by Crystie Kisler (co-owner Finnriver Farm)
I was at a meeting this afternoon and a group of folks was trying to organize a carpool. I offered to drive since I have a mini-van and feel it is my duty to try to fill it with people whenever possible. So I said, “Let’s meet at the Corner!” (In my mind, it has a capital “C” like that). One gentleman wasn’t sure which corner I was referring to and so I explained, “Chimacum Corner…you know, where the store is…the yellow building with the chicken on it.” He figured it out but was surprised to learn that this intersection was called “Chimacum Corner”. I would love for someone with a longer history around here to fill us all in about the different ways locals have referred to that intersection. For me, it is and always has been Chimacum Corner and now, thanks to the Chimacum Corner Farmstand, it is a place I love.
I realize how wonderful it is that there is really only one corner in my life. Chimacum Corner is THE corner. Just like Port Townsend is TOWN. And Seattle is now THE CITY (although since I grew up in New York, I still slip and refer to Manhattan as “the city” now and then). The simplicity of living in a local geography with only one corner is quite radical for me, someone who had to navigate a densely packed grid of corners as a kid. Having only one corner makes the Chimacum corner more than a place where four streets happen to criss-cross. On my mental map, this corner is now the pivot point for most of my journeys off the farm. It is the hub of the Chimacum wheel, where neighbors encounter each other as they stop get a sandwich and a jar of pickles. It is the territory claimed by farmers and their advocates, a place that proclaims this is an agricultural community where people with names you know grow food with heart.
I go into the Corner Farmstand and see food grown or made within spitting distance of the store and I feel more than pride. I feel hope. Katy asked me to write an editorial and not a love ballad to the Corner but this is what I have to say: I think it is critically important, for the soul and survival of Chimacum, that this corner be inhabited by the farming community and all those who live, love and eat here. The store offers us this: a place to announce, celebrate and support local economy and a place to get to know each other, as neighbors and dwellers in this green, glorious place.
I think the Chimacum Corner Farmstand, a mighty labor of love that is being supported by big-hearted folks who care for this ground and those who work it, is a vital organ in our community. Let’s go there to shop, to talk, to trade stories about how muddy it is in the valley bottom, to taste chicken, to buy produce, to plot the continued health of our community and more. Let’s meet at THE corner!