The Hockinson Main Street Team introduced the Hockinson Homegrown Highway Map to Southwest Washington on August 29.
The Hockinson Homegrown Highway is a farm map similar to the famous “Fruit Loop” map in Hood River, Oregon.
“Our region has an incredible diversity of agriculture-based businesses and H3 is a way to tie them together to showcase all they have to offer,” Kelsey Chappell, a member of the Hockinson Main Street team, said in a statement.
Chappell hopes the map will entice people to take a drive into the countryside surrounding Hockinson to discover crafts, buy fresh produce and even stop to sample local craft beer at Hockinson Market.
After reviewing 2020 Census data, Hockinson School District Superintendent Steve Marshall told HMST that the community contains hundreds of small businesses operating from home. As a rural area, these licensed companies were often obscure or known only to local residents. HMST, whose mission is to promote community cohesion and local trade, decided to increase the exposure of these farms by merging them into a corporate entity, the statement said.
“Our hope is that people remember the Homegrown Highway, and when they come to visit one of these businesses, they keep going and discover the others,” Marshall said in the release.
Justin Vanatta, of Hockinson Market, used his graphic design skills to create the roadmap and shared a few of it with customers.
“The response has been really positive,” Vannata said in the release. “My initial supply of maps sold out within a couple of hours, and people who had heard about them were asking for their own copy.”
Since then, VanNatta has created a stock of additional maps, but the map can also be found online
On the Hockinson Main Street website, hockmainstreet.com. The team is already receiving requests from additional farms in the area to be added to future versions of the map.
Locals and visitors are invited to take the Hockinson Homegrown Highway and see where it takes them. The statement added that this call comes with two warnings. HMST wants customers to know that “highways” are actually two-lane rural roads and encourages safe speed and caution.
Organizers also warn visitors that not all businesses are open seven days a week or on a full-day schedule.
“Operation hours vary and, in most cases, are seasonal or ‘by appointment only.’ We recommend customers contact businesses before heading out on the highway.