Weekly produce sale to last through summer, into fall

Shoppers can pick out salad mix, rhubarb, basil, microgreens



Shoppers can wait in line one at a time as staff collect the requested vegetables.

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

Locals bought up almost all of the fresh produce sold at the Eggert Family Organic Farm on June 5, which is its first sale of the year. 

The farm was busy with an average of two to three customers waiting to be helped during the sale, said farm manager Brad Jaeckel. Most of the produce sold out after an hour and a half.

“It was noticeably more busy than what we are used to,” Jaeckel said.

The staff members did not know what to expect for the produce sale on June 5, but by the end of the sale that day, they only had flowers and carrots leftover, said assistant farm manager Michelle Blankas.

The farm currently sells salad mix, arugula, kale, chard, rhubarb, carrots, basil and microgreens, Jaeckel said. 

Throughout the season, the farm will sell cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, beets, onions, potatoes, garlic, pumpkins and assorted fruit, he wrote in an email.

These weekly sales throughout the summer and fall started in 2005, Jaeckel said. They will continue through October. This year, procedures were changed to keep everyone safe. Guidelines are posted for customers as they enter the line.

People stand at orange cones placed six feet apart, Blankas said. Only one person can shop at a time.

Most people wore masks on June 5, Jaeckel said. Staff members wear masks, and customers are also encouraged to.

There is a daily sanitation protocol for the farm building, which is where the sale occurs, he said. Customers cannot enter the building. They stand outside, and there are tables set up behind a roll-up garage door with produce.

Blankas said the tables are set up almost as a barricade at the entrance to the farm building.

In the past, the farm has encouraged people to bring reusable bags, but this year, the farm is using paper bags to make the farm stand safer and more convenient, she said.

Customers can no longer bag their own produce, Jaeckel said. The produce is pre-bagged and prepackaged, so the customers do not touch anything. The staff puts together the purchases.

Blankas said it is hard to gauge how much produce they need because it is prepackaged. However, it also makes it faster for shoppers.

“I feel like we’re making about the same amount produce-wise as last year, but I think there’s just much more demand for local produce,” Blankas said.

They will try to be better prepared with the amount of produce they have for future sales, she said.

The farm employees might need to change how much produce they sell to other groups, such as the Moscow Food Co-op, the Council on Aging and food banks, so the farm has enough for the market, Blankas said.

“People knew about [the produce sale] and were really excited to come out,” Jaeckel said. “People that we did talk to were feeling really good about being at the farm. It’s a safe place.”

The produce sales occur 3 -6 p.m. Fridays at the Eggert Organic Family Farm. The farm is along Animal Sciences Road behind the Bear Facility.