A Day on the Farm in Snoqualmie Valley
It's no secret that when it comes to flowers, Pike Place Market truly can't be beat. The beauty, quality and variety (not to mention price) is unlike any other flower market around. Furthermore, finding out that these breathtaking bouquets are grown right here in Washington State by local farmers is what makes them extra special.
Blong Cha, farmer/owner of Blong's Gardens, Fall City, WA.
On Tuesday, May 10, members of our Farm Program team took a field trip to visit several of the small family farms who bring their bounty of blooms to the Market year-round.
Just 30 minutes east of Seattle (but seemingly a world away), is picturesque Snoqualmie Valley, where fertile farmlands hug the Snoqualmie River as it meanders North from Snoqualmie Falls, just west of the Cascades. Here we visited four farms: Jenny's Garden, Woodinville Valley Farm, Va Cha Garden and Blong’s Gardens.
Laovu and Teng Jasengnou, farmers/owners of Woodinville Valley Farm, Carnation, WA.
All of the flower farmers we visited are Hmong, an ethnic group from the mountainous regions of Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and China. Following the Vietnam War, more than 100,000 Hmong refugees fled Southeast Asia and resettled in the United States, including King County. Since many Hmong had farmed back home, it's easy to see how this vibrant farming community quickly took root in Snoqualmie Valley and has continued to flourish over the years.
Leigh Newman-Bell (Farm Development Coordinator), Laura Cha (Va Cha Garden Owner/Farmer), Alisha Kissell (Farm Program Coordinator), Fall City, WA.
Two generations of farmers: Teng and Laovu Jasengnou and their two sons at Woodinville Valley Farm in Carnation, WA.
Alisha and Leigh with Jer Cha of Jenny's Garden in Fall City, WA.
We were amazed by the hard work and dedication of all of the farmers, and look forward to sharing more photos and profiles as the season goes on!