The Crows Farm
Among the many farms operating out of the Viva Farms Business Incubator Program is The Crows Farm, founded by Giana and Matthew Cioni in 2015. These two lovely souls traded the cold northeast winters of Burlington, Vermont for the lush, wet weather of Skagit Valley to pursue their dream of growing organic herbs, vegetables, and flowers. It’s a beautifully realized mission and a testament to the hard work and spirit of the emerging generation of farmers in our region.
Rewinding a few years, it’s easy to see how Giana and Matt make such a great pair. Giana graduated with a Nutrition and Food Systems degree, then went on to learn all she could on a Permaculture farm in Nicaragua. Meanwhile, Matthew enrolled in AmeriCorps’ conservation program in Vermont, worked as a state park ranger, and as a chef in an old Italian restaurant in Burlington. The two met while tending to the restaurant’s onsite garden, cultivating a love for the seasonal flavors they grew.
This mutual love for growing nutritionally rich food eventually pointed them to the Pacific Northwest, where they found the opportunity to lease their own farmland. In just a few years, they’ve grown to farm almost 70 acres of land, prioritizing protective and regenerative growing techniques to nourish the native soil. Their Oregon Tilth-certified organic produce is exquisite, including seasonal favorites like tomatoes, fennel, radicchio, winter squash, cabbage, and a wonderland of fresh herbs and flowers that also help to attract pollinators. Their selection of chives, rosemary, sage, tarragon, agretti, pimpinella, sculpit, winter savory—and Matthew’s favorite, summer savory—is truly stunning.
The name, “Crows” comes from a nickname for Matthew’s old AmeriCorps crew, but it also embraces another sentiment of welcoming. Crows can often be regarded as unwelcome pests, but with “The Crows Farm” as their name, Matthew and Giana have created a space for everyone by sharing their bounty with all who choose to be part of their story.