Our second farm spotlight is: Alvarez Organic Farms in Mabton, WA
Based in the Yakima valley - Alvarez farms was founded by Hilario Alvarez to be an organic farm in the '90s, long before it was mainstream trendy. They grow 400+ types of vegetables and are best know for their amazing range of peppers, potatoes, eggplants. But *BONUS* they also grow peanuts & garbanzos.
Photo source: Hilario Alvarez (left) with son, Eddie. Photo: Zachary D. Lyons. Alvarez Organic Farms
Why we love Alvarez Farms
Hilario Alvarez's commitment to his farm, his community and to eliminating pesticide use from his crops is super commendable. We love that his reasons for organic were - like for so many of our community - health related.
We love the care & passion that goes into growing at Alvarez Organic Farms. While Organic farming often requires tillage of some kind - as a way to control weeds etc., the Alvarez fam cares for the land through crop diversity & eliminating pesticide use.
In general, here at Ojaswe, we're all about supporting a diverse range of growing practices - as long as they work with nature rather and support our health & our planet's health at the same time!
How did we find Alvarez, you ask? Aha - here's the "behind the scenes" directly from Ash: When I moved to Seattle from Arkansas a few years ago, one of the things that gave me the biggest sense of rootedness was wandering the farmers markets.
That was my first intro to the beautiful range of vegetables grown by Alvarez farms.I bought eggplants & peppers from their farm stall. I was delighted when I discovered that they also had peanuts. And then... just last year, I learned that they grow Garbanzos as well! (This one - I learned entirely by chance - from chatting with them at a farmers market.)
As a small biz - traceable sourcing is hard, y'all! Even if you know where to look for farms, a lot of other things (quantities, timing, logistics) have to line up before you can source from them directly. And ... I hate the idea of adding more work to a farmer's plate. What I love about sourcing from Alvarez is that the ducks lined up quite nicely in terms of finding garbanzos and being able to pick them up at farmers markets. I'm delighted that this allows us to serve Ojaswe's mission of strengthening our regional food supply chain here in WA.