The Food Life

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 ‘local food’

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.


Food news roundup: Taste of Tacoma, Co-op announcement, recipes

Friday, June 24th, 2011

 

Events

The Taste of Tacoma runs Saturday and Sunday at Point Defiance Park. Admission is free, but the food is not. The TNT Diner blog has info on what restaurants are dishing up for the festival. More information on other entertainment is at tasteoftacoma.com

In the news of future events, Bremerton Summer Brewfest announced its lineup.

Kitsap Food News

The Kitsap Food Co-op, which has been gathering members and searching for a home has a “big announcement” coming on Sunday.

Poulsbo Farmers market announced that it would extend its season through Dec. 17. I’ll try to get more on that soon.

Kitsap Sun’s food critic Bernard Jacobson this week offered his review of Bay Street Bistro in Port Orchard. He gave it a 9/10 for both food and service.

Random

The Accidental Hedonist blog this week chimed in with some thoughts on locavorism, and why so much focus has been put on food. Also this week, the Kitsap Cuisine blogger also has a post on local food, imploring people to get more serious about food in Kitsap.

Recipes

On the Small Potatoes blog, Anne cooked up some savory veggie fritters/pancakes for what looks to be a simple weeknight meal.

At the Fat of the Land blog, Langdon Cook offers up a suggestion for preparing the influx of salmon at local markets as well as a use for morels in a recipe titled Salmon with Pinot Noir Sauce and Morels.

For a dish for larger gatherings, Orangette has a recipe for Deviled Eggs with Basil Ailoli and Capers.


Food news roundup: festivals, $5 farmers market lunch, chocolate science, end of the world

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Events

  • THE SUN IS OUT! With such a murky May, that’s something to shout about. And to celebrate. I’ve already got iced barley tea in the making in anticipation of warmer weather yet.
  • Both Poulsbo and Port Townsend farmers markets are canceled on Saturday, but in their stead will be the festivals that pack West Sound communities during Memorial Day Weekend. You may not be able to get the same fresh veggies, but there will be parades and pancake breakfasts. And if you’re a really industrious Kitsapper (and festival nut), you may be able to squeeze in a foot ferry ride to Port Orchard after Bremerton’s Armed Forces Day Parade (10 a.m.) before you head over to Viking Fest’s (2 p.m.).  How you can also fit in Port Townsend Rhody Fest’s (1 p.m.) is beyond me.
  • Seattle Green Fest runs Saturday and Sunday at Qwest Field Event Center. While it’s focused mostly on green businesses and the like, booths will have organic vegetarian dishes, organic beer and wine and a chocolate and sustainable coffee pairing talk at noon on Sunday.
  • Seattle Beer Week kicked off this week. The Washington Beer Blog has a list of favorite events to mark the occasion.

Local Food for Baby

The Small Potatoes blog has posts again after taking a little (like bouncing baby little) hiatus. She returns with this post on feeding the new little locavore with tips on equipment and food.

$5 Market Lunch

Over at the Kitsap Cuisine blog, Brandy had a chance to check out the new market lunch offered on Saturdays at Bay Street Bistro in Port Orchard. Here’s part of what she says of it in her post: “The idea is, you can come in on your own and have a low-cost plate of something wonderful, or better yet, come in with friends and order several plates to share in the Mediterranean style. … I thought this was a great way to get a feel for chef’s style.” Looks like I have something to try out on Saturday.

End of the World

At 6 p.m. Saturday, the world as we know it is slated to end, according to Harold Camping, head of the Christian network Family Radio. What does this have to do with food? Well, one clever LA Times blogger has decided (and blogged) that such an event calls for musing on last meals. Hers includes margaritas, tempura-battered fried chicken and red velvet cake. My last day of meals would likely include duck breast in cherry sauce from La Fermata, popcorn with lots of Ajinomoto (essentially pure MSG because who cares at that point?) my grandma’s yakisoba, iced and sweetened matcha and one last, full pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream. How about yours?

Fish Hype

The year’s first shipment of Copper River salmon made its way to Seattle Tuesday to much (though brief) ado from the local TV stations. don’t get me wrong, the fish is good. But I think some of the breathless hype and a fair amount of the cost has just a little to do with marketing. King fillets are, however, a little cheaper at about $30 to $50 a pound at Pike Place market this year because of a better run.

Chocolate Scientist

Theo chocolate factory in Fremont apparently has a chocolate scientist, according to The Stranger’s Charles Mudede. Andy McShea apparently has been working to make pure chocolate into more than candy bars. He’s been making beverages and pudding with nothing else added. He tells The Stranger, “By looking at the material, and understanding its properties, we can do fun things with it.”

That’s all for this week. I’d have read more food news, but frankly, I’m too busy closing my eyes and setting my face toward the sun! Have a great weekend!


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.



A Look into the history of Kitsap farmers

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Just a short note for all of you local food lovers out there: If you haven’t caught it already, Diane Fish over at the Kitsap Farm to Fork blog last week started a series taking a historical look at farming in Kitsap.

She’s pulled together some great information and photos of the area’s agrarian roots, including a look at how early settlers blasted stumps away to clear the timber land; a mention of  early settlers and farmers; Bainbridge Island fruit growers; the first co-ops; and she found Kitsap’s first farmers market, which opened on May 20, 1922.


Poulsbo farmers market’s opening day packed

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Weather predictions through the week seemed to bode ill for the opening of Kitsap markets (Poulsbo and Bainbridge) on Saturday. But on the actual opening day itself, gray steeled the sky, but luck held the rain at bay.

Caleb Heinig of Colinwood Farm of Port Townsend sells greens to a customer during openign day at Poulsbo Farmers Market.

And out in Poulsbo, 39 vendors were had tents out and ready for the dozens who still were coming through the market when I arrived around noon. I hadn’t expected to see much so early, especially considering our soggy start to spring, but some spring greens and many vegetable starts and grow-your-own salad bowls were out. At least one farm offered some of the last of its potato stores.

Perennial Vintners had offerings of their newly bottled Frambelle dessert wine, made from Suyematsu Farms raspberries as well as its regular selection of wines. They also had something new to me called verjus, which is non-alcoholic and made from pressing unripe grapes. Cooks use it as a sour component in cooking, particularly when they don’t want the flavor to compete with he wine being served with the meal, as a lemon or vinegar can. Ah the things you learn by talking to people at the market!

I look forward to hearing the stories of the new farmers and vendors at local markets. I’ve also been talked into soon trying the morning offerings of Swedish pancakes, made with an authentic — and secret — family recipe.

The season, it seems, is off to a good start.

Now lets all hope for sunny days ahead and good harvests.


Bremerton’s FreshLocal Celebrates Its First Anniversary Next Week

Monday, November 8th, 2010

FreshLocal's Jean Schanen

[Note: The date of the anniversary party was initially incorrect. It has been corrected.]

Operating a grocery store for the past year has been a learning experience, said FreshLocal‘s Jean Schanen.

When the store opened in downtown Bremerton last November, it focused on Kitsap-grown produce, organic bulk products and soup made from scratch.

A year later, Kitsap-grown produce can still be found in bins at the back of the store, but so too can some produce from other Pacific Northwest farms.

They also carry more prepared products, such as locally made salsas and nuts as well as other sauces and boxed pastas.

“We’ve expanded our stock tremendously,” Schanen said.

They’ve included some requests from customers and from the growing number of connections Schanen has made in the local food community.

Though the store originally offered a few non-food items, they’re focusing on now on food.

Soon, they’ll add more meat. They’ll bring in another freezer next week to hold a shipment of lamb from the Willamette Valley. They currently also offer beef from Chimacum and pork raised in Kitsap.

The soup, two kinds each day, also still is there, cooked in the commercial kitchen across the street.

Schanen makes them herself, drawing from her experience running “Beautiful Soup” in the early ’90s. She took organic vegetables from her Wisconsin farm and made hundreds of kinds soups.

And FreshLocal plans to stay in Bremerton.

“Many people think we’re crazy for being downtown,” Schanen said. But there’s a need, she said, shown by the several hundred people who’ve supported the store.

She hopes to continue building relationships with local growers and food makers.

“We’re really excited that we’re supporting 30 other small, independent local businesses,” and keeping consumers’ dollars in the community, she said.

Going into a new year, FreshLocal will look at expanding hours, possibly staying open later to catch ferry commuters and opening on Mondays.

Schanen hopes to encourage and find more urban farmers.

They also plan to try out offering carryout meals. They’ll start with a couple types for lunches, but Schanen would like to take a note from the Eat Local company in Seattle and offer frozen, take-home dinners. Schanen said she’s been experimenting with a baked mac-and-cheese recipe that uses Beecher’s cheese.

This Next week, they’re preparing to celebrate their first anniversary. FreshLocal will host a party starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. Local producers will be there as will folk musicians Hank and Claire.


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?


Food, Wine and Beer Events Happening Soon

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Ideally, I’d write a blog post and expand upon each of these, but with time ticking away, I feel I should at least make sure I let everyone know about these upcoming food-related events. If you go, take a few photos and send them to me (adice@kitsapsun.com), and I’ll post them. I promise to do the same with the events I go to. If you know of more events, I’ll add ‘em:

Saturday, September 18: Taste of Lynwood
The Taste of Lynwood celebrates the Bainbridge Island neighborhood. From noon to 8 p.m., the neighborhood will host food, live music and family activities.

Sunday, Sept. 19: KCCA Harvest Meal/Local Food chef Showoff
Foods from Kitsap farms are prepared by local chef and served buffet style. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bremer Student Center at Olympic College If you’re going, you should probably get tickets now. The Buy Local Food in Kitsap blog has more on the event at buylocalfoodinkitsap.org.

(more…)


Breathing Life Back Into the Food Life

Monday, August 16th, 2010

BPR: Blog Post Resuscitation

They say sure signs that the death of a blog is imminent is a bit of lackluster writing, infrequent postings. The Food Life surely suffered from this early this year.

When I began, I envisioned finding in the community of local food a transformation from a kitchen soundtracked by the crinkle of cellophane wrappers and littered in paper boxes of pre-bought meals to one filled with the happy burbling of homemade stock and slice-crunch of freshly prepared vegetables. That was to be my kitchen.

But as so often happens in life, things have a way of getting in the way. I managed some of that transformation and found some great inspiration from local food makers, but when I so often failed to come home before 8 p.m. and faced yet another night of microwaved dinners, I felt I’d also failed to create something worthwhile for this blog. The posts became infrequent, hurried and then, eventually there it lay frozen in the cold, dark Internet archive.

But I keep finding something I wanted to share (some of which I shared on a Facebook page devoted to Kitsap Food). And I really missed those of you who read this blog. I missed writing it more than I thought I would.

But as I breathe life back into this blog yet again, I feel I need to clarify its direction. When I started, I had said this would be about an exploration of local food, and it will remain that. But I think what I missed out on are more of the stories of the people and places behind the food  as well as information on local events and food opportunities. I also intend to offer book reviews and literature this time around, most local, a few not. And as always, links to interesting blog posts and regional food news. While I’m being given more time to devote to this, the stories that require reporting can be time-consuming, so I’m saying upfront that the posts may not be frequent.

As for recipes, well, see above. What I’d love to see more than my hasty dinner throw-togethers are your recipes. I’ll be asking for them along the way. And while we’re on the subject of sharing, this blog is really about the local community surrounding food so if you’ve also got a food-related story to tell or a suggestion for one I should write, please, please e-mail me at adice@kitsapsun.com or call me at 360-415-2673.

Thank you to those who’ve read in the past (and I hope will read again), and welcome to any new readers.

– Angela Dice


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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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