Seeking new Board Members and Market Friends

Hey Community!

The 2019 farmers market season is approaching. Our Port Townsend Farmers Market opening day is Saturday, April 6th, 9am-2pm. While we still have a few months before market starts, this is the time for building our team and planning. On March 10th, the Jefferson County Farmers Market Association (JCFM) is hosting its Annual Meeting and board election, open to all current community and vendor members (Friends of the Market). We have three seats up for election. Of these, as many as two are open to community members. We are also seeking vendor nominees. As a nonprofit membership organization, board participation is open to all up-to-date market members. Our members contribute an annual fee of $30 per individual or $50 per family to help support our work. Learn more about market membership here. Are you interested in helping our market thrive as a new board member? Do you have skills and time to share? Contact Amanda Milholland, Market Director.

JCFM's mission is to support the development of local, sustainable farming by cultivating vibrant farmers markets that serve as community gathering places and celebrate local farmers, food producers and artisans as well as provide access to healthy food for our community. Market members play a vital role in helping us incubate local businesses and bring our community together through farm-direct food. Please consider joining us this season as a Friend of the Market. We also welcome donations of all sizes in support of our food access programs or general operations. You can donate online or via mail: 

PO Box 1384
Port Townsend, WA 98368

Apply Now!

We are accepting applications for the Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets. Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market applications are due February 1 and Port Townsend Wednesday and Chimacum Market applications are due March 1. Visit our website to review our guidelines and apply!

See you at Opening Day, Saturday, April 6, 9am-2pm! ~ Amanda

Thank You and Year Review

Dear Friends of the Jefferson County Farmers Markets,

Greetings! As the new year rapidly approaches, I write to you in thanks as well as to share the successes of the Jefferson County Farmers Markets 2018 season. This farmers market season was full of busy weekends, special events, chef demonstrations, new programs, and a new Port Townsend Wednesday Farmers Market location. A successful farmers market is a reflection of the community from which it comes and of which it serves. It is with your support that we broke sales records this year, increased local food access for more than 500 households with low incomes, and brought our community together in celebration of local food.

Sales at the Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets grew by nearly 5% this year. This growth reflects increased community and vendor participation as well as your investments in our local economy, farm-direct and artisan food, as well as hand-made arts and crafts. According to the Farmers Market Coalition, for every $100 spent at a local farmers market approximately $68 stays in the community, which in turn supports local jobs, farms, and small businesses. Check out this chart of Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market sales over the past seven years. (The 'misc' category includes all services provided at the markets, such as massage or henna, that do not fall into other, well as market merchandise sales.)

Saturday Sales.jpg

Providing healthy food for our community is part of the mission of the nonprofit Jefferson County Farmers Markets (JCFM). We support local food access through our Fresh Bucks and Gimme5 food assistance matching programs. These programs foster community health by matching federal food assistance benefits with extra dollars for fresh, locally grown food. In 2018, shoppers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/EBT formerly Food Stamps) spent a total of $17,150 at market, a 6% increase over 2017. JCFM matched SNAP and Women Infants and Children (WIC) as well as Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers with a total of $14,632 in Gimme5 and Fresh Bucks, a 49% matching increase over last year. (We don't have the FMNP redemption rates at this time.) Gimme5 and Including SNAP and JCFM matching funds redeemed at market, families, seniors and individuals with low incomes brought home nearly $32,000 in healthy food from our local farmers markets this year. By extending federal food assistance benefits, JCFM helped more than 500 households bring home the most nutrition-dense food available locally while also empowering shoppers with low incomes to participate in our farmers markets and invest in our local economy. We are so thankful for our food access sponsors who help us increase food security in our community. Thank you 1st Security Bank, Kristin Manwaring Insurance, Jefferson Healthcare, United Good Neighbors, and the Food Co-op for your support.

We trialed a fruit and vegetable prescription program (VegRx) this year in partnership with Jefferson Healthcare, the Food Co-op, and the Jefferson County Public Health 5210 Campaign. During Well-Child-Checks, Jefferson Healthcare clinicians throughout the county were able to prescribe VegRx to families experiencing hunger. These 12-month prescriptions are redeemable at the Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets and, during the market off-season, at the Food Co-op in Port Townsend. VegRx got off to a slow start this year with a total of 12 prescriptions given. However, program partners recognize that there is great potential for this program, which we will be working to fulfill in 2019 with some adjustments to how participants are identified and who is eligible for the program.

JCFM also started a weekly kids club this year. The Power of Produce (POP) Club engaged about 200 children from toddlers to 12-year-olds through weekly food and farming activities hosted at the Port Townsend Wednesday and Chimacum Farmers Markets. Partners, including the Organic Seed Alliance, the Port Townsend Public and Jefferson County Libraries, the ReCyclery, 4-H, Prosper Yoga, and Chef Arran Stark of Jefferson Healthcare helped us host food tastings, cooking, seed exploration, arts and craft, and other activities. Children were excited to play with and taste new foods, meet local farmers, and get to know our farmers markets. Our thanks go out to our program partners and sponsors. Thank you First Federal Community Foundation, Port Townsend Chiropractic and Chimacum Corner Farmstand for helping us bring this fun program to life! 

This season we moved our Port Townsend Wednesday Farmers Market to the Jefferson Transit Haines Place Park and Ride. This move was made with consideration for the sustainability of our mid-week farmers market. This move was a success thanks to the dedication of our vendors, new and returning market shoppers, and our great partnership with Jefferson Transit. We were pleased to welcome many new shoppers to market, including neighbors, people who use transit, and families who were excited to try out POP Club. While we almost doubled the number of vendors (from an average of 5-6 in 2017 to as many as 14 this year), our mid-week market is still our smallest. We will be looking at how this market can better serve our community and support local farms during the off season.

With your support, JCFM incubates small businesses, stimulates our economy, and brings our community together in celebration of local food, farms and art. By shopping and gathering with us you help foster community vibrancy. Thank you for your support! Please consider joining us as a member or business sponsor.

The Port Townsend Farmers Market opens on Saturday, April 6th, 2019. Mark your calendar and see you at the market! ~ Amanda

Thanksgiving Farmers Market this Saturday

Thanksgiving is only a week away! This Saturday, November 17th, 10am to 2pm, stock up for your Holiday cooking at the Port Townsend Farmers Market. We have lots of fresh, locally grown foods perfect for your holiday table: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, kale, salad greens, lots of winter squash, pasture-raised meat, fish, honey, wine, cider, fresh-baked pastries, bread, hand pies, arts, crafts, and more. With 16 farms, eight artisan food, and 15 arts and craft vendors at market this Saturday, we have a great selection to choose from.

Need some inspiration? Jefferson Healthcare's Executive Chef, Arran Stark, is hosting his last demo of the season featuring locally grown foods for your Thanksgiving table. As those of you who are familiar with Arran know, he is a methods teacher. Rather than provide you with specific recipes, Arran teaches the strategies needed for cooking delicious meals. Join us starting at 11am for Arran's demo followed by delicious samples.

We only have five more Port Townsend Farmers Markets this season! Our Season Closing and Winter Holiday Farmers Market is on December 15th, 10am to 2pm. While the market season continues, take advantage of weekly opportunity to purchase fresh, delicious, locally grown foods directly from the farms that grow them. 

EBT shoppers, we are still offering $20 in matching when you spend $25 on your EBT card at market (a total of $45 combining matching and your EBT dollars). Visit the market booth for more information.

From Our Vendors  

It's true. This Saturday will be the final market of 2018 for Crust Bakery. We invite you to place your order for Thanksgiving pies at market this Saturday! Or, order some of our famous dough and make your own pie. There are so many delicious things available at market to fill your pie. We can't wait to see you, feed you, and enjoy the chilly and hopefully sunny Saturday with you. See you this Saturday and next year!~ Kelli and Suzen   

Red Dog Farm is stocked up for your Thanksgiving feast! Brussels sprouts, German butterball potatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, carrots, butternut squash, and oh so much more!

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, November 17th, Port Townsend Thanksgiving and Stock your Pantry Farmers Market, 10am-2pm, Tyler Street

    • 11am Last chef demo of the season with Arran Stark

    • All day, farm-direct food for your holiday dinner table

  • Saturday, December 15th, Port Townsend Winter Holiday and Season Closing Farmers Market, 10am-2pm

    • Farm vendors on Tyler St

    • Arts, crafts, and artisan food inside the Port Townsend Community Center

    • Live music

    • Craft activities for kids with Amy Goetz 

Sponsors Thank You

The Jefferson County Farmers Markets are pleased to announce that we received a $500 grant from the Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary for our 2019 farmers market season. Jefferson Healthcare and the Jefferson County Lodging Tax Fund are also returning as sponsors of our Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets. Thank you!

This is the time of year that I reach out to new and returning sponsors for our upcoming farmers market season. Sponsors help us host three vibrant weekly farmers markets each year, which support 80+ local farms, artisan food and arts businesses as direct-to-consumer market places. Our sponsors also support us in hosting weekly live music, special events, the Power of Produce (POP) Club for kids, as well as in offering food assistance matching programs, which support over 500 households with low-incomes in accessing fresh, nutritious food.  Please contact me if you would like learn more about our sponsorship promotion packages or to join us as a new or returning market sponsor in 2019.

See you at the Market! ~ Amanda