In September, we headed out to Ebb & Flow Herb Farm to visit Farm Fund recipient Robin Crandall. Located in the Skagit Valley, Ebb & Flow is just a 30-minute drive from the Community Food Co-op in Downtown Bellingham. Robin grew up in Bellingham but moved to Mount Vernon two years ago to start her farm on an opportune plot of rented land.
Ebb & Flow has seen success in its fledgling years. Robin has forged relationships with many local herbalists and sells direct to them to make up the bulk of Ebb & Flow's annual sales. Robin also has a small CSA program for the smattering of organic vegetables she grows on the farm.
Robin has roots in western Washington and many connections with small businesses in the area. She'll occasionally provide local restaurants with a batch of veggies or provide herbs to businesses. For example, she sells herbs to Junebug Ferments in Bow to make into yummy probiotic concoctions.
If you're a beer drinker, keep your eyes out for Robin's annual collaboration with Stone's Throw Brewing. Last year's beer was brewed with organic Ebb & Flow chamomile and calendula.
Robin currently sells her dried herbs and veggies to Anacortes Food Co-op. She's excited about the potential of selling to more co-ops in the area if she can ramp up production enough in the coming years.
There's also an Ebb & Flow Etsy store that allows Robin to share her herbal blends with folks far and wide—though that's a small portion of her overall sales.
Robin's land boasts two acres of certified organic herbs, veggies, and flowers, along with two greenhouses. Her Farm Fund grant allowed her to build an herb drying shed and install solar panels that bring electricity to her farm. Now, she can plug in fans to speed up the drying process, so she can produce more herbs, more often.
Prior to having the drying shed, Robin was drying all of her herbs in her house. Having a better drying set-up has allowed her to produce a whopping 150 pounds of dried herbs so far this year. That’s about three times the yield she was able to produce last year.
In general, Ebb & Flow is a one-woman operation, but Robin recieves help from friends here and there. The farming community is strong, and Robin says she feels like she’s found her people since moving south to start the farm.
The farm is still in its early days, and Robin is looking forward to the future. She's excited to continue building relationships and hopes to continue expanding production, so she can provide more local, organic, and healing herbs to her community.