3 Markets, 3 Days, 3 Locations

Wednesday on Polk St., 2pm to 6pm

Saturday on Tyler St., 9am to 2pm

Sunday at Chimacum Corner, 10am to 2pm

Photo: Carmen Tracer, Green Gables Farm

Discovering Shiso

I recently had dinner at a friend’s house and found myself in love with a delicate and strong flavor in the salad she served. What was it? Shiso, also known as Japanese basil, is a member of the mint family. Shiso has large teardrop-shaped leaves with jagged edges. Its flavor is hard to place. It brings to mind basil, mint, cilantro and citrus. However, shiso’s flavor is truly its own. You have to try it yourself to understand the taste of shiso.

A perennial plant that is often cultivated as an annual plant in our temperate climate, shiso has purple-red or green leaves. In Japan the purple-red leaves are used to color pickled plumbs or umeboshi. They give the plumbs a bright red color from their reaction to vinegar brine. Shiso is also eaten in Japan with sashimi, as a pickle and as a condiment for cold noodles. Shiso complements all kinds of dishes from green salad to meat and seafood. Add it to a stir-fry, on top of vegetarian or meat tacos or sprinkle it on cooked meat or tofu.

You can find shiso in bundles at the Midori Farm booth this week at the Port Townsend Saturday and Wednesday Farmers Markets. Midori has both red and green shiso. Farmers, Marko Colby and Hanako Myers, recommend shiso chopped finely in raw cucumber or turnip salads with sesame oil and ume plum or rice vinegar.  They also love to add it to any rice dish, sushi or nori rolls, fish, sauerkraut, dill pickles, and in a basil- shiso pesto. Yum!

Things to look forward to this week include: eggplants that look like they are ready to meet you (see photo below) grown by SpringRain Farm and Orchard, apples and pears from Finnriver Farm, abundant strawberries from Red Dog Farm, local corn and melons from Onatrue Farm, beautiful flowers from Green Gables, Amie's Garden, Serendipity and many of our other local farms, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, seasonal chevre from Mystery Bay Farm and so much more!

Upcoming Music and Events:

  • 8/24: Steve Grandinetti, 2pm to 6pm, PT Wednesday Farmers Market, Polk St. 
  • 8/27: The Olympic Trombone Orchestra, 10am to 1:45pm, PT Saturday Farmers Market, Tyler St.  
  • 8/28: Howly Slim, 10am to 2pm, Chimacum Farmers Market, Chimacum Corner Farmstand
  • 9/4: Kids' Day, 10am to 2pm, Chimacum Farmers Market, Chimacum Corner Farmstand
  • 9/14: Closing day of the PT Wednesday Farmers Market, 2pm to 6pm, Polk St.
  • 9/17: Tomato Taste Off, 9am to 2pm, PT Saturday Farmers Market, Tyler St.
  • 9/17-9/18: Jefferson County 14th Annual Farm Tour

See you at the market! ~ Amanda

Artist Shirley Moss

Artist, Shirley Moss, the Chainmaker, is a new vendor to the PT Saturday Farmers Market this season. Shirley, originally from Michigan, started making jewelry as a high school student at age 16. Her love for the craft grew into her profession of the last 45 years. Shirley hand-makes intricate sterling silver and gold chains, earrings and other jewelry available the PT Saturday Farmers Market and the Port Townsend Gallery.

Shirley is thrilled to vend at the PT Saturday Farmers Market this year. She loves the community of vendors and market patrons. Furthermore, vending at the market allows Shirley to earn a living from her art. This, in turn, supports Shirley’s continued volunteer work as the full-time Manager of the Port Townsend Food Bank.

Shirley and her partner, Greg Root, started dating 45 years ago. They are, to this day, the loves of each other’s lives. Greg is a helicopter pilot and sailor. It was his interest in living close to the water that brought Greg and Shirley to Port Townsend from Ashland, OR  in 1994.

At age 41, Shirley had heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart, which she had since birth. During the surgery, the surgeon accidentally cut her atrioventricular (AV) node, the electrical conduction system for the heart. Shirley died and was resuscitated on the operating table. The surgeon installed a pacemaker in her chest to replace the function of the AV node. As she healed from surgery and adjusted to living with a pacemaker, Shirley felt like she had aged 20 years overnight. She was tired, out of breath and found herself empathizing deeply with elderly adults. 

From this place of empathy, Shirley started bringing food donations to low-income senior citizens five days a week. She collected food from QFC and delivered it to seniors at the Marine Plaza apartments in downtown Port Townsend. In 1997, Shirley took this work further, becoming the volunteer Assistant Manager of the Port Townsend Food Bank. In 2010, she became the Port Townsend Food Bank Manager, a full-time, seven-day-a-week job. Shirley has a deep personal commitment and love for her work with the Port Townsend Food Bank. 

Shirley was selected as the 2012 Port Townsend Citizen of the Year for her immense commitment to community service. This year she received a Life Time Achievement Award from President Obama for more than 4,000 volunteer service hours given to the community. She has actually given twice that many hours as the Manager of the Port Townsend Food Bank. Read the recent Port Townsend Leader article for more information about her Life Time Achievement Award. We have a generous gem at the PT Saturday Farmers Market, weaving silver and gold into chain.

Introduce yourself to Shirley Moss at the PT Saturday Farmers Market or at the Port Townsend Food Bank. You can find Shirley back-to-back with artist, Kim Thomson, in the center row of the Farmers Market each Saturday.

From our Vendors

SpringRain Farm and Orchard has terrific pasture-raised organic fresh chicken this week.  They are delightfully tasty, and whole birds are a great value.  Meghan has put together some creative ways to get three meals from one bird.  Here is one of her sets of recipes for chicken curry soup, chicken salad, and chicken stir-fry. Or try her chicken enchiladas, tacos, and tomato soup, perfect with heirloom tomatoes.  SpringRain also has frozen organic duck and forage-fed rabbit available for a limited time.

This week Midori Farm will have shiso, basil bunches, shishito peppers, eggplants, lots of tomatoes and fresh shelling beans.

Serendipity Farm has lots of yellow and green Romano beans, Anaheim chilies, eggplants, turnips, salad greens, beets, wonderful summer salad mix, tomatoes, a full array of salad dressings, pesto, fresh salsas, vegan gluten free treats and beautiful fresh summer bouquets.

Nash's Farm: Get your green beans here! This veggie of the week is excellent raw and a crunchy sweet addition to a veggie platter or salad. With the weather a little cooler this week, pick up a few pounds for pickling or canning. Nash's has dill flowers as well for those simple summer dilly bean recipes. Nash's is also bringing you carrots, heirloom and slicing tomatoes, basil (only a week or two left of basil harvest for you pesto makers). Coming down the pike are Walla Walla onions, leeks, kale, chard, pickling and slicing cucumbers and all sorts of beets. Arms full from all these fresh goodies? Pick up a Nash's locally designed and screen printed organic cotton tote bag.

Propolis Brewing has new late summer releases: Litha, Melissa, Granum and Wyrt. Litha is a Golden Saison brewed with spelt, chamomile, lavender and sage. Melissa is a Golden Saison brewed with lemon balm. Granum ia a 5-grain herbal Saison Brett and Wyrt is a Farmhouse Stout. Visit Piper at the Propolis booth for a taste and to learn more about food pairings for these tasty brews.

Red Dog Farm is bringing tons of cauliflower! Super white, beautiful heads have exploded in our fields from all the hot weather last week. Time to roast, mash, pickle, etc. Also, we still have loads of strawberries, beans, basil, tomatoes and other goodies.

Sharing is Caring

This last Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market Inez, my almost nine-month-old daughter, introduced her friend Quince, son of Rachael Van Laanen and Scott Brinton of Mystery Bay Farm, to spinach. It was not Quince’s first time enjoying spinach, but he had previously eaten it in blended form only. Inez shared her favorite treat with him, handing him a whole leaf, which he happily ate from her hand almost adding some of her fingers to his meal. It was a magical moment of sharing and discovery.

The Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers markets support sharing nutritious foods with our community through our Gimme5 food assistance program. When community members use food assistance dollars at our markets we match at a rate of 50% for food stamps (EBT) and 100% for WIC and Senior Nutrition checks.  This means that community members who are low-income are able to more easily access the most nutrition-dense foods around and support our local farmers. This last year our markets provided over $12,000 in matching funds to low-income shoppers, helping community members bring home nearly $39,000 in local farm-fresh foods.

More than one third of the funds used to provide matching dollars at our markets come from individual donations. Jefferson Health Care, United Good Neighbors and the Washington State Department of Agriculture also fund Gimme5. We are still raising the funds needed to sustain Gimme5 this market season. We need community support to reach our goal of $15,000 in matching funds for this market season. Please consider making a donation of $5 or $500 to the Gimme5 program today. We accept donations through our website, via mail and at our markets. Thank you in advance for sharing! 

In other market news, this last Saturday a small band of pirates clashed swords, a singing blue dragon danced and a multi colored fish swam through the Port Townsend Farmers Market. It was quite a day! Come out this Saturday and check out the PT Farmers Market. Who knows what you will find!

P.S. We have a new logo for our Chimacum Farmers Market. Thank you Katy McCoy of Chimacum Corner Farmstand.

 Katy McCoy

Katy McCoy

Upcoming events

  • May 21st  -Rhododendron Festival Farmers Market, 9 am-2 pm, Polk Street PT

  • May 28th-Artisan Food Festival at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market, 9 am-3 pm and at Finnriver from 6-9 pm

  • Chimacum Farmers Market Grand Opening, Kids Day and Tour de Forts, 10 am-2 pm, Chimacum CornerthJune 5

  • June 15th - Grand Opening of the Wednesday Farmers Market, 2 pm-6 pm, Polk Street PT

Short’s Farm

Short’s Farm is a multi-generation family farm located in Chimacum Valley.  This farm is the home of five living generations of Shorts, a family of bald eagles, winter wetlands, established apple trees, and some 400 Angus cows. On a sunny day you can look over the wide expanse of Short’s Farm to forestlands and the Olympic Mountains. When I visited Short’s Farm I was enchanted by the grazing cows and the combination of bright green and yellow grass, deep green forest, blue and white mountains and open sky.

Once a dairy farm started by Rodger’s grandparents in 1945, today Short’s is managed by father and son team, Rodger and Kevin Short, as a beef cattle farm.  Though Rodger and Kevin are the lead farmers, children and grandchildren also pitch in, caring for the cattle and about 270 acres of Short’s land, and an additional 200 or so of leased grazing land. Rodger’s seven and eight year-old grandchildren enjoy riding on the tractor and helping out when they can.

Short’s Angus cows are 100% pasture and grass-fed using a rotational method, which supports the fertility of the land and health of the cattle. Short’s cattle generally graze on 10-30 acres of land at a time. Rodger and Kevin have a strong commitment to a grass-only diet for their cows. “Grass it what cows were made to eat,” says Kevin.

In order to preserve the Short’s land as farmland, Rodger and Kevin are working with the Jefferson Land Trust to create a conservation easement on the property. They are very thankful for their partnership with the Jefferson Land Trust, without which they would have truly struggled to keep the land in agriculture.

In addition to raising cattle, Short’s Farm also produces Magic Soil. Using the manure from their cattle as the base, they produce soil rich in microbes. Rodger’s motto is, “Healthy microbes, healthy animals, healthy plants, healthy people.”

You can find Short’s Beef at the Port Townsend Saturday and Chimacum Sunday farmers markets on the second and fourth weeks of the month. Additionally, they vend at other area markets: Silverdale, Bremerton and Port Orchard. You can also find Short’s beef at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand, Farm’s Reach Café, the Jefferson Healthcare cafeteria, Key City Fish, Quilcene Village Store and Owl Sprit Café. You can purchase Magic Soil at the Port Townsend Co-op and Chimacum Corner Farmstand. This Saturday Kevin will be at the Port Townsend Farmers Market with a sale on top sirloin and New York strip steak.

In Season from Our Vendors

Midori Farm is bringing salad mix, pea shoots, spinach, salad turnips, mustard greens and potatoes to market, as well as loads of garden seedlings, including tomatoes! Of course, Midori will also have a delicious collection of kraut, kimchi and their new kraut dust seasoning.

Red Dog Farm is bringing Hakurei turnips, radishes, herbs, loose-leaf rainbow chard, pea greens, potatoes, salad mix and spinach. Our tulip crop has stumbled upon hard times and the tulips have some spots to show for it. All tulips are on sale for $0.50 per stem for the rest of the season to reflect their compromised vase life. We’ve had a lot of loss. Please help us break even on tulips this season! Plant starts are going strong with more and more varieties coming on every week.

For the Love of Spinach

I am the mother of a true spinach enthusiast. My eight-month-old daughter, Inez, enjoys spinach with great zeal. It is a pleasure watching her enthusiastically devour spinach leaves, most of which ends up on her chin and shirt. At this last Saturday Farmers Market Inez visited with my friend Gina from Collinwood Farm at the Collinwood booth. Inez was thrilled to have easy access to one of her favorite things. Gina found Inez reaching for the spinach each time they passed the brimming baskets of green goodness. 

In addition to mountains of emerald spinach, a plethora of salad greens, radishes, beets, tulips, artisan cheeses, cider, wine, beef, pork, salmon and so many other luscious foods from our local farms, we have an amazing community of artisan food makers and artists at our markets. On Saturday April 30th Mad Moose Pizza of Poulsbo, WA will join our market. Daniel and Shannon Prasch of Mad Moose will be serving up wood-fired pizza and salads with local greens. Yum!
Coming up on May 7th Jeanne Simmons of the Port Townsend Public Library will be hosting story time at the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market. The Port Townsend Artisan Food Festival is also just around the corner on May 28th.  Mark your calendars for this celebration of local artisan food, featuring: artisan food-making classes by CedarRoot Folk School, chef demos, visiting artisan food vendors, food juggling, kids activities by the YMCA and the Port Townsend Public Library, and the season opening of the new location of Finnriver Cidery. Visit our website for more information about this event. Registration is open for the artisan food making classes hosted by CedarRoot Folk School. Visit the CedarRoot website to register for vegetable cookery, pickle-making, cheese and yogurt-making, hard cider, and fermented foods classes:http://cedarrootfolkschool.org/classes

What’s New from Our Farmers
Red Dog Farm is bringing some new herbs this week: oregano and parsley. We also found a few crates of over-wintered radicchio- still sweet from its memories of cool winter nights. Additionally, we are bringing a full array of seasonal produce: radishes, greens, carrots and more.

In the plant start realm, we are bringing the first tomato plants for your garden! San Marzano and Big Beef Steak varieties. These babies still require protection, so plant inside your greenhouse or in a large pot you can bring in your home when it’s cold.

Tulips continue to grace us with their presence- fill your home with spring color!

Nash's Veggie o' the Week is cornmeal!  Cornbread, muffins, polenta, pancakes, fried chicken, fried oysters.... cornmeal is good in just about anything!

We're still raging leeks, beets, CHARD, and purple sprouting broccoli!  New to the stand: chives, herb bundles, and edible flowers! What a great way to dress up your dinners!

In case this amazing weather is getting you excited to start your garden for Earth Day, we'll have topsoil and plant starts available this weekend!  Get down ’n get dirty with Nash's!

Nash's Organic Produce is hiring IMMEDIATELY for multiple positions. Hours, requirements, and pay vary with each position and your experience. 

Applications on website or at the Farm Store (4681 Sequim-Dungeness Way). Please fill out application and return it together with resume if you have one: http://nashsorganicproduce.com/employment.html.

A Food and Family Story
Paella House
Alejandro and Heidi de Basilio

Paella is a traditional rice, vegetable, seafood and meat dish originally from Valencia on the East Coast of Spain. Growing up in Madrid, Alejandro and his family cooked paella every Sunday. Alejandro and his dad would go to the farmers market together and pick up fresh vegetables and seafood. At home, Alejandro would help his father cook for the family.
Heidi, originally from Sequim, met Alejandro when she was backpacking and working as an English teacher in Madrid. Alejandro and Heidi met through mutual friends, fell in love and moved back to the United States together. They lived for seven years in Los Vegas where Alejandro, a trained pilot, was able to practice flying, and Heidi worked as the director of a school.  The heat of LA kept them inside more than they wanted. They moved to Port Townsend to be closer to Heidi’s family and to live in a more moderate climate.
Living in Port Townsend, Alejandro was given a paella pan as a gift. Alejandro started making paella for his family and friends. They loved it and wanted more! His friends encouraged him to start selling paella at the Port Townsend Farmers Market. Alejandro took their advice and started vending at the PT Saturday Farmers Market in October of 2014. Using fresh organic vegetables, organic or hormone-free and antibiotic free meat from our local farms, and local seafood, paella house serves up hot meat and vegetarian paellas that have collected a fan base. One customer told Alejandro, “I’m not going to brush my teeth because I want the taste of paella in my mouth.”
As their business grew, Heidi and Alejandro’s family entered the most challenging year of their lives in 2015. At the age of 34 Heidi was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She had just finished breastfeeding their son before the diagnosis. She had to quit her work as a Head Start Teacher because her immune system was so compromised. After 14 rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, Heidi cleared cancer.
Today, Alejandro and Heidi are working on rebuilding their lives after cancer. They love sharing the Spanish tradition of paella with their community. They are working to grow their business as well as fundraising to build a food cart. Learn more about Paella House and help Heidi and Alejandro reach their dreams at their website: www.paellahousept.com.

 Flowers by Green Gables Farm

Flowers by Green Gables Farm