Renovations on Artondale Farm Hall
Updated: Apr 5, 2022
Artondale Farm opens up hall this spring By Rachel Kelly | Photo Courtesy of Jess and Scott Hogan
With little fanfare but much anticipation, spring has gently arrived. And with it the crocus, daffodils, tulips, cherry blossoms, spring greens, long days and even longer bits of sunshine. It’s the time of year that many of us use up the last bits of root veggies and canned goods and look forward to a new growing season. The same is true of Artondale Farm, who once again opens up on April 22, Friday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm all the way through December. They will be selling starts, produce, and just about everything that generally comes from their farm (except for eggs, which they haven’t sold for a few seasons now but still get asked for).
This year, Jess and Scott Hogan have been hard at work throughout the winter to finish renovations on the Artondale Farm Hall, which they plan to showcase on opening day. The hall was originally built in 1912 as a Methodist-Episcopal church. In 1956 the Washington State Grange Association purchased the building for the use of the Gig Harbor Grange Association. The building itself has good bones, with beautiful vaulted ceilings and long expansive windows. The Hogans have put all their skills and style into restoring the building to its original glory, preserving its charm.
Jess and Scott are no strangers to hard work, nor is this their first renovation. The land abutting the Grange Hall (now Artondale Farm Hall) has been in the family since the 1950s. When Jess and Scott came into ownership of the land, Scott had been working as a trained architect. They decided to turn the land into the beautiful farm that it functions as today. From their property they looked on at the Grange Hall, slowly watching as the beautiful building deteriorated. It’s no wonder then that eventually the Grange Association put the building up for sale, and that the Hogan family was ready to buy it.
“We have experience in renovation. This time around we feel more confident in our skills; we are older and wiser now,” says Jess. In addition, purchasing the new farm hall also allowed the Hogans to increase their land available for farming. They tore down fencing that was meant to provide a barrier between the farm and the hall, and extended the fields in the additional space. Artondale Farm didn’t just acquire a building; they acquired space for expansion.
During the spring, summer and fall, the Hogan family focuses primarily on the work that has to be done on the farm, which is quite extensive. Last winter, while the land rested, the Hogans finished the exterior of the hall. This last winter they focused on the interior, renovations that were thankfully out of the cold and rain but by no means comfortable. The building has been redone, from top to bottom, from insulation to air circulation. The pictures show extensive amounts of work. As winter has come to a close, the Hogans have frantically and industrially attempted to finish the work in time for the opening of the farm in April. And once that was done, they worked on making it cozy for their farm guests with new paint and tasteful décor.
Inside, guests can expect all that the farm has to offer, from produce to plant starts. Basically anything that the farm produces, all under one roof. The plant starts are especially useful, as they are plants that the Hogans themselves use to grow on their land. This means that the plants are well adapted to the Washington weather, soil and environment, unlike larger conglomerates that grow their plants elsewhere, stunt them, and transport them to environments that they aren’t suited for. Starts from Artondale Farm are sure to grow better in your garden than other non-local plants simply because they don’t go into shock before producing.
This year, Artondale has a lot of special things to offer beyond what they’ve offered in the past. The same beautiful starts and produce will be available, but in addition the farm will be offering some farm-based arts and crafts. With the newly renovated farm hall, the Artondale Farm is sure to grow, offering whatever they think the community may need in the new space. At Artondale Farm, the opportunities are expanding, and the beauty is increasing. But enough talking about it! Artondale Farm is something that truly needs to be experienced in person. As for me, I’ll see you there!
You can find and follow Artondale Farm online at Facebook.com/artondalefarm.