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CURTIS — Heidi Peroni has had a connection with food since she was a kid. Her father was a chef who owned a restaurant for her entire life and her grandmother grew big gardens where she’d be let loose to ravage the vegetables and eat peas off the vines.
“It was my little dream-heaven corner of the world,” Peroni said. “It was pretty awesome.”
Those experiences helped cultivate a love for home-grown produce that she carried with her, even after trying out a few different careers along the way before falling into farming.
“I’ve always just loved feeding people,” Peroni said. “So farming became a way to not only feed people but to grow food and appreciate the value of working with nature. It’s something that always really inspired me.”
Peroni and her husband, Mike, first leased some farmland out in Independence Valley near Rochester before finding property to buy in Curtis in West Lewis County. They couldn’t pass on the opportunity of owning their own land.
They started Boistfort Valley Farm and live on a property just shy of 20 acres, while leasing an additional 25 acres a half-mile down the road. Just close enough to drive their tractors back and forth on the road.
Their primary crops right now are sweetcorn, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. They also have green beans, purple beans, cooking greens, winter squash and, coming soon, pumpkins.
They offer two community-supported agriculture boxes — a summer and a winter/spring share. Both are an aggregate CSA, where Pernoni has been working with other organic Northwest growers to add their produce and fruit to what Boistfort Valley Farm is already growing. Those growers include Piece by Piece Farm in Olympia, Newaukum Valley Farms, Four Elements Farm and a few other regional farms. The weekly summer CSA, which runs mid-June through October, has six weeks remaining, and members may choose from two sizes.
“We didn’t really have the bandwidth to grow 100 different varieties this season,” Peroni said. “Trying to give as much variety as possible over the course of the season. I’ve been really lucky to work with these folks.”
Another reason for the aggregate CSA is because of the amount of people calling in March asking when the program would start. There was a renewed interest as people were trying to feel like they were secure in their food and wanting to have a low-contact way of obtaining fresh produce, Peroni said.
The upcoming winter/spring CSA offers organic produce and fruit from the Northwest and beyond. Crops typically fall off from growing when the cold hits, so Peroni adds organic produce from Northwest Organic Farms and an organic distributor to have a little bit of everything. Customers can do a one-time payment for the winter/spring CSA for $820, or five payments of $169. Produce is delivered twice monthly, for a total of 13 deliveries, and each box is valued at $65.
Other than through CSA, people can buy produce and fruit from the farm’s website at bvforganic.com, which includes photos and descriptions of the food and prices. Their products are also available at the Olympia Food Co-op. They do operate an on-site Friday farmstand during the summer, but it recently closed for the year.
However, the farm is on the cusp of its second year of having a pumpkin patch, which also includes specialty pumpkins. The patch opens up in late September on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’re just really proud and delighted to be farming and supporting our community,” Peroni said. “We love being in the Boistfort Valley. It’s a really beautiful place and we encourage folks to come out here and come pick up some pumpkins.”