COVID-19

Despite the current difficult circumstances we are finding ourselves in we, as a community, nation and world, find ourselves in it is imperative that we let you know that the gardeners and gardens are continuing to work with our partners both at the local and county levels. We are continuing to provided food and support to all our neighbors in each of our communities.

Aside from the food banks there are numerous other resources available to assist all of us in coping with day to day issues during these trying times. The best ways to access these other resources is through the internet. Among the resources at our local level include: The Leader, the Peninsula Daily News, KPTZ Radio, Local 20/20, Jefferson Healthcare as well as your local school district.

And despite the dark clouds, we have a lot of good news to share. We have had a number of successful work parties recently. They’ve been doing plantings as well as harvesting for the local food banks. We have a new food bank garden. An eighth food bank garden has been added and it is located at Raincoast Farm on Rt. 19 in Port Townsend. We are looking forward to a growing partnership with them in the future. And we are also welcoming a new volunteer coordinator, Rachel Smith! So, yes! There are good things happening despite some of the other news.

So we wish you all the best of health. Take care of yourselves and check on your neighbors (from a safe distance), especially those in susceptible circumstances. These can be the best of times as well as the worst of times. We can make a difference.

In Health.

The Food Bank Farm & Gardens of Jefferson County, WA

Freeze Dryer Pilot Project – Read & Donate Here

Go Fund Me Link

The Food Bank Farm and Gardens of Jefferson County are continuing a fund raising campaign to purchase two residential size freeze dryers. initially during a pilot project we will be freeze drying only produce grown locally and given to the food banks by grocery stores or other suppliers.

This pilot project will:

  • Reduce Waste – The freeze dryer pilot project will help us reduce the amount of wasted food.  Hundreds of pounds of fresh produce and fruit come into food banks during the three months of peak harvest and not all can be given away before it spoils.
  • Create a Food Reserve – A freeze dryer will allow us to create a supply of food for winter months, when very little fresh produce comes in.  If fresh produce or canned produce (which has a shorter shelf life than freeze dried) is not available, the freeze dried produce can be distributed.
  • Assure a Supply of High Nutritional Value Food – Freeze drying preserves 96% of the original food value of the fresh food, a higher percentage than canning or dehydrating. Freeze drying can also produce a reconstituted product that is more attractive and closer to fresh than canning or dehydrating, or even frozen. Additionally, freeze dried food does not require special storage units or electricity.

Go Fund Me Link

The dryers we plan to purchase are large stainless models from HarvestRight, with a maximum annual capacity of 2,500 lbs. These are commercially rated models (required for placement in a licensed kitchen, a health department requirement). We will gather data during the 2-year pilot project and use this data to plan and implement phase 2, which includes further development of freeze drying locally. One goal of phase 2 is to establish and foster a small business based on freeze drying. Another is to acquire a mobile facility that would provide small batch processing capability (canning, dehydrating, and freeze drying) to small farmers, allowing them to create a value-added marketable product. The mobile facility would also serve as an educational platform for local schools and agricultural extension, demonstrating and teaching food preservation on location.

The cost of the pilot project will be $20,000. The final cost of phase 2 is yet to be determined, but will be in the neighborhood of $75,000.

Your donation will be 100% dedicated to this specific project.

Left = Reconstituted Freeze
Dried
Right = Thawed Frozen
You’d prefer …
FD Vegs for stir frying.
Just add water to reconstitute.
Fresh Bell Peppers
Freeze Dried Bell Peppers

Go Fund Me Link

Updated June 1, 2020

Harvest Dinner Fundraiser

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!

Sincerely,

Shayna Wiseman, Community Wellness Program

History Articles

New Food Bank Gardens for Jefferson County

 2014/04/24 /  

New Food Bank Garden Project for Port Townsend and Jefferson County

Written by Lys B, Port Townsend Food Bank Gardens Leadership Team

The first Port Townsend Food Bank Garden was established in March, 2012, with a grant from the Master Gardner Foundation of Jefferson County to the JCFBA (Jefferson County Food Bank Association).  The grant provided for a hoop house situated at Mountain View Commons on garden space transferred from the YMCA that is designated to grow food specifically for the Port Townsend Food Bank.

During the summer of 2012, produce was also furnished for the food bank from a garden located at Port Townsend High School and seeded by high school student volunteers. Prior to the PT Food Bank Gardens Project, the vegetables from this garden were rarely harvested since students were out of school in the summertime.   Thanks to the project, volunteers delivered a total of 780 pounds of fresh, organic food to the PT Food Bank from both gardens that year.

The 2013 growing season saw the PTFB Gardens Project expand to three gardens, including additional space at the Quimper Grange Garden. Thanks to a generous grant from the Jefferson County Master Gardener’s Foundation to the Port Townsend High School, the size of this garden doubled in order to grow more food. It now has 5000 square feet and produced 1600 pounds of organic vegetables for the PT Food Bank last year.

Food Bank Garden volunteers work to renew garden beds at the Quimper Grange Garden in March, 2014. 

Two other gardening efforts furnish produce for Jefferson County food banks.  The Swan Valley Community Garden in Port Hadlock has several beds dedicated to the Tri – Area Food Bank and the Quilcene Demonstration Garden has dedicated a large space for the Quilcene Food Bank.  The Quilcene Demontration Garden is run  under the able leadership of master gardeners Juanita Thomas and Anita McCue. Vegetable gardening classes are offered every Monday at noon at the Quilcene garden.

Volunteers celebrate hoop house creation

If you are interested in more information or in participating in the PT Food Bank Gardens Project, please contact Karen K., Coordinator, at ptfoodbankgarden@gmail.com or call 531-2536. 2014

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What “Give Jefferson” Means to Us

Greenhouse Proposal for Fresh Winter Garden Produce for Jefferson County Food Banks

Our organization has a good track record of delivering high quality, fresh, organic produce to the Port Townsend and Tri-Area Food Banks since 2012. (The Tri-Area Food Bank also supplies south county.) Summer production has topped 45,000 lbs. total in the last six years and increases every year. We have increased the number of food bank garden sites this year for a total of 8 production sites with approximately an acre under intensive cultivation by scores of dedicated volunteers.

We have a total of 4 summer production greenhouses, and we’d like to expand the winter production with a more insulated house, especially suited to cold season production. We are encouraging all existing greenhouse locations to increase their winter production, as well. But many of these facilities lack the insulation needed and grower experience to produce large amounts of winter crops. A prototype operation would help all garden managers and volunteers learn better techniques for winter production.

Project Activities

If funded, FBFG volunteers will assist in the greenhouse raising at Birchyville Garden Coop. FBFG will sponsor regular all-call work parties at this newest greenhouse to educate both volunteers and food gardeners from the community about winter production techniques and to help with harvests. The winter greens production will be delivered to both the Port Townsend and Tri-Area Food Banks.The production will not be able to furnish enough to supply all those in need, but it will be a good start.

Please note that we have already raised $2,250 toward this greenhouse and need only $2,970 to complete the purchase of materials. 

Give hope. Give Foodbank Farm and Gardens. Give Jefferson. 

Farms Reach – Fall 2020

Hi all,
We made it! Through another growing season. I love this time of year – so many incredible colors and such abundance.
We planted garlic today at Goosefoot, some as crew crops and some for the food bank. Sam disced the field and it looks so different and so empty now! At Farm’s Reach, the greenhouse is planted with arugula and spinach. I’m hoping I got the timing right for a nice early crop in the late winter!

It was a great year at Goosefoot, honestly better than I could have imagined. It was so amazing to have the crew, both for the good company and fun and for the help in tackling so much! The soil is so great in the valley, and we grew some beautiful and prolific veggies.

Not much to report from Farm’s Reach since the last report in July. I had some beautiful tomatoes and a nice harvest overall, but unfortunately I had a lot of struggles too. The eggplants kept on being ravaged by voles, and by the time fruit was ready to be harvested, I was left with about 5 of the original 40 plants, which is pretty bad to say the least. At one point I tried cutting the bottoms out of plastic gallon size pots and using that as a sort of collar around the plant, and whether it was coincidence or not, it did seem to help. I also had some pretty bad loss from theft. The peppers were all stolen by the boxful before they had turned red (I wish I was kidding!!). Whoever was taking from the greenhouse also liked to harvest all the cherry tomatoes. I couldn’t tell for sure if they were taking any of the slicers. I put up a sign notifying guests from Farm’s Reach that the veggies were for the food bank, and if they were needing food to please visit the food bank or to email us to volunteer. I’m guessing since so many more people were eating outside for covid safety, it made the garden more visible and more tempting. Anyway, sorry to be delivering these disappointing news and I’m sorry too that I wasn’t able to deliver more of the crops I was hoping to. Just glad I was able to put in more hours at Goosefoot! My total for the year is 276 lbs, which is considerably less than last year, but in my opinion still pretty good since I was not using any of the outdoor raised beds to grow food this year, which halved my growing space.
Attaching some photos here from July-on.
Alexa

Here is the video of a sphinx moth visiting nasturtiums in the greenhouse!! I’d never seen one of these before and it surprised and delighted me 🙂

GIVE JEFFERSON

Give Love. Give Hope. Give Jefferson!
Donate Today!
The extraordinary impacts of COVID-19, and unprecedented levels of unemployment and underemployment, have threatened the health, safety, and security of those most vulnerable in our community:Students and their familiesSenior citizens and individuals with disabilitiesRestaurant and hospitality workersRetail and customer service staff Skilled laborers, tradespeople, and farmers Your donation to United Good Neighbors’ Give Jefferson ensures that those who are weathering uncertainty receive the necessary support to recover from crisis.
Safety-Net Services Meeting Critical Needs
United Good Neighbors proudly supports our 2020 Partner Organizations in their frontline efforts and the nonprofits, staff, and volunteers dedicated to providing for the basic human needs of individuals and families in Jefferson County.
Donate Today!
This year, local donations will be matched by All in WA, a statewide relief effort supporting workers and families impacted by COVID- 19.Support Give Jefferson Nov. 14 – Dec. 31, 2020, for your donation to be eligible!Donations can be made to the Give Jefferson General Fund, which supports all 2020 Partner Organizations, or you can click on one of the unique links below to direct your charitable gift to a specific organization!
Bayside Housing & Services Clallam Jefferson Pro Bono Law 
COAST Shelter 
Community Boat Project 
Community Wellness Project 
Connected Students Initiative  
Dove House Advocacy Services
ECHHO 
Food Bank Farm Gardens of JeffCo
Foster Supports of JeffCo
Habitat for Humanity 
JC MASH 
Jefferson Clemente Foundation 
JeffCo Association of Food Banks JeffCo Farmers Market Association 
JeffCo Immigrant Rights Advocates 
Jefferson Interfaith Action Coalition 
Jefferson Teen Center 
JUMP Playground 
Kaleidoscope Play & Learn 
Olympic Angels 
Olympic Neighbors 
PHLUSH 
Saint Vincent de Paul 
Skillmation 
The Benji Project 
Weekend Nutrition Program 
YMCA of JeffCo
 
Amplify Your Impact
“LIKE” and follow Give Jefferson on Facebook to play along with our 2020 #hashtag contests. Winners earn additional funds to donate to the organization of their choosing and special prizes from local businesses!#MatchItMonday 
November 16, 23, 30 and December 7, 14, 21On #MatchItMonday every person who generously donates online that day will be entered to win an additional $100 to donate to Give Jefferson! Winners announced live on Tuesdays and receive special prizes donated by local, supporting businesses!#GiveLoveGiveWednesday
November 18, 25 and December 9, 16, 23On #GiveLoveGiveWednesday the 2020 Partner Organization that has the highest number of donors that day will win an additional $100 to donate to Give Jefferson! Winners announced live on Thursdays!
Thank You Workplace Giving Campaigns & Supporting Businesses!
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Gratitude from “The Gleaners”

Thank you Quimper Community Harvest Gleaners!   

It’s the end of a challenging but very abundant season and time now to enjoy what’s left of that fresh, frozen, dried, sauced, canned, juiced, jammed, caramelized and fermented fruit we picked. Despite social distancing, this year was our biggest year ever, by a lot.  This year we delivered 18,254* pounds of fruit (4500 pounds more than our previous record) to 17 organizations**.  In the past it would have been a real challenge to make sure that much fruit was well used in our community, and this year was even tougher that usual with less students in school and heightened restrictions on deliveries to senior facilities.  Luckily  Jim did some research and found Fabio, a 1HP machine that turns hundreds of pounds of cooked apples into applesauce each hour.  With Laurie in the lead and 15 of you helping over 6 weeks, 7000 pounds of ugly apples were washed, cooked and run through Fabio to make 5449 pounds of tasty applesauce which has been frozen and will be served weekly to students.  Conveniently, that is the amount Stacey calculated she could use in a year feeding students. It’s hard to overstate how much this will improve our ability to feed the community with local fruit going forward.  All those apples with skin blemishes, or ones that were not crunchy enough, or too hard can make excellent sauce.   Special thanks to Sharon, Paula, Mary, and Sonny for doing the bulk of the tree checks (that is truly the most crucial job), Paula for sewing picking bags and masks for everyone, doing all the Chimacum deliveries and coming to every gleaning day, Laurie for being Queen of the Orchard and Sauce, Mary for trouble shooting uncountable situations and Jim for thinking outside the box and bringing a new idea to life. Many thanks to all who came, picked, and then came back! We had a lot of great returning and new gleaners this year and many awesome kids.   I hope to see you all in the trees next year.  

Seth 

PS, I do hope to have a pruning workshop in January or February, though I don’t think we’ll be doing the orchard mulching day this year.   

And a couple thank you’s to share  from tree owners: 

Thank you!  Your crew was absolutely wonderful and I’m so grateful to them for their labor of love this morning.  It makes me so happy that these apples will go to feed my community, the small ones and the old ones both.  Hannah 

Hi Seth.

Sorry you couldn’t get out our way this time. It was a great crew—hard working, efficient. I talked with Rachael and a guy (sorry, didn’t get his name) as the crew was packing up to leave. It was a gorgeous day and everyone appeared to be happy. It makes us happy that they were happy! Best of all, it delights us that our fruit is doing good for the people in this wonderful area. Thank you and the “field hands” for volunteering the time and effort. Neil

*Doing the math per pound we picked and delivered about 10,766 plums, 426 pears, 1888 Asian pears and 51,754 apples (plus a few thousand for ourselves).  Well done! 


** Chimacum School District, Port Townsend School District, Cedarbrook School, Tri Area Food Bank, Port Townsend Food Bank, Tri Area Senior meals, San Juan Commons, San Juan Dementia facility, Discovery Apartments, Avameer, Claridge Court, Episcopal Soup Kitchen, Jefferson Health Care, JC Anti-Racist Fund, Marine Plaza, Dove House, Jefferson Healthcare

Grange Garden Grant Evaluation

QUIMPER GRANGE FOOD BANK GARDEN EVALUATION FOR
TRI-AREA GARDEN CLUB 2020 GRANT 

September 27, 2020

The Quimper Food Bank Garden has supplied thousands of pounds of fresh, organically grown produce annually to the Port Townsend Food Bank. In 2019, over 2,900 pounds were donated to the Port Townsend Food Bank, which served 16,463 households last year. Current utilization of the area food banks has increased by 800 more families since the onset of the corona virus pandemic. Quimper Food Bank Garden is committed to increase food production to meet that demand.

Quimper Food Bank Garden supplies a wide variety of organically grown vegetables through all four seasons, and fruit during the summer. Until this grant, potatoes had not been grown due to garden space constraints. We wished to expand our operations and add potatoes to our crops, using fabric pots to increase the available growing area. Using fabric pots facilitated the ability offer an organic potato at the food bank, created a system to facilitate harvesting, kept small potato seed from sprouting in undesirable locations, and aided with weed suppression.

EVALUATION:

The stated evaluation plan was to gather anecdotal evidence from the Port Townsend Food Bank customers through volunteers who work at the food bank.

Regular food bank volunteers are aware of specific food bank customers who, for health reasons, are unable to eat non-organic produce, potatoes being a specific vegetable of concern. These identified customers were offered organically grown potatoes through this grant. Despite the onset of the Covid- 19 virus, where it was more difficult for direct interaction with customers as in years past, volunteers did hear from a number of people how appreciative they were to be offered the organic potatoes in lieu of non-organic. This extra level of care provided a much-needed boost, both nutritionally and emotionally, especially during this time of pandemic.

The harvest of the potato bags was quite simple. Placing a 1/2” screened box over a wheelbarrow, one bag at a time was dumped and sorted. This kept the work elevated to table height, ensuring that any of our volunteers could harvest with ease. Nearly all of the very small potato seed was captured by the screen, keeping it out of the re-usable soil, as per our plan. The sifted soil was then amended with compost, and replaced back into an emptied bag for replanting.

In addition, the rows of fabric pots along our fence line completely damped down weed growth. This was the first year that we did not have to weed the interior fence line.

Looking at the harvest numbers, we felt there should be a greater crop yield. We did some research, and discovered some possible explanations:

  1. WSU Extension Growing Groceries instructors have heard from a number of people that their potato crops did not do well this year, possibly due to a blight.
  2. The fabric pots dry out much more quickly than if the crop was grown in the ground. Initially watered by hand, a soaker hose was installed in mid-June, but a number of plants had ceased to thrive by that time.
  3. Layers of straw was alternated with soil, but because of the rapid drying of fabric in #2 above, the straw was likely an additional factor in drying.

Quimper Grange Food Bank Garden is grateful for the opportunity that your grant provided to “think out of the box” with this project. In the spirit of sustainability, the fabric pots, and the remaining soil, are being used again immediately. A fall crop of radicchio, radish and elephant garlic were planted in the pots, re-using the potato soil and supplementing with remaining compost. We are committed to try the potato project again next year. We believe our harvest will be much better next year, and will keep the Tri-Area Garden Club apprised.

TOTAL GRANT REQUEST (Granted $334.00)$333.88$344.63$10.63 overage covered with a donation to Quimper FB Garden
Black fabric bags filled with soil and potatoes line the interior of the fence
Potatoes dumped into a screen over a wheelbarrow re-captures all the soil and most of the small seeds.
Final packaging and ready to deliver to the Port Townsend Food Bank!

Delivering Fresh Produce

Juri Jennings, displaced from work by COVID-19, started a bike delivery business to deliver groceries in Port Townsend WA: Peddler PT. Her website has a donation link for folks to pay it forward for those who need home delivery, but may not be able to afford it. Check out her site HERE or above.

Juri’s first delivery on 9/8/20 to the PT Foodbank: 115 pounds of fresh vegetables from Dundee Hill Community Garden and the Quimper Grange Foodbank Garden. In the box she’s holding are hand-built salads with calendula blossoms, in her other, a freshly delivered cucumber!


Yesterday, to reduce car traffic and make delivery easier, she began a route from Foodbank and Community Gardens and home gardens to deliver to the Port Townsend Foodbank. It should be noted that in a year, gleaned and donated fresh produce totals over 20,000 pounds, conservatively.


PT High School Garden

Young volunteers, Zach works hard and a community success story in the making!

Our youngest volunteer, almost 4 years old, masked while working and with hands freshly washed, snacking after a busy hour harvesting bush beans and carrying [light!] crates.

Kids LOVE fresh kale–and kale chips!Port Townsend High School garden supplies the schools with fresh, organically grown produce for Stacey Larsen and her team to do scratch cooking. During the end of the school year, during COVID, they produced over 20,000 breakfasts and lunches delivered by school busses.The YMCA took over during the summer, adding a weekly dinner by Grace Love of Nadine’s Kitchen, mom of an adorable toddler!What teamwork!!!During the summer, the harvest is sent to the school kitchens for freezing and saucing, and to the Port Townsend Foodbank.Students grow and harvest during the school year; volunteers grow and harvest during the summer. All under the leadership of Farmer Zach.

Farmer Zach, an ever presence at the PT High School Garden.