The opening day of the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market is only three Saturdays away on April 2nd, 2016. This year marks the 24th season on the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market. Washington State Department of Agriculture Director, Derek Sandison, and Port Townsend Mayor, Deborah Stinson, will officially open the market with a red ribbon cutting at 9 am.
The market’s annual goat parade will follow the ribbon cutting with baby and adult goats from Harmony's Way Farm and live music by Otto and Kristen Smith. Chef Arran Stark of Jefferson Healthcare will provide a chef demo at the event featuring local, seasonal produce.
The Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market will have about 70 vendors this year; over 20 produce, meat and dairy farms; three artisan cheese makers; four craft alcohol producers; and a wide selection of prepared artisan food and art and craft vendors. Some of the new farm and food businesses at the market this year include: PT Pops serving up popsicles with local fruit, Bainbridge Vineyard, Chimacum Valley Dairy, One Straw Ranch and E + M Seeds. New art and craft vendors include: Ivy Glass, Sol Food, the Chain Maker and Salt Creek Studios.
We have some great events in store for our Port Townsend and Chimacum farmers markets this year, including: opening day at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market, Artisan Food Festival on May 28th and Kids Days the first Sunday June through October at our Chimacum Farmers Market.
Cedar Root Folk School will be offering artisan food making classes during the Artisan Food Festival. You can sign up for classes now at:
http://cedarrootfolkschool.org/port-townsend-artisan-food-festival-3. Classes include: seasonal cooking with Arran Stark, pickle making with Mama's Harvest, cheese and yogurt with Mystery Bay Farm, hard cider with Finnriver Farm and fermented foods with Midori Farm.
Stories from our vendors are something else to look forward to this season. Throughout the season I will highlight our vendors in the newsletter. This week read about Cape Cleare Fisheries. It was my pleasure to visit many of our vendors this winter and learn more about who they are and what they do. We have so many amazing people bringing produce, artisan food, and arts and crafts to our markets. Stay tuned for their stories.
Volunteers play an important role in the success of our markets and special events. We are seeking volunteers to assist with set up and break down of our markets as well as with special events. Please contact me if you would like to join us as a market volunteer.
On behalf of the Jefferson County Farmers Market Board of Directors and vendors, I want to thank our new and returning season sponsors. Thank you to our returning sponsors Jefferson Healthcare, Port Townsend Chiropractic, Port Ludlow Resort, Kitsap Bank, Kitsap Credit Union, Ravenscroft Inn and Aldrich's Market. We warmly welcome our new sponsors Organic Valley Dairy and Kristin Manwaring Insurance. With support from these partners and individual donations we are proud to bring you three vibrant farmers markets and our Gimme5 food assistance matching program.
See you at the PT Saturday Farmers Market on April 2nd!
A Fisherman’s Story:
Sail-ho on the Cape Cleare!
At the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market look for the bike with a cooler-trailer bringing fresh fish from Cape Cleare Fisheries. Pam, Sandra, Rick Oltman or one of their friends bring frozen and smoked salmon, lox, albacore tuna and ling cod to the Port Townsend and Coupeville farmers markets by bike each week.
Oltman, the owner of Cape Clear Fisheries, attended Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA in the 1970s. He studied energy systems, science, and marine history. Rick and his classmates designed and built a sailing fishing boat as one of their class projects.
When Rick was in school it was a time of transformation in Washington State with the Boeing crash in Seattle and the economy in recession. “Things get imprinted on you at different ages. You can get entangled in them or grow from them,” says Oltman. He saw fragility in the high tech world and chose a path that allowed him to have a closer relationship to his food, and the elements of wind and water.
Oltman was not the only Evergreen grad drawn to Port Townsend. Other “Greeners” from his marine oriented college program came because of the Port Townsend boat building community. “I came here because you could buy five acres and build a boat on it,” says Oltman. “It was affordable and it was also a perfect hopping off point to sail to Alaska.”
Oltman is a man of innovation and artistic vision. Everywhere around his property and business you can see evidence of this, from the hearts cut into the wood shingles on one of his out buildings to the mermaids on bicycles riding across his canned fish. His workshop is heated with warm air pulled out of his fish freezer, which also warms a pond on his property. Rick is always looking for creative ways to reduce his carbon footprint.
From 1990 up until 2012, Oltman fished from Washington State to Alaska on his diesel-powered troller named after Cape Cleare Alaska.
Since his first boat building experience at Evergreen, Oltman has dreamed of having his own sailing fishing boat. In 2013, Oltman made the leap from diesel to sail power. He purchased an 80-foot, fiberglass schooner sailboat, the Mystere, built in Port Townsend in the 1980s. Now renamed Cape Cleare, Rick and local contractors are rebuilding this boat in the Port Townsend Boat Haven to hold 12 to 15 tons of salmon or 20 tons of albacore tuna. Cape Cleare’s large freezer will allow Rick to clean and immediately freeze fish on board and sail it back to our community instead of using fossil fuels.
Rick hopes to sail this season to Alaska on the new Cape Cleare.