Come with me to Fir Island for a moment, will you? First, do you even know where Fir Island is? It’s about an hour north of Seattle and if you’re headed out to Anacortes or LaConner, depending on the way you go, you’ll likely drive through it. For my family, Fir Island is marked by the most gorgeous old farmhouses and fields upon fields of agriculture. My husband and I often load up the kids, crank the music up loud in the back, and just drive, talking about the homes we like and everything else we don’t normally get to mention.
A few nights ago, I met up with Angelica Hayton at her farm. What a cool girl. Not only is she 5th generation farmer, but she’s also super easy to talk with, you know- the kind of person you’d want to be friends with AND buy berries from!
I came home with dirty feet, a few more freckles, strawberry juice under my nails and a perma-grin on my face.
We walked the farm (well, only part of it, since it’s literally over 1000 acres!) and we talked a lot about Hayton Farms new partnership with New Seasons Market in Mercer Island . We are so fortunate to live in an area where our local farmers supply the stores and the way New Seasons seeks after local growers is awesome. Hurry in SOON and grab some of these berries.
One of the things that impressed me the most about Hayton Farms (besides this incredible view of Mount Baker!), is the standard of quality they have. All of the berries are either Certified Organic, or transitional, which means they’re being grown with organic practices and they’re well on their way to being certified. With all of this sunshine, the raspberries are ripening quickly and they are FANTASTIC. I know this because yes, I was picking, eating, walking and talking! Angelica was, too. That’s the beauty of organic! You guys, it’s like berry heaven out there. What a gorgeous setting and literally, the air smelled like strawberries. Like I mentioned in the beginning, Fir Island is known for the gorgeous old farmhouses and Hayton Farms is an example. The home on this farm had me asking questions. How old is it? How was the farm started? If you ever met Angelica, you’d quickly become fascinated with the history of this place, too. Here’s a little bit of her story:
My great great grandparents, Thomas and Sarah Hayton, established Hayton Farms in 1876 on Fir Island in the Skagit Valley of Washington. They grew grain and made hay to be barged from the granary on the banks of Deer Slough to Seattle to feed the city’s workhorses. In the early 1900’s, my great grandparents, James and Maude Hayton, transformed the farm into a dairy. In the 1950’s my grandparents, Leroy and Irene, made the decision to run the farm exclusively as a crop farm, and focused on growing peas and making pea hay. My parents, Robert Hayton and Susan Hughes-Hayton, continue to make some hay and focus on berry, potato, cauliflower and cucumber crops. As a child I sold berries at the end of the driveway and now grow and market organic and transitional berries.
She used to sell berries at the end of her driveway and now she owns the berry part of the farm. How neat is that!
Even if New Seasons Mercer Island isn’t in your neighborhood, make a special trip in. When I brought some berries home for my family to try, my husband and kids told me that they taste like the berries we used to grow in our front yard (which were the best we’d ever had). Go get your hands on these. So here’s what you can expect to see, as far as variety and timing goes! Keep your eyes peeled and be sure to grab them when you see that Hayton Farms logo.
- Raspberries – Tulameen (all of July) and Cascade Delight (mid July- mid August)
- Blueberries – Duke& Reka (all of July), Blue Crop (mid July- mid August), Aurora & Elliot (mid August- mid Oct)
- Blackberries – Chester (mid July-mid Oct)
If you have any questions about which berries New Seasons Mercer Island is currently carrying, be sure to give them a call:
2755 77th Ave SE Mercer Island, WA 98040 | 8am – 10pm (daily) 206.232.2577
This post is part of a sponsored series by New Seasons Market. We truly love this company! Here on NW Healthy Mama, we only collaborate with those we feel represent the vision behind this site. We will never provide false claims or reviews, influenced by any form of compensation.