Jim Huyett is one of the original venders at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market on Sundays. Since 1997 Sunnyside Farms and Orchard has been attending the market and serving the community; Huyett said he was one of the first, and one of the few left since then.
Over the years the products produced by Huyett’s farm have changed according to consumer demand. Originally an apple and peach farm, Sunnyside has harvested every vegetable and fruit imaginable said Huyett.
“We’ve done cattle, we’ve done sheep,” Huyett explained. He recalls that during World War II, his family converted the farm to an all-vegetable farm because that was the product in high demand. These days, “cheap” is what’s in demand, Huyett said. At one point he said he used to grow “these fancy French beans” but at $12 a pound, no one buys them.
Sunnyside Farm now produces a variety of fresh condiments, soups, jams and more, which they sell weekly in addition to the fresh produce for sale. Sunnyside Farm has been in the Huyett family for five generations
It is a sustainable farm, but not organic. In current economic times, Huyett says he can’t take chances in not using minor pesticides to keep away invading insects and possibly allow for the destruction of an entire crop.
Sunnyside Farm probably wont be around for much longer. Huyett has no plans of passing it along in the same way he inherited it. Like much of the farmland in West Virginia, Sunnyside will likely be sold in the coming years and the land will be used for development.
Crops in the United States do not provide as good of a livelihood as they once did. And consumers no longer want to pay for quality produce, rather they gravitate to the cheaper products, most often, a lower quality mass-produced product.