What's New at Nash's
Did you know that Nash's Farm grows and mills four kind of flour? Nash farmers are even working on producing their own farm-grown Camelina vegetable oil. Nash Huber, a pioneer in organic farming on the Olympic Peninsula, has a history of trying new things, thinking big, and working to support the next generation of local farming.
From a multi-generation mid-West Illinois farming family, Nash learned to care for animals and tend plants at a young age. In his childhood, Nash's closest neighbors were his extended family, all of whom were farmers. After World War II, chemicals and big farm equipment made their way into farming, drastically shifting the focus from small family farms toward larger businesses. This period also marked the beginning of mass transportation and processing of food nationally and globally. Instead of utilizing small, regional mills and selling food locally, it became more common for crops to be transported to larger facilities. With these changes, farm kids, including Nash, were encouraged by their families to get off the farm, go to college and get a job.
Nash did just this. He studied to be a chemist at Eastern Illinois University. After graduating, he worked for A.E. Staley as a research chemist and became part of a team that analyzed and developed new methods to utilize cornstarch. However, he felt he was headed in the wrong direction.
Nash moved from the mid-West to Sequim in 1969 where he found the mountains, ocean and climate he was seeking. He slowly pieced together rented vacant lots and began a small organic farm in 1979. Nash joined with other area farmers to found the Port Angeles Farmers Market. He also began selling wholesale, including to the Seattle area. Over time, his operation grew to several acres.
In 1994, Nash married Patty McManus, a former publisher for Peninsula Collage in Port Angeles. Patty's mother passed away in 1996, leaving some funds to her daughter. That year, Nash and Patty purchased 10 acres in Dungeness, the first property that they themselves owned. They also built a packing shed, which greatly increased the farm’s capacity to expand production.
Today, Nash’s team is farming about 600 acres of grain, vegetables, berries, orchard, and seed with land also devoted to pigs, poultry, and compost. The farm employs 45 people during their peak season, making it one of the larger private-sector employers in Sequim.
Nash and Patty have worked with the North Olympic Land Trust to preserve their own as well as leased land for the next generations of farmers. Their forward-thinking does not stop there. Each year Nash, Patty and their team add new products, cultivate new acreage, and participate in new markets.
You can find Nash's Farm at the Port Townsend Farmers Market on Opening Day, April 1st. Look for their red market wagon and try out something new, like one of their farm ground flours, dried beans or--maybe later this year--their high-heat cooking oil.
Opening Day Details:
- 9am: Opening ceremony with red ribbon cutting
- 9:15am: Goat parade. Animal or farm-themed costumes encouraged.
- 10am: Chef demo with Jefferson Healthcare’s Executive Chef, Arran Stark
- 11am-1:45pm: Live music
- 9am to 2pm: +70 local farms; artisan food; craft cider, wine and beer; as well as arts and crafts vendors.
Help us celebrate our 25th anniversary with your letters. Starting on Opening Day we invite your letters of appreciation, poetry and haiku in thanks of local food, arts and crafts. Look for the mailbox by the Farmers Market booth and drop in a letter for us to deliver to one of our 70+ vendors. We are looking forward to hearing from you this season.
Want to get more involved with the market? We are seeking volunteers for the market booth, setup and break down as well as special event assistance. Send Amanda an email or give a call if you want to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
See you on April 1st at the Market. ~ Amanda Milholland, JCFM Director