News & Updates

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: 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.

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.