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Local Supplier Spotlight: Pilgrim’s Market Garden

By Sydney Williams

Supporting local is a core part of who we are here at Pilgrim’s Market. We pride ourselves on carrying the mom & pop goods most other stores wouldn’t take a chance on. Grandmothers in the community bringing us their knitted items, high school students provide us with eggs, foragers bring us mushrooms and vegan innovators supply us with raw-vegan- organic chocolate. The number of local items we carry indicates how important it us to us in supporting our community. The enthusiasm we have for carrying local products is mirrored with our passion to be a local supplier of fresh, wholesome local goods. We’ve been cooking, baking, and fermenting our own products for years, as most of you know, and recently began growing our own food; something we couldn’t be more excited about.

Like many great things, our Market Garden started out as a dream and over time has flourished into something only our wildest dreams could’ve imagined. When we started the garden, we imagined growing a small variety of organic produce to use here in our deli, hoping if we harvested enough, we’d have a little extra to sell in the produce department. We gained momentum and community support rapidly and had a fruitful first year of harvest last year, providing cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, arugula, spinach, salad mix, kale, radishes, beets, carrots and peppers to the community. You ready for this? All that organic produce just mentioned... we’re doubling this year.

You heard us. DOUBLING. “How?”, you’re asking. Over the winter, we designed a layout that allows us to utilize more of our land, taking us from three (3) 50-foot garden beds to twenty (20) 50 foot beds and twelve (12) 35 foot beds. Not only has the space expanded, but our crops have diversified. This year we’re on track for growing and harvesting four varieties of tomatoes, 10 different peppers, four kinds of cucumbers, ginger, zucchini, patty pan squash, radishes, arugula, spinach, lettuce, melons, stinging nettle, edible flowers, tons of culinary herbs, as well as getting a start on our blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and goji berries. Jeremiah, our garden manager, cares for and protects our garden in the most natural way. Turns out, making your own fertilizer with aerated compost tea made from worm castings is basically a fancy multi vitamin for your crops.

He also uses a flame-weeder to control the weeds over herbicides. In other words, he lights those weeds on fire. He releases beneficial insects to control the bad bugs instead of using pesticides. Genius! We will be applying for our Certified Organic Farm status next year.

“My favorite part of the job is being able to grow high quality vegetables and then see the look on people's faces when they try them. Vegetables just taste better when they’re picked and eaten fresh, and I feel like most people don't even know the true taste of a vegetable until they’ve had it picked fresh.” - Jeremiah

We’re growing food right here in the backyard of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Utilizing 1/3 of an acre of land and providing our community local, fresh, and herbicide- free produce so we can all experience the fresh taste of garden-fresh veggies. Look for the Grown Right Here symbol in our salad

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