Farmers market springs up in new spot in Chimacum
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Jamie Simmer of Tacoma, left, receives change after buying tomato plants from Janet Aubin, right, at the Finnriver Farm and Cidery booth. At left is Joe Campe, who also works at the farm. Simmer and friend Jeff Court were driving home after camping at Fort Townsend State Park when they saw the market and stopped. -- Photo by Jennifer Jackson/Peninsula Daily News

By JENNIFER JACKSON
Peninsula Daily News

CHIMACUM -- Malcolm Dorn isn't sure yet what the name of a store selling local agriculture products at the intersection of Highway 19 and Chimacum Road will be.

But he knows what it will feature: Food From Here.

"That's our tag line," Dorn said.

Dorn, a Port Townsend business owner, and Phil Vogelzang, owner of the Chimacum Valley farm made famous by Betty MacDonald's "The Egg and I," are leasing the corner property and subleasing it to the Chimacum Farmers Market, Dorn said.

Sales space during week

They also are planning on opening a store in the building on the site to offer local farmers a place to sell products during the week, Dorn said.

"I've been watching Chimacum for a long time, seeing it go down when the dairies pulled out," Dorn said.

"Now, new, young farmers are bringing a new energy. Having a place for that to come together is a good thing.

"It's their neighborhood."

More space, more parking, easier access on and off the highway and better visibility is what the corner location is bringing to the Chimacum Farmers Market, which started two years ago at the parking lot of the local grange across from Chimacum Schools.

Now, with its opening Sunday at the new location, the corner is convenient for local growers, most of whose farms are right up the road.

"It was good," said Janet Aubin, who works at Finnriver Farm and Cidery, off Center Valley Road. "We gathered this morning, then were here in only five minutes."

Karyn Williams, owner of neighboring Red Dog Farm on Center Road, was even closer.

Coming the farthest were Dave and Sam Crossley, who live on Herrick Road on the upper Elwha.

The Crossleys also sell at the Sequim Farmers Market, Dave said, to bring in their Elwha Apiary honey.

The trip to Chimacum took about an hour, he said.

Closer to home were Les Richards, a retired Chimacum shop teacher who grows garlic and onions near Port Hadlock, and Richard and Carmen Hart Tracer, formerly of Port Angeles, who sell hanging baskets, bouquets and cut flowers grown on their Marrowstone Island property, Green Gable Gardens.

Jan Gillander of Jacob's Fleece Farm in Quilcene gave a demonstration of spinning, as did Karen Rose of Rosebud Fiber Studio, who raises llamas and alpacas near Port Townsend.

Other products for sale were grilled oysters from Mystery Bay, grass-fed angus beef from Roger Short's farm on Center Road, cheese from Whiskey Hill Goat Dairy near Cape George, cider from Eaglemont Cidery west of Chimacum and produce from Wildwood Farm, Peace Sign Farm and Old Tarboo Farm in Quilcene and Dharma Ridge Farm in Chimacum.



Crystie Kisler of Finnriver Farm and Cidery off Center Road said the market's new location underscores the revitalization of agriculture in the area.

"This is an announcement to the world when you drive through on the highway that we grow food here,'" Kisler said.

"You notice that there's no sign here that says "Chimacum.

"But you'll know it's Chimacum."

Michael Meza helped set up the market, then sold recycled poly-cotton shopping bags with the Chimacum Farmers Market logo, a fundraiser for the market, which is open from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Sundays through October.

For more information, phone 360-379-9098.

O'Donnell is also manager of the Port Townsend Farmers Market.

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Port Townsend/Jefferson County Reporter-Columnist Jennifer Jackson can be reached at 360-379-5688 or jjackson@olypen.com.

Last modified: May 16. 2010 10:57PM
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