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Tomato harvest

The interns’ first tomato harvest!

Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! We had a lovely day of harvesting salad greens and lavender before our community dinner and fireworks over the water. Over the past few weeks our greenhouse and hardening off tables (where young plants live in between the greenhouse and moving to the great outdoors) have been getting emptier and emptier as the last of our summer crops and successions are moving to their permanent homes. The last plants waiting patiently (some more patient than others) that we have been working on transplanting this week are beans, sunflowers, cauliflower, broccoli, and a few others.

We’re sad to see some of our favorites, such as raspberries, on their way out but are so excited to be learning about new vegetables and flowers! This week us interns learned about harvesting tomatoes, string beans, and summer squash, and soon even more summer delights such as peppers will be on the list! Hopefully our subscribers enjoy some new sights in their boxes this week!

– Intern Taylor

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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.


Farm flowers in the field.

Spring is here!


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 Pears

Beautiful, but not perfect (looking) pears grown at Persephone Farm.

(Excerpted from our weekly CSA subscriber email written by apprentice Rachel)

What’s been on my mind lately…food waste. Not the most glamorous subject, but an important one. As subscribers to the CSA of a local farm that practices sustainable agriculture, well, you’re the choir about to receive a sermon. But for those interested in going a little deeper into issues related to the mega-industrialization of agriculture, and those of us (like you) doing our small part to seek out food that’s both more delicious and healthier (for everyone), there’s always more to learn.

One of my favorite recents reads is The Third Plate, by chef and farmer Dan Barber of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture outside New York City. Barber pushes us to rethink the way we eat, to work towards practices that are healthier for us and our (current and future) environment. It’s a fascinating book, and a lot of interesting things are coming out of Stone Barns, too. One I recently ran across on the Stone Barns website is an essay on food waste, “The Good and the Bad of Saving the Ugly.”  Author Jane Black writes about a legendary peach farmer (if there can said to be such a thing) Mas Masumoto:

“With water scarce in California, peach farmer Mas Masumoto decided to try something different. This summer, he used between 20 percent and 30 percent less water to grow his Gold Dust peaches. The tactic produced an intensely flavored fruit, but one that was about 20 percent smaller than normal. His loyal retail outlets — stores like the progressive Berkeley Bowl — took them. But customers weren’t buying. After years accustomed to buying peaches as big as softballs, shoppers saw the smaller fruit as flawed or somehow unworthy.”

See the rest of the article, and have a look through the Stone Barns website. Would you dare to eat a smaller peach?

As CSA subscribers, you’re already doing so much help fix what’s ailing our broken food system. As you know, at Persephone, we don’t use chemical inputs, rely heavily on manual tools and the sweat of our brows, and eat all the vegetable seconds ourselves! Very little goes to waste on this farm; it’s one of our most fundamental principles, in practice from reusing berry baskets (thanks for returning them!) to building our own compost from farm food scraps and crop residues. It’s not easy, and as you know, it’s not necessarily cheaper — in fact, sometimes it’s just the opposite. Our irregular-shaped fruits and vegetables sometimes sustain a bruise in those square boxes we put them in; and if you find a worm or bug once in a while in your food… well, we do our absolute best to wash and scrub out all the crawlies, but at least you know we’re not using poison!

What else can we all do? Think about our food choices, rethink what’s beautiful: the perfect, round, huge peach?  Or food that has an optimal balance of taste, nutrients, and responsibility to the earth? We’re glad you’re helping us do what we do. Thanks as always for your support!!

Photo: Leslie Newman


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