Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rick's Wild Mushrooms at Vancouver Farmers Market
Spring-like sunny weather drove people out of their homes Saturday, and many flocked to Vancouver Farmers Market. For some, early spring is about green onions or the first asparagus. Others' springtime indicator is all about morel mushrooms and, for that,  Rick's Wild Mushrooms is the place to go.
Because most of the mushrooms he harvests are foraged and are not easily mass-produced, Rick provides highly sought after morels, chanterelles,  porcinis, and others in season. 
Rick said he can offer fresh mushrooms for several months each year, much longer than their short harvesting season would normally allow. When asked how he does it, he said, "We go up really high". With snow sometimes still on the ground in July in Southwest Washington's Cascade Range, it makes perfect sense.
Without an internet listing or even a publicized phone number, Rick has no trouble selling his specialty mushrooms, fern fiddle-heads and nettle greens. Later will come wild huckleberries. 
The products he doesn't sell at the market or at Vancouver Food Co-op, he markets to specialty restaurants. According to Shawn Merrill at the co-op, certain varieties of mushrooms also freeze well, and can be found year-round at the co-op. Among them are the chanterelles, porcinis, and matsutakes.
 If you're a mycovore, you may consider joining the Puget Sound Mycological Society, and learn how and where to become a forager yourself.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What about that snail on a leaf?

We gardeners hate those disgusting leaf-chomping snails, but we love the Slow Food USA   ARK of TASTE snail. When an Ark of Taste snail is shown beside an available food listing, it means that its grower is helping preserve a food variety that industrial standardization threatens to eliminate. In the United States today, there are some 200 foods on Slow Food’s endangered list.
While the Slow Food movement in general attempts to improve sustainability practices worldwide, one of its close-to-home activities is that of raising public awareness to the weakening availability of some wonderful food varieties. Here in the Pacific Northwest that list includes geoduck, Olympia native oyster, black republican cherry and Ozette potato.
Slow Food says that over 800 varities of food world-wide are on the endangered list. The good news is anybody can be a part of biodiversity just by producing, selling or consuming foods that are on the list.

CSA/CSP Farm Tours Announced

Crocus announces spring

It's that magical time of year. Lenten roses, crocuses and primroses are in bloom, and Southwest Washington farmers are posting their 2012 community supported agriculture (CSA and CSP) shares and events.

March 21
Farm tour, “A Journey in Sustainability”
11116 N.E. 156th Street
Brush Prairie, WA 98606

Jim said: I plan to discuss how concepts and philosophies of the sustainability movement, bio-regionalism, appropriate technology and permaculture inform the farming we do here at Hunters’ Greens. The tour originated as a tour for the CSA farmers, so I may tend towards the technical nuts and bolts

March 24
Farm tour and pasteurized meat tasting event
1:00 – 3:00 PM
24311 NW 24th Ave
Ridgefield, WA 98642

Farmgirl Jen said:  Join Farmer Matt for a walking tour around IP!
See, hear and learn all about the past, present and future of this Diversified Family Farm and get all your Farm & Animal questions answered!
Also... Join FarmGirl Jen for our Annual Meat Tasting and get your Meat CSP & FarmStore questions answered! 

April 14
Details not yet listed check website for updates
Eric Lambert  said: Eric Lambert, Small Acreage Program Coordinator, WSU Clark County Extension, said: The Small Acreage Expo is a day of education, community building and fun. Come and learn about topics you're interested in and meet local agencies that serve our community.