The recent damp weather has postponed the local strawberry crop. Strawberry Shortcake is the standard Father’s Day dessert, and it won’t happen this year, at least not if you want to use local strawberries. Now, you may be tempted into buying imported strawberries, out of desperation to cling to tradition. Do not do this. You will be disappointed. Patience is virtue and there are many other scrumptious desserts to be had for graduation parties and Fathers Day. Ignore the siren call of those plump supermarket strawberries. They have been bred for good looks and the ability to withstand traveling long distances. Save your taste buds for the real thing, and you will be rewarded. I promise to let you know as soon as the Spooner Strawberries arrive at the Hoquiam Farmers Market.

Nancy is busy baking pies and other superb delicacies in the market kitchen, I recommend that you let her worry about dessert for Father’s Day. In fact, just about all of the perfect meal ingredients for Dad can be found at the market! Fresh Oysters from Lytle’s, handcrafted sausage from Anthony, secret blend Salsa from Gringo Joe. Most dads prefer a backyard BBQ and some well deserved hammock time on their day of recognition. You know that the most precious gift he can receive is your love and presence in his life. Especially if you take charge of the BBQ and let him totally relax. You know his favorite beverage, be sure to have plenty chilling in the cooler. Pamper the man and keep mom out of the kitchen.
It’s a double bonus- two contented parents, glowing in the realization that the kids turned out pretty darned good after all.

We see a lot of young parents in the Farmers Market, and love knowing that they are committed to seeking out fresh and nutritious foods and natural products. We refer to our ‘market babies’, sometimes using them as testers for new products. Chelsea is waiting to hear if her new lino-blocked baby bibs will withstand the rigors of spilled food and numerous washings. Pat has created the finest and most adorable flannel diapers, a triumph of eco-sound engineering. These are not your old fashioned simple square piece of cloth. Nope, these are form fitted, padded, and made with a discreet pocket which contains a super absorbent all-cotton removable pad. Aside from being amazingly cute, they are so practical- invest in a few of these and the savings on disposable diapers will benefit the family budget. The environmental impact of not adding more difficult to degrade waste to the landfill will have long term effects. Babies don’t want to create messes. Neither do teenagers, for that matter, but it is a natural part of growing up.

Looking for a Father’s Day gift that will really make an impression? How about giving dad a plot at the Hoquiam Community Garden? For only $10.00 you get a lovely pre-tilled and organically fertilized garden spot! How to improve upon this gift? Tell dad that you promise to work with him to make the garden flourish. A parent/child enterprise! You probably haven’t had a project to work on together since Cub Scout days. The two of you can decide upon which veggies to plant- put in some starters that have been lovingly tended by our market garden experts, and you have instant progress. The garden is open to anyone, you don’t have to be a Hoquiam resident. Give Tracy Wood a call and reserve dad’s garden! She is available at the City of Hoquiam, 532-5700, ext. 240.

Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Hoquiam Farmers Market and Deidra’s Deli, located at 1958 Riverside. Open 5 days a week