Peace of the Earth Farm (POTE)

Peace of the Earth Farm cultivates vegetables, herbs, and flowers using organic methods (not yet certified). We value fresh food, high crop diversity, community interaction, health of the "agro-ecosystem", and sustainable, organic methods of farming. We believe that our local community will benefit greatly from the cycle of local dollars to local food.
You can contribute to our farm by pledging your support for our kickstarter campaign


Our CSA program is currently on hold while we rehabilitate our soil. If you would like to support Peace of the Earth Farm, please pledge your support for our kickstarter campaign.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Farm Update

Brian and I just got back last night from a trip to visit some family in California. Leaving the farm for even a few days in the summer can be a very difficult mental struggle for any grower but we got through it. The farm looks great, baring some much needed labor in certain areas. We still need to finish trellising tomatoes and it is definitely time to do a good weeding throughout. It's amazing how much has changed in a just a few days. I think the corn grew almost a foot since last Thursday and the pole beans we planted last week with the corn have germinated and have their first true leaves. We are trying pole beans with corn because have heard from a couple sources (my grandmother, Joyce, for one), that this can be a great alternative to growing them on plain poles. The beans use the corn as a pole and in exchange furnish the corn with it's fixed nitrogen. We will give an update as to how well this worked once the beans get established. The squash too has grown quite a bit, almost doubling in size just in a few days and the flowers are starting to bloom like crazy, especially the Zinnias. The onions are growing well and we should have a harvest of at least our chipollini variety, Borretanna, in a few weeks. We'll give a photo update of all the goodness soon.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Island Provisions Blog is born!!

Hillary also has a business sewing vegan, handmade, wonderful goodness. Her blog can be found at Her storefront is found at Enjoy! Brian

Recent Pictures of Farm Goodness

Hi There farm lovers,

Here are a few pictures that were taken on the farm yesterday. Corn knee high by the fourth of July? Yes please. We prepared two new beds that will be filled with the next succession of beets, carrots, broccoli, kohlrabi, lettuce, a few more flowers, more squash, and herbs. Enjoy :)










Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Hard Day's Work

We went out to the farm today and got some good work done. First, Hillary used our small scythe to cut down the cover crop we had sewn in the remaining unplanted area. We then "forked" the soil to break it up and get it ready for the small tiller. I spent quite a bit of time using the tiller today. The remaining grass and weeds that I was trying to till through kept getting wrapped up in the blades. It was quite a pain to keep pulling soil and grass out of the machine. We finally got through it, but not without a horrible casualty...

What I thought was an enormous weed was actually a sunflower. Hillary watched in horror across the field as I drove over the sunflower with the tiller not once, but three times. Needless to say, Hillary was not happy with me. She eventually forgave me, but the sunflower isn't going to recover.

I cut a trench and buried our main line for irrigation that ran across the field. A mower is coming through and I sure didn't want the main line to get cut into a million little pieces. The drip tape has been working out for us very well and we need to ensure that our set-up stays safe from the angry blades of the John Deere.

Finally, we laid some more drip tape in the fields for our new seeds (beans). It was a good days' work on the farm. Maddy spent her time out there playing in the mud. She eventually stripped down to her skivvies and smeared mud al over herself in homage to Lord of the Flies...such an awesome little kid.

I took a bunch of picture today and will post them tomorrow. The corn looks great and we want to share. Tomatoes all have fruit on them. Beets, carrots, onions and lettuce look incredible. I hope some of you can share in our harvest!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Press Release - I published this tonight.

Tiny Farm has Big Dreams

You can't see it from the road. As a matter of fact, you can't see much from the road; the trees stand shoulder to shoulder providing only a glimpse of the fertile land that lies in the valley below. On the rocky, log strewn beaches of the Puget Sound only a moment before, a quick jog in the road dives into an enchanting evergreen forest speckled with modest houses and family farms just beyond the tree line. A beat-up mailbox and a gaggle of free-range chickens mark the turn to a place where seeds and dreams are being sewn.

Sun-drenched on beautiful Pacific Northwest Summer days, Peace of the Earth Farm is budding with life sustained by rich soil and cooling periodic rains. In an age where agriculture ranks far behind computers and sporting events in the average American's vast list of interests, Hillary and Brian Bergren have sought to pursue a simple and sustainable way of life. Hillary studied sustainable agriculture at The Evergreen State College under the watchful eye of some of the finest farmers in the state of Washington. The techniques and lessons she learned are now applied to the Peace of the Earth crops which include a variety of tomatoes grown in both full sun and hoop houses. Corn, onions, basil, lettuce, cut flowers, kale, artichokes, beets, carrots and swiss chard also make grand appearances. Hillary and Brian try to put as many varieties into the ground as possible to promote biodiversity and a healthy agro-ecosystem. A mature fruit orchard and a vineyard also contribute to this pursuit.

While not certified USDA Organic, Peace of the Earth Farm is 100% pesticide free and adheres to the the organic standards set forth by the agency. When the minimum time period has passed (land must be used in an organic manner for a specific number of years), the Bergren family plans to submit an application for certification. Until then, the local community will come to understand that an organic label in a sterile grocery store is not a recipe for nutrition. Local, freshly picked, sustainably grown and harvested produce is healthier on so many levels. Of note, the community is healthier when local businesses are supported and hometown dollars go back into the hometown. In these times of economic uncertainty, it is important to encourage and support those who enrich the community with unique talents, services and abilities.

One way the community of Gig Harbor, Washington can support Peace of the Earth Farm is to become shareholders in the community supported agriculture program (CSA) launching in May of 2010. The purchase of a share will result in a gorgeous box of sustainably grown produce and flowers delivered direct to the members. Knowing that the food on the table at night was picked that morning by a local couple trying to do their part to save the world will be very satisfying to those who take part in the CSA. Also, people all over the world can support the farm by visiting the “Farm Blog” at

As you read about this tiny farm that will soon expand to 2 acres of pasture land, imagine a family with their hands in the dirt, smiles on their faces and so many dreams to sow before the sun goes down.
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About Peace of the Earth Farm: POTE Farm is a small-scale, sustainable farm in Gig Harbor, Washington. Brian and Hillary Bergren are the stewards of the farm and hope to expand into adjacent acreage and begin a community supported agriculture program in the next few years.

Eat your Greens??

Care to have a little snack before your beets are fully developed? The beet greens are delicious this time of year. As you are thinning your beets, don't just throw the tops away...what a waste! The little beets are the perfect size for pickling and are especially tender and delicious. The tops are great in a mixed green salad or as a substitute for boring old lettuce. Eat you greens!

Going out to the farm today and taking some friends. We love sharing our farm. Holler if you are in Gig Harbor and want to check it out.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shop Small for Heirloom Seeds

Looking for great varieties of heirloom seeds...guess what? you probably won't find them in the stores....go to the source, the farmers! Just in case you don't know any farmers you can get started on

Check out this treasury page for a hand full of shops who sell seeds to get started:

This page expires tonight at about 11:30 eastern time so if you're reading this after Thursday June 18th, try going to and searching for "heirloom seeds". You'll be buying a product that tastes better, is better for the diversity of our farms, and supports small scale farming operations and small business owners...go on now, get to it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ads and their benefit

Ads support this blog. Revenue goes directly to the farm. Brian

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A little history...

Brian is an officer in the USAF and goes by the callsign "tub"; hence, the name of the blog page

Hillary has been studying sustainable agriculture at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.

We have a4 year old daughter named Madeline who goes by the nickname "Maddy"

About 6 months ago, some personal friends of ours Jon and Pat Lantz offered up their property in Rosedale, Washington. They wanted someone to use the property and knew we had an interest in agriculture.

We jumped at the chance! We are starting off small, but plan to expand to the surrounding acreage in the coming years. We are going to start a CSA and invite the community to purchase shares of the farm. For their investment, shareholders will receive boxes of produce weekly.

We can't wait to expand the farm and bring our fresh, organic produce to Gig Harbor and surrounding communities. Your visits to this site and interest in advertisers will generate dollars that will go right back into the farm. We really appreciate the support!

Please visit often and follow our progress. We want the farm to become a part of the community and your support will make that a reality.

Thanks for supporting Peace of the Earth Organic Farm...


Press Release

I just submitted a press release to try to generate more traffic for this blog. The release can be found at:' target='_blank'>Press Release: Small-scale, Sustainable Farm Blog Launches

Read and Enjoy!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Farm update

Today was a typical day on the farm and I thought it would be good to share with you what I did.

First, I took a farm walk. Going on a farm walk at the start and finish of each day is extremely important, no matter how small or large the farm is. This daily contact with each facet of the farm helps me stay connected to the crops and what is going on around them. As I walk, I look at the general health of the plants, take note of any weeding that needs to be done, put my hand a few inches in the soil to check moisture and also I take a very close inspection of at least one plant of each variety and crop. This last step is very important, especially for organic and natural farmers. I need to know exactly what is going on with the plants. If there is insect or other animal damage, the type of damage can tell me a lot. For instance, tiny, very uniform holes that resemble "BB gun" holes are probably flea beetles. I might also see the actual insect pest, such as aphids. If I know early enough what the insect problem is, I can more easily come up with a prevention solution. Remember that with organic and natural farming, prevention is key. Also, when I find a "pest", I should not just assume that there is an outbreak. If I look closer, I might also see the pest's predator, such as lace wings or lady bug larvae. All farmers and gardeners should have at least a basic understanding of common pests and their predators. A good book on the subject: "Biodiversity and Pest Management in Agroecosystems" by Miguel Altieri. On my farm walks I also like to do some observation of the local wildlife....the pollinators, the ground life, the birds, the non-cultivated plants, etc, etc, etc... this is all part of the farm habitat, or as Miguel Altieri calls it, the agroecosystem, and I want to help keep it healthy. Today everything looked great; no major issues to report.

I then started pruning and trellising some tomatoes. We use the string method for trellising and I'll post a blog soon with pictures and step by step instructions on how to trellis with this method and show how we prune (it seems everyone does this differently, but I'll share what I have learned).

Next, I did some transplanting. I transplanted two month old peppers (cayenne- "long thin ring of fire", bells-"gold Marconi", and a Habenero variety), egg plants ("oriental express"), more basil ("aroma"), kholrabi ("korridor"), arugula ("astro"), some herbs (including skullcap, vervain, and sage), and flowers ("bells of ireland", echinacea, and delphinium). I made sure to water in all the new plants.

Lastly I weeded around some borage, nigella ("love in a mist" best name ever for a flower), sage, butterfly weed, and echinacea.

Tips about Basil

Hillary taught me a few things about Basil yesterday and I want to share them.

First of all, basil and tomatoes compliment each other quite nicely. Plant basil along the base of your tomatoes (about a foot away) and you have just tried "companion planting". Some people find this to be more fiction than fact, but a lot of people have success.

You need to prune the basil early in the growing process. Pull off the sad leaves around the base. Also, pinch off at least the top two leaves. This will promote growth of new leaves and help the plant grow more "bushy". If you don't do this, the plant will only get taller, but will not have new growth. Then, it will go to seed much too early. If it looks like the plant is healthy, take off the next set of leaves as well. If it is a sickly little bugger, it is best just to pinch off the very top. In a few weeks, after the shoots on the side have grown, you should pinch the tops off the side shoots.

We made a pesto pizza last night with the basil from the farm. Delicious.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A bunch of pictures from our day on the farm -- First Harvest!!

The following pictures were all taken today. As you can see, the farm is coming along. However, we did find that a few of our tomatoes had been nibbled on by a sneaky raccoon or a devious deer. All part of being farmers, I suppose. We plan to put a deer fence up soon; we will acquire some old fish nets from our local fishermen and string them between tall posts. Hopefully, that will at least keep the deer out. Not much we can do about raccoons. Anyone have any ideas?

These pictures show the various crops we are growing. Also, the hoop house can be seen. We will provide a more detailed description of how we fashioned the hoop house in a future blog. We finally harvested some lettuce today and shared the heads with our friends in the neighborhood. We made a delicious salad with our head. The leaves were so crisp and fresh...nothing like fresh lettuce just pulled from the ground. Please enjoy the photos and let us know if you have any questions or want to share some comments. 

Some of the images have been cropped. If you want to see the whole image, just click on it! Another window will open in Photobucket.

Maddy on the farm

Hoop House (before end walls)


Tomato trellised

Hoop House (before end walls)





lettuce and chard

Sewn clover




Grapes and berries


Brian weeding long shot

Brian weeding

Long Shot of Farm with Hortenova strung

Hoop House (before end walls)

Maddy and Hillary Harvesting

First Harvest

Kale and Swiss Chard Harvest

Lettuce Harvest

Hi Folks,

Here are a few pictures of the farm. These were taken a couple months ago (April or early May). We thought you all might enjoy some pictures of the place at the beginning of the season. Things are in full swing now...more pictures will soon be posted of the progress. The pictures include the small garden area, the old milk house, the perennial area, the orchard and the old barn is in there somewhere.


the old barn and perennial area

section 1

The old milk house

Peace of the earth 1

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Determined a "theme" for this blog

After many nights of trying to figure out just what I was going to write about and invite the world to read, I finally figured it out today. I had to ask myself a question..."What can I put out to the World that is actually interesting?" Well, Hillary (my wife) and I decided a few weeks ago that we were going to try our hands at organic, sustainable, small scale farming. Over the course of the life of this little farm, which is yet to be named, I will fill you in on all the happenings, provide lessons learned and give helpful tips that Hillary imparts on me. Hillary is the expert of this operation--she studied sustainable agriculture at Evergreen State College under the tutelage of some incredible people. I am the braun, but am completely happy in my role. I'm learning. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Blog

This is my very first blog. It is late on a Thursday and I should be in bed. Instead, I am blogging and watching mindless television. Wish me luck on my blogging adventures. Tub