Saturday, May 12, 2012

Interviews at the Issaquah Farmers' Market

Hey, guys! I feel really pathetic because I haven't posted in three months, and I really don't have a very good excuse for why that is. But after I came back from Costa Rica (which was the best trip I've EVER been on), I decided that I absolutely had to post about the things I learned. I also wanted to post about organic gardening too, so I did.

My family is restarting our garden. We used to have one, but we neglected it for the past couple years and it grew full of weeds. This year, we're weeding it out and planting TONS of plants! We've already put four tomato plants in the ground, plus we've bought starters for more tomatoes and twelve other types of plants! My mom is planning to buy some organic seeds at PCC or Whole Foods in a bit so we can grow lettuce, snap peas and more.

In Costa Rica, we learned lots about the banana plantations and the importance of buying local and organic produce (it was a school trip, so we had to gain something educationally while we were there). As you obviously know, I've been super involved in cooking and buying organics. In fact, this year, my New Year's Resolution was to eat only all-natural foods, and I've stuck with it (unless I have to eat something artificial at someone's house to be polite) wholeheartedly. Even so, what I learned in Costa Rica opened my eyes to the fact that purchasing local produce and growing your own food is way more impactful than I thought. There will be more posts to come about the problems with banana plantations and (hopefully) some thoughts from my classmates about Costa Rica as well.

Today, I went to the Issaquah Farmers' Market and bought all those plant starters for the garden. The Seattle Tilth brought organic plant starters from a few different farms in Washington State. While I was there, I interviewed two people: Joyce Behrendt from Ode To Joy Farm (she has a booth at the Farmers' Market) and Justin Davis from Seattle Tilth. Below are their interviews. My questions are in bold, and the person's answers are in normal text.

Ode to Joy Farm, Enumclaw, WA
Joyce Behrendt

Which animal does Ode to Joy Farm specialize in raising?
We raise chickens. It’s easier to raise livestock than to grow plants because of all the digging involved in planting!

Does your farm sell organics? If so, share a piece of information that will motivate readers to purchase organics.

We raise all organic, all free range animals. I believe that the flavor of an organic animal or organic animal product is better and fresher. By not using pesticides and letting the animals run free, our products also have better nutrition.

Why should families all start their own gardens?
There’s a statistic that all stores have a three day supply of vegetables and fruits, but if you grow your own food and learn how to effectively preserve it, you can make the most out of your food and feed a family better. Gardening is also better for the environment and teaches you how to preserve food.

Seattle Tilth
Justin Davis
Which types of vegetables does Seattle Tilth specialize in selling?
We sell all types of organic vegetables, but our most popular starter is tomatoes because they are almost impossible to grow from seed.                     
Share a piece of information that will motivate teenage readers to purchase organics.
What you put inside of your body is extremely important. It’s even more important at a young age; what you eat when you’re young is going to stick around with you for a while and will affect your growth. Also, organics are the kind of food that nature intended for humans to eat. It’s better for you to eat like our ancestors ate instead of consuming artificially chemicals. Following tradition is best for your health.
Why should families all start their own gardens?
There are a few reasons. The most important is because organic food that was grown for you is not cheap, as your parents can probably attest! If you grow it yourself, you can cut the cost of organic produce in half, and if you become gain more experience and knowledge, you could save even more money. Another reason is because it’s the freshest food, and fresher food tastes better. You can’t beat something that you just picked!
What are five tips you want to give to us gardeners out there?
1)      For gardeners in the Seattle area, go to the Seattle Tilth website. There’s lots of info for new gardeners, plus information on classes and seminars that will teach you how to garden properly.
2)      STAY ORGANIC. It’s easy to get sucked into the claims that artificial fertilizers will make your plants grow bigger and better, but those chemicals aren’t very good for you.
3)      Grow what you like to eat. If you grow only what you want to grow, it’ll excite you! Your garden has limited space, so you don’t want to waste space in your garden on stuff that you aren’t going to eat.
4)      Grow things that are expensive to buy at the store. People like growing potatoes, but they’re not very expensive at the store. It’s a really good idea to grow tomatoes, though, because they’re super expensive at the store and you can cut costs by growing them yourself.
5)      For Seattle growers, take advantage of the climate! Greens like lettuce, kale, spinach and chard grow really well here and are easy to grow from seed.
Is there any way that readers of my blog can find more information about Seattle Tilth?
Go to for more information!
 My mom was able to capture the last half of Justin's interview on video. Go to to watch it!

Stay healthy, and if you have space for it, start a garden! It most definitely isn't too late to start. My family is still in the process of weeding ours out (and believe me, the weeds completely overtook the place!). I'll be posting some progress pictures of my garden to show you all that you can do it, and so you can watch our plants grow up!
Please subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow this blog, follow me on Twitter and email me if you have any recipe/gardening questions. Oh, and happy early Mothers' Day!