The Cranberry Harvest Festival opens Saturday morning at 10am and closes at 4pm on Sunday. Cranberries love our climate and soil, flourishing here and in other very select areas around the country. Most people will never have the chance to learn more about cranberry cultivation, their only close encounter with a cranberry being the bag on the grocery store shelf or a can of sauce. Make time to sign up for a Bog Tour so that you can learn more about this native plant that has become a part of the American culture. You will impress and amaze your friends by becoming an expert about cranberries, and it’s fascinating stuff to learn. Naturally there will be fine food available, including from our own Nancy Lachel. She has found amazing ways to showcase cranberries in her cooking, examples of which have been personally tasted by me and marked with my seal of rapturous approval. I know- it’s a tough job. Somebody has to do it.
Several years ago we experienced an unusual October very much like the unexpected warm and dry that has been surprising us each day so far. Believe it or not, we traipsed out to the surf in shorts that year! Sometimes I wonder if I only imagined that. But even more spectacular were the Northern Lights that pulsated along the horizon after sunset. It was a first for me, something I will never forget. It’s easy to get so caught up in the pursuit of the wily razor clam that the beauty of the surroundings fade from my attention, but even on the coldest, windiest, rainiest day of digging I always pause to turn and contemplate the beach as we leave. Razor Clams are only one of the gifts that we reap from the ocean, it seems fitting to take a moment to give it our respect and thanks.
The abundance of food that we are able to harvest is overwhelming. The rivers are open now for salmon fishing and fisherfolk are clogging the riverbanks and boat ramps. If you don’t fish yourself, I recommend that you make friends with someone who does. Salmon is a delicacy in any part of the world and here we have it swimming upstream in our own back yard. Yet another gift from the ocean.
Back at the market I can pick up a package of Anthony’s Smoked Salmon, a handful of cranberry cookies, scoop fresh picked cranberries out of the bin, and head home to a dinner of either line caught salmon or deer steak. Life on Grays Harbor, a gastronomic delight!
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Grays Harbor Farmers Market in Hoquiam. Open 7 days a week. 538-9747
Deidra’s Deli will be open this Sunday, but then will be closed on Sundays until next Spring. That still leaves you with 6 days of each week to savor her sandwiches and soups- call 538-5880 to place an order!
Grays Harbor Public Market