Deep Harvest Farm is a certified-organic seed, vegetable, and flower farm on Washington State’s Whidbey Island. We grow over 120 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 eleven 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. Brian Kenney’s worked on the farm since 2016. He came to Deep Harvest with over a decade of farm experience, including running his own market farm, Do Re Mi, for two years in Langley, WA. In addition to his hard work Brian brings a wealth of musical talent, bird knowledge and great humor to the farm team. Sam Leingang joined us in 2021 after spending two years with the Organic Farm School in Langley and one year on Willowood Farm in Coupeville. She will keep helping with seed production at Deep Harvest Farm in 2022 while also starting her own small market farm in Coupeville.
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. If not grown by us, the grower’s name will listed under the variety description. Meet them here:
Adaptive Seeds – Adaptive Seeds was established in 2009 by Andrew Still and Sarah Kleeger. We are a certified organic, farm based seed company near Sweet Home, Oregon. We steward rare, diverse and resilient seed varieties for ecologically-minded farmers, gardeners and seed savers. Our seed is adapted to the Pacific Northwest and other short season northern climates. We sell only public domain, open pollinated (OP) seed, as well as diverse gene pool mixes.
Saltwater Seeds – We are focused on growing open-pollinated seeds adapted for the Maritime Northwest. We are inspired by the endless combinations of colors, textures, flavors, and shapes of the plants we work with. We have found this region to have a vibrant agricultural community, thoughtful farmers, engaged farm workers, a community that is supportive of small-scale, local agriculture, and a willingness to continually question the role of agriculture in colonial imperialism, unequal land access, and institutionalized racism. It gives us hope that together we can envision and enact systems that will become more just.
Thompson Creek Farm – Thompson Creek Farm is a Certified Organic seed and fresh market farm located in Newman Lake, WA. We grow open-pollinated seed crops such as winter squash, melons, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, eggplant, and several flowers. We also run a local, small CSA. Our focus is on enhancing the ecological health and diversity of the land we farm on. Some of our practices include minimal tillage, decreasing our water use, growing and adapting our seeds to be more drought tolerant, keeping the soil covered with perennials and cover crops, and planting a variety of crops to provide habitat and food for a wide range of species such as pollinators, birds, frogs, snakes and more.
Twisp River Seeds – Twisp River Seed is a certified-organic farm, 3 miles west of Twisp, WA. We produce a variety of vegetable, flower, and herb seed. Our seed is primarily marketed wholesale, but look out for Twisp River Seed retail packets in the next few years. We specialize in seed crops that thrive in the semi-arid inland Northwest, but also like to experiment with a diverse cropping system while also maintaining a few plant breeding projects on the side.