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Finding Farmlife at the market
Featured this week in What’s New at the Market is a business called Farmlife run by Whitney and Cody Bower, along with some help from their two sons. Orin is 8 and Jade is 4 years old. She says that for her Mother’s Day gift the boys and their father all went out and weeded her garden! Now that makes Mom happy!
Coming to the market started out with Whitney’s fantastic homemade foam soap. Her oldest son had eczema, so she was looking for something for sensitive skin and decided to try to make her own. She says the soap was just a pathway to get them to the market and her true heart lies in the gardening. She says with a chuckle that she wants to stop but, “Cody makes me keep doing the soap.” She agrees that it is a great product to have when the plant starts are not as abundant later in the season.
“My boys are the fifth generation in my family to live and farm on this property. The house we live in was built by my great-great grandpa,” Whitney said. Her great-grandpa was a dairy farmer, his name was Livingston and the property is up on River Road. “We are working on an acre of land,” she tells me. Her grandparents still are actively farming and live next door. She also is an avid canner and when she wants to put up her “25 gallons of berries” she calls in the grandparents and they get busy in the kitchen with her. She says they have taught her a lot.
Cody, her husband, is “super involved” though he does have to work a full-time job. She says, “It’s kind of crazy but we wear headlamps and go trim plants at night if that’s when we can get to it.” They also raise turkeys, chickens, rabbits and soon pigs. This is their third year doing honey and they have it for sale at the market.
The name Farmlife came to being because whenever anyone came by to see their place or visit they were put to work. Somehow a joke emerged that this the “Farmlife” and it stuck.
In Farmlife’s future Whitney sees the yard filled with greenhouses. She would like to have designated greenhouses for basil and tomatoes, and “all heirloom stuff.”
“I like everything about the heirloom varieties,” she tells me. “Ninety-five percent of what we are growing this year is an heirloom variety. We want to save all our own seed. That is a new goal for us. Aside from what we are selling at the market, at our home we are doing lots with heirloom varieties.”
The tomato start varieties she is selling at the market are Chocolate cherry, Stupice, Oregon Spring and Taxi, which is a yellow variety. These are all great growers in this area.
And she is sharing her gardening at Helen Haller Elementary School. This year she planted tomatoes with her son’s class at Helen Haller. “This is the first time we have done plants with the school. We have gone in and talked about bees and brought full screens to school so we could teach them about honey.” Last year they also brought pumpkins to the kids in the fall. “Little kids wave to me at the market and the parents wonder how they know me,” because they have met her in the classroom.
When I asked what she likes about the market, “Saturday is fun, the market is fun.” She says she has met lots of cool people, gotten lots of great recipes, for example a great lemon basil jam that is a big hit. “We like doing the market and it’s just once a week and it is all there, just once a week.”
This Saturday there will be a new soap for sale, Grapefruit Eucalyptus. These are great for folks with sensitive skin. She will have big basil plants, Thai basil, sweet basil and a purple frilly basil. Come talk to Whitney about each of these varieties.
In the greater community a big shout out and thank you to Chas Bridge and Angeles Concrete Products for donating time and materials to make our entrance pad off of Washington Street. It looks fantastic!
At the Community Booth we will be hosting Stitches from the Heart and the Rotary Club on May 17. On May 24 the Rotary Club will come again, come and get your ducks!
The music on May 17 will feature the much loved Buck Ellard. On May 24 Still Kickin’ will debut. Live music runs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
See you at the market.
Sequim Farmers Market
May 17 and 24
Open Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. through October
Centennial Place, downtown Sequim
Contacts: www.sequimmarket.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; 460-2668