The Food Connection: Spring is in the air!

When spring is in the air, our fancies turn to thoughts of love … as in, we sure do LOVE fresh radishes this time of year!

When spring is in the air, our fancies turn to thoughts of love … as in, we sure do LOVE fresh radishes this time of year!

When a friend mentioned finding radishes at a roadside produce stand near her house, it brought to mind one of the great pleasures of living in and around Sequim that we often take for granted — the numerous farm stands dotting the area offering fresh, locally grown produce well before the Sequim Farmers Market begins its season and providing insight into our local farming community.

We decided to spend last Saturday afternoon acquainting ourselves with a few of our local gems.

Our first stop was Sofie Farm on Evans Road, where we enjoyed learning about the proprietor’s great-grandfather who homesteaded the land in the 1800s and operated one of the area’s first dairy farms.

More recently, a larger-than-expected corn harvest from the family garden led to a crazy idea: Why not offer the excess bounty for sale?

The success of that venture led to a farm stand now stocked with spinach, radishes, tomato plants and more. Just follow the hand-painted white signs with red lettering advertising “organic produce.” You’re welcome.

Next we visited Nick’s Organic Garden, a charming farm stand on Sequim-Dungeness Way just south of the entrance to Sunland. The stand itself was chock full of fresh farm eggs, large bunches of beets and Swiss chard, even vegetable and herb starts.

The neatest item at Nick’s Organic Garden stand was the small chalkboard filled with notes and updates about what’s happening on the farm. Reading about their progress with this year’s flock of hens connects us with the farm’s daily routine while an informational sheet with tips for saving water during this summer’s drought connects the farm with the greater community.

After that, we visited some old friends at the Family Farm, located just past McDonald Creek on Old Olympic Highway. Though the greenhouses are bursting to the seams with gorgeous hanging baskets and flowers, most are pre-sold and the farm stand doesn’t have much to offer the public … yet.

Stop by a bit later in the season and you will be treated to a wide selection of flowers and flower arrangements, dahlias and fresh vegetables galore. A half-dozen hoop houses (and experienced growers) allow for the widest variety of local products available at just about any farm stand we know.

A short jaunt farther west on Old Olympic Highway is Johnston Farms, located on Heuslein Road. Christie and Kelly Johnston were recognized as “Farmers of the Year” by the North Olympic Land Trust in 2013 and are vendors at the Port Angeles Farmers Market.

At the entrance to the farm is a sign listing all the fresh items available at the stand, including spinach, lettuce and mixed greens, garlic, potatoes and eggs. The Johnstons grow a wide variety of crops throughout the season (Christie’s celery is a favorite!) and their farm stand provides regular access all year long. Current hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

As Saturday is their market day, the stand was closed. However, a detour to the Agnew Grocery for a bottle of wine from their wonderfully eclectic selection led to the happy discovery of fresh bags of Johnston Farms mixed greens in the cooler. Exactly what we were looking for!

There are many more farm stands out in and around our area; do yourself a favor and finally STOP at that stand you’ve driven by a hundred times. You won’t leave with just a bag of fresh delicious vegetables; you will leave with a feeling of connection to your community and possibly to people you haven’t even met.

That, friends, is our favorite way to “Eat well and be well.”



Lisa Boulware and Mark Ozias have been growing, processing, selling, purchasing, distributing, preparing and promoting locally-produced food in Sequim since 2004.