A Tale of Two Farmers

GoodRoots Northwest / November 27, 2021

Meet two special farmers!

I want to tell you the story of two local farmers and why I think the future of food resource like ours is about creating better localized food systems, one farmer at a time.

The topics of hunger and food scarcity are complex and multifaceted.  It's easy to get overwhelmed by the heaviness and hopelessness of it all at times, especially as the pandemic spotlighted the worst of the food system. I was talking with our local farmer next door in the greenhouse, Pat Brown of Mom's Micro Garden and Urban Farm, about food and our work together. "Supply chain issues don't occur when it's local."  he said. A simple statement about an enormous subject. One that our organization has been thinking about since the onset of the pandemic.

It became clear with the very first delivery we received from Tacoma Farmers Market as part of the initial CARES Act funding they received.  Their concept was to keep local farmers afloat when markets across the state shut down, by purchasing fresh produce and delivering it directly to food banks like ours for free.  It was a light bulb moment for me the moment I handed a flat of fresh raspberries to one of our customers in a drive thru relief line and watched her eyes light up with tears.  And then in subsequent visits had lively conversations about how many jars of jam she made. She had never been able to afford fresh raspberries before. What I was witnessing, was food equity. And I couldn't unknow this.

My work today with our board of directors is about ways we can continue to fund a localized food supply for The Market. The subject means so much to us on so many fronts...from food equity, reduced waste, low emissions, local economy boost, and healthier outcomes for a vulnerable population. In many ways it takes a very complex subject...and just makes it simple. And that seems to be what our brand has been able to do for going on 2 years now.

On the eve of Small Business Saturday, I'd like to tell you the tale of two farmers we are proud to partner with.

Moms Micro Garden and Urban Farm


We met Pat of Moms in February of this year when he came to us with donations. He lives just a few miles away from the farm and had been following our story, wanting to help. What started as a simple donation drop off, became a walk around the farm with me and our food steward…and lots of kindred talk about the love of good food.

“What’s your plan for this?” He said as we entered the greenhouse that we were using as storage.

“I’d love to have green things growing in here, but it’s just not in our bandwidth right now.” I said.

And a seed was planted…quite literally.


Hundreds of thousands of seeds later….we have a  farmer that is right outside our door. 10 steps exactly. You can’t get more hyper local than that! And more then just greens are growing. A friendship, a partnership, a collaboration, a sense of community, and a unified set of values rooted in what we both know to be true. Access to healthy foods are not just a need, but a right.

And together…we are working on ways to forge new trails in feeding our community. I’m honored to call Patrick and Rachel community partners. A farmer and a fancy food bank. A nonprofit and a for-profit. Coexisting in harmony.


So when the The Market has funding to spend on food, you better believe we walk right next door and select little baby veggies that are 40x more nutrient dense than their adult veggie parents. The best of local nutrition …available to all.


For more info on Moms Micro Garden and Urban Farm check out their website here.  They are currently working with restaurants and retail businesses.

Makarios Acres


Local farmers Brooks and Hannah dropped off some premium pork that we were able to purchase, thanks in huge part to a community crowd sourced fundraiser. I want to share with you the moving parts of how this transaction came to be.


Makarios Acres set aside some pigs to raise specifically for The Market

Makarios Acres crowd sourced funds for us so that the purchase price per pound would be 70% under industry pricing…making it affordable for us to buy.

The Market has a food budget for protein and we opted to invest local with community donations.

Because we could choose how our meat was processed, I was able to ask for chorizo and organ meat…so that we have foods that are traditional for all people we serve.


The packaging facility discounted their rate knowing it was headed to a food bank.

This friends…is what we call a virtuous circle. The community, helping the community, helping the community…..to ultimately feed the community.

This is 1 part local economy, 1 part hyper local food sourcing, 1 part food equity, and all parts heart.

For more info on Makarios Acres check out their website here.  They sell from their website and deliver.