We asked Chris & Sarah Reckards to tell us about themselves and their family farm, Love’s Gathering Farm.
Tell us about yourselves: We met at a health food store in Idaho that we later co-managed together, sparking the beginning of our family and herbal farming adventures! We are now a small family farm located in Paulden where we practice regenerative farming, which supports the dynamic health of the soil, and produces vibrant food and medicine for our local community. Inspired by our love of Nature and the web of life, we strive to provide the best nutrient-dense, chemical-free veggies, flowers and medicinals possible.
How long have you been in business? We’ve been in business as Love’s Gathering Farm for about 7 years.
How long have you been a vendor at PFM? We started vending at PFM earlier this year! It’s been a rough summer with pests and hail damage, so we’ve not been able to attend every week, but we are recovering and plan to be at market most Saturdays.
What do you sell, generally speaking? At Love’s Gathering Farm booth you’ll find fresh veggies, flowers, potted plants, herbal tinctures and salve. When in season, we also glean citrus fruit from spray-free locations in the valley, providing a local source of delicious fruit during the winter months.
How would you describe one of your products to someone who has never tried it before? All of our products are fresh, vibrant and potent. We invite customers to stop by and visit with us to discuss our products, especially our tinctures and salves. Our Farm-To-Bottle herbal extracts are hand-made in small batches utilizing our herbs, organic sugar cane alcohol, and infused with positive intention for your well-being.
How do your products differ from store bought products? We pick our greens the day prior to market and process them gently to insure a quality product that will keep it’s freshness, taste and nutrition longer.
How do you typically prepare to attend the market? Early in the week we spend time pressing, bottling and labeling fresh tinctures. Then it’s off to the races on Friday with harvesting everything early and quickly: washing, bagging, chilling–it’s quite a process! Making bouquets is the final fun task of the day on Fridays. Then Saturday morning it’s off to the market. Usually one of us attends market along with our teenage son, Sam, as seen above with Sarah. We do all this while juggling our family of 7 and the crazy-town that ensues!
Do you vend at other markets? Which one(s)? No, we don’t vend at at other markets. Our products are only available at the Prescott Farmers Market.
What is your top selling product? Our salad greens mix is always a top seller.
What is special about your business? What sets you apart? We are a Farm-To-Bottle Apothecary that hand-crafts each formula from seed to bottle.
What are your business plans for the future? We hope to improve our diversity of offerings at market including tea and seeds, then expand into teaching classes on growing, medicine making, and permaculture.
Why is supporting local agriculture and business important to you? By choosing local sources for food and other necessities we are keeping resources here at home, supporting families directly and away from corporations and other parties that care only about profits. It’s important to us to vote with our dollars for humanity’s bright future!
What is your favorite product to buy from another PFM vendor? We love samosas from Safari Samosas– they are so delicious and organic!
What is your favorite market memory? Being told by multiple return customers that our greens stayed fresh for two weeks!
What else would you like customers to know about you and your business? We are committed to regenerative farming practices that builds soil biology and we will never use toxic chemicals. Farming is never simple and you’ll never find us taking the easy way out. Although we have had our share of unfortunate events this year, we are still very blessed and have it way better than so many people in this world. We like to serve others and let them enjoy the bounty as well.
How can customers stay in touch? Visit our website or email if you like, and of course, visit us in person, Saturdays at PFM.