Strawberries are abundant now at our local farmers markets. We are in the season of delicious, local eating with summer produce coming on strong. As of last week, we have new treasures at market, including raspberries from SpringRain Farm and Orchard, basil from Red Dog Farm, several varieties of summer squash from Midori Farm and Serendipity Farm, as well as succulent strawberries from many of our local farms. Willow Wind Farm is even offering up to four varieties of strawberries at the Port Townsend Farmers Market on Saturday.
At the same time that locally grown berries come on the scene, strawberries from California and other places often take the stage at the grocery store. When California berries can be less expensive, why should you choose locally grown? Here are a few reasons:
Many of the out-of-state berries in the produce section are picked before they reach full ripeness so they can make the trek from farm to shelf.
Local strawberries taste better than out-of-state ones. This is because they are harvested ripe.
Strawberries that are grown with organic practices have higher antioxidant levels, and higher concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds than conventional berries. The berries at our markets are grown with organic practices.
Local farms that participate in our markets take care of their soil and land. This same care is not given to soil and farm health in conventional farming. You can learn more in this study shared in the Los Angeles Times here.
When you choose local berries you support farms and farmers in your community.
The meal combinations are endless with all of our seasonal bounty. As more warm days roll in, lively light meals can be a joy to share with friends and family. Here are a few ideas to explore:
Baby Green Raspberry Salad
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup toasted pecan oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Mixed salad greens
2 cups raspberries
1/2 cup raw, unsalted pecans or another nut of choice
1/4 cup golden balsamic vinegar
To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the raspberries with the vinegar. Mash the berries with a fork until they have thoroughly blended with the vinegar. Allow them to sit for 20 to 30 minutes, then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh, pressing with a fork to release all the juices. Discard the seeds.
For the salad, consider adding some grilled veggies if you want to make it a heartier meal. Zucchini, potatoes (Midori has a new crop of potatoes), and garlic scapes are good options. Also, consider adding some local cheese from Mystery Bay Farm, Mt. Townsend Creamery or Chimacum Valley Dairy. Yum!
Strawberry Basil Spritzer
Combine locally grown strawberries and basil for this tasty drink. We also have a local distillery in Port Townsend, Admiralty Distillers, which you could check out for the spirits in this drink.
Recipe per drink:
2 oz. Vodka
2 basil leaves
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. agave nectar or simple syrup
Muddle strawberries and basil in a mixing glass. Add other ingredients except for club soda. Shake briefly with ice. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and layered with a few slices of strawberry and basil. Top with club soda.
Upcoming At Market
Today, June 26, 11am-3pm Port Townsend Wednesday Farmers Market
12-2pm POP Club with the Port Townsend Public Library
Live music with Anne O' and Her Band
Saturday, June 29, 9am-2pm Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market
10am-1:45pm live music by West of Roan
Sunday, June 30, 10am-2pm Chimacum Farmers Market
11am-2pm live music by West of Roan
11am-1pm POP Club
We had so much fun at the Power of Produce (POP) Club on Sunday at the Chimacum Farmers Market! Assistant Market Manager, Amy Goetz, hosted vegetable printing on cotton bags. Kids of all ages experimented with making different shapes using only vegetables as stamps.
The Power of Produce (POP) Club provides a fun opportunity for children to engage in the local food system through conversations directly with farmers, educational games and demonstrations, and exposure to new fruits and vegetables. In addition to participating in educational activities, POP Club kids receive $2 each week in market bucks to spend at the market, allowing them to make their own shopping decisions.
Kids and families, you don't want to miss POP Cub. Today we will be joined by the Port Townsend Public Library from 12:30pm to 1pm for Storytime at the Port Townsend Wednesday Farmers Market. Please come join us!
From our Vendors
One Straw Ranch has new beef cuts in stock! Try out the chuck eye, flanken ribs, or ground chuck for your next BBQ. We have also restocked your old favorites such as rib eye, tenderloin, top sirloin and T-bone. See you at market!
About the Music
West of Roan will perform at two markets this week — Saturday in Port Towsnend and Sunday in Chimacum. West of Roan features twin fiddles and vocal harmonies from Annie Schermer and Channing Showalter. Collaborators for more than a decade, West of Roan’s heartfelt music plumbs the depths of human experience with sparse, unadorned arrangements of songs that feature tight, intimate harmonies on both fiddles and voice.
Schermer and Showalter both were born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and they recently returned to the Northwest after a few years of performing together in and around western North Carolina. West of Roan describes how their “music yearns for its own roots, and is in itself an exploration of loss, history, love, longing, home and family.”
Did you know that the Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers? A small team of us work together to help make the farmers markets happen. We are seeking volunteers for market setup, breakdown, and hosting POP Club. Consider sharing your strength, creative play, and other skills to help our markets thrive. Contact Amanda Milholland today if you are interested in supporting your local farmers markets as a volunteer. We’d love for you to join us!
What, you may ask, do volunteers do at the Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets? The following is by no means a complete list.
Unpack market gear from its storage space into our market van
Set up the market space for musicians and community booths, as well as tables and chairs for market customers
Ingeniously problem-solve worn-out market gear and make minor repairs
Set out, manage and haul away market-generated garbage
Conduct crowd counts during special events
Provide information to market shoppers
Assist, chop, and clean for cooking demo chefs
Pack market gear away at the end of the day
Host POP Club activities-- food-related crafts, tastings, games and more (we can supply the activity or you can bring one to share)
We are also looking for volunteers to:
Take photographs of produce and people
Write articles for our newsletter
Cover for vendors so they can take restroom breaks
What do volunteers get out of it? Farmers markets are inherently social places. According to a Project for Public Spaces study, a customer has an average of 15-20 social interactions at a farmers market, versus 1-2 at a grocery store. For volunteers, that number is much higher. Even for the setup and breakdown volunteers, who mainly interact with each other, the camaraderie and sense of shared purpose is strong. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, contact Amanda: email@example.com, 360-379-9098.
See you at the Market this Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday! ~ Amanda