A FARMER’S DREAM
Why would mid-western farm families pack up and walk 2000 miles beside their painted wagons?
Of all the reasons for them hitting the Oregon Trail, one stands above the rest.
They didn’t come for the fur industry. It wasn’t the fishing or logging opportunities, either.
Farmer Bob and his family joined the western migration to farm new land; they came for the dirt. Now Oregon has its own official state brand.
Before you ask why designate dirt, keep in mind Oregon isn’t the first, or only, state doing it. Twenty others have official state soil.
Instead of digging out the twenty states, let’s look at Oregon Trail state dirt with the map.
After Jory, the Oregon State Soil, Idaho is the only Trail state without official dirt. Instead of Idaho State Soil, it’s Idaho Soil. It’s a small thing to quibble about, but they’ll get it done.
Roll the Oregon Trail over the break-down map of America’s crop regions and you get a better idea of pioneer dirt expectations.
Men and women from the Corn Belt were used to colors, like the green and yellow on a corn cob grown in Iowa dirt, or at least more color than the Northern Plains and Mountain regions offered.
Then they hit Wyoming and Idaho and wondered if it ever ends.
After dragging through Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon they knew it wouldn’t.
Color seeps back into the landscape slowly until an improbable explosion of greenery washes over the hillsides of the Willamette Valley.
If you’ve taken that trip in long stretches, nature paints your windshield in shades of Oregon.
You might forget the curve of the flat plains, or the landmarks along the way, but you’ll never forget the feeling of your own state soil and what it grows.