Crystie Kisler of Finnriver Farm & Cidery in Chimacum is creating a “gratitude walk,” a short stroll dotted with messages that give thanks for the land and waters surrounding the place. The walk is open to the public this weekend. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Crystie Kisler of Finnriver Farm & Cidery in Chimacum is creating a “gratitude walk,” a short stroll dotted with messages that give thanks for the land and waters surrounding the place. The walk is open to the public this weekend. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Finnriver offers soup and gratitude

Verse, art and apples mark special walk this weekend

CHIMACUM — Out among the 6,000 apple trees, there’s no shortage of inspiration. So Crystie Kisler, cofounder of Finnriver Farm & Cidery, is dishing it up in edible and visual form.

Starting Friday, Finnriver will have free bowls of house-made soup alongside a “gratitude walk,” a short stroll dotted with messages about the land and waters which provide nourishment on the North Olympic Peninsula.

The soup-share and the stroll continue Friday through Sunday at Finnriver, 124 Center Road, with bowls available to go at the Cider Garden entryway takeout counter. The nonprofit Chimacum Center ( is sponsoring the soup.

The gratitude walk, with its panels bearing verse by Washington state poet laureate Rena Priest, a Thanksgiving meditation and other messages written to inspire, takes only about 10 minutes to do, Kisler said. Yet she and local artists have imbued it with images — and sound.

The Watershed Bell, a creation of the late Tom Jay of Chimacum, stands near the apple orchard. It will be a stop on the gratitude walk, and yes, “you can ring out your gratitude,” Kisler said.

Also standing near the pathway is Kira Mardikes’ large painting of a tree bearing apples, birds and the words “for the Love of land/the art of Farming/the Spirit of Community.”

Saturday and Sunday, a small flock of local artists will appear in person at Finnriver for the Haybarn Harvest Fair, selling handmade goods from noon to 5:30 p.m. both days. This is the first holiday craft fair of its kind at the farm, Kisler said.

In addition, an annual event will take place in Finnriver’s Cider Garden all weekend long: the Community Bowls project.

From noon to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, farm-crafted soup will be available along with locally made ceramic bowls — from potters at Laughing Gnome Pottery, Center Valley Pottery and Millbrook Clayworks — for a donation.

The suggested amount is $25. All proceeds will support local food access and indigenous food sovereignty, specifically the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Traditional Foods Program. Sunrise Rotary is cosponsoring this project, which is in its third year.

Vaccination is not required to visit the Haybarn Harvest Fair or explore the gratitude walk. Proof of full immunization against COVID-19 is necessary for dine-in and sit-down service at the Cider Garden, Finnriver’s restaurant.

The venue also has live music by Ranger and the Re-Arrangers from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from folksinger Kristen Marlo from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The gratitude walk idea was inspired by author Katy Bowman’s event at the farm earlier this year, Kisler said. Bowman did a book signing for her latest work, “Grow Wild,” and posted panels with excerpts from it out in Finnriver’s field.

Kisler wanted to mix movement with gratitude, and Bowman lent her the panels to make it happen.

On one of them is Priest’s poem, “Tour of a Salmonberry”:

A salmonberry is a

luminous spiral,

a golden basket,

woven of sunshine,

water, and birdsong.

I’m told that the birds

sing so sweet because

of all the berries they eat

and that is how you

can have a sweet voice too.


Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or

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