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Farmers

Fall 2005

Bounty on the bluff

The small farming community of Green Bluff lies nestled in the foothills of Mt. Spokane. Its bucolic setting belies the fact that it’s just 15 miles north of Spokane. Take a meandering drive around “the Bluff,” and you’ll pass by dozens of family farms, each with its own roadside fruit stand. Stop at any one for fresh fruit and locally made jam, wine, cider, pie, and other harvest bounty.

Green Bluff has been a production area for fruit, berries, and vegetables since the early 1900s. Back then, farmers could ship their produce from a nearby rail station to customers clear back in Eastern cities. Many … » More …

Summer 2005

Asparagus

Toppenish-area farmer Kevin Bouchey has an affinity for asparagus, which his family has been growing since 1979. “It’s a funny crop,” says Bouchey, who also farms wheat and potatoes. “In a given farm year, you usually grow a plant and then harvest the crop later. Asparagus is kind of backwards. But it’s a fun crop to raise.”

Asparagus is harvested in the spring, when its first shoots come through the earth, long before the plant has the benefit of maturing.

Asparagus officianalis comes from the lily family, along with leeks, garlic, and onions. It was first cultivated 2,500 years ago, and throughout history has been … » More …

Spring 2006

Farming in the rain

Farming in the Skokomish River Valley can be a challenge, what with 60 to 80 inches of rain a year. One year, Hunter Farms’s pumpkin fields flooded, the pumpkins bobbing like buoys on a temporary sea. Fortunately, the river receded in time for families across the South Puget Sound region to visit Hunter Farms and cart home their pumpkins.

One of the Hunter family cousins has a letter written by Isaac Woods soon after he arrived in the valley from Iowa in the 1880s. Apologizing that he couldn’t repay the $8.00 he’d borrowed from the recipient of the letter to move west, he complained about … » More …