In the realm of local growers, Columbia Ridge Farm is fairly new to the scene. But in terms of operating a small business, they have a lot of experience. After 12 years in the retail power-sports business selling snowmobiles, they decided to sell it and switch to growing food.
The timing couldn't have worked out better--if you've been shopping at the Co-op for a while, you may remember Kay Pennington, who supplied the Co-op with wheatgrass for years. Kay was getting ready to retire just as Columbia Ridge Farm was looking to add more products to their line at the Co-op. The Co-op made the connection, and Columbia Ridge Farms agreed to take over Kay's spot as the primary wheatgrass supplier, and Kay imparted some great wisdom to the new growers.
While they primarily grow sprouts and wheatgrass for the Co-op, they also have chickens, goats, and horses, and use the greenhouse to start plants that they later transplant outside for their own garden. They use the spent fiber from the sprouting trays to feed the chickens, who pick every last sprout and seed out of it, then compost the rest. Plus, the greenhouse is solar powered, so you can feel good knowing you're eating solar-powered sprouts, herbs, and wheatgrass! This past winter was quite the test for the new greenhouse, with record snowfall and low temperatures--but it stood the test and we couldn't be happier.
Keep an eye out for them on our events calendar to see when they will be sampling their delicious sprouts in our Produce departments!
Columbia Ridge Farm Snapshot
- Started in 2016
- Selling to the Co-op since 2016
- All plant production happens in one greenhouse
- Solar-powered greenhouse
- Primarily grow wheatgrass, sprouts, & herbs
- Greenhouse is heated with radiant heat flooring
- Look for their eggs in both stores as well