Hello Sunshine Farm in Tacoma specializes in organic produce and a relaxed family vibe
You name it, they can grow it. Cherrisa and Justin McInturff, along with their kids, 5-year-old Olive and 4-year-old Jack, live on Hello Sunshine Farm in Tacoma, where they hobnob with chickens, a rooster, two Flemish Giant rabbits, a dog and a cat (and a lamb, coming next spring). Hello Sunshine churns out an extensive list of organic produce, including apples, kale, green beans and rhubarb, and flowers such as dahlias and sunflowers.
The farm was previously owned by Cherrisa’s parents. It’s where she and her brother grew up running around barefoot in dirt, having green-tomato fights and learning the ins and outs of cultivating beauty from soil. After getting married, Cherrisa and Justin decided to put down roots on that same farmland and began to distribute boxes of fresh, harvested produce, eggs and flowers to neighbors and friends. “Hello Sunshine became a place where people could stop by and grab peppers for dinner, or pull up some carrots for snacks,” says Cherrisa. “Where friends could visit and pick juicy, ripe cherry tomatoes off the vine and pop them in their mouths while asking about compost.”
The kids are having a blast learning to cultivate vegetables and plants, taking care of the animals, and of course operating heavy machinery — Jack loves riding on the tractor. “Olive and Jack are the best farm helpers in the history of the universe,” says Cherrisa. “They have specific chores, which include gathering eggs each day, feeding the chickens, picking vegetables and helping water the plants and animals.”
Cherrisa prides herself on the fact that her kids are able to witness and participate in the life cycle of animals and plants: “They learn where their food comes from, which nowadays is a very valuable thing to know. They also know the value of food and helping others. We make frequent trips with fresh produce to the local food bank, so that others may enjoy fresh foods as well.”
Asked about seasonal goodies, the McInturffs told us about their yearly, sustainable Christmas tree tradition. Rather than chopping down trees to use as holiday decoration, the family creates DIY trees out of sustainable materials, decking the halls with recycled wooden pallets or tree branches placed in a pot of collected rocks.
Hello Sunshine Farm will soon open their proverbial barn doors to the public, offering fresh boxes of seasonal produce delivered right to your door. They also plan to plant a U-pick pumpkin patch for local customers and expand their farm to provide more food to local food banks.
Photos by Joshua Huston