Spanish explorers, fur traders, missionaries, and some Native Americans used imported grains and fruits to plant the Pacific Northwest’s early subsistence gardens. After immigration surged, the fertile lands became a commercial agricultural powerhouse, and by 1890, farming boomed—spurred by advancements in mechanization, seed quality, irrigation, and sustainable practices. Columbia Basin irrigation, synthetic fertilizers, Cooperative Extension efforts and impressive work by researchers also boosted production. Harvest Heritage explores the people, history, and major influences that shaped and transformed the region’s flourishing agrarian economy.
Harvest Heritage: Agricultural Origins and Heirloom Crops