Winter Hours Start Saturday

Port Townsend Farmers Market
Winter Hours Start Saturday
through December 17th
10am-1pm, Tyler Street

Winter Hours Start Saturday
Plus: Cranberries and Grant Award

Welcome to November! With Daylight Savings and Winter Solstice approaching, our market hours are changing. This week through December 17th, visit us from 10am to 1pm for local veggies, fruit, eggs, meat, artisan food and drink, as well as arts and crafts.

At market this week find crisp apples, sweet winter squash, cabbage, yummy Brussels sprouts, carrots, and greens as well as cranberries. This month we have a visiting vendor bringing beautiful, tart and crisp cranberries grown just outside of Olympia. Bloom Creek Cranberries is joining us for three weeks: November 5th, 12th and 19th. Come get your cranberries while supplies last for your holiday meals. They freeze well. Stock up and enjoy them throughout the year.

Did you know that cranberry, highly valued for their ability to treat urinary tract infections, are also helpful for preventing cavities and gum disease? Additionally, antioxidants and phytonutrients in cranberries help reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. This is because they contain compounds that prevent bacteria from attaching to the urethra and teeth as well as discourage cholesterol from forming in the heart and blood vessels. Wow cranberries!

In other market news, Jefferson County Farmers Markets (JCFM) was informed last week that we have been awarded a grant from the First Federal Community Foundation for $5,000 for our Gimme5 program this season. Through our Gimme5 and Fresh Bucks programs, JCFM offers food assistance matching funds for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy from our local farms to shoppers who are low-income and use their EBT card, WIC or Senior Farmers Market Nutrition vouchers at our markets. This grant ensures that we will not run out of matching funds this market season. We currently offer $2 in Fresh Bucks for the purchase of fresh fruit and veggies for each $5 in EBT spent at our markets plus one Gimme5 token for EBT purchases over $20. Tell your friends and come by the market to extend your EBT dollars for the purchase of healthy, local food. 

Community support is essential for the continuation of JCFM’s food assistance matching programs. Our thanks goes out to our Gimme5 partners: First Federal Community Foundation, Jefferson Healthcare, United Good Neighbors, Pane d’Amore Bakery, the Port Townsend Food Coop, and the USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant as well as many individual contributors. Together we are ensuring that fresh, local food is accessible to everyone, regardless of income. Contact JCFM Director, Amanda Milholland, to make a contribution towards Gimme5 for next market season.

Meet Bloom Creek Cranberries
Kathy and Felix Mahr

Bloom Creek Cranberries will be at the Port Townsend Farmers Market for the next three Saturdays, November 5th, 12th and 19th, with two varieties of fresh cranberries for your fall and winter meals. Visit Bloom Creek for a sample of these tangy berries and recipes to try at home.

Kathy and Felix Mahr, the owners of Bloom Creek Cranberries, are from Tacoma and Seattle, respectively. They met in Arizona where Felix worked for the University of Arizona. In the early 1980’s, during the first oil price boom, Felix was offered a job in Saudi Arabia working for the biggest landscape company and plant nursery in the country. He and Kathy got married and moved to Saudi Arabia for a seven-year adventure. 

While there, Felix worked as a plant health specialist and helped create landscapes and gardens for international airports, freeway plantings, palaces, offices and residential complexes. The Mahrs lived and started their family in Jeddah, on the Red Sea, in a community built for expats from all over the world. It was a pretty good place to live, with coral reef snorkeling and diving, windsurfing, four-wheeling adventures, and ancient souks (markets). 

After working abroad for nearly a decade, Felix and Kathy returned to Washington to build a cranberry farm from scratch in the Puget Sound basin. They established Bloom Creek Cranberries in 1998 just outside of Olympia, WA. An ideal location for growing this traditional American fruit, the farm has warm summers, clean sand and abundant water. To avoid disturbing on-site wetlands and streams, they built their bogs out of native materials from the land. They use sustainable farming methods and soil amendments as well as carefully timed flooding to grow their berries.

Bloom Creek Cranberries grows two varieties of cranberries. Felix explains, “Both varieties can be used the same in all recipes, but there are some noticeable differences. Our primary variety is Stevens, which is probably the most widely grown cranberry. It has good flavor, matures mid to late season and keeps pretty well. Our Stevens are especially large, sweet and flavorful because of the hot summers we experience in the South Sound compared to berries grown on the coast. 

“We are now also growing Willapa Red cranberries, a new variety recently released by the WSU Long Beach Experiment Station. Willapa Red cranberries are smaller, very dark red and have a bit more tannin-flavor, something like wild cranberries.  Willapa Red cranberries have thick skins (where the healthy anthocyanin pigments are located), which makes them kind of crunchy.  They may be better in uncooked relishes and other dishes where more texture is desired.”

The cranberry farm is a creative passion for Felix and Kathy. In addition to this work, Felix is a wetland consultant and Kathy an official court reporter in Pierce County Superior Court.  They love their work and are committed to bringing fresh cranberries to farmers markets in Port Townsend as well as other regional markets each fall.

Felix writes, “Cranberries are beautiful, healthy, and, strangely, make people happy.” Come see for yourself what folks around the Olympic Peninsula are smiling about.


From Our Vendors

Red Dog Farm is going strong into the late fall and winter. We now have popcorn! It is super easy to push off the kernels and pop. We also have lots of winter squash, Brussels sprouts, kales, beets, carrots, and cabbages, as well as winter roots like Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac, parsnips and watermelon radishes. Broccoli and cauliflower are extending later than ever before. We will have both at market Saturday.

GREEN CABBALICIOUS is Nash’s veg o’ the week! This dense hearty and humble green is a member of the brassica family and offers many health benefits. CABBAGE is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which are power agents used by our bodies to fight disease. It is high in fiber (roughage), which helps the body retain water and maintain food structure as it travels through our body. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, helps lower blood pressure and is a low calorie food among many other things!!! If you’re not feeling the green cab we also have purple, green savoy and a Wirosa CABBAGE. Pick some up this week and TOSS it in a winter soup, CHOP into a salad or give it a ROASTING in the oven!! Along with all of the yummy cabbage, we’ve got our sweet and tender Brussels sprouts, kale, carrots GALORE, grains, and flour. New in, our sugar pie pumpkins are sure to please - try making a pie or roast the pumpkin and make a curry soup. Come visit us this weekend! 

Surprise, surprise, Green Gables Garden still has fresh flowers to bring to market. This wet, somewhat-mild fall has kept some of Carmen's blooms and berries in tact. Get your fresh bouquets this weekend before the frost gets them.