The Great Depression was at its worst in 1934, but Gerald Detering, a Eugene jewelry store bookkeeper, had a dream of owning his own farm. Marie, his wife of four years, shared his dream, since they both came from old farming families. They found a forty acre tract of river bottom land they liked, located a dozen or so miles north of Eugene, so they bought it and started a small truck farm. Their new home wasn't even completely finished when they moved in and started raising crops of asparagus, blackberries, cabbages, carrots, muskmelons, rutabagas, rhubarb, turnips and peaches. Some of their crop they sold in nearby Eugene and some they sold from a fruit stand under a tree on their property.Gerald and Marie had four children and the Deterings increased the size of their farm with each birth. Gerald became involved in public service and was serving his fifth term in the Oregon House of Representatives when he died in 1970. Marie eventually handed the management of the farm over to her eldest son, Roger, but she continued to do the books for the farm until her death in the late 1980's. Roger Detering worked as the general manager of the farm until his death in 2012. His trademark suspenders and red Detering's baseball cap was a familiar and welcomed sight to anyone visiting the farm. He was always there, willing to help you load up your car or pick the perfect apples. When Roger passed away his son, Greig, took over as the farm's director of operations. Greig asked longtime family friend and farm employee, Cynthia Dixon, to be the farm's retail manager.
Now days Detering Orchards is around two hundred acres in size and is considered one of the largest diversified pre-pick/u-pick fresh fruit and vegetable farms in the Willamette valley. It's located in southern Linn County, Oregon, about 5 miles south of Harrisburg and 15 miles north of Springfield/Eugene.
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