Faces Of The Olympia Farmers Market – Kirsop Farm

kirsop farm
Genine Barricklow in the Kirsop Farm field. The local farmers are expanded to a 40-acre tract in Rochester.


By Mary Ellen Psaltis

Edward Jones Block AdOn any given day, Wendy Clark will be up to her elbows in something. It might be dirt on Thursdays as she tends the fields at Kirsop Farm. On Saturdays and Sundays, she showers off the dirt and talks about white beets and Kirsop’s produce at the Olympia Farmers Market. Farm life overflows into her kitchen throughout the spring and summer as she mixes boxes of strawberries into jam and turns garlic scapes into jars of lively pesto. In between, fresh asparagus were pickled. Crops rotate though their house with the seasons – ending sometime in the fall with 140 pounds of apples transforming into applesauce that will hopefully last until next autumn.

kirsop farms
Wendy Clark sells Kirsop Farm radishes at the Olympia Farmers Market.

“I’m not one to sit very long,” laughed Clark. Her love of gardening led her to become a Master Gardener. Currently a Master Gardener Intern, she will complete her volunteer hours and become fully certified this year.  That means you might find her at Dirt Works or a Food Bank garden.

A significant part of her week involves homeschooling her son, Ryan, now a junior in high school.  And, her 20 month-old grandson also gets a significant portion of her time. When she does have the opportunity to stop or sit for a moment, Clark knits hats for babies and shawls for those in need.

Clark’s heartfelt desire to be an integral part of a farm has taken a huge step forward.  Along with her family, she is preparing to move into a large farm house on a 40-acre tract of land trust in Rochester.  Kirsop owners and farmers Colin Bradwin and Genine Barricklow are leasing the land and will begin to develop these fields over the next few years. It’s a huge project for everyone.

Currently the fields used by Kirsop are all within Tumwater. Over time, the acreage near Rochester will allow them to consolidate operations. In the meantime, you can continue to dine on the quality produce that has been the hallmark of the farm since 1996.

Not only are their vegetables organic but Barricklow has a passion for aesthetic presentation. We take “extra time and care with cutting and bunching.  We want it just right,” says Barricklow. One look at their market stand says it all. It’s lovely – and edible.  Besides delicious produce, you can also get flowers like zinnias, snapdragons and sunflowers this year, a result of growing wedding flowers for a friend that turned into more flowers for everyone. Barricklow loves her farming life, though the days are long and demanding.

kirsop farm
Genine Barricklow in the Kirsop Farm field. The local farmers are expanded to a 40-acre tract in Rochester.

Kirsop is dedicated to food that is clean, safe and healthy. Twice a year the farm sells whole chickens raised on the farm. The next harvest/sale date is September 30. It’s not too soon to order your holiday turkey, weighing either 8 or 16 pounds (approximately). The sale date for turkeys is November 18.  Both turkeys and chickens are available for ordering now.  You will also find fabulous seasonal recipes on their website.

Both Wendy Clark and Genine Barricklow are women of all seasons. Both have a trove of information ready for curious eaters and seasoned veggie consumers. As Barricklow told me, when I inquired what’s ripe for harvest that right now, “almost everything!” Visit the Kirsop stall at the Olympia Farmers Market, learn out about farm share boxes, breathe in the beauty and take home a bag of homegrown ‘anything.’ It’s easy to add a few more amazing vegetables into your daily routines. Just ask Wendy!

Wendy’s Jam Making Tip: Use Pomona Universal Pectin for significantly less sugar and greater berry flavor.

Kirsop Farm products can be enjoyed at local businesses including Ralph’s ThriftwayBayview Thriftway, both Olympia Co-Ops, and Acqua Via.

Eat Well – Be Well.


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