Barely an acre in size and nestled on a hillside in Davenport, Washington, Renegade Farm exemplifies a unique way of growing crops that relies mostly on the self-sustaining nature of its terrain. Owners Joe and Carolyn Piver were gifted the plot of land by a close family friend, and in 2017, they decided to excavate the hillside to create terraces in which to grow produce to have fresh food for their family. What started out as an agricultural experiment turned into a thriving farm with almost 30 different kinds of crops that provide income for the Pivers during the Farmers Market season.
“I used to work full-time at a local farm down the road, and I saw the need for more farms that use organic practices, so we decided to start our own farm and sell at local markets just to get more organic produce in the food system,” says Joe.
Renegade’s hillside terrace is watered by a gravity-fed tank that is filled from a spring up the hill from Lake Roosevelt that sends water down both sides of the farm and supplements well-water that is pumped up from below. Crops are started as early as March in caterpillar tunnels built with bent tubes and insulated plastic tarps, and two nurseries house various seedlings until they are ready to be planted on the ground.
Pesticide-free produce like sweet carrots, radishes, onions and kale, are rotated in the patches during the growing season, and the Pivers make the 1-plus-hour trek from Davenport each week to sell at two local markets: Fairwood in the Northside on Tuesdays and Perry Market in the South on Thursdays. Find them online at instagram.com/renegade_farm
This article was written by Ari Nordhagen.