Meet Your Local Farmers: Mama Bird Farm
San Juan Island is full of amazing farms and farmers and Mama Bird Farm is among those on the top of the list. This farm specializes in heirloom tomatoes, salad and braising greens, and beautiful flowers including dahlias, ranunculus, cosmos, zinnias, and snapdragons. They create bouquets that are not only visually appealing but oh so fragrant, with larger-than-life flower heads. Bring one home and your entire house will fill with their delightful perfume.
During the summer, you’ll find tomatoes from Mama Bird on almost every San Juan Island restaurant menu as well as at the grocery store and at the weekly farmers market. The tomatoes are best enjoyed just as they are. At Coho Restaurant, you’ll find them showcased during the summer months in a caprese salad stacked with a layer of sweet summer peaches, fresh herbs, and local goat cheese from Sunnyfield Farm over on Lopez Island.
Mama Bird Farm’s salad mix is more than just your average greens. They feature different heirloom greens with bits of spice from arugula and mizuna plus a mild mustard taste from tatsoi. If you miss them at a restaurant or farmers market, stop by any of the local groceries on San Juan, Orcas, or Lopez Island and snag a few bags of their salad mix and a handful of tomatoes to take back home with you. You’ll have the fixings for an amazing summer salad, BLT, or any sandwich you’re in the mood for.
Mama Bird Farm is owned and run by Mara Lawrence and Lars Johnson, both island born and raised. They are second-generation farmers motivated by their love of the land, growing food, and a desire to move away from the industrial food system and towards a healthier, sustainable farming practice. Mara's parents ran and operated Thirsty Goose Farm on an adjacent parcel for over thirty years. Mara’s love for the land around her shows in her products. Lars is a fisherman by trade. His passion for providing people with food from the sea fed straight into his passion for farming, allowing the land to nurture him as well. With both of their deeply ingrained passions intertwined, they make an amazing team.
Mama Bird Farm sits on a six-acre parcel of land. They farm using organic products and no pesticides and believe in having a symbiotic relationship with the forest that surrounds their farm as well. Their property sits right next to a creek which provides nutrients to the soil. Sheep graze on the land they’re not farming. Throughout the year they move from one section of the land to another, allowing the nutrients from the prior year’s crop to regenerate and support the soil.
They have expanded the farm each year and built hoop houses so that they can extend the growing season and produce more tomatoes. They sell more than 2000 lbs of tomatoes a week for fifteen weeks each summer. That’s a lot of tomatoes!
While you are enjoying your time in Friday Harbor, take a stroll down to the San Juan Island Farmers Market on Saturday. You’ll enjoy the summer like a local, listening to music, wandering around the market while meeting the farmers, and maybe even grabbing a pastry or two from one of the many bakery booths and a bouquet of flowers from Mama Bird. During your stay at The Tucker House Inn & Harrison Suites, you may even be lucky enough to eat some of Mama Bird’s tomatoes in your complimentary delivered breakfast!