Farmers use Buddhist ideal to grow crops

THE NEWS TRIBUNE, Aug 19, 2009

Seattle, WA (USA) -- Meet the farmers: Robert and Sonya Servine, Good Karma Farm in Roy at the Proctor Farmers Market this Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at North 27 and Proctor Streets.

What do you grow? Heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, bok choi, multi-colored carrots and beans, broccoli, Veronica Romanesca broccoli, beets, arugula, kale, chard, salad mix and garlic.

What’s your specialty? “Heirloom tomatoes. We grow 50 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes. We have red, yellow, orange, green, purple, black and some that are striped. Heirloom means any seed that was saved before the 1950s, back when seeds were saved for flavor, not productivity and shelf life. So heirloom tomatoes taste incredible, these are the kind of tomatoes that will convince you that they really are a fruit and that this is how tomatoes are supposed to taste.”

Tell us about your farm: “This is our second year as a farm, we grow 60 different varieties of vegetable. Although not certified organic we follow a strict set of standards and do not use any chemicals or slaughterhouse by-products. We make our own fertilizer from naturally available ingredients and do not use any pesticides. We farm just over one acre, so are too small to justify all the paperwork required to become certified. We started the farm on the Buddhist principle of right livelihood and aim to grow the healthiest and most delicious food. We enjoy growing vegetables that are slightly different, like purple carrots or yellow tomatoes.”

Where else to buy their produce: The farmers also sell at the Wednesday Steilacoom Farmers Market.

Contact the farmers: goodkarmafarmer@

Also at the Proctor Market this Saturday: At 11 a.m., Jim from Cottage Gardens will demonstrate how to plant an autumn garden. Also, live music and a kids booth.

What’s fresh at the market this week: Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes, peaches, early apples, summer squash.

Good Karma Farm’s Colorful Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo

8-10 Multi-colored heirloom tomatoes

1/2 red onion

1 jalapeno pepper

2 medium cloves garlic

Juice of one lime

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Dice tomatoes. Chop onion, jalapeno and garlic to a fine consistency. To these ingredients, add the fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, olive oil and lime. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Best if served the next day.