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Marysville celebrates HomeGrown

MARYSVILLE — Marysville’s annual street fair, HomeGrown, benefited from pleasant weather during its two days as visitors from throughout North Snohomish County took part as both shoppers and sellers.

Marysville residents Cindy Moll and Shalyn Olsen didn’t have far to travel to stop by at Third Street on Aug. 12 and 13. It was Olsen’s third year of browsing and occasionally buying wares, and while Moll has attended HomeGrown for five years, this marked her first year as a vendor for husband Dave’s hand-carved Native American-style flutes.

“Homegrown is different from other area festivals,” Olsen said. “It’s more laid-back. I always see people I know here and everyone is in a friendly mood. She’s even willing to take one of her flutes apart to show me how it works,” Olsen laughed, as Moll prepared to demonstrate one of the PVC pipe flutes that her husband makes for kids.

Moll echoed Olsen’s opinion of the relaxed nature of the gathering and its positive vibes, as she explained how her husband started carving flutes with his father eight years ago.

“His dad’s 86 years old now so he had to stop, but Dave is still going,” Moll said. “We go to flute circles, like the ones held at the Arlington Airport once a month. HomeGrown has a great atmosphere. The music is nice, the kids can have a good time and you don’t have to drive to Outer Mongolia to get here,” she laughed.

Arlington’s Stephanie Berg also made her debut as a HomeGrown vendor this year, even though she’s been selling her “Garden garbage” metal sculptures for the past three years. She credited a coworker with sparking her interest in the field and teaching her how to make metal frogs and flowers, and her fellow vendors at Lavender Hills with encouraging her to give HomeGrown a shot this year, but otherwise, she’s blossomed as an artist largely on her own.

“I love making dragonflies,” Berg said, as she showed off her favorite type of sculpture. “Regardless of what I make, no two are ever alike. I hear that they have a lot of personality and I love seeing the smiles they put on people’s faces. Doing this work is stress relief for me. It got me through breast cancer. There’s nothing like going out to the shop for a few hours to forget about life.”

Snohomish resident Suanne Reynolds stumbled upon HomeGrown purely by chance this year, as she always does when she happens upon the festival.

“I probably wind up here every other year, even though I never think to check when it’s taking place,” Olsen said. “I love seeing the creativity of the handmade crafts from local artists. Plus, the prices are great.”

Reynolds was particularly impressed with the “Enchanted Garden Art” of Marysville resident Lori Burkheimer, whose miniature gardens include scale versions of fences, stone paths, birdbaths, lawn chairs, barbecues and soda coolers. Burkheimer gets the plants from the Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville, and the doll-sized furnishings from Janit Calvo.

“I thought of rooftop gardens in real life for my potted plant gardens,” Burkheimer said. “People get the idea they’re like Bonsai, where they need constant trimming, but they’re really low maintenance. You can grow a garden in the same pot for seven years. I love to watch the kids play with it. I can’t wait to make more.”

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