With summer in full swing, the Cannon Beach Farmers Market is back with new hours and a few new faces.
More than 20 vendors from all over the region served one of the largest opening day crowds in June, jumping from around 800 to 1,200 this year, Farmer’s Market coordinator Philomena Lloyd said.
Unlike past years, all vendors are open from 1 to 5 p.m. — not just prepared food booths and musicians, Lloyd said.
With the new time comes a few new vendors, one of whom is Tami Peterson. Peterson sells all things cranberries from her family-owned cranberry bogs out at Dellmoor Loop in Gearhart. While it’s her first time at the market, this year marks her family’s 50th harvest, she said.
“It’s been fun creating awareness,” Peterson said. “People don’t know we even grow cranberries in Gearhart, Oregon.”
The product, branded “Crannies,” are a variety of dried cranberries from the farm’s 13-acre plot. Peterson grew up growing and harvesting these plump, red berries with her father, Ron Paino, who at 84 is still working the bogs. He planted his first bogs in the area in 1945. His friend Marvis, 94, still drives trucks for them after 50 years.
“We joke it’s impossible to get fired here,” Peterson laughed.
Before taking on the farm full time, Peterson worked in the San Francisco Bay area with Kraft Foods in sales until one day in 1996 when her father announced the farm was up for sale.
Her husband, Joe Peterson, told her the news, and after some deliberation jointly made the decision to move back to Oregon to reclaim the family farm.
“(The farm) stays in the family. When you meet people in cranberry industry, we talk in generations,” Peterson said. “It’s hard work, but being out there with my dad — no one can take that feeling away.”
With a little more than 20 years under her belt, she said the biggest challenges her and her husband face are unusually wet winters and hungry elk when it comes to October harvests.
“We have elk fences, but already a few got in the bogs this year,” she said. “They can devastate you.”
Regardless, Peterson still has much to offer at her stand in the market, including Pilgrims, Stevens and her personal favorite, McFarlins.
She is proud of her product — almost as much as the family behind it.
“I’m just proud to work with family and to keep the heritage going.”