BY SALLY GRACIE
The gray clouds glowered to the west for most of the morning. Now, just past 2 p.m. this Monday, a nice shower – heavier than most in recent days – is subsiding. My grass (such as it is) is green, as are my flowers, which are very tall besides. It’s a pleasant, damp 62 degrees.
As the weather this June has been so cool and the skies so cloudy, I wondered how the market farmers’ crops are doing. From my uneducated perspective, this has seemed not a very good year for growing crops, especially tomatoes.
Willie Getz, Methow Valley Farmers Market master for close to 20 years, doesn’t see this season as out-of-the-ordinary.
“She’s just nature doing her thing,” he says of our weather. In fact, after two years when May barely logged temperatures above 60, Getz says this spring has been warmer. It’s also been a little drier (the early snow melt has something to do with that). There have been more variations in the weather, according to Getz.
Linda Knight concurs with Getz, telling me that this spring has been warmer, especially the warm spells last month. Hardest on her plants was the short period of extreme temperature changes in May. For two nights temperatures in her Hoot ’n’ Holler garden fell to 26 degrees, followed quickly by a spell of 85-degree days.
Knight’s stall wins my vote as most inviting and artistic since Carolyn Haugen’s. It turns out that Knight uses several wooden flats that she bought from Haugen at one of her yard sales, and some of her hardy perennials come from Haugen’s plants. A botanist who also gardens, Knight specializes in flowering plants, hardy perennials and bouquets. Stop by her booth to see the “Fairy Garden” she created.
As to the tomatoes, Knight’s are “doing great, 2 feet tall,” and a customer told her Saturday that the plants he bought from her have little green tomatoes on them. As long as the temperature stays above 55 at night, we’ll be okay, she says.
Joyce Campbell was at last Saturday’s market, advertising her husband Bernie Bigelow’s guitar repair and design business, (509) 923-2057. Campbell also had four of Bigelow’s box drums, or cajons, for sale. The neat thing about the cajon is that you sit right on it to play it. Campbell herself is pretty good on these drums, as was the young man who came by and got some subtle rhythms going.