Have you come across the term ‘CSA’ lately? Community Supported Agriculture Farms, are now signing up customers for Summer and Fall weekly food deliveries. This is a newish movement in the push toward wholesome food and non-factory small farms. Grays Harbor is, naturally, on the cutting edge of this phenomena, and the Hoquiam Farmers Market supports all types of local food production, so here’s the skinny on how the system works.
You sign up for buying a box or more of fresh food for the entire growing season, usually June through September. You are given a wide range of options, depending upon the size of your family, and you pay for the entire season up front. This allows the farmer to grow the right amount of food and also provides the financial security of pre-sold crops. The buyer can either pick up their orders from the farm ( road trip!) or from a designated delivery location in town. The contents of the box vary according to the food that is ready to harvest. Always fresh, always tasty- it’s a fantastic way to try out veggies that you have always been curious about. Be adventurous!
CSA farms in our area are Zepp Farms in McCleary www.zeppfarm.com or phone 360.701.7586, and Helsing Junction Farm http://www.helsingfarmcsa.com in Rochester, phone (360) 273-2033.
Now that your mouth is watering for tender fresh produce, how about planning for your own garden? Soon we’ll have a burst of sunny, dry days and you’ll want to be ready to dash out into the garden fully prepared. I’m trying out some new things this year. I happen to love beets, but my husband doesn’t care for them. No longer is that going to stop me! I’m planting beets. Cooking two veggies is not going to push me over the edge, for heavens sakes. I’m also giving Leeks a try. I love cooking with them, why haven’t I ever grown them myself? More herbs are definitely going in this year, and chives. Potatoes always do well, and we’ll be getting in Yellow Finn seed potatoes from Lubbe Farms this week. The best potato in the world!
Right now we are getting in small amounts of locally grown greenhouse lettuce, kale, cilantro and sage. If one of our vendors makes a pilgrimage over to Yakima, Asparagus will be the next fresh crop. From then on we will have more and more local food available. No, we will not buy imported produce! It has to come from Washington or we won’t sell it. I’m always looking for more sources of great local products, and we have a new farmer from Kirkland who will be joining us later this Spring. We are pleased and flattered that they chose our market .
Thank goodness for Daffodils! Their bright blooms have made the recent grey days seem hopeful, and the Satsop Bulb Farm is keeping us well supplied with daffodils of every variety. A trip to the Bulb Farm is always a treat, but when you are short on time and want to save your gas, stop by the Hoquiam Farmers Market, prices are the same as at the farm. Look for a fresh delivery by this afternoon!
Here at home our Trilliums are now blooming, and we shall see if the deer leave them alone this year. Deer are finicky creatures and have the ability to daintily nibble the flower from the center, leaving the bitter leaves intact. Deer are also very lazy, so my other favorite, the tiny Johnny Jump Up, rarely gets touched. They grow so close to the ground that the deer would have to stoop very low. Like I said, lazy. One year I dug up a clump and put them in a planter. For one entire day they sat on my outside table looking lovely. Then the resident deer discovered that I had thoughtfully placed a delicacy for them at grazing level, and that was the last of the little Johnny Jump Ups.
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Hoquiam Farmers Market, at 1958 Riverside. Ph. 532-9747 Now open 6 days a week! Our only closed day is Tuesday, by summer we’ll be open 7 days a week!