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 http://tubbergren.blogspot.com.
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.
# # #
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.