Ralph's Greenhouse Producer Profile | PCC Natural Markets

Ralph's Greenhouse

Ray DeVries

Producer Profile

Grower: Ray DeVries

Located in: Mount Vernon, Wash.

Supplying PCC since: more than 20 years

Supplies PCC with: Tender, delicious organic leeks.

The story of Ralph: Ralph De Vries moved his family to the Northwest from the Netherlands in the 1950s, when son Ray was a toddler. Leeks were a staple there, and when what the family chose to cultivate in the rich, fertile Skagit Valley flood plain. His leeks have since won acclaim for their snowy, creamy perfection.

The Leek King: With 45-plus acres in production, De Vries supplies his leeks around the country. We're thrilled to offer them locally at PCC.

Carrying on a family tradition from the Netherlands

Sixty miles north of Seattle in the Skagit Valley, Ray DeVries carries on the farming traditions of his Dutch family with Ralph's Greenhouse. His father, Ralph, emigrated from the Netherlands in the 1950s. He started Ralph's Greenhouse around 1980, growing vegetables for friends and the market.

Ralph says he chose against using pesticides because they weren't used in the "Old Country." The farm was certified organic in 1988 and now offers leeks and a variety of other organic produce throughout most of the year from its 100 fertile acres.

Ray is a firm believer in sustainable farming, which he implements in composting, watering and crop rotation. "We don't own the land," says Ray. "It is simply our turn to take care of it, and how we take care of it will determine whether the next generation can build on what we left them, or whether they will have to fix what we messed up."

More about: leeks, local food, organic food, produce, vegetables