Let’s jump for joy as we acknowledge the dedication and energy our local farmers maintain to provide us with fresh vegetables, herbs and botanicals. Humble Stump Farm and Alamere Herbs & Botanicals, two newer vendors at the Olympia Farmers Market, work throughout the week to grow and then deliver just-picked produce and native plants for culinary and medicinal uses. Add to this the ability to use Fresh Bucks at either location means your dollars go twice as far.
Fran Janny and Aaron Buechel own and operate Humble Stump Farm. A single acre of land supplies twenty CSA’s and vibrant produce for their market stall. Their plot may be small in scale, but is greatly diverse in the kinds of produce that are grown. It is done without chemicals. Janny appreciates how many different skills it takes to run a farm. There’s biology and mechanics, weather awareness and a lot of labor. “It’s a varied career,” she says. The beauty of buying directly from the farmer is that she was involved every step of the way. When you have questions, Janny will help you.
John Kemp, owner and operator of Alamere Herbs and Botanicals, tends to five acres. There are over 50 varieties of plants that he cultivates and carries to the market. His active lifestyle, including sports and hiking, led him in the farming direction. Kemp found that herbs could be useful for treating muscle soreness and joint pain and helping to heal cuts and scrapes. “Growing things was exciting,” he explains. “I decided I wanted to explore it.”
The focus at this time is on growing plants but Kemp is looking for more time to make products for body care and first aid. In the meantime, you have lots of plants to use yourself. Popular sellers are Echinacea and Arnica. People also like native plants like thimbleberry and salmon berries.
Kemp likes everything about being at the market. He can give you tips on growing your plants and ways to use them for your culinary arts or medicinal arts. Remember, you can use your Fresh Bucks here, too.
I’m enamored with my weekly CSA box. First I spread it on the kitchen counter to admire the colorful bounty. Menus for the week come to mind. Then it’s time to prep as much as I can. It’s sad to let your lovely produce wither in the refrigerator. Food that is ready for a salad or stir-fry is much likelier to end up on your plate. It’s the season for stellar produce. Eat up.
For more information, visit the Olympia Farmers Market website.
Eat Well – Be Well