The Draper Family is currently in it's 4th generation of farming at the Baker Creek Homestead and raising the 5th generation right alongside the vegetables!
The “Shadden House” - now Draper Farms was built in 1856, making it one of the oldest structures in Yamhill County, Oregon. Lester “Judge” Grenfell and Roberta (nee’ Turner) bought the Thomas Shadden house and farm in 1937. Their oldest daughter, Mary Ann Grenfell, married Norwood Draper and made a home on the next farm down the road continuing to farm as the 2nd generation on the land.
Continuing their legacy, their oldest son, Thomas Draper, became the first member of the 3rd generation to continue the business of farming here when he purchased the majority of what was left of the Grenfell farmland. Tom built on the foundation of hard work with the earth and sustainability that had been created by his parents and grandparents before him. Tom deserves much credit for assisting Dennis Draper in creating one of the most-demanded agricultural products in the city of McMinnville… that which our longtime customers know as “Draper Corn”. He is considered the lead expert amongst the team of Draper farmers, having over 55 years of farming experience on this land.
Tom’s younger brother, Dennis Draper and his wife, Kati, bought the farm in 1989 from the three Grenfell daughters (Mary Ann, Doris, Beverly). Denny and Kati began by simply putting out extra produce from their garden on a picnic table in the front yard. Denny and Kati continued to grow the roadside stand over the years with the help of their three children: Megan, Shawn, and Keenan; with very little outsourced labor. They operated on the “honor system”, starting a beloved tradition that has continued even through the farm’s growth and expansion into the current farm stand building.
In 2015, the legacy of farming this piece of earth was passed to its 4th generation when I, Keenan Draper, officially leased the business from my parents. The business remains loyal to the tradition of offering fresh produce straight from the field, nearly all produced and harvested by the Drapers residing on the farm. Very much like in the past, the majority of labor is still provided by my father, brother, and me. It is my honor to carry on the true small-family farm model that was first adopted by Judge and Roberta Grenfell and move it forward in a sustainable and responsible way.