If it's happened once it's happened a hundred times. The moment when someone discovers that I live in Yakima and begins asking questions like 'Is everyone in a gang'? I'll sigh and say, no, not everyone. It's strange that perceptions are a reality for people and until they experience something for themselves, like how awesome it is to live in the Yakima Valley. They just don't know any better.

It is, of course, up to us to change those perceptions. Whether you're a transplant from some other part of the state or another state, or you're a lifelong resident, you'll no doubt recall a time when you were able to blow someone's mind by offering them some little factoid about the Yakima Valley that shocked them.

Here are Three Shocking Facts About Yakima That Blow People's Minds.

SHOCKING YAKIMA FACT #1

The Yakima Valley produces about 75% of the Nations Hops. When you combine our region to include the rest of Washington and add in Oregon and Idaho, it's right around 98% of the Hop production. Beer is big in the Pacific Northwest, and with the booming business enjoyed by the craft beer industry, and its customers (me included) that's very good news indeed. Take the example of BALE BREAKER BREWING in Moxee. A brewery, smack in the middle of a hop field operated by the family for a hundred years or so. Can't get any more local, fresh, or delicious than that.

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Brian Stephenson

SHOCKING YAKIMA FACT #2

The Yakima Valley is also among the largest producers of MINT in the state and the nation. I tell family, friends, or visitors from elsewhere to think of us every time they pop a stick of gum into their mouths. Washington state Spearmint Oil production is over 2 million pounds per year and Peppermint Oil production is roughly 1.5 million pounds annually. We're the top producing state for Spearmint and about #4 for Peppermint. Spearmint grows wild around much of Eastern Washington. I have some in my yard. As a kid growing up in Wenatchee, I used to pluck a few leaves and chew them up regularly. Until one day, a neighbor with a green thumb and a flair for the dramatic informed me that I might notice a yearning for yarn since what I had been consuming was Catnip and not Spearmint. They looked similar to meow.

SHOCKING YAKIMA FACT #3

If you're a Seinfeld fan, you may have already been aware of this moment in the spotlight. If not, revel in the knowledge that in Season Two, Episode 12 'The Bus Boy', Jerry invokes the name 'Yakima'. Watch.

There are many more amazing things about 'The Palm Springs of Washington' that will shock and amaze unsuspecting people. Make note of these gems and blow some minds.

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