Greenbank

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.