Our 13-acre farm in Indianola includes two cultivated acres, orchard, pastured poultry, open fields and habitat for birds and other wildlife. Biodiversity is key to our success. We provide our customers with a wide array of vegetables while maintaining a balanced ecosystem in our gardens.

Farmer Rebecca Slattery uses careful crop rotations, homemade compost, beneficial insectaries and patient observation to avoid pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Though not certified organic, our practices are stricter than the national organic standards. Deep ecology and sustainability are our aims—“moreganic.” —Watch a video about the farm by Chris McElroy.

My how time flies! Our CSA orientation is this Wednesday, 5:30–7:30 p.m. at the Farm. We’re counting on a beautiful, rain free evening — as it has been for the past 20 years on orientation night. (Yes, this is the 21st year of the Persephone Farm CSA!)

We are very excited to see the program starting for another glorious season and anxious to share what’s new at Persephone Farm. CSA subscribers are encouraged to bring their family and join us for an evening at the farm. See our summer vegetables growing! Learn about add-on shares, these are delicious ways to support other local producers, and an opportunity to collect an even more abundant basket each week. Meet our awesome, hard-working 2016 interns, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, tour the garden, and of course, pick up your produce. (Subscribers received an email from Rebecca with additional details.) See photos from a past orientation.

If you know of others who might be interested in joining us, please spread the word. There are still shares available, and, if you refer someone who subscribes, we’ll thank you with a free box of veggies, and, of course a huge hug and many thanks. We look forward to meeting all our new subscribers and seeing the familiar faces of friends and neighbors. Contact Rebecca if you have questions.

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Farm flowers in the field.

Spring is here!

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It’s been beautiful blue skies here in Indianola and we’ve been busy planting and getting ready for the CSA season – be sure to sign up for your share soon! You can also come visit us at the Bainbridge Farmer’s Market, now open Saturdays 9am-1pm. All our new interns have settled in and are getting dirty. We’re looking forward to an abundant summer.

Joel Salatin speaks at Persephone Farm

Hope everyone got a glimpse of the awesome super blood moon eclipse on Sunday! On that auspicious day, Sept. 27, the Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance brought farmer, food system revolutionary and agri-provocateur Joel Salatin to Kitsap to participate in a series of events, including a brunch discussion and the annual KCAA Harvest Dinner, all open to the public.

As part of its outreach mission, KCAA also invited Salatin to our very own Persephone Farm to speak to a group of young and/or beginning farmers and farm interns about issues specifically important to them. Salatin is an engaging speaker and a well-informed and experienced farmer, and had many wise words for the young/ish farmers in the crowd. Among the crowd pleasers: “what makes something a farm?” to be answered, after many guesses from the audience, with the obvious “a farmer!”

Salatin also discussed approaches to overcoming one of the biggest hurdles to starting a farm: the cost of land. His advice included the “three Ms”—make your farm Mobile (to pick up and move if it becomes necessary, just as Persephone once had to do); Modular — build small and add on as you grow; and Management-intensive — that is, rely on human labor over short cuts that are often expensive, petroleum-dependent, and degrading to the environment. Why use a leaf-blower when you can rake? Why use herbicide when you can weed? These are some of the principles Persephone Farm has followed for years. It was a fun and inspiring morning.

— Apprentice Rachel (excerpted from our weekly CSA subscriber email)

Persephone Farm Corn

CORN in everyone’s CSA boxes this week—the variety is known as “bodacious”! Some of you may wonder, why does locally grown corn cost more? You’ve probably seen it—this time of year the market is flooded with cheap corn. Much of it comes from large, far-away farms, raised on cheap land with subsidized water and transportation costs. The production of this corn relies on heavy inputs of artificial nitrogen fertilizer, much of which ends up in streams and rivers. In some cases, these large farms contaminate aquifers with nitrate pollution. Large tractors cause erosion and compaction to produce those 10/$1 ears in the supermarket. There is a loss of biodiversity and wildlife habitat associated with hundred- and thousand-acre commercial corn production. We are just beginning to understand the real cost of industrialized corn.

Of all the crops we grow, corn is by far the heaviest nutrient feeder, really taking a toll on our fragile soil. It requires many loads of compost before and after planting. The sheer square footage required to grow sweet corn, which only produces two ears per plant (with only one of them full-sized and marketable) takes up a sizable portion of our limited irrigation water.

All this said, we love fresh corn as much as you do! We even love to grow it. Walking through the leafy rows, squeezing each ear for fullness, is one of the pleasures of farming. The miracle of pollination is nowhere more evident than in each individual corn silk attached to a single kernel, which, in order to swell and sweeten, must be touched by pollen grains falling from the pointed tassels above. Incredible! And the taste of a just-picked mouthful of golden sweet corn… we all know that joy. CORN. It’s what’s for dinner.

— Apprentice Rachel (excerpted from our weekly CSA subscriber email)

Photo: Leslie Newman

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