Farmers are on the frontlines of climate change

Reflection from farmer Ariana De Leña of Kamayan Farmoriginally posted on Facebook 8/15/18

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It’s hot and smoky and I feel so grumpy and sad about the state of the planet. I want to talk more about how farmers and farmworkers are on the frontlines of climate change and how we are the canaries in the proverbial coal mine. We generally have to work regardless of air quality, downpours, extreme heat because folks need food and we need to survive as farmers.

Farmers are so intricately linked to the weather; we see the shifts first, we notice and track changes year to year, and we have systems that have the ability to both improve and hurt the current climate disaster. I keep wondering how farmers are going to continue being mitigators of climate change – running around trying to solve new problems each year on top of all the regular challenges and surprises involved in farming – while constantly under financial pressure. How will we keep producing food and maintain our physical, mental, and emotional health? What about farmworkers who have even less agency over their working conditions and climate exposure?

… I want to show all the beauty and joy that comes with farming but I also think it needs to be balanced with the truth. The truth is that I love my job and want to do it for a long time and I question whether that’s possible for me if conditions continue to worsen. I want people to know how precious and sacred good food and healthy soil and vibrant forests and clean air and land workers are and I don’t think that can happen unless we talk about the links between them all.

Keep up with Ari & Kamayan Farm on Facebook & Instagram, attend an upcoming workshop, sign up for her CSA, or find her produce at the Rainier Beach Farm Stand and ROAR.

A Farm Stand Sprouts in Rainier Beach

Previously published in the South Seattle Emerald, the following article from veteran food justice organizer Tammy Morales tells the story of emerging youth leadership and community building around fresh, healthy food. Visit the market every Saturday from 10am-2pm at ECS, 8323 Rainier Ave S.

Full text available here.

A Farm Stand Sprouts in Rainier Beach

Tammy Morales  | 12 June 2018

Saturday morning saw the start of something beautiful in Rainier Beach. In the middle of this neighborhood with limited food access, a farm stand with fresh local produce and eager young people emerged in the parking lot of the Ethiopian Community Center.

Unfazed by the clouds and drizzle, the Farm Stand Fellows—young people hired as part-time coordinators—got busy setting up three bright canopies in red, yellow and green. Others gathered in the kitchen to unpack fresh herbs, apples, AfricaTown eggs and the most beautiful collards from Clean Greens. This was the food they helped order from local farmers earlier in the week and now, they were setting out the goods, realizing some items were new to them like beets and butter lettuce.

Once the produce was beautifully displayed, Meron Mekkonen, a senior at Rainier Beach High School, checked the produce scale for accuracy and ensured the correct prices were entered in the card reader.  Her responsibility for the day was staffing the pay station and she wanted to be well-prepared for the first customer.

The Rainier Beach Farm Stand is a collaboration between Ethiopian Community in Seattle, Rainier Beach Action Coalition and ROAR, Roots of All Roads, who has provided valuable technical assistance to the fledgling project. The project evolved after many conversations among the organizations serving communities of color. They were looking for a way to address south end health disparities, growing interest in a vegan diet, local gardening projects and the  community’s passion for supporting local businesses owned by people of color.

“We wanted a place to gather and have discussions in a safe welcoming space,” said Liya Rubio, the farm stand manager. “For us, this isn’t just about providing produce. It’s about creating a safe space to talk about sensitive topics: affordability, what is it to eat vegan.  We want to empower our community to take ownership of their health and talk about eating in a positive way.”

The Fellows, who are responsible for assisting every aspect of the project, are learning important job skills, says Rubio.

“We hired five young people from the community. We want to give young people a chance to understand where their food comes from,” Rubio explains.  “Our goal is to help them learn to advocate for healthy food in their schools, pass their knowledge to families, and establish healthy eating habits.”

It’s a hands-on experience, Rubio stresses. The Fellows are tasked with budgeting and cash handling, event management, logistics, office work, community outreach, customer service, teamwork, learning different cultural backgrounds.

“We keep them busy,” Rubio says.

Ridhwan Salat is one of those Fellows. The 10th grader from Garfield High School was eager to join the team. “In health class, we always learn about obesity and the problems in our community, but we don’t really learn how to do anything about it,” she said. “Maybe local food will help. I want to do something and help others in my community take action.”

When asked how she has prepared for the market, Salat grew excited.

“We went on field trips! We went to different markets to talk to local farmers and learned about challenges with getting organic.  It’s a lot of work to get certified,” she said. “We also got to talk to POC farmers who told us about the challenges of not having land or being the only black farmer in a room where policies are being made.”

As the project grows, the plan is to offer market space to local craft and other businesses. For now, the fellows are busy preparing for the Grand Opening on Saturday, June 16th.  The event will have music, food available for sale and a very special coffee ceremony to celebrate the space.

“This will be a fun place to be,” Salat said, encouraging readers to take part “Come try new things, meet your neighbors, have some coffee, just come have a good time!”

The Rainier Beach Farm Stand will be open 10 – 2 every Saturday through October.

Ethiopian Community in Seattle
8323 Rainier Avenue South

Tammy Morales is an organizer with Rainier Beach Action Coalition, a food security expert, and an avid believer in teaching young people to eat fresh,

Nectar at the Roadside

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From Blossoms

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

 

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

… Aaand We’re Back

ROARing into our *fifth* season slinging veggies on the side of the road, the farm stand is here for 2018 with the help of a LOT of new friends:

We’re honored to partner with Seattle Parks Foundation as our fiscal sponsor. SPF supports policies, investments, and community-based efforts focused on improving the health and happiness of all Seattle residents. We anticipate big growth in the coming months with their help, as we leverage generous financial support from HumanLinks.

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SWOONS: We’re making it farm stand-official with the *highly crushable* Nurturing Roots Farm for a South Beacon market on Thursdays. Crash our veggie date nite from 5-9pm on the corner of Beacon Ave S & S Graham St at Bethany Church. PLUS: The westside band is back together for a revival of the Delridge Grocery Co-Op farm stand. Find us off Delridge Way at SW Findlay every Tuesday 3-7pm. Finally (FINALLY!), the Seattle Indian Health Board market is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! All clinic patients, families, and staff can get in on the goodness. Spread the word!

Look for some new faces this year — we have some hyperlocal helpers joining the seasonal staff. El Centro (now on Fridays!) welcomes Joanne and Mia, who are residents at Plaza Roberto Maestas. Paul and Andrea will tag-team in Delridge, but y’all already know them, right? Serena is back at it in High Point — HURRAH! More announcements forthcoming; check our Staff page soon for pics and bios. Now, the Fresh List:

 

FRESH LIST – JUNE 12-15

Apples, pink lady – $2/lb. – Collins Family Orchard, Selah

Strawberries – $3.00/pint – Pure Nelida Farms, Mt Vernon & Sidhu Farms, Puyallup

Rhubarb – $2/lb – Living Rain Farm, Mt Vernon

Beets! golden, red , chioggia – $3/bu – Alvarez Organics, Mabton

Garlic Scapes – The Crows Farm, Skagit County

Garlic – $10/lb – Cabrera Farms, Burlington

Spring garlic & onions – $1.60/bu – Alvarez Organics, Mabton

Fava beans – $3.25/lb – Alvarez Organics, Mabton

Kale, lacinato – $1.70/bu – Slanted Sun Farm, Everson

Chard, rainbow – $1.50/bu – Ralph’s Greenhouse, Mt Vernon

Lettuce, read oak leaf – $1.70/Head – Pure Nelida Farms, Mt Vernon

Radish, Easter egg – $2.50/bu- Caruso Farm, Snohomish

Snap Peas – $4.25/lb – Alvarez Organics, Mabton

Mushrooms, shiitake – $7.75/lb – Cascadia Mushrooms, Bellingham

Party with the Farm Stand Fam!

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We’re excited to invite EVERYONE to our annual end-of-season celebration! We can’t wait to see you all, and open up a space where the whole ROAR community — farmers, shoppers, funders, neighbors, friends of friends — can come together.

Let us show our love for you with snacks and drinks from Adu Cafe, La Mesa Azul, Chef Tarik, Schilling Cider, and Georgetown Brewing.

Plus one’s and kiddos are welcome — we’ll have some seasonally-themed crafts and games available for the early bird crowd.

Hope you can join us Friday, Nov. 10 from 5-9pm. RSVP on our Facebook event page here, or shoot us an email at roarseattle@gmail.com with questions.

Produce year-round in Hillman City!

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Our friends at Harameyn Halal Grocery, on Rainier Ave S & S Juneau St. in Hillman City, are now selling fresh produce seven days a week, 10 am-10 pm!  In partnership with the City of Seattle they are participating in the Fresh Bucks program, which means that shoppers can double their dollars using EBT when purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables.

ROAR will be helping Harameyn management to connect with local farmers for their ordering, so you can look forward to supporting both small business in the neighborhood and small, sustainable Washington farms AT THE SAME TIME! Make sure to stop in and say hello to ZamZam and the fam at Harameyn, and pick up fresh veggies and anything else on your shopping list — they have everything, from socks to spices to super delicious mango juice. How lucky we are to have this treasure in Hillman City!

 

What’s Fresh at the farm stand!

Squash, Summer Mix – Hedlin Farm – $2/pound

Collard Greens – Ralph’s Greenhouse – $1.60 /bunch

Spaghetti Squash – Boldly Grown Farm – $1.50/pound – CUTEST SQUASH EVER

Delicata Squash – Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Everson –  $1/pound – ALSO BEAUTIFUL SQUASH

Garlic, Purple Glazer – The Crows Farm – $.50/each

Quince! City Harvest, Seattle – $3/pound

Red Cabbage – Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Everson – $1/pound

Beets – High Point Market Garden – $2/bunch

Herbs! Basil, Mint – High Point Market Garden – $2/bunch

Kale – High Point Market Garden – $2/bunch

Cherry Tomatoes – High Point Market Garden – $2/pound

Heirloom Tomatoes – Xai Cha Farm – $3.25/pound

SOLD OUT Peaches – Collins Family Orchard – $2/pound

SOLD OUT Shitake Mushrooms – Dog Island Mushrooms – $3/pint

SOLD OUT Kosui Asian Pears – Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Everson – $3/pound

SOLD OUT Pluots – Collins Family Orchard – $2/pound

SOLD OUT Corn, Bi-color – Hopewell Farm – $.50/ear

SOLD OUT Corn, Purple-sweet – Southern Exposure Family Farm – $.50/ear

SOLD OUT Onions – Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Everson – $1.30/pound

SOLD OUT Swiss Chard – High Point Market Garden – $2/bunchHC produce

SOLD OUT Cucumbers, white and lemon – Xai Cha Farm – 2 for $1

SOLD OUT Broccoli – Hopewell Farm – $2/pound

SOLD OUT Kohlrabi – CityGrown Farm – $2.50/bunch

 

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New produce section at Harameyn Halal Grocery in Hillman City

 

 

Welcome to the Fungi Kingdom!

Mushroom 2

What’s Fresh at the farm stand!

GRAPES! Lynden Blue, Jupiter, and Interlaken table varieties – Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Everson – $3.25/pound

Blueberries – Sidhu Farms – $2.50/pint

Shitake Mushrooms – Dog Island Mushrooms – $2.50/pound

Kosui Asian Pears and Orcas Pears – Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Everson – $3/pound

Plums – Collins Family Orchard – $2/pound

Corn, sweet yellow – Hedlin Farms – $.50/ear

Green Beans – New Holly Market Garden – $3/pound

Carrots – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

Beets, Red – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

Onions – New Holly Market Garden – $2/pound

Radish – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

Bok Choi – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

Swiss Chard – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

Cilantro – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

Lettuce – New Holly Market Garden – $2/head

Sungold Tomatoes – New Holly Market Garden – $3.50/pint

Heirloom Tomatoes – Xai Cha Farm – $3.25/pound

Cucumbers, white and lemon – Xai Cha Farm – 2 for $1

Turnips, Japanese Hakurei – Osprey Hill Farm – $2/bunch

Broccoli – Hopewell Farm – $2/pound

Kohlrabi – CityGrown Farm – $2.50/bunch

Squash, Summer Mix – New Holly Market Garden – $2/pound

Collard Greens – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

Peppers – New Holly Market Garden and Magana Farm- $2/pound

Mushrooms

Qi Lou from Dog Island Mushrooms

Welcome back autumn! Welcome back grapes!

Kent

Zainab, a member of the Kent Food Co-op, running the farm stand at the Kent Community Market in East Hill

This summer we were honored and excited to partner with Living Well Kent during the launch of their monthly Community Market.  Living Well Kent (LWK) is a community-driven collaborative dedicated to the vision of public spaces and initiatives that encourage healthier lifestyles and better living. It is focused on creating a healthier, more equitable and more sustainable city.

Through a food assessment by LWK’s Food Policy Council it was found that Kent residents, many of whom are newcomers to this country, were not able to access affordable produce and/or culturally significant products.  With the vision to create jobs alongside the food access work, the Kent Food Co-op and Community Markets were created!

The Food Co-op met regularly to plan and discuss the future of the market.  Community Markets were held monthly, May – September, and included locally grown produce, baked goods, local crafts, live music, dance performance and kids programming.

The final Community Market will be held this Saturday, 9:30 am – 3:00 pm, at Morrill Meadows Park in Kent’s East Hill Neighborhood.  Come by and meet the members of the Kent Food Co-op and celebrate what they have created together!

Kent Class

Andrea Wilmot, from Delridge Co-op, leading the monthly class for the Kent Food Co-op with special guest instructor Natalie Evans, director of the Bellevue Farmers Market

What’s Fresh at the farm stand!

GRAPES! Lynden Blue SOLD OUT, Jupiter, and Interlaken table varieties – Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Everson – $3.25/pound

Chojuro Asian Pears – Hima Farms, Everett – $1.60/pound

Apples, Honeycrisp – Collins Family Orchard, Selah – $2.50/pound

Peaches, freestone – Collins Family Orchard – $2/pound

Plums – Collins Family Orchard – $2/pound

Corn, sweet yellow – Hedlin Farms – $.50/ear

Green Beans – Hopewell Farm, Everson – $2/pound

Carrots – Ralph’s Greenhouse, Mt Vernon – $1.75/bunch

Beets, Red – Hopewell Farm – $1.50/bunch

Squash, Red Kuri – Cabrera Farms – $1.65/pound

Onions, Red – Cedarville Farm – $1.25/pound

Peppers, jalapeño and shishito – Sidhu Farms, Puyallup – $2/pound

Cucumbers, slicing – Sidhu Farms – $2/pound

 

SOLD OUT Turnips, Japanese Hakurei – Osprey Hill Farm – $2/bunch

SOLD OUT Onions, Green Scallions – CityGrown Farms – $1.50/bunch

SOLD OUT Broccoli – Hopewell Farm – $2/pound

SOLD OUT Kohlrabi – CityGrown Farm – $2.50/bunch

SOLD OUT Squash, Summer Mix – Osprey Hill Farm – $1.50/pound

SOLD OUT Collard Greens – Slanted Sun Farm – $1.75/bunch

 

Meet Earl! And other vegetable delights.

 

Serena and Earl

Serena and Earl at the Rainier Beach farm stand, 2017

 

Sarah and Earl

Sarah and Earl at the High Point farm stand, 2017

There are moments each season when a special veggie comes our way.  Sometimes it is something we have never seen before, or something much bigger than we expected.  Other times it has a special meaning to one of our shoppers, a connection deeper than it’s nutrients alone.

These surprises over the years have reminded me of the deep joy that these fruits and vegetables are capable of bringing to us and how amazing it is to get to spend time with them at the farm stands and see them spread this happiness!

This season one of these magic vegetables came to us in the form of an 11.5 pound Carafax Cabbage from Osprey Hill Farm.  Serena quickly named him Earl and he has traveled to our different farm stand locations with us.  Neighbors who have seen him on our Facebook page have come down to have their photo taken with him, shoppers have guessed his weight, many folks have debated what to do with him in the kitchen and he was even featured on a local youth media show in Rainier Beach!

Sometimes you need an enormously oversized squash to remember how fun these gifts from nature are.  To take a minute and laugh with strangers at a farm stand when someone has pug goggle-y eyes on a fennel.  To make a cabbage the star of a local news show.  Thank you Mother Earth and all our fruit and vegetable friends for reminding us how to enjoy the small (and extremely oversized) things in life!

What’s Fresh at the Farm Stand!

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Lisa meeting this sweet baby Strawberry Corn from Nurturing Roots Farm at the Seattle Indian Health Board farm stand 2016

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Patrice, a large zucchini and the Corner Greeters at the Rainier Beach farm stand in 2016

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Tara teaching us that Fennel is much more than an herb, it can also be a friend! High Point farm stand 2015

Blackberries/Blueberries – Sidhu Farm, Puyallup – $2.50/pint

Peaches, freestone Regina – Collins Family Orchard – $2/pound

Nectarines – Collins Family Orchard – $2/pound

White and Lemon Cucumbers – $2/pound

Rhubarb – Sua Yang Farm -$2/large bunch

Ground Cherries – Red Barn Ranch – $3.50/pint

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes – New Holly Market Garden – $3/pound

Red Cherry Tomatoes – High Point Market Garden – $3/pound

Heirloom Tomatoes – New Holly Market Garden -$3.25/pound

Japanse eggplant – New Holly Market Garden – $2/pound

Peppers – Magana Farm, Sunnyside – $2/pound

Cucumbers -New Holly Market Garden – $2/pound

Summer Squash – New Holly Market Garden – $2/pound

Corn, sweet bicolor – Hopewell Farm, Everson – $.50/ear

Onion, Walla Walla Sweets – New Holly Market Garden – $2/pound

Beets – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

Carrots, rainbow – Red Shed Farm – $2/bunch

Green Beans – New Holly Market Garden – $3/pound

Broccoli – Hopewell Farm, Everson – $1.75/pound

Collab Tomato

A tomato grown in the Collab Garden by Taste International in 2014

Lacinato Kale – Slanted Sun Farm – $1.50/bunch

Herbs – New Holly Market Garden and High Point Market Garden- $2/bunch

Garlic, Purple Glazer – The Crows Farm – $8/pound

Fingerling Potatoes – High Point Market Garden – $3/pound

Fennel – The Crows Farm – $1.75/each

Shitake Mushrooms – Dog Island Mushrooms -$3/pint

Rachel and a carrot

Rachel picking a huge carrot at Caruso farm in 2015

Cabbage, Carafax (Earl) – Osprey Hill Farm – $13.50 for an 11.5 pound cabbage

Shallots – Cedarville Farm – $3/pound

Romaine Lettuce – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

Rainbow Chard – New Holly Market Garden – $2/bunch

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A fennel for Heather at the Indian Health Board farm stand, 2016