Hoquiam Farmers Market News – Mother’s Day Edition

Or you can bring her the one gift that she prizes above all else. The gift of your time. Because this is the ultimate Mother’s Day gift. Taking the time to be with your mom is worth more than any ‘thing’ that you could possibly buy for her. If you live too far away, make her a solemn promise to call her once a week. Send her photos of your children. No children? Send photos of your dog or cat! Include her in your life. It doesn’t matter what you talk about- she wants to hear it all!!! If your own mother is gone, I guarantee that there is another mother that you can make very happy. Maybe a neighbor or someone that you work with. Mother’s Day is a day meant for kindness. Mother’s Day spans all cultures, relationships, religions, or backgrounds. Just be kind.

Mother’s Day has long been the official beginning of gardening season. The danger of frost is finally past, and the time has arrived to till the soil, plant the seeds and put out the flowers! Our strawberry plants are full of flowers, I’m already imagining the bounty that they’ll provide. Judy Hanson is our resident Farmers Market expert on growing tomatoes. What Judy doesn’t know about tomatoes isn’t worth knowing. She has nurtured 22 varieties of tomatoes from seed, and they will move from her garden to the shelves in our garden enclosure this week. There is a high demand for Judy’s tomato plants, and she has provided a catalogue which describes in exquisite detail the particular qualities of each succulent variety of tomato available. She has plants that grow really big, plants that grow to a certain size and no larger, container tomatoes, garden tomatoes, Cherry tomatoes, tomatoes that ripen in only 6 weeks, and the almost impossible to find, an actual Heirloom Tomato. This one is called Campbell’s 33. Keep in mind, these are tomatoes that have been proven to grow in our fickle climate. You certainly don’t want to have a tomato plant in your garden that was raised in a greenhouse in Georgia. It won’t be happy in Grays Harbor. Once again, we strive for happiness, whether it is a happy tomato plant or a happy child!

If you are too busy to have a garden of your own, do not despair! You are not doomed to buy your produce from a grocery store, left wondering whether it is pesticide free and safe for your family to eat. Of course, we will have the very best local produce available at the Market as it gradually appears in the gardens, but you do have another option. We are fortunate to have 2 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms that will deliver weekly boxes of fresh organic produce to drop points in Grays Harbor. This is a fairly new concept in small commercial gardening. You join the program for the season, which runs from mid-June until mid-October. You pay a set price, opting for the large family size weekly box, or a smaller 2 person box. Each week you pick up your box, overflowing with gorgeous produce. The box will contain whatever is in season and at it’s best. Then you have the fun of building your menus around the box of goodies! Both of the local CSA Farms have loads of information on their websites, or you can stop by the market and we will be happy to tell you more. Type in Helsing Junction Farm or Zepp Farm and read about this fantastic way to bring the best farmgrown products directly into your home.

After all, didn’t your mother always tell you to eat plenty of veggies?
Mother was right, be sure to tell her so.

Barbara Bennett Parsons, produce manager at the Hoquiam Farmers Market, soup taster for Deidra’s Deli -located at 1958 Riverside. 538-9747