Island Grown Agricultural NetworkFood & Farms in San Juan County

Better Know a Vendor: Thousand Flower Farm

Thousand Flower Farm
Waldron Island, WA

Joel, Margaret, and Siri Thorson are familiar faces at the Saturday market. Below, Joel describes their Waldron Island operation and how they fell into farming.

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Setting up on a Saturday morning inside the Brickworks Building

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Margaret carries Siri in the garden, late 80′s

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Siri selling her “tussie-mussies” in the early days of the Market

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Loading the boat with produce at the Waldron dock

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Knit and woven goods made by hand by Margaret Thorson

Joel: We had a big home garden. We heard the market was starting up, so we took our extra produce to Friday Harbor. We began selling more so we grew more, and before you knew it, we had an acre in production. And that was 30 years ago.

First we sold vegetables with a few flowers to make the booth look nice, and then we started selling flowers. Siri pretty much took over our flower business when she was in high school. Now she does flower arranging professionally, all over the country.

Our small flock of sheep got started when our neighbor had some bummer lambs. We bottle fed those lambs and then got a ram. We shear and spin by hand, and we weave the yarn into rugs. Margaret has knit over a thousand hats!

I hope the market will last forever. The critical thing now is making sure that we have young farmers to fill the shoes of the older farmers, like us, who started the market so many years ago.

Interview by Candace Jagel, photos courtesy of Thorson family & GoGo Green