Time to Celebrate Local!
We are one weekend away from the Rhododendron Festival Farmers Market and just three weekends from Artisan Food Festival. Just in time, the Salmon Cart is back at Market serving up Cape Cleare salmon sandwiches and fillets starting this weekend. New kombucha vendors, BluJay, attended their first market last weekend and, starting this weekend, Johnson & Gunstone Shellfish will serve raw shucked oysters at market in addition to selling shellfish for home consumption. On Saturday, farm vendors will have tables laden with spring radishes, turnips, asparagus, scrumptious and vibrant salad greens, fresh goat and cow milk cheese, eggs, flowers and so many other spring crops. It is time to celebrate local abundance and artisan food!
In our forests and yards rhododendrons, the heralds of the Rhododendron Festival, are in vivid bloom. In past years the Port Townsend Farmers Market has moved up a block to Polk Street on Rhody Festival Saturday. This year we will stay at our Tyler Street location for the May 19th Rhody Festival Farmers Market. Come to Market, stock up on farm-fresh food, grab a bite and stick around for the parade.
Mark your calendar for the 5th annual Artisan Food Festival, May 26, 9am-3pm at the Port Townsend Farmers Market. Mountain Spirit Herbalist, Denise Joy, as well as chefs Arran Stark of Jefferson Healthcare, Deb Taylor of Finistère, and Jesse Rose of the Silverwater, will host cooking demonstrations at the Artisan Food Festival Market. Denise will demonstrate delicious tea making while participating chefs will cook and provide samples of dishes featuring fresh market produce and other foods direct from market farmers. Mt. Townsend Creamery and Port Townsend Vineyards are joining forces to offer cheese and wine parings, and Johnson & Gunstone Shellfish will serve raw as well as prepared shellfish as special additions to this event. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to Memorial Day weekend.
See you at the Market! ~ Amanda
Meet Andrew Hamm, BluJay Kombucha
BluJay Kombucha joined the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market last Saturday. Owner, Andrew Hamm, grew up in Santa Cruz and found home in Port Townsend in 2000. Before starting his own business, he worked as a chef, sous chef and in various other positions within the food industry. Andrew had been making kombucha for his family and himself for the past seven years. "I'm a food person," explains Andrew. "I chose kombucha because I want to nourish people with food." Andrew appreciates kombucha for its digestive benefits as well as flavor.
Andrew's business name, BluJay, is from the names of his daughters, Jaden, 16 years old, and Levynblue, five years old. Jaden and Levynblue are part of what inspired Andrew to develop his home kombucha making into a small business. Like so many market vendors, Andrew sees operating a small business as an important part of building our local economy. He explained that for him vending at the market is one way he can help establish the kind of future he wants for his children, one in which local economies can sustain local residents and originality and creativity are part of the business landscape.
Say hi to Andrew and try BluJay Kombucha this weekend. You can find Andrew and maybe even meet Jaden and Levynblue this weekend in the middle row of the farmers market towards the Clay and Tyler Street intersection.
- May 12, 9am-2pm Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market
- Live music by Combo Choro 10am-1:45pm
- Collage-making in the PT Community Center with Local 2020 and Jefferson County's Earth Institute 9am-4pm
- May 19th, 9am-2pm Rhody Festival Farmers Market on Tyler Street. Watch the parade and visit the Farmers Market for farm fresh and artisan food, arts and crafts
- May 26th, 9am-3pm, Artisan Food Festival at the Port Townsend Farmers Market:
- 70+ local farm, artisan food and arts vendors
- Chef demonstrations
- Raw and prepared shellfish by Johnson & Gunstone Shellfish
- Cheese and wine tasting with Mt. Townsend Creamery and Port Townsend Vineyards
- Kid's activities
- June 3rd, 10am-2pm, Chimacum Farmers Market Opening:
- The first day of the Power of Produce (POP) Club, registration for kids 5-12 years old
- Storytime with the Jefferson County Library and Red Dog tractors and farm-fresh food tasting with chef Dan Ratigan, Port Ludlow Resort and Fireside Restaurant
- WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program Check distribution at market
- June 6th, 2-6pm, Port Townsend Wednesday Farmers Market Opening at Jefferson Transit's Haines Place Park and Ride
- Red ribbon cutting with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce
- POP Club registration and activities with the Organic Seed Alliance
- Chef demo with Arran Stark
- WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program Check distribution at market
More about the Collage-Making Event
Local 2020 and Jefferson County's Earth Institute will co-host a free collage-making event on May 12th, just before Mother’s Day, from 9am to 4pm at the Port Townsend Community Center. Community members are encouraged to honor the Earth with cards, concerns, hopes and dreams through collective collage-making. Supplies will be provided but feel free to bring your own magazines or pictures to share. Largely a "silent" experience, reverence and inward awareness about our relationship to the Earth will be encouraged. Out in the lobby, information about Local 2020, its newest action group--the Sound Institute for Community Resilience--and the Earth Institute discussion courses will be available. Questions? Call Judy at 385-5794.
SNAP Benefits at Risk
From the Farmers Market Coalition
The House Agriculture Committee passed the Farm Bill last week. If adopted, the bill will drastically reduce federal food assistance benefits available to families and individuals nationally by cutting SNAP benefits - totaling more than $20 billion over the next 10 years. At the same time, the bill would create new restrictions on SNAP eligibility.
Limiting SNAP based on employment status:
The bill includes aggressive, broad new work requirements that would result in people losing SNAP eligibility, sometimes for years. The bill requires SNAP participants ages 18 - 59 who aren't disabled or raising a child under age 6 to prove - every month - that they're working at least 20 hours per week, participating at least 20 hours per week in a work program, or a combination of these. The required work hours would increase to 25 hours per week by 2026. Those who have not met the new requirements would face harsh sanctions: the first failure would mean a loss of SNAP benefits for one year; each subsequent failure would lock people out of the program for 3 years - these sanctions would apply to the entire household, including children, seniors and people with disabilities who aren't required to work. Congressional Budget Office estimates show that, of the expected number of people to lose SNAP (~1.2 million people a month), 62% would be adults ages 18-59 who live in households with children.
Thousands of Washingtonians now count on SNAP to help make ends meet when their jobs aren't enough. Yet workers would lose food assistance if they couldn't provide the paperwork needed to show they were working, if their employer cut their hours below 20 hours per week, or if they were temporarily out of work.
Learn more about the proposed Farm Bill here.
With members finishing a recess and returning to DC on Monday, it's a critical time for action. House leadership hopes to schedule a Farm Bill vote SOON - but only if there is enough support for it. It's CRITICAL that Congress members hear from constituents now!
Spread the word! Call to Oppose SNAP cuts. (888) 398-8702
Tuesday, May 8th was a national call-in-day. However, it is not too late to call your representative to urge House members to oppose SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill.