On the evening of March 6th, 2017 at 8pm, a devastating fire destroyed the historic Smith Barn on Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve, along with the livelihood of the Smith Family and Willowood Farm.
Willowood Farm has been run by the Smith family since the late 1800s. At one point the farm was over 400 acres and grew field crops such as barley, peas, winter squash and even iris bulbs. In the 1960s and 70s we ran a lot of cattle and horses on the farm.
In the late 70s, the farm was key to a push to save the beautiful and jeopardized farm land of Central Whidbey Island. In 1978 the farm, and surrounding 17,000 acres, were designated as the first ever “reserve” under the auspices of the National Park Service. Known as the Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve, it is a special kind of park with land mostly privately owned but without developmental rights. The area preserves the historic, cultural integrity of the small farming community it was when first settled.
In the late 70s and early 80s, the Smith family moved away from farming the land and most of Farmer Georgie’s childhood growing up on the farm we were not actively farming. However when Georgie moved back onto the farm with her family in the 1990s, she started with a small vegetable farm. That grew, and grew and grew! Now growing on approximately 12 acres, we plant more than 200 named varieties of vegetables yearly growing and producing almost year round.
Farmer Georgie has a journalism degree and concentrates her time managing the farm, dealing with customers and all that fun stuff.
Father Bill is right hand mechanic and special projects man.
Read a detailed historical account of the Smith Farm and Barn here.