by Crystie Kisler
An apple tree needs more than itself
to create fruit you see
it must receive pollen from another tree
and so the wasps and bees receive nectar
in exchange for being a pollen vector
Consider the connections
between bees and trees
between folks and their fruit
between what we know and what we believe
the apple blossom keeps a promise
to open, offer and receive
ask me in what I believe?
an apple carried on the wings of bees
Celebrating the Region and Season with Finnriver
This year the Port Townsend Farmers Market is taking part in the first Olympic Apple and Cider Festival, a three-day event celebrating the season and region. In honor of apples, I am bringing you stories from Finnriver Farm and Cidery in the next couple of newsletters. These two connected and independent businesses bring us delicious apples and hard cider as well as mixed vegetables. Finnriver Cidery is also the host of World Apple Day, part of the Olympic Apple and Cider Festival on Sunday, October 15th. Visit appleandciderfest.com for more information.
Crystie Kisler, one of the co-owners of Finnriver Farm and Cidery, is a poet, community builder, and lover of blueberries. It was blueberries that first brought the Kislers to the 33 acre farm that now is their home and was the birthplace of Finnriver Farm and Cidery. They first visited when it was a blueberry farm owned by Elijah and Kay Christian and promoted to eager berry pickers only by word-of-mouth. Crystie, her husband, Kieth, and friends Kate Dean and former Jefferson County Farmers Market Market Director, Will O'Donnell, became business partners and purchased the land together in 2004. Today, Finnriver Cidery is collectively owned and managed by Eric Jorgensen and Keith and Crystie Kisler.
It was Keith who first suggested the Cidery. As Crystie tells it, Keith was skeptical of the hard cider their neighbor, Elijah, the former farm owner, home fermented and gifted to them. He set it aside and the bottle wasn't cracked until there was nothing else to drink in the house. His first taste of cider, crisp and complex, changed Keith's mind. Hard apple cider was both an ancient drink and one with contemporary potential. Keith and Crystie were inspired and started fermenting cider using apples from their land as well as local and regional neighbors.
Just as apples need cross-pollination to bare fruit, Finnriver's business model is one that is rooted in partnership. Finnriver Farm and Cidery are two interconnected businesses with several partners who share the same land. These include the Organic Seed Alliance, Friends of Trees, Essential Blooms, and the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. The Jefferson Land Trust helped Finnriver preserve their land as working farm land and care for the portion of Chimacum Creek that runs through the farm and orchard. Learn more about Finnriver Farm and Cidery here.
See you at the market. ~ Amanda
Upcoming Market Events
- Saturday, September 30, 9 am-2 pm, Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market, live music from 10 am-1:45 pm by Douglas Francisco, Tyler Street
- Sunday, October 1, 10 am-2 pm, last Kids' Day at the Chimacum Farmers Market, live music by Leaf Lovetree and Liv Crecca, Chimacum Corner Farmstand
- Saturday, October 14, 9 am-2 pm, Tyler Street, Olympic Peninsula Apple & Cider Festival featuring chef demo by Jefferson Healthcare's Executive Chef, Arran Stark, and percussion by Artis the Spoonman at the Port Townsend Farmers Market
- Sunday, October 15th, 10 am-2 pm, Chimacum Farmers Market, Chimacum Corner Farmstand and Wolrd Apple Day at Finnriver Cidery, 124 Center Rd. Chimacum, learn more at appleandciderfest.com.
- Sunday, October 29th, 10 am-2 pm, Season Closing Day of the Chimacum Farmers Market, Chimacum Corner Farmstand
From Our Farmers
SpringRain Farm & Orchard thanks everyone who voted for us for the edg3 FUND from Kitsap Bank! We will find out in early October if we move to the next level or not. If you have not placed your vote for funds to help SpringRain build new greenhouses for winter food production please do so: vote here.
SpringRain will continue to bring big, gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers to the market. While outside fall is settling in around us, in our greenhouses, summer is still going on! We will also have pasture-raised fresh organic chicken, fresh rabbit, and frozen pasture-raised organic duck. Stop on by for some ethically-raised meat.
Serendipity Farm will have fall snap peas, Ailsa Craig sweet onions, a variety of spicy peppers, grapes, and all the usual stuff.
Red Dog Farm grew a fine crop of sweet potatoes, which are available at markets this weekend. We also have fall favorites like green tomatoes, mustard greens, Napa cabbage, cauliflower and fresh shelling beans. Still going strong with the strawberries!
Barbarian Fine Cuisine is making its last appearances of the season at the Farmers Markets this Saturday and Sunday, so come and get your tasty lamb, pork and veggie kebabs! Like us on Facebook @barbarianpt and find out what we will be up to in November and December. We would like to thank all the Barbarians for a wonderful spring and summer. Special thanks to Jefferson County Farmers Markets for believing in us and giving us the space to cook off some amazing local meats and veggies. Big thanks to Short's Family Farm, Moonlight Farm, Clark Farms, One Straw Ranch, Egg and I Pork, Finnriver, Red Dog, Onatrue, Midori and Sunny Farms, among others for the amazing product and commitment to sustainability and taste. It's important to us to serve local, organic, sustainable products and we will continue to do so next season.
Olympic Apple and Cider Festival Schedule
October 13th - 15th 2017
Friday, October 13
The Firestarter, A Cider Feast
A 5-course dinner with seasonal foods and delicious ciders.
at Finistere, uptown Port Townsend, 6:30 - 10:00 pm
Saturday, October 14
Port Townsend Farmers Market, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Featuring a special live apple themed performance by Artis the Spoonman and Chef Arran Stark from 9 am-11 am
Hard Cider Tasting Festival
Featuring 40+ varieties of cider, cider pressing, bottle shop, music, food, and fun.
at The Palindrome, Eaglemount Wine and Cidery
1:00- 5:00 pm
After Party at Propolis Brewing
Food trucks, fire show, and dance party!
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sunday, October 15
Open houses at participating cideries, distilleries, and tap-rooms
Hours vary throughout the day
Hard Cider Q&A: bring your cider and talk to a panel of experienced cider makers.
Orchard and Cider House Tour: learn about orchard management (organic) and equipment for cider production.
Apple Pressing Demonstration: led by Ryall Schallenberger of NW Mobile Juicing at Alpenfire Cidery
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Live Music featuring Joy in Mudville at Eaglemount Winery, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Finnriver World Apple Day at Finnriver Farm & Cidery, 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. A community celebration, live music, pizza, dancers, bagpiper, apple experts, and cotton candy!
Participating Cideries in Saturday's Tasting Festival
- Alpenfire Cider (Port Townsend)
- Finnriver Cider (Chimacum)
- Eaglemount Wine and Cider (Port Townsend)
- Dragon's Head (Vashon Island)
- Pear UP Cider (East Wenatchee)
- Schilling Hard Cider (Auburn)
- Nashi Orchards (Vashon Island)
- Liberty Ciderworks (Spokane)
- Locust Cider (Woodinville)
Special Guest Producers
- Propolis Brewing (Port Townsend)
- Admiralty Distillers (Port Townsend)
Tickets and information available at: