Sharing is Caring
This last Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market Inez, my almost nine-month-old daughter, introduced her friend Quince, son of Rachael Van Laanen and Scott Brinton of Mystery Bay Farm, to spinach. It was not Quince’s first time enjoying spinach, but he had previously eaten it in blended form only. Inez shared her favorite treat with him, handing him a whole leaf, which he happily ate from her hand almost adding some of her fingers to his meal. It was a magical moment of sharing and discovery.
The Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers markets support sharing nutritious foods with our community through our Gimme5 food assistance program. When community members use food assistance dollars at our markets we match at a rate of 50% for food stamps (EBT) and 100% for WIC and Senior Nutrition checks. This means that community members who are low-income are able to more easily access the most nutrition-dense foods around and support our local farmers. This last year our markets provided over $12,000 in matching funds to low-income shoppers, helping community members bring home nearly $39,000 in local farm-fresh foods.
More than one third of the funds used to provide matching dollars at our markets come from individual donations. Jefferson Health Care, United Good Neighbors and the Washington State Department of Agriculture also fund Gimme5. We are still raising the funds needed to sustain Gimme5 this market season. We need community support to reach our goal of $15,000 in matching funds for this market season. Please consider making a donation of $5 or $500 to the Gimme5 program today. We accept donations through our website, via mail and at our markets. Thank you in advance for sharing!
In other market news, this last Saturday a small band of pirates clashed swords, a singing blue dragon danced and a multi colored fish swam through the Port Townsend Farmers Market. It was quite a day! Come out this Saturday and check out the PT Farmers Market. Who knows what you will find!
P.S. We have a new logo for our Chimacum Farmers Market. Thank you Katy McCoy of Chimacum Corner Farmstand.
May 21st -Rhododendron Festival Farmers Market, 9 am-2 pm, Polk Street PT
May 28th-Artisan Food Festival at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market, 9 am-3 pm and at Finnriver from 6-9 pm
Chimacum Farmers Market Grand Opening, Kids Day and Tour de Forts, 10 am-2 pm, Chimacum CornerthJune 5
June 15th - Grand Opening of the Wednesday Farmers Market, 2 pm-6 pm, Polk Street PT
Short’s Farm is a multi-generation family farm located in Chimacum Valley. This farm is the home of five living generations of Shorts, a family of bald eagles, winter wetlands, established apple trees, and some 400 Angus cows. On a sunny day you can look over the wide expanse of Short’s Farm to forestlands and the Olympic Mountains. When I visited Short’s Farm I was enchanted by the grazing cows and the combination of bright green and yellow grass, deep green forest, blue and white mountains and open sky.
Once a dairy farm started by Rodger’s grandparents in 1945, today Short’s is managed by father and son team, Rodger and Kevin Short, as a beef cattle farm. Though Rodger and Kevin are the lead farmers, children and grandchildren also pitch in, caring for the cattle and about 270 acres of Short’s land, and an additional 200 or so of leased grazing land. Rodger’s seven and eight year-old grandchildren enjoy riding on the tractor and helping out when they can.
Short’s Angus cows are 100% pasture and grass-fed using a rotational method, which supports the fertility of the land and health of the cattle. Short’s cattle generally graze on 10-30 acres of land at a time. Rodger and Kevin have a strong commitment to a grass-only diet for their cows. “Grass it what cows were made to eat,” says Kevin.
In order to preserve the Short’s land as farmland, Rodger and Kevin are working with the Jefferson Land Trust to create a conservation easement on the property. They are very thankful for their partnership with the Jefferson Land Trust, without which they would have truly struggled to keep the land in agriculture.
In addition to raising cattle, Short’s Farm also produces Magic Soil. Using the manure from their cattle as the base, they produce soil rich in microbes. Rodger’s motto is, “Healthy microbes, healthy animals, healthy plants, healthy people.”
You can find Short’s Beef at the Port Townsend Saturday and Chimacum Sunday farmers markets on the second and fourth weeks of the month. Additionally, they vend at other area markets: Silverdale, Bremerton and Port Orchard. You can also find Short’s beef at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand, Farm’s Reach Café, the Jefferson Healthcare cafeteria, Key City Fish, Quilcene Village Store and Owl Sprit Café. You can purchase Magic Soil at the Port Townsend Co-op and Chimacum Corner Farmstand. This Saturday Kevin will be at the Port Townsend Farmers Market with a sale on top sirloin and New York strip steak.
In Season from Our Vendors
Midori Farm is bringing salad mix, pea shoots, spinach, salad turnips, mustard greens and potatoes to market, as well as loads of garden seedlings, including tomatoes! Of course, Midori will also have a delicious collection of kraut, kimchi and their new kraut dust seasoning.
Red Dog Farm is bringing Hakurei turnips, radishes, herbs, loose-leaf rainbow chard, pea greens, potatoes, salad mix and spinach. Our tulip crop has stumbled upon hard times and the tulips have some spots to show for it. All tulips are on sale for $0.50 per stem for the rest of the season to reflect their compromised vase life. We’ve had a lot of loss. Please help us break even on tulips this season! Plant starts are going strong with more and more varieties coming on every week.