The Count Down Begins to Opening Day
On Tuesday morning I visited Todd Stephens at Millbrook Clayworks. Todd is working on some Port Townsend Farmers Market cups, which will be available on Opening Day of the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market.
Todd told me about a conversation he recently had with his daughter, Chloe (5), who was up early on Tuesday morning before her younger sister, Ayla (3). As a father of two, Todd appreciates the moments he is able to connect one-on-one with each of his daughters.
Chloe asked her father with excitement, “Is this the first day of the farmers market?”
Todd told Chloe, “No. But it is coming up really soon.” He held out one hand, his fingers extended and showed Chloe, “There are five more days until the market opens. That is all of my fingers from my little fingers to my thumb. Once you get to my thumb it will be the first day of the market.”
She looked at him and at his open hand. “Okay. Good thing it is not six days. That would be too long!”
From today’s date there are only one, two, three, four more days until the opening of the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market. Like Chloe, our 70 farmers, artisan food makers and art and craft vendors, and I are getting ready for the big day just around the corner. Farm-fresh veggies, baby goats, the goat parade, the red ribbon cutting, a chef demo from Arran Stark, and special visitors are coming to Uptown Port Townsend on April 2nd starting at 9 am. See you there!
Ecology Meets Goatology at Mystery Bay Farm
This Saturday Mystery Bay Farm will bring WSDA certified Grade A fresh ricotta, chevre and yogurt to the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market. They will also bring a few baby goats, which you can meet at the Mystery Bay booth. This means that we will have two different breeds of goats at the first farmers market: LaMancha goats from Harmony’s Way Farm and American Alpine goats from Mystery Bay Farm.
I visited Mystery Bay Farm this March. This small-scale, family farm operates on five acres on Marrowstone Island. Wife and husband team, Rachael Van Laanen and Scott Brinton and their children Cora and Quince own and manage Mystery Bay Farm. When I visited, there were about 30 kids (baby goats), 21 does (mama goats), and a small handful of bucks (papa goats).
Rachael, originally from Colorado, and Scott, from California, went to college at UC Santa Cruz and the Evergreen State College respectively. Rachael studied gardening and animal husbandry and worked as a vegetable farmer in Santa Cruz. She and Scott chose to move from California to Port Townsend to be close to the water and mountains. Rachael worked for Mt. Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend when she and Scott first moved to the area.
Rachael and Scott came to goat farming with an ecological motivation. They saw the potential for fostering the greatest amount of positive change through their work creating a sustainable farming system. Though Mystery Bay Farm is itself five acres, farm goats rotate through 20 acres of pasture, including land leased from neighbors. Their quick rotation from one grass and brush pasture to the next allows the goats to help maintain healthy land that is not over-grazed. This intensive rotation reduces the dependence of Mystery Bay goats on hay during spring and summer months. In contrast to cows and sheep, goats browse, rather than graze, and cannot get all of their necessary nutrients from grass-only pasture. When given a choice, goats will eat blackberry, roses, trees, ivy, and other brushy plants, which are more suited to their digestive systems than grass. During the fall and winter months Rachael and Scott substitute pasture with local hay (which they harvest during the peak of the season), seaweed and organic grain.
You can find Mystery Bay Farm cheese, yogurt and caramel sauce at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market. Their products are all made with 100% goat milk from their pastured dairy goats. Introduce yourself to Rachael and Cora this Saturday and meet a few of their baby goats.
Lots to Look Forward to from Our Vendors
Artist Alexa Sunshine Rose will be celebrating the first market with hot-off-the-press cards and prints of her beautiful photography, featuring the fruits, vegetables and flowers of our vibrant Farmers Market and our town! CDs of her acoustic music and greeting cards of her original mandala art will also be on display.
It is the start of year five for Crust pies! We have loads of surprises for you this year but we will, of course, bring you the classics you know and love. We will be sure to bring our most popular pies this season: chicken pot pie, shepherds pie, garlicky greens & curried cauliflower, lemon cream, naked lemon tart, vanilla orange fig pie cookies & salted chocolate minis. We are also excited to share some new pies with you on opening day: key lime, and fromage blanc cheesecake tart with Mt. Townsend cheese. New treats this season will also include: buttermilk biscuits with cinnamon apple or cheddar cheese, the best ever shaved chocolate cookie, and vegan nuts and seed bars. You know you want one. Suzen made reusable flour sack pastry bags. Stuff one with minis, cookies or your favorite pie. Fill bag, eat, wash and repeat! You will be the coolest kid on your block. Can’t wait to see you, and all the other vendors, old and new.
Midori Farm will bring winter roots and spring greens, vegetable and herb starts, eggs, and all of our krauts and kimchi to the opening day market. We will also bring our new product, "kraut dust," spicy sauerkraut powder.
Millbrook Clayworks is bringing lots of new bowl and cup designs to kick off the season: dogs driving trucks, cats dancing, chickens riding skateboards (and other funky chicken stuff), dinosaurs playing baseball, and octopi and narwhals just being cool.
Mountain Spirit is bringing all new names for her combination tinctures but the recipes are the same, along with her other familiar assortment of products you have come to love. Also, Denise will have herb plants for sale and a few baby Muscovy ducks for you to visit.
Nash’s says, “RAABNATION.” We will have raabs on sale as our veggie of the week! These baby spring lovies are amazingly tender and sweet and packed with energy! Our raabs are like asparagus, but cheaper! You can roast, steam, saute, grill or eat raw! Purple sprouting broccoli is around for a little while longer. We also will bring some greenhouse radishes and baby white turnips! Leeks continue to shine and rutabagas will be making their farewell appearance soon, so snag some to slice up on that arugula salad you'll be making this weekend! Topsoil has arrived and plant starts are just around the corner! Our no delivery fee promotion continues through the month of April for our pork buying club. Join the club and save!
Onatrue Farm is bringing a plethora of baby greens, over-wintered baby beets and parsnips, super wonderful frilled kale, and maybe some radishes. See you Saturday!
One Straw Ranch will be selling grass-fed lamb and beef, pastured pork and eggs, yarn and other wool products from our Romney sheep at opening day market.
Red Dog Farm has tons of TULIPS! We will also have salad mix, carrots, parsley, mint, chives, green garlic, raabs- so many raabs-, swiss chard and many more veggies, plus plant starts.
Serendipity Farm welcomes our wonderful customers back to the market. Despite a very wet spring, we will have salad mixes, kale, stir fry mix, pea shoots, garlic, radishes, fresh spring chives, leeks, herbs, a few starts and our pestos and salad dressings, eggs some gluten-free goodies and lots of good cheer.
Sweet Lamb Baking Co. will be offering a variety of freshly baked croissants, breakfast pastries and French macarons!
Shorts Beef will be running a special for opening day of 20% off top sirloin.