Opening day of the 26th Port Townsend Farmers Market season is now only two weeks away! Mark your calendar for the grand season opening of the Port Townsend Farmers Market on April 7th from 9am-2pm, uptown on Tyler Street. If you needed a new reason to get excited for Market opening, I have one for you. It is in the form of a question: Who Sells the Chicken Eggs?
Husband and wife team, Cameron Roberts and Junchay Junpo (Plai) are joining us as new vendors this season. Their business name might make you think they are raising chickens: “Who sells the chicken eggs?” They are not vending chickens or eggs; rather they are hand-making Northern Thai sausage using pork from Nash’s Farm. “Who sells the chicken eggs?,” has a dual meaning. First it is a Thai tongue twister: “Kai Kai Kai Gai?” Because Thai is a tonal language, to the American ears it sounds like we are repeating the same word numerous times. The question is also a roundabout way of asking, “Where is your food sourced?” Cameron, a Port Townsend native, and Plai, from a small village in Northern Thailand, chose the name to spark conversation and share their value of having a personal connection with their food.
Plai and Cameron met in Plai’s home village, a remote town of 30 some homes in Northern Thailand, near the Burmese border. She was studying to become a teacher at the school where Port Townsend High School teacher, Robbie Roberts, took students on exchange through the Expedition Club. Cameron, Mr. Roberts son, joined the first Expedition Club trip to Thailand in 2003.
Cameron shares, “At first I went to Thailand to get away. A vacation or an adventure… Time goes on and soon that what-you-are-to-become starts sneaking up on the who-you-are. That same ‘adventure’ or ‘escape’ became what defined my habits and who I could relate to. The separation ceased to exist.” Plai’s small village became Cameron's second home, a place where he would live, teach, and, eventually, fall in love.
Growing up in a small, isolated village, Plai hand-made her own clothing and cooked for her family with ingredients exclusively from their farm. Her life took a sharp turn when she and Cameron fell in love, got married, and moved to Washington State. “I started cooking.” She explains, “Food is very important in Thai culture. It's how you ask how someone is doing: ‘have you eaten yet?’ We eat family-style and share conversation, stories, experiences and flavors.”
Cameron and Plai are excited to share a piece of their culture with us through food at the Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets this season. They will serve Northern Thai-style sausage featuring Nash’s pork as well as Thai herbs and spices. Your support of their business will help them further share in cultural exchange as they plan to give back 50% of their profits to the Port Townsend EXPEDITION CLUB. Meet Plai and Cameron and try their truly delicious, unique food on April 7th at the Opening Day Port Townsend Farmers Market. Learn more about them and their business here.
- 9am, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and Port Townsend Mayor, Deborah Stinson, open the market season with a red ribbon cutting
- 9:10am, goat parade with baby goats from Harmony’s Way and Mystery Bay Farms. Come in animal costumes for a chance to win a $20 Flora Market token.
- 9am-2pm, farmers market with 70+ local farm, artisan food and arts vendors
- 10am, Chef demo with Jefferson Healthcare's Executive Chef, Arran Stark
- 11:30-1:45, live music
See you at the Market! ~ Amanda