Getting to Know Your Grower: A one-woman gardening machine

By Jed Buelow

Co-Editor, Sports, Nature Editor

Maybe it has something to do with that big hill? Or maybe it is just the amount of time and effort that she puts into growing her vegetables that make them taste so good and makes her flowers grow so beautiful.

The bouquets of flowers and variety of fresh produce available at Phoua Xiong’s Downtown Tomahawk Farmers Market booth speaks volumes about the care that she puts into her sprawling vegetable and flower gardens out in the town of Irma.

The flower bouquets alone feature an array of perennials ranging from dahlia and Asiatic lilies to blazing star and other in-season flowers. The fresh produce she had for sale last Tuesday included everything from freshly picked raspberries to broccoli, cabbage, onions, sweet peas and a giant pile of beans that brought back childhood memories of helping prepare them for then for the freezer at my grandfather’s farm back as a child.

Xiong said she runs her gardening operations in Irma by herself and last year alone grew and sold around 5,000 to 6,000 pounds of produce at farmers markets in Tomahawk and Minocqua. She said a big part of why she grows and sells her produce locally is because having fresh, healthy produce grown without chemicals is very important to her.

Along with the fresh produce she sells at her booth each and every week in downtown Tomahawk, Xiong also has canned soups and other canned items from her gardens in Irma that are available for sale. She will also have available homegrown tomatoes, sweet corn, squash and a bunch of other fresh produce throughout the rest of the summer as the growing season moves along.

Stop by the Downtown Tomahawk Farmers Market to check out what one very ambitious woman is able to grow each and every summer. Maybe it has something to do with Irma Hill, but the taste of Xiong’s vegetables and the beauty of her flower bouquets make it definitely worth checking out her stand at the Downtown Tomahawk Farmers Market each and every Tuesday.

Getting to Know Your Grower is part of a Tomahawk Main Street Inc. series for the Tuesday downtown farmers market that will run the rest of the summer. The market will run into October and takes place every Tuesday from 1-5:30 p.m. on Third Street in downtown Tomahawk.

For more information on the market, visit

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