This blog post is the handiwork of SFMA summer intern Jordan Lowe, who will be contributing regularly during the growing season. Happy Farmers Market Week!
There's a really good chance that Gaosheng Cha of Gaia’s Harmony Farm got up earlier than you did this morning. Though you’ll never see her donning a hat at Wallingford, Madrona, or Ballard Farmers Market, she wears several: as farmer, mother, dreamer, shaman, and aspiring permaculturalist. We can only expect the hat rack to get bigger.
Gaia’s Harmony Farm is located on 31 acres of land in Snohomish, Washington. Gaosheng’s parents bought the land in 2010, and she has been farming it ever since, a mix of beekeeping and growing berries, tomatoes, and flowers. Originally, Gaosheng brought in bees in to help pollinate the acres of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, as well as the flowers she cultivates. This year, she added hives to make infused honey. Some of the infusions, like Lemon Ginger, are inspired by Chinese medicinal recipes used by ancestral shamans in Gaosheng’s family.
Every year, Gaosheng experiments, cultivates more acres, and hones her systems. Together with her many worker bees (including daughters Delyla and Michaela), Gaosheng has cultivated just half of her acreage, with plenty left to play with. Once she gets the operation large enough, Gaosheng hopes to hire a farm manager so she can spend more time with her honey. Her tomatoes are really hitting their stride this year after a couple seasons of experimenting and she thinks she’ll have enough to sell through Skagit County’s Puget Sound Food Hub - a farmer-owned cooperative located in Mt. Vernon.
Whether you like going to Wallingford, Madrona, or Ballard, Gaosheng will be there. Look for the beautiful spread of sun-kissed berries and tomatoes, and prismatic amber jars of honey. Find out which infusion is right for your day and take a spoon to it!