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Recipes, resources and food inspiration from people and places in Kitsap County. By Kitsap Sun Web Editor Angela Dice.
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Posts Tagged ‘farmers market’

Bremerton will have a second farmers market on Sundays

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Bremerton will have a Sunday farmers market on the boardwalk near the fairy ferry terminal starting July 24.

The Bremerton Farmers Market association announced the extra market Thursday.

Unlike the second market two years ago created after a market leadership disagreement, this new market is born of an attempt to liven up the city on Sundays and will be run by the same organization that runs the Thursday market at Evergreen Park.

Bremerton farmers market organizers were approached by city council members after Bremerton and Port Orchard agreed to run foot ferries on Sundays, said market manager Julia Zander.

Bremerton’s Thursday market has been growing with more vendors making more than last year and greater attendance (particularly on sunny days), Zander said.

Market leaders also have been working with the port and business associations. Bremerton councilman Roy Runyon offered to pay half the market’s insurance fee out of his own pocket, she said. The market association is working on securing funding for the second half.

“We think there’s a lot of momentum,” she said. “People are really excited about this.”

The market plans to run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be the only formal farmers market on Sundays in Kitsap County. The market’s last day will be Sept. 25.


Share your farmers market photos

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

It seems all manner of pretty produce and other things have begun to appear at farmers markets. I snapped a little cell phone shot after seeing such a pretty cake from Bon Bon Bakery at the Bremerton market on Thursday, and I realize that I can’t be the only one so visually stimulated by market scenes.

I’d love to see what others have seen at the markets or will see this weekend (hint, hint). I’ll put some of the best photos in an upcoming blog post to share with others and on the farmers market map. E-mail them to me at angela@angeladice.com.


Poulsbo Farmers Market to stay open into December

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Poulsbo market goers will be able to buy local goods through December.

The Poulsbo Farmers Market association announced last week that they would remain open through Dec. 17, and likely will open earlier next year, said market manager Brian Simmons.

The market this year already had opened earlier than in years past on April 9.

“We’ve been talking about it for quite a while now,” Simmons said.

They polled farmers and other vendors and have discussed a year-round farmers market with the Kitsap Community and Agriculture Alliance.

The market also has been in talks with the city and the Port of Poulsbo to gain support for a covered, permanent location for a year-round farmers market in Poulsbo.

Thus far, no decisions have been made on that front.

“We can’t pay retail rent … we need a special situation,” Simmons said.

Which can be a tough sell in this economy. But Simmons said some ideas being floated include a structure that could be used as shopper-friendly covered parking when the market isn’t open.

For now, the market is focused on being open for 10 months out of the year, Simmons said.

This autumn, the market will remain at the spot at Seventh Avenue and Iverson Street.

Market organizers are discussing ways to modify the site to make shopping easier on cold and rainy days, perhaps by clustering tents or offering a heated tent to offer shoppers relief.

The late market is likely to be smaller, Simmons said, and it may open later as daylight hours wane.

With an early heads-up, participating farmers may have time to sow cool-weather crops such as spinach, kales and chard, onions potatoes and winter squashes.

Since fall is slaughter season, the market also hopes to draw meat vendors.

And crafters and people who make preserved goods also will have a chance to sell wares as the holiday shopping season kicks into gear.


Could Kitsap have a year-round farmers market?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Kitsap farmers are in nascent discussions about a year-round farmers market in the county.

At a Monday night meeting of the Kitsap Community and Agriculture Alliance, Nikki Johanson of Pheasant Field Farms kicked off a discussion among the roughly 30 attendees.

As farmers market seasons close up for the witness, she said, she’s increasingly heard vendors and customers wonder aloud where to go next for their local foods.

“People want local food … and they want it more than x-amount of months,” she said.

KCAA President Marilyn Holt said that additionally, for a commercial farmer to make it, the farm needs to be selling for 48 weeks out of the year. The farmers who don’t likely have to find additional sources of income.

Currently, most markets close in October. Poulsbo has a one-weekend Thanksgiving market and Bainbridge Island reopens its market in a new location in mid- to late-November and stays open for another month.

Year-round farmers markets exist elsewhere in the Puget Sound region. There is, of course, Pike Place, but also  Ballard, University District, West Seattle, Port Angeles and San Juan Island.

In downtown Everett, a developer plans to build a 60,000 square-foot agriculture center to house a year-round farmers market, and will include a commercial kitchen and processing facility The facility will anchor a 180-unit housing project. A nonprofit group of farmers will operate the market, which developers hope to have open for the 2012 season.

Some markets like Port Townend’s and Olympia’s are open until Christmas, which some at the meeting suggested may be a better option for Kitsap.

And what’s sold at these markets isn’t just soaps and jams, though the producing of the latter has recently been made a little easier with the passage of a cottage food bill in Washington .

The winter offerings are, of course, not nearly as abundant as what’s offered in the summer, but farmers are able to bring in squashes and root crops and dried fruits and vegetables.

And let’s not forget that animals are raised on farms, too. One farmer said she saw plenty of poultry at West Seattle’s market. For the same to happen in Kitsap, though, farmers would likely have to find or create a facility (possibly a mobile one) to process poultry.

Johanson said that additionally, she’s had success with hoop houses, which could allow her to have marketable produce in February and March.

But many questions remain.

Questions such as: Where would the market go? Would there be a single space or would it be better to extend the seasons of several markets? Would the market(s) be truly year-round or is it better to lengthen the season to, say, Christmas? Would there be enough time after planning to plant crops to harvest this winter? Can you draw enough customers? Would there be a high enough proportion of farmers to meet Washington State Farmers Market Association guidelines (and thus gain the benefits that goes with being a part of the association, such as insurance)?

And, importantly, would enough farmers be willing to extend what can be an exhausting work year?

That last question is one group members hope to address first.

They’ve asked farmers market managers — Bremerton and Poulsbo markets were represented at the meeting — to poll their vendors and will go from there.

And until I hear those results, I’m going to do a little polling of my own and, as always, please comment away.



Fake Farmers Markets?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

The Wall Street Journal has a story today that’s sure to get local food lovers angry: Safeway and Albertsons stores in Seattle this year caught the ire of Seattle farmers when they designated outdoor fruit and veggie displays “farmers markets” (Safeway later changed the name of its to “outdoor market.”

As the WSJ points out, it brings to question how should farmers market me defined?Many believe that an essential part of the definition involves farmers selling directly to consumers, though some suggest even stricter guidelines, requiring the market to have produce as the only or majority of products available at the market. Others might also add that the produce comes only from local sources, and the definition of “local” varies from grown in the town or county it’s sold to region or state.

Most – if not all – of Kitsap’s markets have such rules. Bainbridge Island’s, for example, requires all produce to be grown on the Island or in North Kitsap. Poulsbo’s, Silverdale’s, Bremerton’s and Port Orchard’s market say vendors’ goods must be from Washington State. Poulsbo and Port Orchard make an exception for where seafood can come from, though the vendors themselves must be from Washington. All the markets post their vendor guidelines on their website.

So how do you consumers and farmers out there think the term “farmers market” should be defined?


Love Tomatoes? Poulsbo, Port Orchard, Bainbridge Markets Hosting Taste-Offs

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

I used to hate tomatoes, the squashy, mealy things that made their way into my salads were less than appealing. But two small events forever changed my perception of these lovely vegetable-y fruits.

The first was a caprese salad I’d had a few years back. While I couldn’t seem to replicate that taste for the longest time, I’d been softened on the idea of raw tomatoes.

The second event was a taste-test politely pushed on me at the Bremerton Farmers Market. A variety of colors and sizes of tomatoes were cut and arrayed on a table. I tasted several varieties, and I was in love.

My aging refining taste buds also helped.

Fresh-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes were what I’d been missing. Now I grow a few of my own and fear not a homemade salad covered in tomatoes.

So with this love of tomatoes, I’m excited to share some upcoming tomato-related events happening in Kitsap.

Several farmers markets are hosting tomato taste-offs to allow local growers to show off their fruits. And it’s also a good chance to see just how many kinds of tomatoes are out there.

The first happens Saturday, Sept. 4 on Bainbridge Island. They’ll be judged in three categories: Cherry Tomatoes (bring 6 for judging), Salad Tomatoes (bring 3) and Slicing Tomatoes (bring 1).

There’s a prestigious panel of judges and prizes for all first place winners. Buy Local Radio will broadcast from the event.

Tomato tasted-offs in Port Orchard and Poulsbo are both on Sept. 11.

The taste-off in Poulsbo They also have three categories: Cooking/Canning Tomatoes (Roma, Black Plum, Purple Russian, Florida Pink, San Marzano, etc.); Cherry/Pear tomatoes; and Slicing/Salad Tomatoes (Black Krim, Brandywine, Mayan Gold, etc.).

For the taste-off in Port Orchard, categories are Cherry tomatoes, Roma or paste or Slicing/beefsteak.

Check the links above for entry forms, times and other rules.


Farmers Market Season is Upon Us Kitsap Folk

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

After a season of mostly flown-in or frozen foods, I’m ready for a little freshness. I’ve been dreaming of heirloom tomatoes, strawberries ripe from the vine, really anything that I don’t have to open a factory-sealed plastic bag to get.

Kitsap County’s first market of the year opens Sunday in Port Gamble.

The early pickings may be a little sparse with the somewhat cold and wet start to the season, but it’s a start nevertheless. Check our site Monday (or buy a paper) for a story by Brynn Grimley on what local market organizers have to say about this year’s season.

For now, I’ve started compiling a <a href=”http://pugetsoundblogs.com/foodlife/farmers-markets/”>searchable map/database of local markets</a>, including some in Seattle and Tacoma. You can find it to the right under the “More Stuff” heading. I’m going to try to make it out to all the markets in Kitsap this year to meet our local food growers and producers, so expect updates, photos and more info in the database as the season progresses.


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About This Blog

The Food Life covers people, place and events involved in the food community on the Kitsap Peninsula and surrounding areas.
Written by Angela Dice. You can contact me at angela [at] angeladice.com.

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