On any Tuesday morning in the growing season, Sallie Constant can be found enjoying a quiet moment from her home. She takes in the scenic views of the surrounding fields and mountains, and reviews her harvest list for the day, coffee in hand.
Constant then heads out to the packing shed, loads up the truck with crates, meets the farm crew, and they all venture to the field to get started on their large mid-week harvest.
Constant operates a vegetable business with her husband James Burtle at River Run Farm, where they work in collaboration with farmers Anna Bunk and Noah Bresler.
“I’ve always enjoyed working and being outdoors,” Constant said. “I worked in nurseries in high school, then got into landscaping, and started to become more knowledgeable about food systems.”
Constant deepened her education by volunteering on various vegetable farms and enrolling in a six-month extensive program through UC Santa Cruz which focused on organic agriculture and the ins and outs of starting and running a small farm.
“I was hooked from there,” she said.
A self-identified produce nerd — “I get really excited about a beautiful head of lettuce” — Constant said she finds herself drawn to growing organic vegetables for a myriad of reasons.
“It’s fresher, more vibrant food from your own community,” she explained. “More flavor, more beauty.”
Supporting local foods, she said, is a really great way to connect with your home
“You’re eating food directly from the ecosystem you live in,” Constant said.
She said she strongly believes in the personal connection local produce can provide: “It brings a lot of gratitude into our lives, a consistent connection to life.”
You can find River Run Farm, with their vivid display of produce, each week at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market.
This time of year, Constant is particularly excited about River Run’s spinach.
“It may not be very exotic, but after a long winter of over-wintered greens, it’s very exciting to enjoy such tender, spring spinach again,” she said.
Market guests can also expect to find spicy salad mix, arugula, rhubarb and spring radishes.
When you purchase vegetables from River Run Farm at Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market (SFAM), your money circulates right back into the farm and community. It goes towards improving farm infrastructure, purchasing seeds from Washington state seed growers, and even enabling farm staff to shop at their fellow SFAM vendor’s booths and other locally owned businesses.
Amidst the health crisis, Constant said she feels appreciative of the support being shown to River Run Farm.
“It’s especially nice to be at the market right now. We feel lucky to be an essential business with the ability to connect with customers and our community,” she said. “We’re so happy to provide food to people in a safe way.”
Stock up on freshly harvested produce from River Run Farm at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market every Saturday, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at the City Hall Plaza.
River Run Farm has a strong following and it is not uncommon to find they’ve sold out early. It is recommended to arrive at the beginning of the market to take full advantage of their delicious offerings.
Can’t wait that long? Visit River Run’s farmstand at 2800 Woodcock Road, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesdays-Saturdays. River Run Farm is also offering an organic farm share program to locals this season. Subscribe to receive 23 weeks (June through November) of farm-direct organic veggies delivered directly to homes in Sequim or to pick up on the farm.
Visit www.riverrun.farm for more information.
Emma Jane Garcia is Marketing Manager for the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market. See www.sequimmarket.com.