Celebrating Local 6 Producers!
At First Alt, Diane provides herb products that are very unique—they are free of plastic packaging, substantial in volume, grown locally and sustainably, and delivered fresh, weekly, sometimes by bicycle!
Located on the southwest side of Corvallis, the urban farm retreat is a working farm that is also open for small group meetings and overnight stays. We produce farm fresh eggs (sold at the self-serve farm stand), and grow fresh culinary herbs and orchard produce with sustainable practices.
The first bunch of mint that I sold to the Co-op was harvested from a 1 x 2 ft. container; that was before the turn of the century. I have 1.47 acres and my goal is to fill the most of it with a harmonious productivity that will end the need for inputs related to fossil fuels.
I have a 3,500 gallon capacity rainwater collection system, which lasts about 1/3 of the way through our drought season. I use city water for the remainder of the irrigation season. I also have solar panel systems for electricity. They produce enough energy for about 10-11 months of the year.
First Alternative has been a great support for me in moving from that tiny container of mint towards becoming a full time orchestrator of this small, blessed piece of the planet. I got started growing herbs out of a hobby garden to fill the niche for locally, sustainably grown, fresh culinary herbs—that was in late 1990’s—and I now deliver a weekly offering of about sixteen varieties of perennial culinary herbs. The season currently extends from March through November, and I would love to add a greenhouse to the farm for year-round production.
Though the herbs seem healthy growing here, I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve their happiness. I am studying plant placement for companionship and also the use of herb mulches for pest control and nutritional input. I use compost made here on the farm (the importance of having animals!) and mulching with cardboard, wood chips and herb clippings. Building healthy soil is a high priority. I like noticing the cycle that Nature has in place and trying to facilitate that as best I can.
I really want people to have FRESH herbs to use—at First Alternative we are offering an herb product that is very unique—it is free of plastic packaging, it’s substantial in volume, it’s grown locally and sustainably, and it’s delivered fresh, weekly, sometimes by bicycle!
And there’s always the opportunity for special orders: if the herb you need isn’t on the Co-op shelf, just ask the stocker, chances are that we have it growing right out here, for you!