Baker City producers Rod and Valerie Tachenko take growing produce to a whole new level that Val says goes beyond organic. “Our products are more pure than many typical organic products as we use nothing at all,” she says. They use no commercial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides on their crops, which include many different varieties of vegetables and herbs. They rotate crops to improve the soil naturally.
The Tachenkos raise most of the vegetables they sell at their Campbell Street farm stand, “Val’s Veggies,” and source fruit from nearby growers who share their agriculture philosophy of growing pure food products without the use of GMOs. Valerie says their flock of 250 free-range chickens provide brown eggs with dark orange yolks and are valuable to crop production by keeping the grasshoppers and other insect populations down. They have 28 years of experience in raising food crops and have been selling produce through Val’s Veggies for the past six years.
Located across from the Geiser-Pollman Park, Val’s Veggies is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from May through October. Val’s Veggies participates in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). With CSA, customers can purchase produce shares in the early spring, before crops are ready to harvest, to receive a box of fresh produce each week throughout the season. They also offer prepaid fruit and egg shares.
Not only do you get the freshest veggies — usually picked that morning — Valerie says there are other benefits to buying locally grown food. “You know where your food comes from and how it is grown, so you can make a responsible choice for healthy foods to feed your family.” She says supporting local agriculture also adds to your hometown’s economy, Val’s Veggies has seven employees. To give back to their community they put on a corn maze and pumpkin patch each fall at their farm.
Find out more at www.valsveggies.com.