What’s new at the market is a fabulous new farm vendor, Sequim’s own River Run Farm. We are delighted to welcome another farm to our mix. If you travel on Woodcock Road near the Dungeness River, you may have been watching their enterprise develop. Their farm is historically called Woodcock Farm.
River Run Farm is a collaborative effort between two couples who share a love of good food and good living, Sally Constant and James Burtle being one and Noah Bressler and Anna Bunk being the other. It all began back in 2007 when Sally, James and Noah were studying agro-ecology and sustainable food systems at the University of California–Santa Cruz. The three began visioning operating an organic farm, but where and what scale was yet to be determined.
Sally and James became a couple and took a few years working on farms to experience a variety of sizes and styles of farming. They worked in California, Michigan and then at Nash’s Organic Produce. Noah, too, was off farming and clarifying his preferences. From there, they reconnected and began seeking the ideal location.
James tells me that at one point he and Noah got into Noah’s van and visited 30 places in 30 days in a very intentional way to narrow the search of where to manifest their dream.
Sequim became the chosen location and in 2013 the purchase of what is now River Run Farm took place.
“Sequim is a great place to farm and live,” says James. They decided 40 acres was about the size that they would like to be working with.
They value traditional farming methods and among other positive aspects, the gravity-fed water system that the ditch provides fit that value and James remarked how rare such a system is. They also appreciate the community that they have found in Sequim.
In 2013, they started a 2-acre garden. They currently have 20 acres in crops and about 15 in pasture. Draft horses are utilized to work fields, as are tractors. They pasture a herd of Jersey steer (for their personal consumption) which are part of their land improvement and compost making practices. They have about 12 employees and attend farmers markets in Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Seattle.
When I asked what is next for their farm, James says his focus is to continue to do what they are doing and to do it well plus increase the local presence of the farm, hence the arrival at the Sequim Farmers Market.
So what will they be bringing to market — they specialize in head lettuce. All year they will be bringing a variety of head lettuces. They say they also are extremely good at growing fabulous potatoes, particularly a Belgian variety called Bintje, which is a yellow creamer. They will have new potatoes coming in July.
Today I am feasting on their broccolini, which is a broccoli that side shoots many florets. It is very easy to use, chop and saute, no thick stem to wrestle with, it is all tender and succulent. I also brought home some sweet white turnips which are refreshing sliced thin and eaten raw.
Come get to know this local gem and partake of their gorgeous offerings.