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GROWERS & PACKERS OF ENGLISH HOLLY & FOREST GREENS
SINCE 1964

 
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 Updated 5th November 2017
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About Holly and BeaverCreek Farms

Toward the end of the 19th century, English Holly (ilex aquifolium) was introduced to the Great Northwest by early pioneers and became a popular addition to an already wide range of cultivated forest products.

A snow-covered holly tree at BeaverCreek Farms with Mt. Hood in the background. (1964)
Snow-covered holly tree with Mt. Hood in background
Fifteen miles from the End of the Oregon Trail in Oregon City is the little town of Beavercreek and about eight miles further out toward Mt. Hood is Highland Butte - the Highland area - where lush stands of Oregon's famed forests abound. Here, in about 1939, an initial planting of English Holly was made that quickly adapted to the mini-climate 1200-ft above the fogs of the Williamette and Estacada valleys and south of the strong, blustery Columbia Gorge winds.

Over the years since then, that acreage has grown to about 45 acres and 2500 trees planted on 25-foot centers that allows for ample air circulation and discourages so many natural pests and plant diseases. Many of the original French-English trees - some now 20-30' high - have been improved/grafted with newer and exciting varieties in berries and foliage. Yes, believe it or not - like roses, there are many variations. For example, the relatively new - Silver Queen - with its silver-edged green leaves and - Harlequin - with the opposite leaf coloration have become very popular for their leaf coloration alone even if a current year's crop of bright red berries is sparse or if the robins beat us to the orchard.

In the early days, people across the country became acquainted with these Hollies through Oregon Holly Company which in 1964 became BeaverCreek Farms. The packing and activity centered in the 2-room Old Highland School with its big pot-bellied wood stove and the adjoining dirt-floored children's play shed. The then tiny little Beavercreek Post Office assigned us their next number - Post Office Box 2 and helped us "lick stamps" for those early shipments. As many small growers and packers came under our "umbrella", our facilities gradually expanded into today's 1200-ft packing facility at 22022 South Lower Highland Road that provides more comfort for our workers and better means to handle old and new ideas, friends' suggestions and requests.

Some of our trees are 70-years old
and over 30-feet tall.
Orchard Picture
Finally, in 1997, the latest well-established producer with a long list of satisfied customers, English Holly Packers, became a part of us and has resulted in an expanded list with something for everyone and for every budget.

And while the Hollies and the facilities have been growing, local neighbors (including many housewives and teenagers) keep their calendars marked and their energies focused on joining other dependable Seasonal workers in harvesting and preparing our unique field-grown crop and forest products- all stand ready to meet whatever challenges - weatherwise or orderwise.

Activity accelerates in October but preparations, plans, worries and concerns go on all year. Orchard care - fertilizing, spraying, pruning, mowing/haying the grass cover crop, varmint and critter control, equipment and facility upkeep are ongoing projects. Water - thanks to the clouds that roll in from the Pacific - is usually no problem except for new plantings. Nonperishable supplies and packing materials must be ready and shippers kept informed.

One of our wreath makers with a custom wreath.
Wreath maker with custom wreat
The pile of mandated government paperwork is never-ending as well as new learning experiences. With the advent of all the new age technologies, old ways must be constantly adapted - no small feat for those of us entrenched in smaller, simpler, slower ways of life - and used to one understandable telephone billing and the convenience and friendliness of a local "Jot'em Down Store".

While there are some outfits with histories longer and some companies bigger and others newer, selections from BeaverCreek Farms are among the best in all aspects - design, quality, detail and are ideal for your Holiday Enjoyment!