Spokane farmer hopes to sprout success with organic method - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane farmer hopes to sprout success with organic method

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Patrick Mannhard on his farm. Patrick Mannhard on his farm.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Baby goats bask in the sunlight, a watchful rooster crows, and Patrick Mannhard refreshes his garlic from a nearby spring.

"We grow about 50 different varieties of vegetables," said Mannhard. "There's a lot of potential for us to grow here and we love vegetables so we want to do it."

Mannhard is the manager of a nearly 40-acre farm located minutes away from downtown Spokane. Despite being sandwiched between Highway 195 and the states dirtiest creek, Urban Eden Farm continues to grow.

Skirting the property flows Latah Creek. It has plenty of water the farm could tap into, but because of pollution and other chemicals, they won’t.

"We don't want to spray that onto our stuff and we don't want to feed that to the people of Spokane,” said Mannhard.

The 29-year-old says the farm won't use the creek to water vegetables because it's full of pesticides and herbicides used in more conventional farms, but Eden is sticking to its promise for hyper-local, and all-together natural, crops.

"Five miles away is how far the vegetable goes from soil to mouth."

It's an organic method Mannhard hopes continues to sprout in Eastern Washington.

“We need an increase demand,” said Mannhard. “We need customers to say we want to buy local because it tastes good and we know who grows it.”

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