Winter squash and Asian pears joined the Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets for the first time last weekend. While summer berries are at the end of their season, the cooler, shorter days of fall invite us to enjoy baked squash, crisp apples (coming soon), and warm soup.
Winter squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of potassium, magnesium, as well as vitamin E. Squash also is high in fiber, which gives us the satisfying feeling of being full without consuming a lot of calories. Learn more about squash here.
Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
Most types of winter squash can be used as a substitute in this recipe by allrecipes.com.
- 1 butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or a high heat cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
Prep 15 minutes. Cook 25 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Toss squash with olive oil and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet.
- Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
While organic agriculture benefits our environment and our bodies, it is also an economic powerhouse.
In the article, U.S. Organic Hotspots and their Benefit to Local Economies, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics at Penn State University, Edward C. Jaenicke, introduces organic hotspots: "counties with high levels of organic agricultural activity that have neighboring counties with high organic activity." (Also check out this link to Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities). Jaenicke connects regions active in organic agriculture to lower community poverty rates and higher median household incomes. At the same time, conventional agricultural hotspots actually have higher levels of community poverty and lower median household incomes.
Jefferson County is part of a large organic hotspot ranging from California through parts of Oregon and Western Washington. The federal poverty rate in Jefferson County is estimated at 13% - lower than in many neighboring counties as well as counties in Eastern and Central Washington where conventional agriculture is more common (see map of national poverty rates by county). Our small farms are an important part of our local economy. As farmers continue to work hard to bring us fresh, nutritious and sustainably grown foods, our entire local economy benefits. This is in part because successful farms equate to more local jobs and more money circulating in our economy. Conventional agriculture producers are frequently in the challenging position of competing with each other to offer the lowest cost products, leaving farmers to struggle with shrinking incomes and market volatility. Low-cost conventionally-produced foods frequently equate to higher poverty rates among farmers not to mention the environmental and human impact of conventional farming methods. Small-scale, organic farmers work hard to change this dynamic by charging consumers and retailers for the true cost of producing sustainably grown, nutritious foods. In other words, while conventional farmers find themselves racing to the bottom, organic growers are helping reduce community poverty.
Take one of our local farms, SpringRain Farm and Orchard, which has been picked as a semifinalist for Kitsap Bank's Edg3 grant. This grant is awarded by locals casting votes. Read more in the 'From Our Vendors' section of this newsletter and cast your vote for SpringRain. Why? Because successful local farms feed our bellies and build our economy. Shop locally at your farmers markets and invest in your community. Thank you and see you at the market! ~ Amanda
Upcoming Market Events
- Saturday, September 23, 9 am-2 pm, Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market, live music from 10 am-1:45pm by Happenstance, Tyler Street
- Sunday, September 24, 10 am- 2 pm, Chimacum Farmers Market, Chimacum Corner Farmstand
- Saturday, September 30, am-2 pm, Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market, live music from 10 am-1:45pm by Douglas Francisco, Tyler Street
- Sunday, October 1, 10 am- 2 pm, last Kids' Day at the Chimacum Farmers Market, Chimacum Corner Farmstand
- Saturday, October 14, 9 am- 2pm, Tyler Street, Olympic Peninsula Apple & Cider Festival at the Port Townsend Farmers Market
- Sunday, October 29th, 10am-2pm, Season Closing Day of the Chimacum Farmers Market, Chimacum Corner Farmstand
From Our Vendors
SpringRain Farm & Orchard has been picked as a semifinalist for Kitsap Bank's Edg3 grant. This is a $20,000 grant aimed at supporting one of the peninsula's local small businesses that is focused on economic, environmental, and social issues in their work. They plan to use the $20,000 to build more covered greenhouse space so they can raise more winter food for the PT community. In order to help them move to the finals, all you need to do is vote for them. Each email address gets one vote, so please vote and ask your friends and family to vote as well. Voting is open until September 29th. If you want to learn more about their farming approach and how they address the triple bottom line, you can go to their website: http://www.springrainfarm.org/edg3-fund-home/.
Red Dog Farm is bringing nine varieties of winter squash! We had a killing frost last week, so the squash are sweet and satisfying, just in time for fall weather. We also have some fall favorites like celeriac, pea greens, mustards and shallots joining our produce offerings this week. And of course, summer fruits are still hanging on and wow-ing us with sweet deliciousness in their final days. Strawberries, melons, zucchini and more are in full effect. Whether you’re excited for fall, or hanging onto the dregs of summer, we have something for you!