A Family Owned Business For Generations
After high school, Vernon Martinson worked several years at the Port Gamble sawmill and then drove a commercial dairy delivery truck for 13 years, but he was always a farmer at heart. In 1961, Vern purchased the family homestead when his father retired. He and his family worked hard to improve the dairy herd his father established and make the farm as productive as possible. As milking herds disappeared in Kitsap County, Vern decided to sell Grade A milk directly to the public. He and his wife Pat operated Vern’s Milk-house, producing and bottling that wonderful Grade A milk with the thick layer of cream on top. Many families were raised on Vern’s milk. He especially loved showing the children around the farm and milking parlor.
While operating the dairy, Vern built a pond on the property and had a huge mound of rich black soil. And, of course, he had an ample supply of cow manure. Mixing the two and selling the resulting topsoil was the beginning of a new business. At first, Vern mixed his topsoil with a rotavator and pitched the rocks out with a pitchfork. It was hard work, especially while milking cows 365 days a year. The demand for topsoil grew at the same time dairy regulations became too intrusive- so, the dairy cows were sold and Vern’s Milk-house became Vern’s Organic Topsoil & Bark.
Over the years, the business continues to grow and develop. New screening plants and loaders; bigger trucks and an ever increasing line of products have replaced Vern’s pitchfork and rotavator, but the most important ingredient in Vern’s Organic Topsoil & Bark remains the same: our commitment to the customers to supply quality products at a fair price and to provide the best service possible.
Vern and Pat Martinson retired and the business was acquired by their daughter Cathleen and her husband Sam Allen. All of their children have worked at the family business at one point or another. The business continues to improve and grow. The integrity and commitment to value and service, that Vern valued so highly are just as important today as when he started out. The customers of Vern’s Organic Topsoil & Bark will always be considered friends.