OUR HISTORY

1890s

The family farm was homesteaded in 1898 by Adolf Sester. In those days, the ground was covered in timber so he logged it as needed. Potatoes, berries, cattle, and hay were the primary crops during this time.

1940s

In the 1940’s, Adolf’s son, William Sester, grew certified grass seed, fresh market potatoes, wheat, and berries. During this era, he transitioned from using animals to cultivate the land to using modern farm equipment. During World War II, the farm grew as demand for potatoes increased.

1950s

In the 1950’s, William branded his potatoes and developed a local market with Kienow Grocery Stores and other distributors. In the 1960’s, William and his two sons, Gordon and John, began marketing different kinds of berries to the local cannery and growing potatoes for potato chips.

1970s

This crop rotation continued up until the early 1970’s. The climate in Western Oregon changed, resulting in wetter falls, which made it more difficult to harvest the potatoes. Falling prices and other growing regions that produced higher yields made it challenging to compete in a regional market. In 1972, Sester Farms was founded. It had its humble beginnings with a crop of Colorado Spruce. During these early years, Gordon worked for Iseli Nursery, where he learned the nursery business and the importance of root pruning and transplanting. Growing quality grafted conifers was always important to John Iseli. Gordon adapted the same passion for plants during those years and he became production manager. Working with the famed and innovative conifer grower provided him with a knowledge that has paid dividends. Almost immediately, Sester Farms became trade marked for its root pruned trees and transplanted conifers.

1980s - 1990s

For the first decade, Sester Farms concentrated exclusively on field-grown spruce and pine. By 1981, the farm was successful enough that Gordon left his job at Iseli Nursery and devoted his full time efforts to Sester Farms. Gordon’s sons, Ted and Tim, joined him at this time. From the mid 80’s to mid 90’s, a lot of infrastructure was put into place. A brand new shipping facility with 8 loading docks, propagation houses, and cold frames were built. A continuous mixing potting line was also built, which enabled 10,000 to 15,000 #7 to #10 trees to be potted per day. A line of deciduous shade trees was added and sold as bareroot and container. This broader offering of trees spurred tremendous scales of growth.

2000 - Present

In early 2000, Sester Farms’ product line expanded to offer over 150 varieties. A cold storage unit was built to store plant material that could be shipped later in the season. The canyard was doubled in size to provide an area for larger container crops. From 2000 – 2010 a #5 shrub line was added along with many new varieties of trees. These additions to the company’s offerings have spurred greater growth. The variety makes it easier for the customer to build their order and get more for their freight dollar.