Guest Writer: Sally Zalac
As I drove up the gentle hill that is Wintercreek Farm, there were small fields of mixed vegetables alongside that climbed toward the two large greenhouses on the horizon. Reaching the top, I parked under apple trees that hung heavy with bounty and surrounded a multi-family enclave. Farmer Robin Bodony’s husband and 9-month-old daughter greeted me with a smile and directed me back down the hill to find Robin in her fields. The surrounding forest did not prevent the midday sun from beaming down on this happy farm.
Wintercreek, named for the ephemeral, seasonal creek hidden in tall cedar trees bordering the main road, is no fertile bottomland. However, Robin is transforming her hillside into a productive ecosystem, with minimal-till practices and soil enrichment enhancing bacterial life buried deep in her soil. Mowed cover crops, cloaked in black plastic, rapidly compost in the sun’s heat. The large greenhouses, provided by a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) grant, are filled with tomatoes and other heat-loving vegetables.
Managed and operated by three women, this farm sells produce at multiple farmers markets, along with Kitsap Fresh, and had been provisioning local restaurants prior to the pandemic. The upside-down world of Covid-19 has given Robin an opportunity to reassess her farm’s mission for the coming years. For now, she is content growing mixed vegetables and creating a fun, safe place for children and family to thrive. I must say I’m looking forward to sampling Wintercreek’s White Russian Kale in my next order.Sally Zalac is a valued customer and volunteer for Kitsap Fresh. She has a passion for local farms, organic food and regenerative farming.