August at the Farmers Market
Can you believe that it is August already? There is a lot to celebrate this month at the Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets. To start with, this month marks both National Farmers Market Week and National Goat Cheese Month. Some fun things to look forward in August include: Storytime at the Port Townsend Farmers Market on Saturday, August 6; Kids’ Day at the Chimacum Farmers Market on Sunday, August 7; a chef demo by Arran Stark at the Port Townsend Farmers Market on Saturday, August 13; and the Uptown Street Fair on Saturday, August 20.
August 7 through 13 is National Farmers Market Week. Arran Stark will help us celebrate National Farmers Market week with a chef demo on Saturday, August 13 at the Port Townsend Farmers Market. Along with farmers markets throughout the nation, we are celebrating the great tradition of farmers markets this month by sharing some of the ways in which they positively influence community health and stimulate local economies. To start with, farmers markets serve as business incubator and provide an important market place for direct sales from local farms to consumers. They help farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs keep their overhead costs low and increase the profits these small business owners earn from the sale of their goods. As a result, small and mid-size farms who vend at farmers markets have almost a 10% greater chance of staying in business than those who sell exclusively wholesale and to distributors. This fact is especially important given the state of farming in the United States. Between 2007 and 2012 more than 95,000 mostly mid-sized family farms went out of business and the average age of US farmers rose to nearly 60. As we see at the Jefferson County Farmers Markets, farmers markets provide an entry point for new farmer. A total of 16% of farmers selling at farmers markets nationally are under 35 years old. Stay tuned next week for more information about our local and national farmers markets.
August is National Goat Cheese Month. You are in luck. Mystery Bay Farm is celebrating the month by debuting exciting new varieties of their chevre. This week Mystery Bay Farm's special chevre is lemon rosemary, a refreshing creation made by Mystery Bay summer FIELD intern, Ruby Francis. Here are some other flavors to look forward to in August when you stop by the Mystery Bay booth at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market: honey lavender and beautifully decorated chevre torte with local flowers and herbs. Yum!
Kids’ Day is this Sunday, August 7 at the Chimacum Farmers Market. This family-friendly community event features music by the Wild Berry Pickers, paint your own pottery with Millbrook Clayworks, crafts with Sunfield and Storytime with the Jefferson County Public Library. You can also sit on a Red Dog tractor for a taste of the farmer’s life. On Saturday, August 6 at 10:30am the Port Townsend Public Library will host Storytime at the Port Townsend Farmers Market. Librarian, Jeanne Simons, will share pirate stories. Arr!
Last but not least, August 20 markets the 26th anniversary of the Uptown Street Fair. On this date the Farmers Market moves to Polk and Lawrence Streets with our craft and some of our food vendors remaining on Tyler Street. This event includes great local music, the Port Townsend Arts & Crafts Fair, the Port Townsend Farmers Market, tasty food , free art activities for families and much more. The Arts and Crafts Fair and Farmers Market begin at 9am; children’s activities follow from 10am to 3pm, and music from 10am to 5pm. The Uptown Pub is hosting an outdoor beer garden too. Learn more about the Uptown Street Fair by visiting their website.
Artist Ranie Keithahn
Through colorful cards, paintings and felted sculpture, artist, Ranie Keithahn, brings to life a jolly world where the coffee pot is always on, friends are dear and sunshine fills the room through the kitchen window. A third generation Alaskan, Ranie’s folk-style paintings depict life by the ocean, in wild places and in cozy living rooms. Children fill themselves on wild blueberries, a happy fisher woman holds her daily catch, and friends share a hot tub on greeting cards by Ranie.
Ranie is the daughter of an architect and is from a family of creative people. With an artful family environment, Ranie started drawing at a young age. She is inspired in part by well-known Alaskan artist, Rie Munoz. Ranie and Rie’s art share a similar sense of place and an uplifting quality, with round-faced people cheerfully at work and play.
Ranie moved from Alaskan to the Pacific Northwest in the late 1990s and moved to Port Townsend in 2000. Her first job was at About Time, the Port Townsend clothing business started by Janice Speck. Working together, she and Janice became quick friends. Today they share a tent at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market.
Ranie started vending at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market five years ago. Her first day at market was a windy one. Her entire display was pushed over by the wind just before the market opened. Ranie was touched by the quick response of the other market vendors who stepped up to help her set up her display. It is this camaraderie and friendship that keeps Ranie coming back to market.
You can introduce yourself to the artist and find cards by Ranie at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market. Her cards are also available at Quimper Mercantile and at various businesses in Alaska.
From our Vendors
Willow Wind Farm has more basil this week: Genovese, Sweet Thai and Tulsi, the holy basil. They also have tons of fresh bouquets and some giant lily stalks.
Red Dog Farm is bringing lots of strawberries! They also are still swimming in green beans, broccoli, beefsteak and cherry tomatoes, and tons more vibrant, delicious summer produce.