Christine Tressel, owner of Leapfrog Farm, developed her keen sense of color and texture from sewing and painting. Both proved assets to her true passion—farming—as Tressel’s artistic eye now lends itself to the colorful salad mixes and richly textured floral bouquets plucked from her Poulsbo garden.
“Our salad mixes can have as many as 10 different field greens and three to five lettuce varieties,” she says. “We also put together braising greens and vegetables—a stir-fry in a bag,” This month, Leapfrog offers a large selection of these tossed treats.
Tressel’s green thumb sprouted after spending summers in her father’s garden east of Kent Valley. As an adult, Tressel kept her own small garden until she moved to Poulsbo in 1998, buying a 1911 homestead begun by a Scandinavian family, which originally raised chickens and eggs. Of the original 20 acres, 2.25 remain attached to the farmhouse she now shares with her husband and two sons.
“We don’t have a lot of space,” says Tressel, so she plants crops that mature quickly, then turns around and plants again.
Tressel also adopts new varieties to suit the different phases of the Northwest’s growing season, so that customers can find fresh greens all the way through December. Other fall favorites include tomatoes, peppers and corn.
“We always have cherry tomatoes. Sun Gold are the most popular, and our customers sometimes tell us that they’re gone by the time they get home, so the next time they buy two baskets—one for the road and one for home,” says Tressel.
She picks corn the morning of the market and chooses varieties that hold well and stay sweet, like yellow Bodacious and white Augusta varieties.
Taste Leapfrog Farm’s autumn harvest at the Bainbridge Island Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 29.