From the fields to the market

Eggert Family Organic farm provides close community, more environmentally friendly produce every Friday



Sarah Nehring, left, speaks with long-time customer Bonny Boyan, right, at the WSU Eggert Organic Family Farm Friday afternoon. The farm sells fresh produce harvested with help from WSU students.

TRINITY WILLSEY, Evergreen reporter

A quiet and peaceful organic farm located on the corner of campus was idle on Friday because of the pouring rain, but loyal customers still showed up to buy fresh produce. 

Bonny Boyan, WSU Library Administrative Office human resource coordinator and regular customer, said she has been buying from the Eggert Family Organic Farm for three years. 

“I keep coming back for the carrots,” she said. “I get salad and carrots every single week.”

The farm is open 3-6 p.m. every Friday on the corner of Animal Sciences Road behind the WSU Bear Center. 

The farm is associated with WSU and has been running on campus through the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences since roughly 2004, said Sarah Nehring, WSU senior studying organic and sustainable agriculture. 

Students in the agriculture program can perform internships there and work with experienced farmers and faculty members, Nehring said.

“[The farm] is an outlet for students to have hands-on learning,” she said. “It is also a way of marketing to people inside the community.” 

Peas, radishes and sunflowers are seeded every week by everyone involved with the farm, Nehring said. During the summer, students are involved in the seed, weed management and harvest processes. But there is less field work during the school year, so students focus more on selling the produce. 

The farm attracts a variety of consumers, including students and members outside of the WSU community, she said. 

Nehring has been working at the farm since late June 2020 for her internship while also working toward a degree in organic agriculture. Usually, four to five students work on the farm at a time while balancing school, she said. 

There is value in having a small organic farm, Nehring said. The community is able to work together, and organic produce is typically better for the environment, as conventional agriculture uses more synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Boyan said she thinks the quality of produce at the farm is higher than that of a grocery store and looks forward to returning each week.  

The farm usually opens around late spring every year, she said. There is a variety of produce grown throughout various growing seasons, including plums, apples, pears, winter squash and potatoes.

The farm will likely stay open until mid-October to November. All are welcome, Nehring said.