More about the 6th Ave Farmers Market

July 13, 2008

Cheese in a market in ItalyImage via Wikipedia

6th Ave Farmers Market Press Release

MEDIA RELEASE (written by Vance Corum)

Top Washington farms headline new 6th Ave market

Contact:

Rich Hines, (253) 257-9525

Heather Hanson, (253) 376-5845

For release: July 8, 2008

The new 6th Ave Farmers’ Market has lined up an impressive mix of high quality farmers and other food vendors as they await Tuesday opening.

At the top of the list is Nash’s Organic Produce of Sequim. Owner Nash Huber is renowned among Washington organic farmers, having farmed 40 years on the alluvial soils of the Dungeness Valley. He also is in high regard nationally, recently receiving American Farmland Trust’s 2008 Steward of the Land award.

The award recognizes his achievements in protecting water quality with vegetative buffers along waterways and being certified “salmon safe,” providing migratory waterfowl habitat, a chemical-free pest control program and helping save hundreds of acres of farmland. Clallam County has lost 75% of its prime farmland to development over the last 50 years.

PCC Farmland Trust stepped up to the plate several years ago to purchase a critical 80-acre property that was prime for development. Nash’s now has a 35-year lease that allows young farmers training with Nash to have a future farming.

Stella Mestre, a Nash’s employee, said, “Rising fuel prices are pushing our shipping costs upward, so we are turning more to farmers’ markets. Local customers are literally keeping us alive. We need them to keep the land alive and keep us farmers going.”

Nash’s will be joined by Estrella Family Creamery of Montesano. Kelli Estrella’s cheese came home from the World Cheese competition in London last year with two silver medals for her Grisdale Goat Silver, a semi-hard goats’ milk cheese, and her Caldwell Crik Chevrette, a rind-washed cheese. Both will be part of her display of cow and goat cheeses on 6th Ave.

Local farmer Terry Carkner of Terry’s Berries will bring her first raspberries and a medley of A to Z vegetables from Asian cabbage to zucchini, including broccoli, chard, collards, kohlrabi, lettuce, fava beans and snap peas. “We’re excited to celebrate our 25th year in the Puyallup Valley with this new opportunity to sell in a great Tacoma neighborhood,” said Carkner.

“My goal is provide people with a garden experience where all they need to do is add water,” said Todd Giltner, another Puyallup operator who will have a variety of herbs, fruit trees and trailing plants available in many types of pots.

Full Circle Farm of Carnation will be present as will Pat Tweehy of L’Arche Farm & Garden, Cottage Gardens, Bee Lady, and Hayton Farms from Skagit County.

Seafood will come from Brady’s Oysters and Rolf’s Choice, whose owner Rolf Torgerson is currently fishing in Alaska. Meats and poultry will come from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, Cheryl the Pig Lady, and Toboton Creek Farm.

The market will celebrate a diversity of produce and flowers from Asian immigrant farms including Mee Garden, Vue Meng Farm and Xee Yang Garden.

From east of the mountains, Terri Martin will bring cherries and Perfection apricots from her Cashmere farm while Calvin Collins will bring his Rival apricots, Bings and Rainiers from Selah. Alvarez Farms of Mabton will have organic vegetables. Additional tomatoes and pepper plants will come from YMCA’s Friends and Servants program.

Residents won’t be the only ones swooning over these local products. Area chefs are expected to make a play for some of the top produce. Primo Grill’s Charlie McManus is expected to check out Nash’s endive, dandelion greens and baby white turnips.

Market consultant Vance Corum, of Farmers’ Markets America, who has helped open dozens of farmers’ markets, said, “In 30 years I’ve never seen such a quality line-up of local producers for a farmers’ market opening. We’re lucky to have many of Washington’s best farmers committed to 6th Avenue.”

Nash Huber is the first organic farmer and the first Washington farmer to receive the 12-year-old national Steward of the Land award. His presence at the new 6th Ave market means that residents and restaurants will have access to the best produce in the country, from a farm that respects the environment and local food while preserving wildlife and salmon habitat. And he isn’t the only one.

These days, “organic is good for people and planet,” “save the farmland” and “eat local” are on everyone’s lips — but “Nash had this vision 25 years ago,” said Clallam County Commissioner Steve Tharinger.

A barrel of oil is more than double the price of one year ago. The world’s population is reeling from dramatic price increases in essential foods. Many individuals feel helpless to address the major impact of oil and food prices on their lives.

Seattle University professor Stacey Jones, whose students have analyzed lower food prices at farmers markets, says, “With the issue of food prices in the news every day, this is a good time to examine our vision for how we feed ourselves in this region. One small step toward solving the global food crisis may be to support a strong, regional food system simply by shopping at local farmers’ markets.”

Starting July 15, Tacoma will witness whether local residents and restaurants will do just that.

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One Response to “More about the 6th Ave Farmers Market”

  1. Mark Says:

    Residents won’t be the only ones swooning over these local products. Area chefs are expected to make a play for some of the top produce. Primo Grill’s Charlie McManus is expected to check out Nash’s endive, dandelion greens and baby white turnips.

    Market consultant Vance Corum, of Farmers’ Markets America, who has helped open dozens of farmers’ markets, said, “In 30 years I’ve never seen such a quality line-up of local producers for a farmers’ market opening. We’re lucky to have many of Washington’s best farmers committed to 6th Avenue.”


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