Photo by Trisha Walker
Tammi Packer sorts jams and jellies at Packer Orchards Farm Place, located at the old Rasmussen Farm on Thomsen Road.
As of Friday, June 10, 2016
The Packer Family has been busy lately.
Packer Orchards purchased Rasmussen Farm on Oct. 30, 2015, and has been remodeling and expanding their new land ever since. Now called Packer Orchards Farm Place, the space officially opened for business June 10.
The farm was established in 1945 by the Rasmussen family, initially as a dairy farm, and later as a family-friendly destination at its 3020 Thomsen Road location.
The Packer family has no plans of changing the attractions that made Rasmussen’s a special stop.
“So many of the favorites are the same,” said Tammi Packer. “The pumpkin patch, corn maze and u-pick vegetables and flowers.”
They are also reusing a lot of old materials in their farm remodel. Pieces of the barns and greenhouses are showing up in display cases and even the checkout counter in the main retail space, combining the old with the new.
But the family is making some changes.
“We now have a new u-pick strawberry green house, with an outside field planned for 2017,” she said. “We have new orchards planned for future u-pick cherries, peaches, apples and pears.
“We will have all of the Packer Orchard favorites, plus many planned new items,” she added — including fresh fruit pies, empanadas, jams and jellies, canned fruits and vegetables, and fresh fruit.
The Farm Place has additional parking, including handicapped parking, family picnic areas, yard games, and plenty of room to play.
The Packers also own Packer Orchard and Bakery, located on Highway 35 past the Odell junction. It will remain open for the next five years, Packer said, while the family transitions to the Farm Place.
“The Farm Place has so much more room,” she explained. “We have many activities planned, from canning and cooking demos to school tours.”
During the grand opening celebration Friday, the family served a barbecue lunch; Willy & Nelson provided music, and other activities were also planned.
The Farm Place is open daily through Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Packer Orchard and Bakery is also open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Credit cards are accepted. For more information, visit packerorchardsandbakery.com.