Arts and Entertainment

The last hurrah at Biringer's Spencer Island Farm

Mike and Dianna Biringer hold a box of big, beautiful strawberries at their Spencer Island farm last year. They are hoping for some more big, beautiful berries in the coming weeks.  -
Mike and Dianna Biringer hold a box of big, beautiful strawberries at their Spencer Island farm last year. They are hoping for some more big, beautiful berries in the coming weeks.
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It's the end of an era at Biringer Farm this weekend. The 19th annual and final Pig Out runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 21 and 22 at Biringer Farm, an official sponsor of the Marysville's Strawberry Festival.

After the u-pick pumpkin season this fall, the farm will be returned to the river, said Dianna Biringer, who married into the family 47 years ago.

But that doesn't mean the Biringers are retiring.

After the pumpkin harvest this fall, they will continue their efforts growing berries at their "north" division in Arlington. There will be no fall festival, she said.

"The berries look absolutely gorgeous," Dianna Biringer said, while Mike Biringer shook his head in wonder wondering when they might turn red.

"Mother Nature is our boss," she said, adding the berries are getting big, but no sign of red as of Thursday, June 12.

"We are scouting out some sources farther south in Washington, just in case," Biringer said. "But a few days of warm sunshine should do the trick."

When they do ripen, strawberries will be available at both the Spencer Island "south division" at 4625 40th Place NE off Highway 529, between Everett and Marysville and at Biringer's "north division" off I-5 at exit 208. Drive east 2.4 miles on SR 530, then turn left on 59th Ave NE to the farm.

"I've been enjoying ice cream at Foster's," Biringer said. The Biringers started planting at their north division last year and installed a sign recently, across SR 530 from the Foster's Farm.

A long-time institution in Marysville, the Biringers came from Germany via Pennsylvania. Mike's parents farmed on the former Cemetery Road (now 88th Street) in a partnership with Morris Champers. In those early days, they grew broccoli and cauliflower on the estuary.

"We bought Champer's side of the partnership on the estuary when Morris died," said Diana Biringer, who arrived in Marysville two years before her future husband.

Now the future has arrived and the dikes will be destroyed, returning the estuary to its true purpose, in an Everett Port Authority project.

"The port hired a mitigation bank development company, Wildlands, Inc. of Marysville, to do the project," Biringer said.

"They expect to get permits and breach the dike in spring of 2009."

Meanwhile, Dianna and Mike, who currently live in the estuary, are looking for a house to buy near their new 60-acres of berry fields on Ron and Stacey Klein's farm at 59th Avenue and SR 530 in Arlington. They planted this year's strawberry plants last year and just recently planted another round of plants for next year. They planted raspberry bushes in February this year at their north division, but won't have raspberries until next year.

"It takes longer for the raspberries to get established," she explained.

Following the strawberry season this year, raspberries and tayberries will be available at the Spencer Island farm.

"Once the crop ripens, they should last for approximately 2-4 weeks," Biringer said.

Other events at the

Pig Out

Along with strawberries and shortcake, the PigOut also includes a variety of fun farm activities such as Hog Calling, Goat Climb, animals to visit, pony rides, free fishing, kites, puppets, face painting, inflatables, Slide Mountain, Fort Coyote, horse swings, Pig Butt Bowling and the Giant Strawberry Ride.

A barbecue, Corn on the Cob and kettle corn are offered to soak up the berries.

Admission and fishing are free. Food and fun are reasonably priced.

For a current update on the status of berries, check the Biringer Farm website at www.biringerfarm or call the Berry Hotline at 425-259-0255.

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