who consider it the topmost border of south Whidbey, beginning with the Greenbank Farm, which used to be the Philips Dairy Farm.
Here is an 18 mm movie taken by William “Bill” Hunziker between 1935 and 1939.
For information about the Greenbank Farm today, visit www.greenbankfarm.org.