Kim and Dan Hulse established Tahoma Farms in 2009. “First generation” farmers, they pooled their farming and marketing experience to purchase one of three parcels at Orting Valley Farms, a 100-acre former dairy preserved by the PCC Farmland Trust in collaboration with the Washington State Wildlife and Recreation Program and Pierce County Conservation Futures Program. The trust secured a conservation easement on the land, which ensures that it is saved for organic production forever. Kim and Dan chose “Tahoma Farms” as the name for their 40-acre parcel in homage to the Native American name for Mount Rainier, which rises majestically 30 miles to the southeast. Located along the Puyallup River, the farm’s rich, well-drained soils were formed by a succession of volcanic eruptions over the past 10,000 years.
Tahoma Farms is committed to organic production practices, including long-term crop rotations, planting green manures, and utilizing compost to build the soil. In the same way that they are growing a sustainable farm, Kim and Dan are growing a business that will strengthen the local food economy and nourish their community for years to come.
In their own words, Kim and Dan are “passionate about growing food and committed to the work that makes our communities stronger, our children healthier, the hungry among us less hungry, and our natural environment more livable for generations to come”.
Photos on this page are from a recent tour of Tahoma Farms by our produce team. Many thanks to Kim and Dan for their hospitality. We had a great time visiting their wonderful farm.
-Joe McInnis, Produce Manager, Marlene’s-Tacoma
“Selling wholesale is not for every farm. But for us, selling to Marlene’s is an important outlet. It allows us to sell as much as we would at a really good farmer’s market day but without the added costs of selling at a market. It’s good for consumers to have options, too, and for some the best option is Marlene’s – convenience, one-stop shopping, and knowing that what you need is going to be in stock.”
– Dan Hulse, co-owner of Tahoma Farms