FarmersGrowing Good Food, Nourishing the Community
Marshall comes from a long line of Washingtonians, and wanted his farm to represent all the natural majesty the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Hence the uniquely PNW name Alki. The word comes from Chinook jargon, a trading language used between early settlers and the native peoples to mean “bye and bye”. He’s proud to grow the best mustard greens in the Sammamish Valley, as well as squashes, herbs and other sustainably grown produce as a part of that history. Thank you for buying local and helping us protect the beauty of our land for future generations.
Website: Alki Farms
Mauricio Soto and Senaida Vela are the owners of Arado Farms. Mauricio says, “The “arado” or plow is the most modern tool I was able to use in my homeland, Nayarit, to turn up the earth…While the use of the traditional plow was discontinued in the U.S by 1983, it is still used in several other countries. I am proud to have been able to experience this tool.” He believes that, “One must keep working willfully on whatever they are doing until the idea of continuing to grow food and feeling a sense of freedom from it returns—maybe after many years—to one’s headspace. While that highlights the ‘idea’ of agriculture, one mustn’t forget the responsibility that comes with agriculture, just as with other industries.” Senaida and Mauricio joined Viva Farms’ agricultural program in 2014 and they have been growing their berry farm since.
Website: Arado Farm
Boldly Grown Farm
Wife-and-husband team Amy Frye and Jacob Slosberg founded Boldly Grown Farm in 2015. They specialize in winter storage crops, including winter squash, carrots, onions, beets, cabbage and more. By focusing on winter crops, their goal is to extend the availability of local food into the winter months. They also grow flowers for sale and to provide pollinator habitat. Amy comes from farming roots in Minnesota, while Jacob found his love for farming on a high school trip to Costa Rica. The couple met at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the University of British Columbia, where Jacob managed vegetable production and pastured poultry, and Amy managed operations, sales and marketing. “We are passionate and ambitious!” Amy says. “We want to feed a lot of people and ensure that a greater portion of the population has ready access to healthy and sustainably-grown produce.”
Website: Boldly Grown Farm
Bright Thread Farm
Bright Thread Farm is co-owned and operated by Kelsey and Trevor. In 2018, while farming in rural Southern Utah (a food desert in all senses, where eating local was a necessity), Kelsey experienced the reciprocal generosity between farmers and their communities, excellent local cuisine that had been developed based on seasonality and availability of ingredients, and the rewarding, land-dependent work of farming. These experiences were deeply felt, and became the framework of Bright Thread Farm here in the PNW! We stand for sustainable agricultural practices, mindful choices that prioritize the health of our consumers and the land, expanding our communities’ access to high-quality, locally-grown produce, and being in love with what we do. Bright Thread Farm specializes in small wholesale and bulk orders, and well-rounded CSAs that include a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruit and edible flowers. Serving Seattle, Bellingham and Skagit county.
Website: Bright Thread Farm
Bountiful Field Farms
James is a Filipino-American who was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Around 2011 he developed an interest in sustainable agriculture, homesteading/green-living, permaculture and food security. After years of study he took Viva’s cultivating success courses and completed the practicum in 2018. He one day hopes to be able to live more sustainably and closer to nature. It is his hope that his work as a farmer will help make local food systems more: sustainable, healthy, stable and bountiful during these trying times.
Francisco and Zochitl Cabrera are originally from Oaxaca, Mexico. They came to California in 2003 and then moved to the Skagit Valley in 2007. In California, Francisco worked primarily in strawberry production, but here in Skagit the Cabreras specialize in lettuce, zucchini and a variety of other vegetables. A desire for increased production, efficiency, and business prompted a move from Skagit Flats to Viva Farms during 2015. Their operation produces a variety of high-quality, organic vegetables including zucchini, winter & summer squash, cucumbers, green beans, cabbage, and lettuce. From season one to season two their acreage quadrupled and Francisco aspires for more acreage, particularly in order to grow more lettuce. Zochitl is delving into the marketing realm of their business. Their children, Belen, 4 & Aidet, 8, are the inspiration for their hard work, with the hopes of one day paying both through college. When they are not at Viva Farms, the Cabreras train up and coming farmers at Skagit Flats, and relax by the river or local beach.
Website: Cabrera Farms
Eldur Heron Farm
Nate Minor began farming at Viva in 2017. Nate is a mathematician by training, and hopes to pursue math and farming in tandem. He has been a home gardener for as long as he can remember, and started farming when he decided to forego grad school. “Gardening was at the top of the list,” he said. “I thought, ‘Why not go for it?’” Nate says that yes, farming is hard work, but the lifestyle intrigues him. His goal is to turn the farm into something he can live off of while he’s young. “I can teach math when I’m old,” he said.
Website: Eldur Heron Farm
Farias Farm was started by Francisco, Juan, Sergio Farias. All three founding members were born in Michoacan, Mexico. Francisco and Sergio came to the Washington State when they teenagers while Juan arrived when he was five years old. Skagit Valley has been their home away from home since. In Mexico the Farias Family had been farmers for many generations growing their own food. Once in the US all three brothers worked in agriculture for a large portion of their lives and eventually decided to start Farias Farm. Farias Farm is Certified Organic and uses sustainable farming practices. What drew the three brothers to organic farming was the idea of clean food, food that is free of pesticides and chemicals, food that you can grab and eat right out of the ground. “As farmers we only want to grow the type of food we would feed our families and eat ourselves.”
Website: Farias Farm
Jaci Vanderwerff began farming at Viva in 2018, after completing the Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture. She grows a wide variety of flowers. Jaci says, “I love being outside and getting my hands dirty, and seeing things grow and develop from a little seed that I plant in seed trays to harvesting the flowers and seeing their beauty. There is a local slow flower movement that is happening in the USA that I am excited to be apart of. I think it’s important to give people the option of buying local food as well as local flowers.”
Website: Flowerhead Farm
In 2020, Margaret Felts started Gaining Ground, a small-scale farm providing hyper-local, seasonal produce. She is committed to providing healthy produce for the local community using sustainable and efficient farming practices. Gaining Ground educates customers on how their food is grown, preparation ideas, and preservation techniques.
She grows over 30 different vegetables using organic practices to gain the benefits that crop diversity offers, such as increased biodiversity, tailored pest management, habitat creation for beneficial insects, and increased soil fertility. She believes that eating local produce is more delicious, supports the local economy, is more nutritious, has no preservatives, has a lower carbon footprint, and improves food safety.
Margaret was born and raised in Texas and moved to Seattle in 1999. She worked as a graphic designer and at a corporate engineering firm in business development before pursuing her dream of becoming a farmer. She has been gardening since she was 20, and trying to learn all she could about how to grow food along the way from books, friends, and educational seminars.
Website: Gaining Ground
Pure Nelida Farm
Nelida Martinez owns Pure Nelida farm and began farming at Viva in 2010 but the story of her business begins 30 years ago when Nelida learned to cultivate fruits and vegetables in the fields of California. Nelida and her family eventually moved to Washington, where she learned organic practices and gained experience growing 100% organic produce. Asked about her experience farming, Nelida says: “Me gusta mucho crecer las plantas y producir bien alimentación para alguien más. ¡Me gusta mucho, este trabajo es mi pasión!” “I like to grow plants and provide nourishment for everyone. I like it a lot, this work is my passion!”
Website: Pure Nelida Farm
RAIN SHADOW FARM
Rain Shadow is a small scale farm specializing in weekly CSA boxes and specialty bulk orders-serving Mount Vernon, Burlington and Anacortes. Eliza Mae Andrews has worked with organic growers in western Washington for nearly a decade and is grateful to be incubating with Viva Farms until she finds permanent land in the rain shadow of the Olympic range.
Website: Rain Shadow Farm
RECONNECTING ROOTS FARM
Brett Aiello, an engineer by education, began his farming journey in an attempt to find delicious food. This led him to the Slow Food movement and the term terroir. Terroir is the concept that environmental factors such as soil, weather and farming methods impart flavor on a crop – the same crop can have distinct flavors based on where it grew. From there, Brett became interested in local food systems and sustainable growing principles. Eventually, this interest turned into a mission to provide PNW communities with local, sustainably-grown food and established Reconnecting Roots Farm in 2021.
Reconnecting Roots Farm was started in order to reconnect the communities surrounding the Sammamish Valley with their local food systems. Operating with the belief that local, nutritious, sustainably grown food can have such a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing, we want our customers to know their farmers like they know their doctor. We also want our customers to know their farmers like they know their doctor. We also want our customers to be satisfied knowing they are purchasing food that has minimal environmental impacts. We strive to grow food in as sustainable a manner as possible and work with natural ecological systems to maintain long term soil health and natural biodiversity.
Website: Reconnecting Roots Farm
Antoine Wilson and Andrew Green run Regeneration Farm. Together they are building a functioning wetland permaculture farm using an agroforestry alley cropping system. They run their farm on the triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social sustainability, using a diversified approach of (1) food production, (2) educational workshops and events, and (3) sales of regenerative and edible plants.
Their business is set within the context of restoring their two acre plot of agricultural land to provide maximum environmental benefit (including carbon sequestration via topsoil creation and tree planting), ecosystem health and on-farm productivity. In 2019 they are laying agroforestry system groundwork, installing tree crops and long-term farm infrastructure while running a direct market farm growing organic vegetables and pastured pork. They have over a decade of combined experience installing, consulting on and learning from permaculture projects throughout the world.
Website: Regeneration Farm
ROOT & RABBIT FARM
At Root & Rabbit Farm, we focus on the entire farm ecosystem: using regenerative sustainable farm practices to improve our soil quality and grow amazing quality produce; working with chefs to customize our offerings boxes and create recipes that guide our customers to explore new culinary delights with our food; creating fun experiences on-site for our members to learn about and fall in love with farming; and using the latest in technology to reduce waste, improve customer satisfaction and increase our productivity.
Website: Root & Rabbit Farm
Sabino Flores specializes in chiles, and in 2016 received a Value Added Producer Grant to build a hoop house and produce chiles for processing. Asked about his experience farming, he says: “Quiero ser un ranchero porque quiero sembrar verduras que sean saludables para comer.” “I want to be a farmer because I want to plant vegetables that are healthy to eat.”
Lorna Velasco brings 20 years in social activism to her work as a farmer. She started as an intern on the SAgE student farm in 2016, and now runs her own farm, focusing on Filipino vegetables. She also maintains three community gardens at several public housing apartments in the Seattle area. “Sariwa Farm was established as a way to pass on my Filipino culinary and cultural traditions to my kids. Given that Asian vegetables are typically transported from farther regions whose growing practices are unknown, it was important for me to help reduce my carbon footprint and feed my kids pesticide-free vegetables. I grow food for the health and well-being of my family, encourage more sustainable practices for my community and lessen my environmental impact.”
Silva Family Farms
Silva Family Farms is owned by Pablo and Maura Silva, who have over 20 years of experience working for local farms. With the help of their children, Pablo and Maura are now in their third season of growing strawberries on their own farm. Silva Family Farm specializes in certified organic Albion strawberries, which are a large, firm fruit with high sugar content and a wonderfully sweet flavor—great for preserving or serving fresh!
Website: Silva Family Farm
Sweet Hollow Farm
Vero Vergara and Caitlin Ehlers began farming at Viva in the 2018 season, after completing the Titlh Alliance Incubator Farm program. Sweet Hollow Farm is a worker-owned cooperative growing diversified vegetables on 1 acre at Viva Farms in Woodinville, WA. They also partner with various organizations in the Seattle area to promote food access.
Website: Sweet Hollow Farm
Songbird Haven Farm
Website: Songbird Haven Farm
Tops & Bottoms Farm
Tops & Bottoms Farm was started to connect our family with our community through food. We wanted to raise our kids with delicious produce and help reconnect people with their farmers. Inspired by a great children’s book of the same name and spurred on by questions like “how do we live more authentically in an increasingly artificial world?”, we became farmers. We are dedicated to locally-grown, delicious produce from our farm to your table.
Website: Tops & Bottoms Farm
The Crows Farm
Website: The Crows Farm
Wildheart Farm is a 3/4 acre queer and trans-run market garden nestled in the majestic and beautiful Skagit Valley of Northwestern Washington. Wildheart Farm offers a 20-week main season CSA program and grows for farmers markets and wholesale channels.
Wildheart Farm cares deeply about food justice and supporting communities dealing with food insecurity, has a low-income share option available for CSA members and is working towards expanding access to healthy, local food.
Wildheart Farm was started in 2021 by first generation farmer Sam Hoot. Sam was born and raised in Washington State. After many years working as a scientist in the biotechnology industry and seeking more connection to the natural world, Sam decided to pursue farming as a way of life. After several seasons of training on organic farms in Northern California and Western Washington, including in the Viva Farms Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture, Wildheart Farm was born. Sam and Wildheart Farm are extremely proud to be a part of the amazing community at Viva Farms.
Website: Wildheart Farm