The Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets are about to get fresher. With support from a USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives grant, we are launching a second food assistance matching program at both markets. The Fresh Bucks program gives shoppers who receive Basic Food Assistance more buying power for the purchase of local fruit and vegetables. In addition to buying produce at the Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets, Fresh Bucks can be used at participating farmers markets throughout Washington State.
Fresh Bucks help us stretch the food assistance support we offer our community this and future market seasons. Starting Saturday, July 23, shoppers using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT or Food Stamps) receive $2 in matching Fresh Bucks for every $5 spent on their EBT card. When you spend $20 or more on your EBT card, you get one Gimme5 token in addition to Fresh Bucks. There is no limit on the amount of EBT dollars that can be matched. In other words, if you spend $50 on your EBT card, you are given an additional $20 in Fresh Bucks and a Gimme5 token. If you spend $100 on EBT, you will get an additional $40 in Fresh Bucks and a Gimme5 token. This means more fresh fruit and vegetables for community members who are low-income. Yay!
Gimme5, the Jefferson County Farmers Markets food assistance matching program, is not going away. People who receive Women Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Nutrition Farmers Market Vouchers will continue to receive Gimme5 food assistance matching tokens at the same rate of $20 in Gimme5 tokens for each packet of checks matched. This week WIC checks are distributed at the Port Townsend Wednesday and Chimacum Sunday Farmers Markets.
We have seen Gimme5 make a huge difference in the lives of families, seniors, and individuals in our community. Since the inception the Gimme5 food assistance matching program in 2013, JCFM has provided $32,350 in matching funds to low-income families, senior citizens, and individuals who qualify for Basic Food Assistance. As a result, farmers market shoppers who are low-income have brought home $104,253 worth of fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat, and honey from our local farms over the last three years. Each week our customers thank us for helping them keep healthy food on the table and giving them increased means to support local farms.
While strengthening local food security, Gimme5 puts more money into our local economy by giving shoppers the buying power to purchase fresh food directly from our local farmers. Our local farms receive a greater share of the sales price through direct sales to farmers market customers rather than wholesale sales. We are excited to connect our markets with the Fresh Bucks program and extend the food assistance support we are able to offer our community.
Gimme5 is made possible with support from individual donors as well as from Jefferson Healthcare, United Good Neighbors, Pane d’Amore Bakery and the Port Townsend Food Co-op. We are still seeking funds to ensure that we are able to offer Gimme5 food assistance for the entire farmers market season. Please visit our website or contact Market Director Amanda Milholland (info@jcfmarkets) for more information about Gimme5 and Fresh Bucks or to make a contribution.
Music this week includes: Cort Armstrong at the Wednesday Farmers Market, Howly Slim and Toot Sweet at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market and Cort Armstrong at the Chimacum Sunday Farmers Market. We still have room in the four week cooking class series with Arran Stark starting Wednesday, August 3 at the Port Townsend High School. This Wednesday series focused on cooking nutritious, whole food on a budget. To learn more and register for this free class fill out this online form.
Bentley Cedar Furniture
This time of year with the long days and clear evening skies I often find myself star gazing as the evening shifts to night. In moments like this I love a good outside chair. Rick Bentley is just the person to talk with if you are in need of a good chair for stargazing or by your backyard fire pit.
Rick Bentley, the designer and builder of Bentley Cedar Furniture, made his first picnic table at a party where one of his friends introduced the project as a group activity. Rick was happy to find that he thoroughly enjoyed the project which planted the seed for his business.
Using primarily fallen trees and salvaged lumber, Rick started building lawn and home furniture in 1984. He handbuilds each piece with attention to functionality and the aesthetic of his designs. Over time, Rick has perfected designs for Adirondack chairs, love seats, and other furniture. Rick strives to keep his prices low so as to make his furniture as accessible as possible.
Rick loves his work. He enjoys using his hands, being his own boss, and getting to know his community by vending a the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market.
Introduce your self to Rick and Gina Bentley, husband and wife team, at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market. You can find them relaxing in Rick's beautiful chairs at the corner of Tyler and Clay streets. Have a seat, meet the artist, and maybe bring a chair home for your fireside or patio.
From our Vendors
Nash’s BUNCH CARROTS are back in case you missed them last week. Bunch beets, chard, spinach, basil and cucumbers are all looking good! The Nash's veggie of the week is a two-fer! Dill and cilantro go on special this week. This is the perfect time to whip up spreads, sauces, dressings, and fire up that canner! Don't forget Nash's pork is great for the grill this summer! Apricots and nectarines are still pumping from Sunnyslope Ranch in Wapato, WA. They are DELICIOUS! Come get a case! Did you fire up that canner!? Have you tried grilling pork and apricots together? Wow!
This week Midori Farm will cured garlic, sweet onions, french filet beans, first of their tomatoes, loads of basil and maybe eggplant!
Onatrue Farm has amazingly large and delicious strawberries. Max is also offering a two for one sale on cucumbers.