Making memories at Greenbluff

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Last week I took our youngest kiddo up to Greenbluff to take a peak around and enjoy an afternoon together while the 2 older kids were at school. It was a gorgeous quintessential Fall day. The sun was shining and the skies were the most perfect blue. If you aren't a Spokane local or aren't familiar with Greenbluff it's an area Northeast of Spokane that covers acres and acres of privately owned farms and orchards.  Depending on the season you can find the following for sale: raspberries, strawberries, cherries, tomatoes, rhubarb, corn, winter squash, pumpkins, peaches, apples, summer squash, beets, onions, gourds, herbs, garlic and much more.

I have been visiting Greenbluff for over 20 years. I remember back to when one of the farms had a Ferris wheel. Yes, a Ferris wheel. It was amazing as you would go up, up, up and be able to see for what felt like forever over the tops of the apple trees and all across the bluff. So as you can imagine Greenbluff holds very special memories for our family as visiting it has become a Fall tradition. We have pictures of each of our kiddos as little tikes on their first visit to Greenbluff. The love of the land and appreciation of it runs deeply in us so going to Greenbluff each year is memorable and fun way to celebrate the end of the growing season and all that that season has meant. When you combine caramel apples, tractor rides, hay bales, pumpkin donuts, corn mazes, October skies, long orchard rows, pumpkin patches, kettle corn, pony rides and farm animals you can't help but have a grand time and make some lasting memories. So consider taking a trip to Greenbluff through the month of October to slow down, breathe some fresh country air, make some special memories and support some local farmers.

If you are interested in visiting Greenbluff there is a great website that is a very helpful resource called Greenbluff Growers It lists 59 "Growers" on the bluff along with "Events", what is "Fresh on the Bluff", Information about the "Cherry Pickers trot" and "History"

Below I have listed 7 of the farms along with their address, phone number, hours and website.

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High Country Orchard

8518 E. Green Bluff Road
Colbert, WA 99005
509-238-9545

Current HOURS:

Sunday-Thursday 10AM-5PMFriday 10AM-5:30PM Saturday 9AM-5:30PM

Hansen's

8215 E. Green Bluff Road
Colbert, WA 99005
509-238-4902

Current HOURS: Open 7 days a week 10AM-4PM

Strawberry Hill Nutrition Farm

N. 16904 Day Mt. Spokane Rd.
Mead, WA 99021
509-238-6919

Current HOURS: Closed on Sunday and Monday    Open Tuesday - Saturday 8AM-5PM

Beck's Harvest House

9919 Greenbluff Road
Colbert, WA 99005
509-238-6970

Current HOURS: Open 7 days a week 9AM-6PM

Walter's Fruit Ranch

9807 E. Day Rd.
Mead, WA 99021
509-238-4709

Current HOURS: Open 7 days a week 9AM-5PM

Siemers Farm

11125 E. Day Mt. Spokane Rd.
Mead, WA 99021
509-238-6242

Current HOURS: Open 7 days a week 10AM-6PM

11 Acres Farm

10909 E. Day Mt. Spokane Rd.
Mead, WA 99021
509-238-9473

Current Hours:

Closed on Mondays   Open Tuesday - Sunday 7:30AM-5PM

Be sure to keep the following in mind when visiting Greenbluff:

~ Be respectful of the farms and the "No trespassing" signs. These farmers are inviting you onto their land and into their lives so be sure to be respectful and kind to their land, it's their livelihood.

~ You just never know what kind of weather you are going to get. It's always a good idea to bring a jacket and hat as it can be windy and rainy being that it's October.

~ Weekends are the busiest. The farms that attract more traffic can get quite busy so be prepared as there may be some lines when parking and there will most certainly be lines for buying pumpkin donuts. Hehe.

~ Bringing cash is a good idea. Many of the farms accept debit/credit but some don't. Some of the farms do have a ATM machines but they are few and far between.

~ Since these are farms after all there will be plenty of dirt and possibly mud. So I wouldn't suggest wearing your favorite pair of white shoes.

~ If you are going on a weekday some of the attractions and activities may not be available so you may want to call ahead.

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All picture were taken at Siemers, Walts Fruit Ranch and Beck's Harvest House

Emerson-Garfield Farmers Market

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"Farmers markets should be for everyone." This core value belief is seen in action every Friday from 3-7pm at 2310 N. Monroe during the Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market.

The Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market is a totally grassroots, seasonal weekly marketplace that has an average of 20 vendors who sell the following: organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables, baked goods including some gluten-free options, artisanal soaps, treats for your dogs, raw and flavored honey, flowers and plant starts, crafts, kettle corn, floral arrangements and occasionally pasture-raised meats. It's now in its fifth season.

The story of how the Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market came to be is an inspiring one. Little did I know that until a recent phone conversation/interview that I had with the volunteer market manager, E.J. Iannelli. E.J., who is a writer and translator by trade and moved from Germany to Spokane with his family 7 years ago, is much more than a market manager. Like the rest of the market vendors and volunteer staff, he truly carries the heart of all that this market can be and how it can touch lives in as a practical way as putting nutritious food on the tables of local families.

Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market was born out of a desire by the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council to foster a sense of community and create positive activities that would help bring the wider neighborhood (there are 9,000 residents in the E-G area) together.

Yet the road to launching the market was lined with many hurdles. They had no funding, no experience running a market, and no buzz. But the people and partners who were involved from the start (E.J., Dave Musser, Project Hope Spokane, Catholic Charities Spokane) persevered out of their strong shared goals, and the Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market went from idea to reality in record time — just two months! The first market was held on July 17, 2013 in the parking lot of Knox Presbyterian Church.

"The aim of the market is to bring fresh, healthy, affordable goods that
are locally grown or produced to the residents of Emerson-Garfield as well
as all those who pass through our up-and-coming neighborhood. An
intentional side benefit is that it also serves as a community hub,
bringing both people and organizations together and cultivating meaningful
relationships between them."

As you scroll through the pictures below you will see that at the
Emerson-Garfield Farmers Market its about the people. The market
facilitates in bringing people together, connecting them, and gives them a
place of common ground and belonging.

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"In addition weekly musical entertainment from a variety of bands and solo artists, the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market features regular events, such as cooking demos, book readings for all ages, craft fairs, cider pressing and kids’ activities. Other events are a hands-on composting workshop, a home canning and pickling demo, a vermiculture tutorial, book readings and much more. Many businesses and nonprofits take advantage of the casual, friendly atmosphere to set up an outreach table and raise awareness about their services. In the past the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market has hosted booths by the Main Market Co-op, doctors’ offices, the Lands Council, BECU, Allstate Insurance, neighborhood schools and many others."

The 2017 market season started on June 9th and will conclude on September 29th with a season finale that includes a hand-cranked cider press and a cooking demo with celebrity chef Ricky Webster. So that means you have three more Fridays to go visit, connect and support the local community.

If you would be interested in partnering with the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market to schedule an activity, conduct a workshop, set up an outreach table, etc.  you may get in touch with them via market@emersongarfield.org. They are always receptive to new suggestions and opportunities!

For additional information about Emerson-Garfield Farmers Market you can find them on Facebook, Instagram and you can also visit their website Emerson-Garfield Farmers Market

If you have further questions about the market you can get in touch by calling (509) 255-3072 or you may email market@emersongarfield.org.

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A huge thank you to Rogue Heart Media for providing the images for this blog post and for so beautifully capturing the heart of the Emerson-Garfield farmer market. 

Spokane locals, Rob and Megan Kennedy own and operate Rogue Heart Media which is a production studio focused on photo, video and web services for community minded businesses and organizations.