Amidst the fruit orchards, vegetable farms, vinyards, and grain fields of the fertile Columbia River Basin in central Washington State, nearly 50 years of commitment to organic farming goes into growing some of the finest mint in the world.
The story of Trout Lake Farms began four hours’ drive to the west of the lush green rows of organic spearmint and peppermint we use in our Cacao Mint Tea-Infused Granola. Founder Lon Johnson planted the first seeds of his sustainable herb farming vision in the soil of the picturesque valley that gave Trout Lake Farms its name, at the foot of Mt. Adams.
In 1973, the organic movement was just beginning when Lon’s vision to produce organic culinary and medicinal herbs took root. Watered by the glacier-fed White Salmon River, and nourished by years of hard work and dedication, Trout Lake Farm flourished.
But after 25 years, the original 300-acre organic farm was no longer enough growing space to keep up with demand. So, in 1998, a new partnership helped Trout Lake Farms expand, and Trout Lake Farm East sprouted on 630 acres in Ephrata, Washington.
Today, Trout Lake Farms thrives by tailoring its sustainable organic farming practices to each farm location. Integration and diversity of plants, people, and wildlife is key to their approach. With a deep respect for biodiversity, Trout Lake Farms preserves natural habitats in and around each farm, and they cultivate (and save) a wide variety of seeds ensuring they’re as far from monoculture as it’s possible to get.
Believing the farm itself is an organism, Trout Lake Farms nourish the soil through plant-based organic methods and materials like compost and cover crops. And they remain deeply committed to the concept of traceability—Trout Lake Farms tracks every action performed on each piece of land, so they can be true stewards in caring for and working as one with nature.
With their processing mill right at the farm, Trout Lake Farms invests the same level of care into drying, milling, and packing their organic herbs as they do in growing them. That’s why we’re delighted to use their refreshingly flavorful mint in One Degree Organics Cacao Mint Tea-Infused Granola.