For the last 124 years, Spooner Farms has been a family-run farm.
Because of that, folks living in Puyallup, Sumner and the surrounding areas are able to enjoy fresh fruit, vegetables and pumpkins from spring through the fall season.
As soon as the Spooner stands open up in the spring at the East Main Street stands in Puyallup and in Orting, and at the main farm store on the Orting Highway, folks line up to buy their fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and corn.
Since 1882, Spooner Farms has been family owned and farmed. That long history continues today with Jeff Spooner, his wife Andrea, other family members and a large group of employees who work to keep the farm up and running.
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“We are still a family-run farm today. Our children and grandchildren have all worked the farm, and the kids are very involved,” said Andrea, who started her career at Spooner working in the field.
According to Andrea, Jeff is usually out in the field and she runs the office.
“We don’t have any titles here. If something needs to be done, someone does it,” she said.
Business is very dependent on the weather, and Andrea says the couple checks the weather before they go home at night and often during the night as well, browsing the weather channel and reports from the National Weather Service.
“We’ve seen a huge shift in weather patterns in the last ten years, and last year was the earliest crop I’ve ever seen,” she said. “This year was earlier than last year.”
The weather affects how the crops ripen up, Spooner said.
Things don’t slow down for the Spooners when the growing season ends. The fall season brings the Harvest Festival, complete with pumpkins, a themed corn maze, a pumpkin slingshot, farm animals, pony rides, food and more. The pumpkin slingshot is extremely popular with both children and adults.
“We came up with that idea a long time ago,” Spooner said. “We shoot the pumpkins at targets, and it is really popular with people of all ages.
Photo opportunities pop up all around the farm during the fall festival, and children and adults line up to snap the perfect and memorable photo.
Spooner and her team look forward to each new season, but everyone is happy to slow down a little bit once the growing season and the fall festival end.
However, work continues on the farm throughout the year with maintenance and planning for spring planting.
“Instead of working 100 hours a week, we work 50,” she said.