One of the best ways to be a locavore is to grow your own food. It doesn’t get much more local than your own backyard, deck, or balcony!

Healthy veggie starts awaiting transplant into our garden or yours

Here at Colockum Hillside Farm, we start most of our own veggies from seed. One of the goals of our farm is to grow most of the veggies that our family eats, so we are quite picky about where we source our seeds and which cultivars we choose.  And if any vegetable does not taste delicious or thrive in our garden, we try a different cultivar the following year.

For the most part, we we buy high quality non GMO seed (organic whenever possible) from Peaceful Valley Organic, Territorial Seed, and Johnny’s Seeds. We also are passionate about heirloom tomatoes, and both source that seed from a handful of smaller reputable heirloom seed companies and save seeds from our most successful heirloom tomato plants each year.

Sean’s Yellow Dwarf was our most popular heirloom tomato last year. Its dwarf stature makes it perfect for containers and small gardens, and its flavor is exceptional.

So far, we have started an exciting array of heirloom, dwarf, and cherry tomatoes. Each has passed our family’s taste test — all are extraordinary in terms of appearance and flavor.

We have also started several kinds of cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard, three types of broccoli, and some exotic veggies such as fennel, artichokes, celery and celery root.

A mix of sweet bell peppers and jalapenos just sprouted last week as did four different kinds of eggplant. And our herb inventory is growing.

Swiss chard, cabbages, and celery root

As the weather gets warmer, we will have melon, cucumber, and squash plants available. These starts transplant best when they are only 3 weeks old, so we will plan to start them so they will be available when the weather is best for planting heat-loving veggies.

If you are thinking about growing some of your own food this year, consider using our starts. They have a proven track record in challenging Ellensburg growing conditions, and have passed the Johnson-Dittmer family taste test. We would love to help you to grow your own herbs and vegetables whether in your backyard, in a pot on your deck or balcony, or in one of the Ellensburg community garden plots. Watch this page for pictures and descriptions of each plant around the beginning of May. Starts will cost between $3.50 and $5.00 each. If you want to get a jump on the gardening season by planting cold hardy greens outside, or tomatoes under cover before the first week in May, text me or give me a call at 509-899-0722 or shoot me an e-mail at so I can reserve starts for you.  Happy Gardening!