The Food Bank Farm and Gardens of Jefferson County have embarked on a fund raising campaign for two freeze dryers. The plan is to have one available in Port Townsend and the other in Tri-Area. Operators will have had specific training as well as having to have a Washington State Food Handlers License.
The freeze dryer pilot project will help us reduce wasted food. Hundreds of pounds of fresh produce come into food banks during the three months of peak harvest and not all can be given away before it spoils. A freeze dryer will allow us to create a supply of food for winter months, when very little fresh produce comes in.
Freeze drying preserves 96% of the original food value of the fresh food, a much higher percentage than canning or dehydrating. Freeze dried food can last up to 25 years, making it a good choice for a community emergency food supply.
The dryers are large “Home” dryers, from HarvestRight, with an annual capacity of 2,500 lbs. Given our general distribution this will be more than adequate for a pilot project. In addition, a “commercial” unit would be cost prohibitive. The complete cost of the project is in the range of $12,000.
Your donation will be 100% dedicated to this specific project. We have applied for grant funding through various organizations and have, as of this date, received close to 10% of our goal. Half of this was through a matching grant.
What follows is a letter we received in our email today October 17th!
Congratulations! For the 2019 year we decided to grant the $1070 in funds to the Food Bank Farm and Garden Program based on their alignment with our values and their clearly defined need of funds for two upcoming projects. Our plan is to split these funds to help both projects, one project is to purchase a freeze dryer to save excess fall harvest through the winter and the other is for developing the food bank garden in Chimacum. Both projects help create resiliency and food access in our communities and we THANK YOU for your efforts.
This is our second year and we are happy to be able to provide the community with extra funds to support food resiliency. We knew this wouldn’t be an easy decision and it most definitely wasn’t. There were ten applicants this year, a number we hope to grow in the next few years. All applicants fit into our four pillars of community sharing, and all had an honorable mission to achieve.
Our process was as follows. In early October, a team of five gathered to discuss how we would rate the applicants based on a decision matrix with the following categories – project feasibility, operational need, community need, quality of application, track record, and uniqueness. This year was exceptionally hard as all application had great projects they were working on.
Dearest Community, Please join The Community Wellness Project at the annual Harvest Dinner on Thursday, October 24th, in support of garden education, local farm-to-cafeteria and public school nutrition efforts! Hosted at Finnriver by the Community Wellness Project. Tickets can be purchased at jccwp.org
Your tickets and contributions go to supporting school garden outdoor classrooms, community connected learning opportunities and healthy farm-to-cafeteria menu options for both the Chimacum and Port Townsend School Districts.
Creating a foundation of healthy eating in school children supports academic progress and all around well-being.
Hands-on activities in the school gardens gives students a direct connection with the food they eat and not only will improve wellness but also plants the seed of stewardship of the natural world around us. Please help share the word of our little fundraiser and post to your events calendar!
We at the Port Townsend Foodbank have, for a number of years, been working with a local farmer who raises pigs. Weekly, he has been collecting fruit, vegetable and bread waste from us on Wednesday afternoons. These inedibles have included overripe fruit and vegetables as well as stale and molded bread. Health issues have caused him and his wife to cut back significantly in this work.
Generally there are about six plastic totes of fruit and vegetables and a varied amount of bread each week. It is too much for our other gardens to handle in that they already have their own supplies. We are coordinating with other groups to try and keep this “green gold” out of the the waste stream.
This would be a goldmine for the right person. The containers would have to be picked up at the Foodbank in Port Townsend at the end of the day on Wednesdays.
Please contact Kathy Ryan at 360-531-4955 with questions and requests!