Puyallup: News

Puyallup farm launches unique program to market fresh vegatables

Take a tour of Four Elements Organic Farm in Puyallup

Amy and Augustine Moreno own and operate Four Elements Farm producing organic vegetables in the Puyallup Valley.
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Amy and Augustine Moreno own and operate Four Elements Farm producing organic vegetables in the Puyallup Valley.

Many people purchase veggies from grocery stores. Some even get them delivered right to their doorstep.

There’s also the option of picking it up right from where it’s grown and harvested.

The Moreno family owns Four Elements Farm at 14308 Military Rd. in the Puyallup Valley. This summer, Amy Moreno-Sills and Agustin Moreno launched a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program, where people can buy a share in the farm in exchange for fresh, organic vegetables every week.

“You come out to the farm and get the best pick of the harvest,”Amy said. “We get to meet the community.”

Each box can include cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, kale, onions and radishes, which Amy and Agustin grow on 16 acres of their 123-acre farm. Small shares are $25 per week, while large shares are $35 per week. The CSA season stretches from June through October, and members can join any time.

“We like to make it really accessible,” Amy said.

Amy, 42, grew up in Indiana before moving to Washington to attend The Evergreen State College. It was there that she took a class in the practice of Sustainable Agriculture, and she was hooked.

I discovered my passion. It’s part of my identity now. It’s a labor of love, that’s for sure.

Amy Moreno-Sills, owner of Four Elements Farm

“I discovered my passion,” Amy said. “It’s part of my identity now. It’s a labor of love, that’s for sure.”

Agustin grew up in the Michoacan state of Mexico. He he has memories of his family growing and harvesting its own food, including peppers, corns for tortillas and beans.

But it wasn’t until he moved to Washington state to work on a farm in King County that farming became his passion, too.

“When I came here I was like, ‘Oh — there’s a lot more (to grow),’” said Agustin, 34.

Agustin and Amy met while working on a 200-acre organic farm in the Snoqualmie Valley. In 2016, they started their own family farm with the name Four Elements Farm.

“It’s a combination of the four elements and their connection with farming,” Amy said. “And then we have four people in our family.”

When they started the farm, the couple knew they wanted to do more than just wholesale — they wanted to connect to people on the community level, as they’re community members themselves. Their children, 9-year-old Gabriela and 5-year-old Hector, attend Shaw Road Elementary School.

What we offer is a little bit different, which is more of an experience.

Amy Moreno-Sills, owner of Four Elements Farm

“What we offer is a little bit different, which is more of an experience,” Amy said.

Aside from taking part in the CSA, people can come to the farm’s “U-Pick” blueberry patch to pick their own blueberries for $2.50 per pound. The blueberry bushes, totaling 6 acres, were first planted during World War II.

“People want to know where their food comes from,” Amy said. “... We get folks spending hours here.”

Enumclaw resident Billie Saylor and Kent resident April Coen came to Four Elements Farm last week in search of blueberries.

“My daughter lives in Puyallup and I come out here all the time,” Saylor said. “The kids, they love them. I wanted to come bring the grandkids out and pick (blueberries).”

“It’s nice to get them fresh off the farm,” added Coen.

This month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recognized four farms in the country, included Four Elements Farm, for National Farmers Market Week. Four Elements Farm participates in Orting’s Farmers Market from 3 to 7 p.m. every Friday at North Park at 101 Washington Ave. The market ends Sept. 1.

“It’s the farmers markets that give consumers access to products,” said Cassie Bable, public affairs specialist for USDA’s Farm Service Agency. “From talking to Amy it sounds like she really wants (community members) to come to the farm.”

Amy said that the blueberry bloom was late this year, and that blueberries can still be picked through the end of the month. For more information, visit fourelementsfarm.com.

Allison Needles: 253-597-8507, @herald_allison

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