Rents Due Ranch
Growers: Mike Shriver
Located in: Stanwood, Wash.
Supplying PCC since: 1990
Supplies PCC with: Fresh, local and organic produce including red, ripe organic strawberries, vibrant winter squash, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, broccoli and so much more.
Seasonal goodness: Farmer-owner Mike Shriver and his team farm throughout the seasons — from January, when they nurture plant starts in greenhouses, to late November, when they deliver the last treasures from their harvest.
All's fair in love and war: PCC's produce merchandiser, Joe Hardiman, says award-winning Seattle chef Tom Douglas won't forgive him for stealing Rents Due away from the restaurant circuit. "The farm couldn't supply both and their produce was unequalled," Joe said. "Mike is a magician, a genius for what he can conjure out of the ground. We couldn't replace the quality of what he offers."
Flavor by the season
It's fair to say that PCC wouldn't be what we are today without the produce grown by Mike Shriver, JoanE McIntyre and their family at Rents Due Ranch. They've played an integral role in the success and growth of our co-op and indeed, played an integral part in keeping members and other shoppers well-fed and happy.
Consider this: From March through November, PCC relies on Rents Due for artichokes; basil; green and yellow beans; beets; broccoli; Romanesco; green and red Savoy cabbage; cauliflower; yellow, white and bi-color corn; cucumbers; garlic; green and red kale; Bibb, Romaine, Red Leaf and Canasta lettuce; sweet, red and yellow onions; shelling peas; Jack O’ lanterns; winter and summer squash; strawberries; potatoes; raspberries; veggie starts; and flower starts.
That's a lot of planting, hoeing, weeding and harvesting — through storms and foul weather, enduring discomfort and sometimes danger.
Rents Due Ranch grew out of an idea back in 1980 when Mike and JoanE decided to start growing their own produce for the family. Mike always had been interested in farming and years of working on other farms and educating himself independently provided the requisite knowledge.
As first-generation farmers, he and JoanE started with less than an acre but their perseverance, compulsive habits and strong backs led to a surplus of produce. Three years later the farm went commercial and before long, their surplus became PCC’s good fortune.
By 1990, PCC’s produce coordinator at View Ridge, Win Poage, began selling lettuce from Rents Due and soon PCC committed to purchasing the farm’s produce to supply all five PCC stores at the time.
The relationship enabled Mike and JoanE to expand the farm, which has grown to a 50-plus-acre spread. Mike and JoanE start their crops from seed in nine greenhouses because that produces the most viable, healthy plants and they know exactly what they’re planting. This farm is certified organic, all the way.
By Trudy Bialic, Sound Consumer, April 2006. Updated November, 2012
Note: Mike Shriver now runs Rents Due Ranch.