Chapin Orchards in Oregon

Four generations of Chapin’s have farmed in the area North of Salem, Oregon know as Mission Bottom. The family got started farming there when Luther Chapin bought the first property in 1916 shortly after serving as the first county agent in Oregon.

In 1960, Jack Chapin (second generation) planted their first cherry orchard – 20 acres of Royal Anne and Corum cherries – and marketed them through the Willamette Cherry Growers Cooperative. That first orchard is still in production today. Jack did not want to plant this cherry orchard and risk not being able to become a co-op member when the orchard came into production so he rented a small cherry orchard for the purpose of becoming a co-op member prior to planting his own orchard.

Now in his 90s, Jack still enjoys living on the farm; he and his son Bruce Chapin (generation 3) continue to grow the cherry operation and recently planted another 80 acres of cherries, including 26 acres of pie cherries. All the sweet cherries are hand harvested while the pie cherries are harvested by machine.

Bruce, his son Austin Chapin, and son-in-law Matt Schuster (Generation 4) currently farm together. Their newest cherry orchard, planted in 2012, is 16 acres of high density ``13N7-39`` cherries (so new that this blush colored cherry still has no name!).

In addition to raising cherries, Bruce and his sons are currently cultivating the fifth generation of family growers by instilling a good work ethic while providing them with opportunities, challenges and guidance. Six members of generation five currently live on the farm ranging in ages from one to seventeen years old.