Meet the Farmers

85 Years and Counting
For over 85 years the Schilters have farmed in the Nisqually Valley. Grandpa and Grandma Schilter immigrated from Switzerland and began dairy farming, as well as raising a family. One of their sons, Fred, met and married Patty Deck, whose family farmed across the freeway on what is now known as Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. Fred and Patty began farming the dairy and raised a wonderful family. Their son, Jeff and wife, Stephanie (Herness) took over the daily operations and in 1997 the family made a big change.

The dairy was phased out and the farm took on a new venture — agriculture-tourism and the first Schilter pumpkin patch. Over the past 27 years the farm has grown into the largest harvest festival, pumpkin patch and corn maze in the South Sound. Christmas trees were planted in 1999 and the farm has operated as a choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm since 2005. Our farm has become a place of family traditions. We love seeing folks who visited the farm as children come back as adults with the next generation to “Celebrate the Seasons” at Schilter Family Farm!

It’s a Family Affair!
Schilter Family Farm is a real family farm. Jeff and Stephanie along with Patty (retired) operate the farm with many family members' help and support, especially during the farm’s large harvest festival in October. Jeff and Stephanie’s children, nieces, nephews, lots of family friends, and dedicated team members work hard every year to bring good old-fashioned fun, great quality products, and family experiences to be cherished each year.