Farm Profile: Harsh Farm

FARM PROFILE:
HARSH FARM
Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Nestled in the crook of a residential cul-de-sac, Harsh Farm is an example of the positive triumphing over imperfect situations. Sloping into woods, the lot encompasses wetlands, shade, and neighbors close by. It is the home of Levi Harshman, who is part farmer, part inventor, part mechanic, and all humanitarian. He is always on the lookout for novel ways to increase production while extending a helping hand to others – and having fun in the process.

Known at Kitsap Fresh for it’s micro-greens, tiny nutrition powerhouses with strong flavor profiles, Harsh Farm is a happening place. Lined with raised beds, almost every corner of this residential lot encourages flowers, multiple hot peppers, and winter squash to reach for the sunlight. A mad scientist’s lab of drip and electrical systems, the climate-controlled grow room incubates micro-greens in a garage corner. Among other inventions, Levi has created a refrigerated trailer, a massive compost system transforming old to new soil, and the beginnings of a greenhouse in the backyard.

Multiple setbacks, including family and legal issues, reinforced Levi’s desire to give back to his community. Taking stock of life while recovering from a motorcycle accident, he envisioned the picture of his farm as a place for others to find a second chance, and he could continue teaching healthy nutrition. Unencumbered by large debt, the farm replaces Levi’s DJ salary, curtailed by the pandemic. He has proven that farming is possible under almost any circumstance,and I eagerly await further experiments from Harsh Farm.

Sally Zalac is a valued customer and volunteer for Kitsap Fresh. She has a passion for local farms, organic food and regenerative farming.

Farm Profile: Sagging Fence Farm

FARM PROFILE:
SAGGING FENCE FARM
Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

The small herd of recently weaned kids greeted me, bleating and begging for food as I walked Sagging Fence Goat Farm. Curiosity finally overcame their parents’ reticence, allowing a slow approach for the peanuts I offered in my outstretched hand. An assortment of multi-hued heirloom chickens ran to investigate as well. Kitsap Fresh customers don’t get to benefit from Farmer Bob Fisher’s eggs, however, as they are designated for the Port Orchard Farmers Market. Many of us have participated in the Saturday morning bidding war, hoping to secure one of the few dozen eggs available each week. Commodities are precious in this new world of COVID-19!

In addition to dairy goats providing healthy, easily digestible milk, Bob also offers us his delicious raw goat milk semi-hard Tomme cheese. It’s nutty, salty and smooth texture pairs well with sourdough bread or a good apple. Goat milk’s short and medium-chain fatty acids and unique protein molecules make it far easier to digest than cow milk, especially for the lactose intolerant. These health benefits are retained in the cheese making process.

The charming Sagging Fence Nubian goats are both sweet tempered and entertaining! More people worldwide rely on goat milk and cheese than dairy products from any other species. Dairy goats produce 20 percent less methane than dairy cows, and they require less land, feed, and water per gallon of milk produced. If you haven’t tried Sagging Fence’s Tomme cheese, we suggest you give it a go – you won’t be disappointed!

Sally Zalac is a valued customer and volunteer for Kitsap Fresh. She has a passion for local farms, organic food and regenerative farming.

Farm Profile: Pheasant Fields

FARM PROFILE:
PHEASANT FIELDS FARM

Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Pheasant Fields has seen a slow decline in the population of pheasants roaming its acres since Farmer Nikki Johanson’s parents purchased the 1885 homestead and began ranching in 1949. A child of the Depression, Nikki’s father taught his daughters the importance of self-sustainability. Unlike her dad, however, Nikki never had to experience hunger and since taking ownership of the property in 1979, she has worked tirelessly to support sustainable growing practices, local food banks, and other farmers.

Pheasant Fields has also embraced agritourism, with everything from birthday parties and school tours, to corn mazes and a pumpkin patch during the Halloween season. In tandem with these activities, is Nikki’s primary mission of growing healthy food. Her strong belief in feeding the hungry has encouraged her involvement with a neighboring farm providing fresh produce for Fishline, the Poulsbo Food Bank.

Resilience and experience have enabled Nikki’s survival of nature’s whims, even while having to use a cane due to recent back trouble. Her flocks have had several losses this year, mostly due to predators, but even COVID-19 has not prevented the planting of this year’s corn maze. Nikki’s greater concern is that the number of farmers will continue to decline, as have the pheasants that gave this bountiful farm its name.

Sally Zalac is a valued customer and volunteer for Kitsap Fresh. She has a passion for local farms, organic food and regenerative farming.

Farm Profile: Blackjack Valley Farm

FARM PROFILE:
BLACKJACK VALLEY FARM

Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Perched on the rim of the lush green valley for which it is named, Blackjack Valley’s farmland slopes down to the valley floor where the creek, now dammed by otters, has created a seasonal pond. Small herds of Black Angus and dairy cattle dot the fields. Another 20 acre parcel is home to Farmer Karen Olsen’s pig and goat herds, a disease prevention strategy to keep the cows as healthy as possible. Every precaution is made to maintain the safety and cleanliness of Blackjack’s raw milk dairy.

Karen’s father brought home the family’s first cow when she was 5 1⁄2, sparking a love of farming. Within a few years she was hired to take over the milking for an injured neighbor, receiving the milk in return to do with as she pleased. She would pedal her bike home from milking, two full buckets hanging from her handle bars, to process it in her mother’s farm kitchen. How the dairy industry has changed over the years!

As we entered life with COVID-19, Karen was in a unique position to help her loyal customers continue to feed their families, many of them with up to 10 children. She created “Pandemic Packs” of specially priced, unusual meat cuts, and continued to provide them with raw milk. She is passionate about feeding the hungry, her motto being “Save. Spend. Share.” In that vein, Karen also took on the task of running our sister market, Fresh Food Revolution, out of her barn. After a lifetime of farming the thought of retiring with her husband “sounds boring,” she says. Her greatest regret is that there are no family members clamoring to take over her business and maintain this beautiful piece of fertile valley land.

Sally Zalac is a valued customer and volunteer for Kitsap Fresh. She has a passion for local farms, organic food and regenerative farming. Photo taken by Meegan M. Reid / Kitsap Sun

Article: The Kitsap Fresh Warehouse

The Kitsap Fresh Warehouse
Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Picture a bowl full of salad greens, crumbly cheese, smoked nuts, crunchy radishes, tender sprouts, napped in a creamy handmade dressing, with a slice of fresh bread slathered in churned butter on the side. You might ask, how did this healthy meal arrive on your dinner table? This week we are pleased to bring you the first in a series of articles aimed at keeping you in the know about your online farmer’s market. We begin at the hub, the Kitsap Fresh warehouse.

Following the trail of just one ingredient from our bowl, we find the salad greens growing on a local farm in Kitsap County. After washing the freshly harvested greens, the farmer then bags and tags them, with your personal I.D. labels provided by the website. Next, the greens are delivered to our warehouse, along with the rest of this week’s harvest for packaging into your curbside pickup order.

Kitsap Fresh provides all licensing and permits, website management, marketing, and food distribution, allowing farmers and producers of every size to do what they do best – grow, harvest and process delicious food. Interacting with 200-300 weekly customers, while practicing safe distancing standards, is also handled by our warehouse staff. In addition, we offer bags of salad greens from multiple growers, as well as a plethora of other assorted food options. Imagine how diverse that bowl of salad will become as the growing season progresses!

Sally Zalac is a valued customer and volunteer for Kitsap Fresh. She has a passion for local farms, organic food and regenerative farming.

Kitsap Fresh COVID-19 Customer Plan

Limited drop points: we have needed to consolidate some of our pick up locations.

Kitsap Fresh Warehouse (5686 NE Minder Rd, #201, Poulsbo)
North Kitsap, 3:30pm – 6pm

Vibe Coworks / Chocmo
Poulsbo, 4pm – 6pm

Bainbridge Island Grange
Bainbridge Island, 4pm – 6pm

Haselwood Family YMCA
Silverdale, 4pm – 6pm

Crane’s Castle Brewing
Bremerton Locations, 4pm – 6pm

Slaughter County Brewing Co.
Port Orchard, 4pm – 6pm

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  • Sales are limited to Saturdays and Sundays ONLY (no Monday) and can be turned off at any time without prior warning.  Our system is limited and so we must also be able to limit order capacity. Be sure to get your order in early!
  • Delivery fees have temporarily been increased to $6 per order to cover increased use of supplies & staff time.
  • Limited pick-up time window — 2 hrs. This time will be posted when selecting a pick up location and again on your confirmation email. Please be mindful of this when you place your order.
  • You will be called for orders encroaching on the 2 hr window. Again, all forgotten orders will be forfeit. Be sure your best contact phone number is listed on your customer profile.
  • Monitor Kitsap Fresh Facebook posts for early notifications that your attendant is ready at your location
  • Continuation with “no contact” delivery – drive up with your passenger side to the attendant, fully open the passenger side window, assure the seat is clear for the attendant to drop in your order, & state your name.
  • Attendants may ask for confirmation of order: such as items in your order, or they may confirm your billing address, so be prepared to offer this information.

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There is now an option to “Donate to Kitsap Fresh” in the marketplace, or you can use our “text to donate” program, by simply texting “localfood” to 77948.

Kitsap Fresh has run on a shoestring budget for 5 years now.  We are very conscientious of our use, waste and carbon footprint.  This challenging time has brought us into a financially challenging period as we have increased usage of supplies, such as paper for invoices, labels and paper bags.  We also feel it is important to pay our staff for all hours incurred and all drivers for mileage. We have temporarily increased delivery fees, but this will not cover all expenses.  If you are able to donate, know that we sincerely appreciate your offering. Thank you!

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PLEASE NOTE:

Precautions are being taken on every level to ensure safety for all.

  • We are limiting workers for our warehouse to ensure safe distancing.
  • Hand wash protocols and stations are in place and monitored for usage.
  • Producers are dropping off outside our warehouse, with all orders pre-packed by household.
  • Eggs will now be included in your order, not separate from the rest of your order.
  • All producers are following “Best Practices” and self governance, and they have been instructed to not participate if exposed or with active symptoms.  We ask the same of you – do not pick up if you are sick or have been exposed. 

This SITUATION IS FLUID and the Board of Kitsap Fresh reserves the right to halt ANY distributions if concerns arise. Operations are decided weekly by the Board.

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ALTERNATIVES:

  • The Kitsap Community Food Co-op in Bremerton is offering curbside pick up.
  • Programs are being created to assist low income and vulnerable populations to receive fresh food.
  • Local food banks are also busy creating alternative systems
  • Local farmers are working to create a “direct to consumer” farm sales system. This is still a work in progress, but many farms have already signed up and created online purchasing systems.  You can find a list at WSU Small Farms / Kitsap.  This information will also be listed on Kitsap Fresh, Kitsap Grown and other sites as they become available. Stay tuned.

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There has never been a better time to support your local agricultural systems.  Local growers are working very diligently to assure that there is enough food for our communities.  Local Food advocates are working to create systems to connect you. 

Now is the time to create long lasting relationships, show support, and please, do not forget that when this is all over, your farmers will still be there, growing as much as they can and counting on your support. 

Thank you for your support, patience and kind words during this time of re-creation.

If all of us increase our efforts, we can build a sustainable system and heal our planet.

Spring Farm to Fork Diner Fundraiser

KF_Farm to Fork FB Event 2019

Join Kitsap Fresh and Mossback Cafe as we celebrate the bounty of Spring. Chef John Delp of Mossback Cafe will curate a one of a kind meal for you. Dinner will feature Kitsap Fresh farmer’s and food producer’s products. The evening will included live music, a silent auction, door prizes & no host bar. Join us for this special event.

Date: June 11th, Tuesday
Time: Doors 4:30 Dinner 5:30
Cost: $75 a person, $140 a couple
Location: Mossback Cafe; Kingston, WA

Ticket URL: https://kitsapfresh.brownpapertickets.com

Bainbridge Island “Pick Up” Location Coming Soon

Kitsap Fresh in partnership with The Bainbridge Island Grange #1051 is pleased to announce our first Bainbridge Island “Pick Up” location.  The Grange is conveniently located on Madison Ave. in central Bainbridge Is. just off SR 305.  Thank you for supporting local food & Kitsap Fresh.

bi_grange
Bainbridge Island Grange Hall #1054 est. 1915

 

Winter Break

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This order period (Dec 16th & 17th) will be your last 2018 order period.

Kitsap Fresh will take a two week break starting Dec. 26th.  Kitsap Fresh will be closed the week of Dec. 26th & Jan. 2nd.

Kitsap Fresh will resume normal operations for the Jan. 6th & 7th order period.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.  We look forward to serving you in 2019.