Position Available: Assistant Warehouse Manager

Kitsap Fresh has an opening for an Assistant Warehouse Manager.

The purpose of this position is to assist in management warehouse operations as necessary for the success of Kitsap Fresh. Work with the Warehouse Manager and GM to ensure proper logistics and cleanliness of the warehouse. 

This is a part-time, paid position for 16 to 20 hours per week. Work hours and times vary depending on seasonal programming and events. Some weekend and evening hours may be required.

For a full job description, please click on link below.

To apply, please send resume to info@kitsapfresh.org

Producer Profile: Laughing Duck Coffee

PRODUCER PROFILE:
LAUGHING DUCK COFFEE
Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Sipping morning coffee pond-side, chuckling Mallards and Wood Ducks inspired Ted Field to name his new company Laughing Duck Coffee. After their kids graduated from college, Ted and his wife, Liz, left their Bay Area home in California to settle on Bainbridge Island and pursue Ted’s longtime interest in coffee roasting. It makes sense that a passion for coffee would lead the Fields to an area rife with coffee aficionados.

Kitsap Fresh’s mission to support small farms and producers gave Ted an opportunity to take his burgeoning business to another level. Graduating from roasting green beans in a popcorn popper at home, Ted now uses a professional machine in a nearby co-roasting facility. I met Ted in a dark blue industrial park building, not far from his Island home. Not only is he able to collaborate with another coffee producer, he can better focus on producing various roasts he feels others will enjoy.

I was particularly intrigued by Laughing Duck’s sugarcane decaffeination process. Originating in Columbia, where both sugarcane and coffee grow in abundance, this technique produces a natural compound from molasses fermentation. It washes caffeine from green coffee beans, imparting more flavor than plain water and avoiding the use of harsh chemicals. I must admit my husband’s morning cup of Missing Feathers Decaf had far more coffee flavor than his usual brand. Personally, I prefer Ted’s Dark Feathered Friend dark roast. I’m sure that a coffee for most every palate can be found at Laughing Duck Coffee.

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

Staff Profile: Elleni Mendoza

STAFF PROFILE:
Elleni Mendoza
KF Warehouse Manager

Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Kitsap Fresh’s Warehouse Manager, Elleni Mendoza, hosted our interview in the warehouse, with ample room for social distancing. Driving through the rows of white commercial buildings in the small industrial park that houses Kitsap Fresh, I was caught off guard by what I thought was the scent of peanut butter cookies. I later realized I was smelling actual peanuts roasting at CB’s Nuts, a small business housed next door. The scent was so fitting for my time with Elleni, mother of seven, nurturer of an additional three grandparents, who makes everyone feel welcomed.  Elleni laughed about celebrating holidays in a limited Covid style with 13 people in her immediate household.

Elleni wears two hats at Kitsap Fresh, one as Warehouse Manager, which includes her spending each Monday cleaning and sterilizing every bin, box, cooler, shelf and floor. The second, as the Port Orchard site attendant, gives her the opportunity to make deliveries in her large family vehicle. 

Tuesdays at the warehouse is meat and dairy delivery day, where Elleni pulls and tags each order, along with any value-added products. The massive amount of fresh produce and baked goods arriving early Wednesday morning requires additional staff, especially since Kitsap Fresh’s weekly orders have more than doubled this year alone. Currently under renovation, the office space next door will be open to expansion in the near future. Kitsap Fresh is alive and well in the time of Covid-19!

Groups of rolling shelves separated by pick-up location, called “Covid-pockets” by the staff, allow social distancing as they fill orders. All customer requests need to be processed and packed by 2:30 PM on Wednesdays and loaded for transport. Elleni wears a warm winter hat for her second job, manning the outdoor Port Orchard site, where I rely on her ready smile and cheerful attitude each week.

During our visit, a worker from Pike Place Market’s City Fish Co. dropped off boxes of fresh pasta from Pasta Casalinga, as well as Kitsap Fresh’s order of Tonnemaker Farms’ fruit. Elleni’s strong beliefs in the importance of healthy, local food for all, and her previous experience in a medical clinic management, enhance the experience of being an important cog in the Kitsap Fresh machine. She is excited to participate in the growth of Kitsap County’s online farmers market, especially with the roll out of Kitsap Fresh’s pilot home delivery program on Bainbridge Island. I will miss my weekly connection with Elleni should her responsibilities become more centered in Poulsbo.

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: Shorts Family Farm

FARM PROFILE:
SHORT’S FAMILY FARM
Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Shimmering from the latest rain, the farm lane I descended off the main road took me past an orchard, three homes, and into the yard of Short’s Family Farm. Not your average gentleman’s ranch, the farm chores are happening, mud and all. Beyond the business yard are 150 acres of idyllic, lush green pasture dotted with 100% grass fed and finished Black Angus cattle – a scene that was soothing to my soul. 

Rancher Kevin Short, met me in the farm store with his beloved dog, Petey, a friendly cream and tan Pitbull who laid his head in my lap and asked to play ball.  Kevin was dressed in overalls and a worn ball cap, the ubiquitous mask across his face unable to mute Kevin’s good-natured laughter as he shared the history of his ranch. “I have to laugh or I’ll cry,” he chuckled, while describing the blessings and pitfalls of ranching. For example, current legal restrictions prevent cleaning the Valley’s salmon stream, causing floods in many of Short’s pastures. Beef cattle do not thrive in wetlands.

In 2001, Kevin’s step-father, Roger Short, was awakened to the importance of healthier ranching practices after seeing the film Food Inc. He set out to emulate some of the principles captured in the film. During that time, he kept his business afloat through the sale of Magical Soil, a mixture of “Semiahmo muck,” or peat from the Chimacum Valley, compost and sand. Roger eventually transformed his failing dairy farm into his current grass-fed beef ranch in 2002/03. Short’s also offers soil mixtures including BioChar, a carbon-rich product made from wood waste that helps create “living soil,” vital in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. The farm’s product list includes various other soils, bark and sawdust, along with beef.

Short’s cattle are born and raised in a stress-free environment, have become comfortable with humans, and are frequently rotated into new pastures. Kevin chooses to process his cattle in Sandy, OR at a facility that allows animals a day of rest, in order to reduce stress prior to butchering. This results in healthier, tastier meat. Currently, COVID regulations require butchers to vacuum-pack all orders, but it takes nothing away from the quality you will find in Short’s Family Farm grass fed beef. Be sure to try some in your next order.

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: Full Tilth Farm

FARM PROFILE:
FULL TILTH FARM
Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

I feel so fortunate to have connected with a number of amazing farms tucked into Kitsap County’s rolling hills – and Full Tilth Farm in Poulsbo did not disappoint. As I parked at the farmhouse, I was tempted to just settle into a rocking chair on the deep front porch and spend the afternoon gazing at the 5 acres of fields where industrious farmers worked.

Renee Ziemann, Luke Yoder, and Becky Zaneski  believe first and foremost in maintaining the healthy condition of tilled soil, thus the name Full Tilth. While Luke works outside the farm, Renee and Becky manage their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, a booth at the Poulsbo Farmers Market, and the orders for Kitsap Fresh. Full Tilth is dedicated to training the next generation of farmers, hiring two interns each growing season. Farm interns receive hands-on training, bring much needed help with farm chores, and receive additional classes on every aspect of managing a working farm.

It’s all about growing at Full Tilth Farm, which includes various fruits and vegetables along with their own children! I am looking forward to tasting the rainbow carrots and cherry tomatoes waiting for me at home from last week’s order. Renee and Becky saw and filled a need for local berries, so be sure to order some of their offerings next year. Blueberries with granola and yogurt are a delightful way to start my day, a small taste of summer saved in my freezer. When we purchase food from farms like Full Tilth, our food dollars cast a vote for a local, sustainable food system, as well as nourishing our bodies and souls. 

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: Wintercreek Farm

FARM PROFILE:
WINTERCREEK FARM
Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

As I drove up the gentle hill that is Wintercreek Farm, there were small fields of mixed vegetables alongside that climbed toward the two large greenhouses on the horizon. Reaching the top, I parked under apple trees that hung heavy with bounty and surrounded a multi-family enclave. Farmer Robin Bodony’s husband and 9-month-old daughter greeted me with a smile and directed me back down the hill to find Robin in her fields. The surrounding forest did not prevent the midday sun from beaming down on this happy farm.

Wintercreek, named for the ephemeral, seasonal creek hidden in tall cedar trees bordering the main road, is no fertile bottomland. However, Robin is transforming her hillside into a productive ecosystem, with minimal-till practices and soil enrichment enhancing bacterial life buried deep in her soil. Mowed cover crops, cloaked in black plastic, rapidly compost in the sun’s heat. The large greenhouses, provided by a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) grant, are filled with tomatoes and other heat-loving vegetables.

Managed and operated by three women, this farm sells produce at multiple farmers markets, along with Kitsap Fresh, and had been provisioning local restaurants prior to the pandemic. The upside-down world of Covid-19 has given Robin an opportunity to reassess her farm’s mission for the coming years. For now, she is content growing mixed vegetables and creating a fun, safe place for children and family to thrive. I must say I’m looking forward to sampling Wintercreek’s White Russian Kale in my next order.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: Persephone Farm

FARM PROFILE:
PERSEPHONE FARM
Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Taking its name from the Greek Goddess of Springtime, flowers and vegetation, Persephone Farm was not very Spring-like on the overcast Fall day I visited, though its fields were still lush with the season’s last flowers and vegetables. Farmer Rebecca Slattery began farming on leased Bainbridge Island land in 1991, purchasing her current Indianola property in 2001. Rebecca’s first priorities are to provide for her regular Bainbridge Farmers Market customers, local restaurants, and the farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which has flourished due to the pandemic. Kitsap Fresh customers are blessed with any overflow.

Persephone Farm is known for wedding flowers and offers a full array of services. The floral designers create arrangements and bouquets of sustainable, local blooms grown alongside unique filler material. For my niece’s outdoor wedding during Summer Solstice of 2019, I filled my mini van with buckets of the farm’s gorgeous flowers that created a magical fairyland for the festivities. The Goddess would have been pleased!

Rebecca also believes in mentoring the next generation of farmers, hosting yearly groups of farm interns for immersive training. Aspiring farmers of all ages and from all walks of life connect with Persephone Farm through a USDA matching program. The working classroom at Persephone Farm teaches organic practices and the importance of creating a closed loop system for sustainable production. This season’s group of 5 interns were leaving as I arrived, and they were heading to a neighboring farm for additional training.  I thoroughly enjoy Persephone’s signature Wild and Fancy salad greens, with their foraged miner’s lettuce in the Spring. Rebecca’s leeks and zucchini, harvested from undulating beds hugging the sloped fields, arrived in my recent Kitsap Fresh order. Please remember to recommend Persephone to anyone you know planning a wedding and be on the lookout for the last of the farm’s Fall offerings on Kitsap Fresh.

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: The Smithshyre

FARM PROFILE:
THE SMITHSHYRE
Guest Writer: Sally Zalac

Flocks of farm animals rushed to check out the invading interloper at The Smithshyre, as I closed the gate behind me. First to investigate were the canine protectors, one of whom leaned hard against my legs in a bid for attention. Next, Finnish Landrace sheep nudged my hands, begging for ear rubs. Not to be ignored, Nigerian Dwarf goats were close behind, tasting my jacket zipper, and propping on my leg like domestic dogs. An adorable tricolored kid asked to be picked up and snuggled deep into my shoulder, covering my black jacket with goat hair. Even heirloom chickens and young heritage turkeys joined the excitement. It would be difficult to dismiss life’s joyful blessings in the presence of all these happy animals.

Farmer Erin Smith, leader of Kitsap Fresh’s band of merry workers, described his family as the third “European” farmers on this land. Gnarly, ancient fruit trees, lovingly carried cross country by the original Norwegian settlers in the 1890’s, grow strong and bear an abundance of heirloom fruit. Erin’s wife, Roni, nourishes her flocks with homegrown herbs and organic feed, keeping them robust and healthy. The giant “Impressive Maple,” overshadowing a pasture, provides apt roosting space for turkeys in its safe embrace throughout the winter.

In addition to entertainment and companionship, The Smithshyre’s goats provide milk and cheese, though the farm is not a certified dairy – yet. The locally loved Goat Yoga, housed in the circa 1930’s barn, may be returning as we reopen from the pandemic. The sheep provide protein and fleece, turkeys and meat chickens feed the family, and Kitsap Fresh benefits occasionally from an overflow of extra produce and eggs from pasture-raised chickens.

A “Hobbit Nerd” (hence The Smithshyre), Tolkien characters share their names with many of Roni’s furry friends, as well as her new line of soaps. Animal husbandry is practiced to the tune of a constantly humming dehydrator, signaling winter preparation.  An additional two plots of The Smithshyre land are worked by other farmers. In their spare time, the Smiths work to incentivize farming and save Kitsap County farmland by helping to organize Kitsap Fresh. The motto “support farming and it will live” drives Erin’s desire to create a “farm incubator.” To learn more about regenerative agriculture, biodynamic farming, and permaculture, never mind enjoying a chance to wear goat hair, schedule a farm tour at your earliest convenience.

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 REAR window or pop the hatch/trunk, assure the area is clear for the attendant to drop in your order, & state your name or use a sign with your name written largely on it for staff to see.
  • 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.

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.