The Spooner Farm family has been growing goodness in the Puyallup Valley since 1882 — before Washington was even a state. The legacy began with Antone Spooner, who at age 15, left Montreal to farm with his older brother, who had settled in Willows, California. Antone Spooner worked for 10 years on that farm and at various sawmills before making his own way north to Washington territory. After a brief stay in Walla Walla, Antone Spooner and his friend and business partner, Joseph Wallace, purchased 80 acres in Pierce County. The farm was mostly hops and dairy.
In 1891, Antone Spooner married Wallace’s sister, Mary. The couple made certain that their farmstead emphasized “hospitality above all else.” This family tradition of creating community hasn’t wavered, according to fifth-generation farmer Sam Spooner. Today Spooner Farms still welcomes the public to come pick their own produce and experience the farming way of life.
The Freshest Fruit
The farm also supplies Metropolitan Markets with the freshest berries and corn. “Freshness has been our key to longevity. Most fruit is straight from the field to the vans to the stores within hours,” Sam Spooner said. “All the Spooner fruit, corn and pumpkins that your customers are purchasing has been grown and harvested within 35 miles or less of every Met Market.”
Each summer begins with juicy strawberries. Between July and August, the raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and corn are harvested. At the farm, people can pick up everything from jam-making kits to the popular homemade berry fudge. Or you can simply hit Metropolitan Market and know that the berries are as fresh as if you picked them yourself.
Spooner Farms really started focusing on the berry portion of its farming business in the 1950s, according to Sam Spooner. His favorite berry is a cross between a blackberry and raspberry — it’s a boysenberry and it usually is at its peak in July.
All in the Family
Spooner Farms is still very much a family affair with Jeff and Andrea (Sam’s mom and dad); Sam (fifth-generation farmer); and his sister, Rebecca Heslep, and their children, the sixth generation all doing their parts today.
“It is an honor to operate and care for the farm and to be able to pass on to the next generation,” Sam Spooner said. He still remembers his time on the farm with his grandparents. “I was always able to spend time with my grandparents, long days in the fields and lots of naps in the front seat of grandpa’s old pickup truck.”
Learn more about Spooner Farms at spoonerberries.com.