Meet Serendipity Farm
Chris Llewellyn, Arianne and Franco Bertucci
In the past it was the norm for United States farmers to tend the same land as their parents and grandparents before them, and for families to raise their children in community with their extended family. While 97% of US farms are family-owned and operated, the average age of farmers in the United States is 55 years old. This fact demonstrates the exodus of younger generations from the work of their ancestors on family farms.
Here in Jefferson County, we have seen a newer model of farming brilliantly emerge that is more common in the wold of organic, sustainable farms. Many of our local farms are incubators for new farmers and interns who get their hands dirty learning the ropes of sustainable food production and animal care here in Jefferson County.
While utilizing modern organic farming methods, Serendipity Farm gives us an opportunity to step back in time. Three generations live on and care for this 46 acre equine and organic produce farm in Quilcene valley. Chris Llewellyn was an avid part-time flower farmer on Bainbridge Island before she moved to Quilcene to start Serendipity Farm in 2003. Her daughter, Arianne Bertucci, and Arianne's husband, Franco, moved from Olympia, WA in 2004 to join Chris in farming. Today, Serendipity is home to Chris, Arianne, Franco and their four children as well as a small handful of extended and adopted family members. Chris, Arianne and Franco are the primary farmers. However, Arianne and Franco's children are trying their hands at the trade. They are growing their own you-pick pumpkin patch this season. Serendipity Farm boards and cares for 14 horses, as well as 150 chickens, ducks and goats.
"I love the healthy lifestyle of spending time outside, working for ourselves and seeing the fruits of our labor, " says Franco. "It’s a really good way to raise a family. Our kids are healthy from fresh food, sunshine and playing in the dirt."
While farming is really rewarding, it is also stressful. There is a lot of gambling in growing crops. The season started slowly this year due to the wet and cold weather. "We had to start our planting later than usual. However," Franco shares, "having greenhouses was really helpful for early season crops."
With a focus on animal rearing as well as produce farming, Serendipity farmers keep the majority of their acreage in pasture. The remaining acres are used in rotation to grow seasonal produce and flowers. Serendipity Farm supplies crops for 26 to 40 Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) shares per season as well as the Port Townsend Farmers Markets. Additionally, you can find Chris' tasty salad dressings at the Port Townsend Food Co-op and Quilcene Village Store.
This season Serendipity Farm is participating in both the Port Townsend Wednesday and Saturday Farmers Markets vending produce, salad dressings, pesto and gluten-free treats. Serendipity Farm prepared foods feature farm-grown herbs and berries. Crops to look forward to this week include: cucumber, summer squash, strawberries, silvanberries, tomatoes, flowers and more. Coming up soon, Serendipity Farm will have husk or ground cherries, peppers, and mulberries. Introduce yourself to the friendly farmers at Serendipity Farm at one of our Port Townsend Farmers Markets this week. See you at the market~ Amanda Milholland
Upcoming Events and Music:
- Wednesday, July 12 Polk Street 2pm-6pm Port Townsend Wednesday Farmers Market
- Saturday, July 15 Tyler Street 9am-2pm Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market, Live music Cort Armstrong
- Sunday, July 16 Chimacum Corner Farmstand 10am-2pm Chimacum Farmers Market
- Saturday, July 22, Tyler Street 9am-2pm Berries in Abundance at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market including a chef demo by Arran Stark of Jefferson Healthcare
From Our Vendors
Berries are in season at market! Serendipity, SpringRain and Finnriver Farms have new berries! Joining the delicious local strawberries and raspberries, the first of the blueberries, red and black currants, and silvanberries are here.
Red Dog Farm is up to 47 different varieties of produce at markets this weekend! New and exciting are green beans, fennel, spring onions, gold beets and red cabbage. We also have TONS of beautiful flats of raspberries! Buy them by the flat or half-pint. Basil is also looking beautiful these days; it’s perfect timing to put up some pesto or chimichuri.
This week, One Straw Ranch is featuring lamb stew meat. Our stew meat is cut from the shoulder so is perfect for long slow braising, which transforms it into a rich and tender indulgence. If you don’t want to heat up your kitchen, pull out the slow cooker! Layer in your favorite stew ingredients, turn it to low for 5-8 hours, and your dinner will be waiting for you when you come in from watering your garden in the evening! If you’re looking for a little inspiration, pick up a recipe card at the booth for Savory & Slightly Sweet Slow Cooker Lamb. Most of the vegetables and herbs can be found fresh at the market right now. A handful of raisins and a splash of sherry or brandy round out the flavors perfectly. We also have a delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb, which combines cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger to create an aroma which will transport you to the markets of Marrakeh. Try some lamb stew meat this week at 10% off!
We want your feedback! Please visit our website and participate in our customer survey. Let us know where you want to shop for fresh, local food. You can find the survey on the home page of our website: http://jcfmarkets.org/. Thank you for sharing your voice!