There was a time when families walked to their backyard and scooped up fresh produce for the evening’s meal, but for the most part those days are gone. Hectic, modern times mean there’s less yard space or time to grow your own food. But lucky for us, hard working farmers and entrepreneurs have started delivering farm-fresh products if not right to our front doors, at least to our neighborhoods. Here are some of the top farm-fresh purveyors around Seattle.
500 Yale Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Janelle Maiocco, the founder of Farmstr, comes from farming roots and grew up in an agricultural community. She’s also a trained chef and food writer so you know she’s picky about what she puts on her table. And while she won’t share the chickens or produce she raises for her own family, she is willing to hook us up with some of the best farmers in the region. The beauty of Farmstr’s program is that you can select exactly what you want in your ‘farm basket’ from a variety of farms offering meat, produce, eggs and dairy. Bonus: Most things are available in both large and small quantities.
4244 N.E. 125th St.
Seattle, WA 98125
The magic of Magic Bean can be found in the soil. And it just might surprise you where that soil is located. Josh Parkinson started Magic Bean by partnering with residents in West Seattle who had unused yards or vacant lots that wanted to see them put to better use. Once Parkinson hooked up with the homeowners willing to lend out a portion of their land, he and his team got to work building up the soil and planting seeds. Not only did those nearby neighbors see their yards transformed into nutrient-rich grounds that produced amazing vegetables and herbs, but they also got to share in the bounty, as a portion of the produce is returned back to the homeowner in compensation for the use of their land. Through harvesting various plots in West Seattle and around the city, Magic Bean provides CSA boxes from May/June through December. This spring, expect to find a healthy dose of lettuces, snow peas, golden beets, broccoli raab and colorful swaths of rainbow chard.
Jubilee Biodynamic Farm
229 W. Snoqualmie River Road N.E.
Carnation, WA 98014
This farm is a beauty and folks from all over the region come to the Snoqualmie Valley for Jubilee’s many events throughout the year. The fall season brings families out to the farm in droves to walk through the pumpkin patches and snatch up some produce and canned goods that can be found in the storied white barn that bears its name. If you’re looking for the produce to come to you, the Jubilee Biodynamic Farm has been providing fresh fruits and vegetables for nearly two decades through its CSA program. And if you’re in need of a little (or a lot) of protein, Jubilee offers beef by the quarter or half of an animal – with the cows born and grazed in King County. And If you have a proclivity for adding a little sweat equity into your routine, Jubilee will hook you up with a CSA membership share by trading work instead of paying a fee.
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4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98103
Seattle Tilth has been a staple of Seattle’s local ag scene for the past 36 years. When you get your weekly box that overflows with seasonal, organic (and tasty) produce, it might be easy to think of Seattle Tilth as just another great CSA provider in the area. But it’s what goes on behind the scenes that really sets it apart. Through your CSA membership, Seattle Tilth operates several farm programs that connect with new, immigrant and limited resource farmers, training participants in ecological farming practices. Seattle Tilth, which sits on the grounds of the historic Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, also has a mammoth organic plant sale every year that has urban farmers scrambling to get their early veggie and herb starts for the year to augment what doesn’t show up in the box.
Local Roots Farm
PO Box 526
Duvall, WA 98019
Jason Salvo and Siri Erickson-Brown are familiar faces for many who shop the area’s farmers markets as the husband-and-wife team have been selling produce from their family-run vegetable farm in the Snoqualmie River Valley for many years now. So popular is their stand at the markets that smart shoppers start with Jason and Siri first before they inevitably run out of the most popular seasonal offerings that week. And although they have chosen not to participate in the USDA Organic certification program, they do hold themselves to standards that would likely exceed those set by the federal government. If you’re in the Seattle area and looking for a convenient pick-up location for your CSA box, Local Roots has you covered with a dozen pick-up sites located in just about every neighborhood of the city. As a CSA member, you’ll get a weekly newsletter giving you an idea what bounty you’ll soon be receiving with farm-fresh items such as golden beets, curly kale, red cabbage and even some sweet corn if the summer sun shines hot enough.
Jenise Silva is a freelance writer in Seattle who has studied culinary, visual and performing arts. She penned the financial planning guide Women & Money, and has been writing about food and the arts for a number of years. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.