MARYSVILLE — The Due family has been farming in the Arlington and Marysville area for years, and now another generation is carrying on the tradition.
Wayne and Becky Due held a grand opening for Dues Produce Barn on Saturday, June 22, and offer not only their well-known local strawberries, but anything from corn to mangoes, all grown on their farm or by other local farmers.
“We decided that Wayne knows how to grow and I know how to sell,” said Becky Due. “We thought, ‘We have the acreage — we should grow strawberries,’ and then it expanded to all kinds of produce. We are growing three different varieties of corn, summer squash, winter squash and decorative gourds. We’ll be open through to December with different seasonal fruits and vegetables.”
The original farmhouse and barn, located in North Marysville, near Smokey Point, was Wayne’s parents’ house, and has been around for more than 50 years.
“The Due family has been growing berries for 103 years,” said Wayne Due. “We are carrying on the tradition and our kids are involved when they can be. Our youngest daughter Jamie is working full time, and my mom is helping out. It’s a full-fledged family business.”
Jamie Due, 20, is a fifth generation Due, and loves spending time with her mom and grandma at the barn.
“I love it, I’m very excited for what’s to come and all these fun new adventures,” she said, noting that she wouldn’t be opposed to following in her family’s footsteps and carrying on the tradition of growing food. “I think it’s definitely a possibility, taking this over and really being a part of it.”
The barn will be open from April 1 to December every year.
“We will sell Christmas trees and we will invite local artisans in here to sell wreaths and crafts during the holiday season,” said Becky Due. “Shed Antiques, a business from Lakewood, has a spot here in the barn so people can buy antiques as well.”
Due’s Produce Barn is located at 4604 152nd St. NE, in Marysville, and customers flooded the barn before the grand opening had even occurred.
“This is wonderful. The people here are very knowledgable with the produce and its a wonderful experience coming here,” said customer Rod Wolfe, of Bry’s TV in Marysville. “It’s local supporting local.”
Becky Due said she isn’t surprised that people have been shopping at the barn since they started stocking more than just berries.
“It’s what the local community has been wanting and we’ve just had so much support from our surrounding neighborhoods,” she said, noting that several people have walked to the barn from the residential areas nearby to pick up fresh goods. “People are really excited about the local, fresh produce.”
For food that isn’t grown on-site, the Due family purchases from local farms from Skagit Valley to Wenatchee, and there is a reason they are set on buying local.
“The rule of the farm is, know your farmer and how they practice,” she said. “We do not spray. All the local farms here are no-spray with all-natural soil. They’ve been practicing this way for more than a hundred years. The benefit is that you are going to have fresh, quality produce, picked everyday. And you are supporting your local community.”
Becky Due said that she is working on connecting with the Marysville Community Food Bank to eventually donate produce on a regular basis.
“We want to give back to the community that is supporting us,” she said.
For more information on Dues Produce Barn, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/duesproducebarn. Hours vary due to the weather.