About The Blog & The Farm
In 2006, Tom Douglas and his wife and business partner, Jackie Cross bought a house with a little acreage in Prosser, Washington, in the lower Yakima Valley. It is 2½ hours east of Seattle, right smack in Washington wine country. At the time of the purchase, the chefs at Tom and Jackie’s bustling eateries were already using everything local they could get their hands on- including whole pigs and lambs, cheeses, foraged mushrooms, produce, and Washington wines- and the new Prosser Farm gave focus to closing the gap between the land, its producers, and the restaurants.
As Tom and Jackie converted about three of their 20 acres into irrigated vegetable garden, their dream and vision of a truly farm to table experience began to take shape. Truckloads of fresh produce began moving toward their Seattle destination as the sustainable farm headed inexorably towards organic certification.
Jackie is Farmer-in-Chief, with help from her Dad, Jim, who built all the raised beds, and her Dad’s wife, Sharon, who works the farm with a few support staff. Restaurant staff and their family and friends periodically make it over the mountains to work on the farm, visit local wineries, and enjoy a communal dinner.
After a few years struggling with the new farmer’s learning curve, our first big year of production was in 2010. On average, 2400 pounds of produce a week was trucked in from the farm for distribution to all the Tom Douglas Restaurants. Perfect beet greens, baby rainbow chard leaves, beautiful crisp heads of lolla rossa, and lush bunches of spicy red and white radishes are the first to show up in our restaurant kitchens. Later in the season, the Seattle-bound truck is filled with sweet apricots, ripe heirloom tomatoes, and a small mountain of spicy peppers and eggplants, irrigated by the Cascade Mountains’ snow-melt and ripened in the hot Eastern Washington sunshine.
Jackie works closely with the chefs when choosing which crops to plant each year. From the late spring until early fall, the fruits and vegetables from Prosser appear everywhere on our menus- from the tomatoes in Lola’s Greek salad to the roasted peppers on Serious Pie’s pizza. Some of our chefs have started canning and preserving in order to keep Prosser Farm produce on their winter menus.
In addition, Prosser Farm has been the site for our annual all-staff party, Beast Feast, for Press Club wine dinners, and other Wine Country events.