Port Townsend Farmers Market: Dharma Ridge Farm

Category: Food and Farm

In the Valley at Dharma Ridge
By Carol Anne Modena, Staff Writer Port Townsend Food Coop

When I got to the muddy end of the road leading to Dharma Ridge Farm in February, I saw green, level Beaver Valley bottomland and the skeleton of a barn. When Zach and Haley Wailand look at these 10 acres, they see a finished barn, greenhouses, fruit trees, berry bushes and fields of organic crops that they dream about to feed their family and their community.

They started feeding us last spring as one of the earliest growers at the farmers market, with crops from the rocky soil at the top of Dharma Ridge, and more from a rented acre with three giant greenhouses on Egg & I Road. They worked hard last year and grew an impressive range of vegetables and fruits. Zach describes more than one occasion of picking well past sundown, guided by their truck's headlights.

But these fertile valley acres, cow pasture for more than 100 years, are where they hope to collect all their efforts in one place. They're experienced and realistic enough to know it will take some time and a "lot of grunting," and they're clear-eyed and focused enough to convince me they can make it happen. (See PT Farmers Market Blog)