This week we’re launching the first in a series of interviews with our wonderful market vendors. Our hope is that you will read their story, feel more connected to them, and share a little of your life with them in return. Community: That’s the beauty of the Farmers’ Market…. wouldn’t you agree? (Meet Deerfield Farms below.)
|FRESH THIS WEEK: Strawberries, Zucchini, Garlic Scapes, New Potatoes, Carrots, Beets, Cabbage, Rhubarb, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Shallots, Baby Kohlrabi, Radicchio, Lettuce, Arugula, Salad Mixes, Mustard Greens, Mizuna, Sugar Snap Peas, Shelling Peas, Sweet Peas, Snow Peas, Spinach, Radishes, (Cherries on Wednesday), Heirloom Tomatoes, Cilantro, Dill, Basil, Green Onions, Chives, Kale, Swiss Chard, Sunflowers, Plant Starts, Fresh Flowers.|
Live Music Featuring:
Saturday: Scott Reid
Wednesday: Jim Cale
Meet Jerry and Susan Petrina, Deerfield Farms
How did you get into tomato farming?
into the tomato farming life. Jerry had been doing research, asking produce managers and such, that, and my love of tomatoes are the reasons we went full tomato. We bought a “package greenhouse deal” complete with marketing (which we never used) and an on call horticulturalist, who we called a LOT those first few years.
We grew a hybrid red beefsteak style tomato that first year, and we had them piled up high, gave them to everyone we knew, fed peoples pigs etc. we had so many. Then we were approached by Alan, from the Rocket Market in Spokane, and he asked us if we’d ever considered growing heirlooms, so we tried one bed as an experiment. They were definitely more challenging, however we were hooked!!!! Each year the heirloom population grew and the hybrid population shrank. The hybrid’s do have a following, though so we continue to grow them (they are tasty, too)
We thought we were on our way, then in 2008 we had the surprise of our 4th child, Andrew. Tragically, he also had SMA. We had the privilege of parenting him for 2 years. His care took most of my time and energy, so Jerry stepped in (along with an amazing community of people) to care for & shuttle our 2 children, Harrison and Patricia, manage the household, oh and carry on the farming…….the greenhouse received the least attention, even with the help of friends it suffered, so that when Andrew went to be with the Lord we were facing bankruptcy.
Jerry’s Favorite Tomato:Jerry’s favorite is the San Marzano, no contest. The San Marzano is sweet,
tender, no core, thin skin. He’ll eat it straight and loves them on sandwiches etc. I love to cook them and make pasta sauce and salsa out of them. That is the fun and beauty of heirloom tomatoes – they are so unique in color, shape and flavor (like people!)
Power of Produce (PoP) Club for kids!
Operated by the Inland Northwest Food Network, the program seeks to encourage children to make healthy food choices by empowering them to shop for, grow and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables. Children between the ages of 5-12 are eligible to participate in the program free of charge. Each week club members will receive a token worth $2 to purchase a fresh fruit, vegetable or plant at participating farmer booths at the market, or they can choose to save their tokens to buy a larger item such as a fruit tree.
This Week’s Activity: It’s a surprise (but we promise it will be fun)!