PT Food Co-op

The Food Co-op, 414 Kearney Street, Port Townsend, 98368
Port Townsend
Phone: (360) 385-2883

Archive for the ‘Eating Local’ Category

We Ate Local: The Food Co-op Annual Meeting

July 6th, 2017 by markb

The Food Co-op Annual Meeting

Eating Local was the focus of our annual meeting this year, held on June 4 at Fort Worden.

We Ate Local

Kristan McCary, director of food services at the fort, really came through for us when we requested that the food be sourced locally. As we all know, in early June local produce can be a bit sparse, but the folks at Fort Worden went to the Saturday Farmers Market and picked up lots of lettuces and veggies to let people put together scrumptious salads, and then they rounded it off with local breads and cheeses. We heard lots of kudos for the food.

Sustainable Connections—Bellingham’s Program to Support Local

Our guest speaker was Sara Southerland, the Food and Farming Program Manager of Sustainable Connections up in Bellingham. Sara spoke about the extensive programs they have to help local producers, farmers, and businesses meet the “triple bottom line”—that is, they help local businesses work not just for profit, but also for people and the planet. We were particularly interested in hearing about their “Food and Farm” program, which includes an “Eat Local First” campaign. In Port Townsend, we do many similar things, but their efforts are both extensive and interconnected .

Sara told us that the Food and Farm program works to grow the market for local food and local farmers by creating connections. She joked that she feels like a matchmaker, connecting farmers and fisherman with restaurants and grocery stores through events like farmer-chef mixers and a Local Food Trade Meeting as well as by partnering farms with chefs, in a sort of “buddy” system. They also supported the formation of a NW Washington Chef’s collective, which has brought together people who are usually competitors, but who found they can learn from each other.

The Food and Farming program also has an educational aspect for business owners and farmers as well as for shoppers. They teach businesses how to differentiate themselves, and for novice farmers, they have a new farmer training program. Sara said that new farmers often start with a passion for agriculture, but they need help with business plans and how to make a profit. Another part of the program is called “Food to Bank,” which provides training and raises money to pay new farmers to provide food to food banks and shelters.

An educational campaign, Eat Local First, is the centerpiece of their efforts to educate shoppers. They began by surveying shoppers to see how people thought of local food as well as the barriers to buying more local products, and discovered two important barriers were a lack of sufficient labelling of local food (in restaurants, for instance) and what to do with local products once you bought them.

To launch the campaign, they asked businesses to take the “local food pledge” to increase by 10% the amount they spend on local food. They then asked their community to try to shift their purchases to local by just 10%, because that figure seemed attainable and not too much to ask. Their mantra became “just one out of ten items in your cart.” Business participants agree the campaign increased sales of local products, but an added benefit was businesses became more willing to work together and co-promote, even when they might seem to be in competition. The business atmosphere become more cooperative!

To promote local food, Sustainable Connections also produces a Food & Farm Finder map and organizes a farm tour as well as an Eat Local Month in September, when restaurants specially feature local food on their menus. They also have Harvest of the Month, when a specific local product is featured in the schools, restaurants, and grocery stores.

All in all, Sara gave us a lot to think about and discuss, and we followed up the next morning with a meeting to bring together people in the community interested in promoting local food to meet Sara and discuss the possibilities for our county. Lots more ideas were thrown into the mix, and we plan to follow up with meetings focused on how to connect and expand the Eat Local efforts in our community.

 

The Business End of the Annual Meeting

In addition to all this eating local, we distributed our annual report, which details how we are doing toward fulfilling the Food Co-op Ends, that is, our long-term goals. The annual report is available at the front desk at the store as well as online here. General Manager Kenna Eaton reviewed 2016, outlining our progress on our five-year strategic plan as well as reviewing our plans for remodeling our store. (For more information, check out the Store Expansion section of this website.)

Kenna also announced that, due to a profitable year, we were able to give some of that profit to our staff in the form a “gainshare” bonus and we will also have a member dividend distribution again this year. The amount distributed will be less than last year, because we will save some to help with our remodel. The distribution rollout will begin June 19 with notices being sent to our members. (Again, more information is available elsewhere on this website.)

 

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put on the annual meeting.

We’ll see you all next year!

 

Images from our Annual Meeting

LOCAL ORGANIC ARUGULA from Dharma Ridge Farm

April 25th, 2016 by Ian

Arugula in bowl

10 Ways to Love Local Arugula!

1. Salad
Arugula has such great peppery flavor, it is best all on its own, eaten fresh with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette.

2. Pizza
Sprinkle arugula on top of pizza with or without a light dressing, the Italians have always loved this.

3. Soup
Toss fresh arugula into soup just before serving to add a little green.

 4. Eggs
 Serve eggs on a bed of arugula or toss in a pan with olive oil and garlic for just a minute, add eggs and scramble.

5. Sandwiches
Best on hot Panini sandwiches or as a fresh alternative to lettuce.

6. Grains
Add arugula just before serving to any hearty grain or small pasta to add a splash of fresh.

7. Roasted Vegetables
All roasted veggies will welcome the addition of arugula, toss into warm veggies just before serving.

8. Pesto
Move over basil. Arugula makes a surprising fresh alternative. Experiment with nuts for added flavor.

9. Pasta
Need some greens? Add a little pasta to your big arugula salad or just toss a small handful of fresh peppery green into your pasta dish and stir.

10. Lasagna
Arugula is a good substitute for spinach in any dish. The peppery flavor will spice up lasagna, or alternate layers with spinach.

 

Help Change the World, One Fork at a Time

February 1st, 2012 by foodcoop

10 reasons to buy your food from regional family farms

A Tilth Producers of Washington publication (2006)

Everyone needs to eat. Eating good food gives us pleasure and keeps us healthy. But how do we know what is good food?

Flavor is one measure. Fruits and vegetables grown for regional consumption are allowed to mature before harvest, so they taste better. In addition, studies show that foods produced organically can be nutritionally superior to those grown conventionally. Fruits and vegetables consumed shortly after harvest retain more nutrition that those stored for days or weeks before reaching grocery store shelves.

Just what do you know about the food you and your family eat? Do you know: Where it was grown? How it was grown? Who grew it? When it was harvested?

When you shop in supermarkets, are you able to find out where the food was grown? Can you learn about what pesticides or fertilizers were used? Are you able to find out who the people are that grow and produce your family’s food?

  1. Locally grown food is fresher and tastes better.  There’s nothing like biting into a juicy, garden-ripe tomato. However, most tomatoes sold in America aren’t especially juicy or flavorful. Bred for durability not flavor, they are picked while still green and often shipped thousands of miles. To make them appear ripe when offered for sale, they are treated with ethylene gas to help them turn red quickly. It’s impossible for fruit and vegetables that are picked, boxed, stored, and shipped long distances to taste as good as those just harvested on local farms.
  2. Small family farms help protect the environment. In most cases, farm families live where they farm. They see themselves as stewards of the land and are more likely to use environmentally sound methods to manage pests and fertility. Large agribusiness concerns have limited ties to the land and communities where they operate. These large corporations invest in agriculture solely as a means to satisfy shareholder demands for profitability.
  3. Buying local conserves precious resources. Buying your food direct from local farms helps conserve natural resources. American industrialized agriculture is the least efficient on the planet, often consuming up to ten times more energy for production and transport than it yields. Local food doesn’t have to travel far. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and the need for costly packing materials. Buying local food also helps to make farming more profitable and selling farmland for development less attractive.
  4. Thriving family farms build rural economies. Dollars generated in local communities change hands three or four times before they leave. When agribusiness corporations come to town, most dollars leave the community by close of the business day. In rural communities, economic well-being and social vitality are inextricably linked to the type of farms in the region. Family farmers buy from merchants in their own communities, helping support diverse local jobs and small businesses.
  5. Buying local helps you learn how your food was grown. When you visit local farms, farmers markets, roadside stands, and food co-ops, you gain the opportunity to talk with the farmers growing your food. Farmers supplying nearby markets are more accountable to their buyers. Since consumers can learn who these farmers are and what practices they use, they have more confidence in the safety of the foods being grown.
  6. Family farms help children learn healthy values. Like other family-owned businesses, family farms are models for children to learn values such as cooperation and responsibility. Many elementary schools arrange field trips to nearby family farms to help students learn about their food. They’ve discovered that introducing children to fresh, wholesome food helps improve children’s health and educational performance.
  7. Local food protects genetic diversity. Diverse family farms around the world, growing for nearby markets, raise thousands of unique varieties and heritage breeds—varieties and breeds selected for their flavor and ability to thrive in unique environments. Agribusiness shippers demand today’s produce items have a tough skin that can survive harvest, packing, and transport as well as have a long shelf life in the store. Only a handful of developed varieties meet these global marketing requirements, so there is little genetic diversity among the key food plants and animals grown for mainstream markets.
  8. Many family farms grow a feast for the senses. Nearby family farmers provide consumers with a broad variety of produce throughout the season. When you buy food from local farms, you have the opportunity to try foods that aren’t available in grocery stores. This is especially true when you buy directly through on-farm sales, farmers markets, or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. One Tilth Producers member grows and astonishing 82 different varieties of peppers to share with farmers market patrons on both sides of the Cascades.
  9. Local farms help keep your taxes in check. Local farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services. According to several studies, for ever $1 in revenue raised by residential development, governments must spend $1.17 on services, thus requiring higher taxes of all taxpayers. However, for each $1 in revenue raised by farms, forest, and open space, governments only spend about 34 cents on services, a net gain to the government of about 66 cents on every dollar collected.
  10. Diverse family farms means food security. Supporting local family farms helps protect our ability to feed ourselves. Without thousands of thriving farms around the region, we lose the land security needed to ensure each foodshed maintains the ability to feed itself. Food from far-off places is now the norm. International food trade has tripled since 1961, and corporate agribusiness profits have nearly doubled since 1990. However, we need to think about what happens if something disrupts that constant flow of food products across continents and oceans. We must act now to guarantee the survival of divers family farms. If we don’t the inevitable disruption of global agribusiness networks will become a serious hardship to our communities.

Visit the WSU Jefferson Count Extension website for information about local farms and farming.

What’s In Season – A Seasonal Food Map

February 1st, 2012 by foodcoop

This seasonal food map lists foods available in and around our neighborhoods based on produce and other local foods sold at The Food Co-op as well as the Puget Sound Fresh Farm Guide. Cultivated fruits and vegetables and other farm products like eggs and fish are included here in the month-to-month seasonal food map. Be sure to check the menu at right for seasonal recipes.

SEASONAL FOOD MAP (from Nancy & Mike Bubel’s Root Cellaring)

Spring

March
Veggies: arugula, beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, collards, garlic, jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), kale, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas
Other farm products: dairy product, meat & poultry, shellfish, eggs, honey, cider, flowers (daffodils, tulips & spring bouquets)
Foraging: nettles, dandelion, chickweed, watercress, yarrow, morel mushrooms, ramps, black trumpets

April
Veggies: arugula, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, garlic, greens, jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), kale, leeks (baby), mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, raab (kale & cabbage), rutabagas, turnips
Fruits: rhubarb
Other farm products: flowers (daffodils, tulips & spring bouquets), garden seeds, plant starts, dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, eggs, honey, cider
Foraging: cleavers, burdock, plaintain, wild garlic, sorrel, morel mushrooms, wild leeks

May
Veggies: artichokes, arugula, beets, bok choy (baby), cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, garlic (baby green), greens, jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, potatoes, raab
radish, rutabaga, spinach, turnips (baby)
Fruits: rhubarb
Other farm products: flowers (spring bouquets), garden seeds, plant starts, dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, eggs, honey, cider
Foraging: elderflowers, violets , dandelion flowers, hedge garlic-mustard, sorrel, cattails, nettles, goosefoot, yarrow, calendula, borage, morel mushrooms, fiddleheads, wild leeks

Summer

June
Veggies: artichokes, arugula, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, garlic (flower tops), greens, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsley, peas, potatoes, radish, spinach
Fruits: currant, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries
Other farm products: flowers bouquets, garden seeds, plant starts, dairy products, meat & poultry, eggs, herbs, honey, cider
Foraging: morel mushrooms, fiddleheads, wild leeks, dandelion flowers, hedge garlic-mustard, sorrel, cattails, nettles, yarrow, violets, borage, calendula

July
Veggies: arugula, artichokes, basil, beans & favas, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, cucumbers, dandelion greens, dill, fennel, garlic scapes, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsley, peas, potatoes, radish, spinach, squash, summer (zucchini), tomatoes, turnips (baby)
Fruits: blueberries, boysenberries, currants, gooseberries, loganberries, marionberries, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries
Other farm products: flowers bouquets & lavender bunches, garden seeds, plant starts, dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, eggs, herbs, honey, cider
Foraging: morel mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, thimbleberries, wild strawberries, wild raspberries, bilberries, goosefoot , purslane, mallow , sow thistle, edible flowers: borage flowers, nasturtiums, calendula, rose petals

August
Veggies: arugula, beans, artichokes, beets , bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, cilantro, corn, cucumbers, dandelion greens, garlic, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, radish, spinach, squash, summer (zucchini), tomatoes
Fruits: apples, blackberries, blueberries, currants, figs, gooseberries, melons, plums, raspberries, strawberries
Other farm products: flowers bouquets & lavender bunches, garden seeds, dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, eggs, herbs, honey, cider
Foraging: morel mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, matsutake mushrooms, cranberries, elderberries, blackberries, rosehips, burdock, horseradish, mallow, daisy, sow-thistle, comfrey

Autumn

September
Veggies: artichokes, arugula, basil, beans, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts,, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, corn, cucumbers, dandelion greens, dill, fennel, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsley
parsnips, peppers, potatoes, radish, shallots, spinach, squash, summer (zucchini), tomatoes
Fruits: apples, blackberries, blueberries, figs, marionberries, grapes, melons, nuts, pears, plums, quince, rhubarb, strawberries
Other farm products: flowers bouquets, lavender bunches, garden seeds, plant starts, dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, eggs, herbs, honey, cider, flowers
Foraging: chanterelle mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, matsutake mushrooms, fennel & dill seed, acorns, chestnuts, pine nuts, elderberry, blackberries, oregon grape, salal berries, dandelion, horseradish, burdock, evening primrose, chicory, game (deer etc.)

October
Veggies: artichokes, arugla, beans, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, burdock root, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, corn, cucumbers, dandelion greens, dill, fennel, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mizuna, mushrooms, onions, parsley, parsnips, peppers,, potatoes, radish, shallots, spinach, squash, summer (zucchini), squash, winter (hard), turnips, tomatoes
Fruits: apples, elderberries, grapes, melons, nuts, pears, plums, quince
Other farm products: flowers bouquets, lavender bunches, garden seeds, dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, eggs, herbs, honey, cider
Foraging: chanterelle mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, matsutake mushrooms, fennel & dill seed, acorns, chestnuts, pine nuts, elderberry, blackberries, oregon grape, salal berries, dandelion, horseradish, burdock, evening primrose, chicory, game (deer etc.)

November
Veggies: arugula, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery & celery root, chard, dandelion greens, fennel, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mizuna, mushrooms, mustard greens, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, shallots, spinach, squash, winter (hard), turnips
Fruits: apples, nuts, pears, quince
Other farm products: flowers bouquets, garden seeds, dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, eggs, herbs, honey, cider
Foraging: chanterelle mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, matsutake mushrooms, fennel & dill seed, acorns, chestnuts, pine nuts, horseradish, burdock, game (deer etc.)

Winter

December
Veggies: beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery root, chard, collard greens, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard, greens, onions, parsley, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga, squash (winter), spinach, turnips
Fruits: apples, pears, quince, filberts/hazelnuts
Other farm products: flowers (dried bunches), holiday wreaths, dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, honey, cider
Foraging: black trumpets, matsutake mushrooms
After frost: rosehips, sloes, hawthorn berries and certain sorbus species.

January
Veggies: beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery root, garlic, jerusalem artichokes, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, turnips, squash, winter (hard)
Fruits: storage apples & pears
Other farm products: dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, honey, cider
Foraging: black trumpets
After frost: rosehips, sloes, hawthorn berries and certain sorbus species.

February
Veggies: beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, kale, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas
Fruits: storage apples
Other farm products: dairy products, meat & poultry, shellfish, eggs, honey, cider
Foraging: black trumpets
After frost: rosehips, sloes, hawthorn berries and certain sorbus species.

Foraging from sacredearth.com

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