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DailyTidings.com
  • Happy Dirt Veggie Patch

  • Happy Dirt Veggie Patch, established less than a year ago, is well on its way to being a lush food resource for the Rogue Valley area.
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    • Spotlight on local producers
      This story is part of a series spotlighting local farmers, growers and other food producers. Read this story at www.dailytidings.com/locallygrown and discover other eat-local stories, videos and re...
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      Spotlight on local producers
      This story is part of a series spotlighting local farmers, growers and other food producers. Read this story at www.dailytidings.com/locallygrown and discover other eat-local stories, videos and resources. Also, post your comments and upload photos of fresh food you buy or grow. Send story ideas to Sophie Javna and Elisabeth Swarttouw at soapie46@hotmail.com.
  • Happy Dirt Veggie Patch, established less than a year ago, is well on its way to being a lush food resource for the Rogue Valley area.
    Matt Suhr and Aluna Michelle are the heart of the Medford farm, tirelessly working and planning alongside nature with fingers crossed.
    Their farm spreads across 31/2; acres and has hundreds of beds readying for spring and summer.
    "It's an expansion period for everything, both in scope and in the volume of what we do," Suhr says.
    Adds Michelle: "You have to plant the seeds now for crops that will be ready weeks or months down the line. It's a huge leap of faith."
    Happy Dirt upholds an open-door policy for people to come by the farm, check out the tools and watch the peas, lettuces, kale, spinach, basil and tomatoes grow closer to the sun.
    "We want to foster and build trust with our community through direct relationships with the people we feed," Michelle says.
    For buy-local supporters, there is more than just sunshine and long days to look forward to this summer. Turnips, radishes, eggplants, peppers, cantaloupes and other mainstay and specialty items will be ready in the months to come.
    Stay connected with Happy Dirt by sending your name and email address to farmers@happydirtveggies.com to be placed on the email list, or talk to the owners in person at Ashland's Saturday and Tuesday growers markets.
    Supporters also can buy into Happy Dirt's community-supported agriculture or Farmbucks programs. Farmbucks are sold in increments of $50. In May, a 5 percent discount will be applied to any amount of Farmbucks purchases. In June, Happy Dirt will offer the 5 percent discount for Farmbucks purchases of $200 or more.
    This season, Ann Eldridge, the former head of Our Local Bounty, which supports locally produced goods and foods, will be helping to pass out samples of the farm's produce at growers markets. She is just one more reason to stop by and shake hands with the people putting food on Southern Oregon's table.
    For more information: Happy Dirt Veggie Patch, 3524 Alley Lane, Medford, happydirtveggies.com. Contact Matt Suhr at 541-499-4903; contact Aluna Michelle at 541-708-2099 or at farmers@happydirtveggies.com.
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