Market Day ~ Meet Your Farmer: Ryan Stonemetz from ProFarm Produce

Here’s the first in our Meet Your Farmer series, which helps you proudly say you know where your food comes from, and who grows it!

This week I interviewed Ryan Stonemetz from ProFarm Produce (Organic and Transition Only) 

IMF:  I know that your family is in its 4th generation of farming, and your farm has been Certified Organic for 13 years!  Why did you make the choice to go Organic?

ProFarm: We made the choice to go Organic because it was something new and no one was even looking at Organic Farming at that time. We saw it as an opportunity to go beyond traditional farming and develop a healthier product. 

IFM: Were you aware of many other Certified Organic farms at that time?   

ProFarm:  When we started to get into Organic Farming there were only a couple farmers that we knew of that were doing it.  It was still in its infancy, so you could say that we were pioneers in developing the size of Organic fruit that we have…we grow some of the biggest and best tasting Organic Fruit around.

How has the customer demand for Organic produce changed over the time you’ve been in business?

When we first started it was in huge demand. We had a run for about 10 years of doing really well as farmers. Then when those profits caught wind, it was kind of like everyone else wanted to jump on the “band wagon.” In recent years the Organic market has become flooded by big warehouses and has essentially wiped out the modest profit in Organic Farming. Because of those big warehouses it has made it hard for small farmers to survive in Organic farming because it cost 3x more money than traditional farming.


 Why have you chosen to sell your products at farmers markets?  

Despite the difficulty of bad weather for crops, irregular customer attendance at markets, and the uncertainty of what will sell, farmers markets are an excellent way to connect with the consumer one on one and allow them opportunity to have something FRESH straight from the field or the tree instead of being processed and several days old. There is no better taste when you have had something freshly picked!

Your farm is in Zillah, WA; how do you decide which markets to sell at?

There are several ways we decided on a market. We first do a market analysis to see how many people attend that market, how many people actually buy something while there, the flow of the market, competition and most importantly “word of mouth” by other vendors.  Last year we traveled all over looking at different markets and asking the vendors what they thought of the market, what they thought was the best market, etc.

When people come to your booth at IFM, can they ask how to pick out a product, and advice about how to cook with them?  Yes!  Our “Bread and Butter” is our Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines and pickled goods. Customers can actually visit our website at  to get cooking tips or leave their favorite recipe.

Thanks Ryan, and ProFarm Organic Produce!

Market Day ~ 1st Market Success!

Thanks to all of you who came out to our Opening Day Celebration!  We had a great time, and welcomed lots of new vendors, including the likes of Olympic Provisions charcuterie  Captured By Porches brewing.

The berries are already sweet, and last season’s pickled goodness is selling out fast at Aichele’s and ProFarm Organic.  The thought of this is what got us through the last 8 months…it’s what we’ve been waiting for!!

This week Robert Richter is performing and Jacob with Eccentric Acres will have worm bins for sale as well as mycorrhizae to help your home gardens.  There will be frozen meat available from Sweet Home Farms and they have fresh eggs from pastured chickens at a great bargain too.

There will be 25 vendors this week, so come early, get a bite to eat, and do your grocery shopping for the week.

See you at the market!!

2011 IFM Season
May - September

Overlook Park
Wednesdays - 3 pm to 7 pm

De La Salle High School
Saturdays - 9 am - 1:30 pm

SNAP/Oregon Trail ACCEPTED!  (Just come to the info booth and we will swipe your card and give you tokens to spend with the vendors.)
WIC/Seniors Checks ACCEPTED! (Bring your checks directly to vendors displaying a WIC/Seniors sign)

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