Deep Harvest Farm is a certified-organic seed, vegetable, and flower farm on Washington State’s Whidbey Island. We grow over 140 varieties of Certified Organic, Open-Pollinated, & Non-GMO seed while providing fresh vegetables to our community from June to December. We believe that a thriving local food system starts with regionally-adapted seed. The majority of our varieties are grown on Whidbey Island and all are well-adapted to the soils, climate and disease pressures of the Pacific Northwest. Ecological soil management techniques such as minimal tillage, cover cropping, and building organic matter are the farm’s guiding principles, and we’re constantly seeking opportunities to further learn from the land, soil and seeds. Through yearly expansion of native hedgerows, flowering perennials and fruit orchards, we strive to provide as much habitat for pollinators and wildlife on the farm as possible.
We, Annie Jesperson and Nathaniel Talbot, have raised vegetables, seeds and flowers together on Whidbey Island for twelve glorious farm-seasons. We moved from Portland, OR, where Nathaniel worked as an environmental educator and musician and Annie helped folks on the streets get into and maintain permanent housing through the non-profit JOIN. After years of Portland life we both caught the farming bug, which inspired us to take as many organic gardening, seed saving, and urban farming courses as the city could provide. Still, our interest in agriculture couldn’t be sated in Portland, so in 2010 we moved to Whidbey for an 8-month, hands-on farm-training program where we’d gain the technical and business skills necessary to run a farm business. After the farm training, we leased a small, certified-organic farmstead that was temporarily in need of stewards. Since it was already a fully functional organic farm, it was the perfect setting to grow our business and save money toward, one day, buying a farm of our own. A multi-year land hunt and long-shot letter writing campaign to local landowners resulted in us finding a beautiful, sunny parcel of raw pasture in Freeland, WA, which we purchased in winter of 2015. Woohoo! We’re so grateful to have been able to build a home, barn, and greenhouses; and plant hedgerows, fruit trees, and perennials on a plot that we’re excited to steward for decades. For us, the farm life is the good life and we couldn’t be giddier to be providing organic seeds, produce, and flowers for our supportive and beloved community.
We are nothing without our incredible crew of co-farmers.
Mayme O’ Toole graced us with her legit growing skills and hilarity as a volunteer work-trader in 2021 and became a full-time member of our team in 2022. Before farming, she was a beloved Food and Farm Educator at South Whidbey Elementary. Mayme’s also a seamstress, open water swimmer and talented musician. Her problem-solving nature, creativity, and musical repertoire are huge assets around here!
Claire Botcher joined the crew this season, bringing loads of relevant farm skills from her time at a farm and floral shop in the Chicago area and her farm training at the Organic Farm School. In addition to her incredible work ethic, Claire brings a level head and loads of positive, chill vibes to the farm, (maybe thanks to all her pilates training?), which are so valuable in the hectic farming times of summer.
We grow the vast majority of our seeds at our home farm on Whidbey Island. However, in 2021 we began contracting with a select handful of other stellar organic growers in the Northwest, pictured below. If not grown by us, the grower’s name will listed under the variety description.