Maesie Speer will share plant medicine and iced teas with Sisters this Sunday at Fir Street Park. 
wphoto provided
Maesie Speer will share plant medicine and iced teas with Sisters this Sunday at Fir Street Park. wphoto provided
What goes best with a hot summer day? How about iced tea and Hawaiian dance? On Sunday, all are invited to sample herbal iced teas made from medicinal plants, watch and learn hula, and check out a Sisters Country archaeology dig game. The fun happens at Sisters Farmers Market on Sunday.

Maesie Speer presents “Herbal Iced Teas for the High Desert Summer” on the Songbird Stage at Fir Street Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Marketgoers are welcome to come up onstage, chat with Speer, and try a tea. As with other showcase events at the market, it is offered free of charge to visitors.

“Teas are some of the easiest ways to enjoy and experiment with plants that taste great and support our health,” said Speer. The arts center programs director at the Caldera Arts Center, Speer has been working with “plant allies” since 2012.

Speer will bring teas made from two classes of herbs she describes as “perfect for our hot, dry summers: demulcents (herbs that help our tissues stay hydrated) and diaphoretics (herbs that help our bodies release heat).” Recipes will be available to take home.

Speer studied with The Arctos School and The School of Forest Medicine. She maintains an active medicine-making practice and “enjoys learning from and building relationship with the land and plants in Central Oregon.”

Throughout the market day, Three Sisters Historical Society will offer kids a chance to excavate an archaeology site. If they correctly answer a question about their dig, they can win a prize.

Shannon Mokuahi Rackowski will present a hula dance and demonstration at 1 p.m. She describes herself as a “native Hawaiian/Caucasian, better known as a Hapa Girl, from the island of Oahu.” She has lived in Oregon just under 40 years and has been a fixture of the Sisters community for over five years.

Rackowski has danced hula since the age of five. Thirty-seven years ago, she started the Halau O Hula Hawaii School of Hawaiian Dance in Newport.

For the farmers market, she plans to dress in traditional hula garb including a pau skirt and leis or flowers. After dancing, she will offer a short demonstration for those who’d like to try hula themselves.

Many Sisters residents know her as a powerhouse of activity at Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD). For SPRD and other organizations around town, Rackowski provides vivacious energy, tasty food, and organizational prowess at community events. She teaches popular classes for seniors and provides leadership in event


“I have had the honor to dance with many incredible artist-legends such as Gabby Pahinui, Brothers Cazimero, Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Don Ho, Bill Keale, and my Halau back home in Hawaii, Napualei O’ Likoleihua,” Rackowski said.

Every week at the market, farms from Sisters bring microlocal produce plucked just blocks away. Rotating vendors keep the market’s offerings fresh. Homemade granola, locally blended teas, micro-roastery coffees, smoked steelhead, and fresh apricots have been on offer recently.

The Simple N Fresh food cart offers tostadas and hand-cut pico de gallo, along with a housemade ceviche using cooked shrimp rather than raw. Fusion bowls, wood-fired baguettes, and raw-foods desserts have also been on offer.

Locally handcrafted items include unique Sisters-themed T-shirts and cork caps, and popular bracelets made by a Sisters family. Organic, small-batch skincare products are often available, as are handmade soaps, balms, and clever wooden combs for beards, cut in the shape of an Oregon


Sisters Farmers Market runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday through the end of September at Fir Street Park. The park is located one block north of Cascade Avenue/Highway 20 at the corner of East Main Avenue and North Fir Street.

The market’s showcase program extends throughout the summer. It is funded in part by a grant from The Roundhouse Foundation, along with sponsorship from Cottonwood Cafe, Metabolic Maintenance, She Soars Psychiatry, and Jane McGowan nonprofit counseling.

In-kind donations from The Nugget Newspaper, Plazm, and XPress Printing helped turn the market around this year, moving to a successful new day and time. Sisters Farmers Market is a nonprofit entity operating under the fiscal sponsorship of SPRD.