By Laura Swanson, editor, Tillamook County Pioneer
March is Nutrition month and an easy way to focus on healthy eating is by choosing locally-sourced foods. Tillamook County residents have a variety of options when it comes to enjoying the bounty of local foods available literally from our own backyards. Gardening has seen a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic, and there are several sources for FREE seeds available at the main branch of the Tillamook Library. Call Sarah Beeler for more information about acquiring seeds at 503-842-4792 ext.1708. Food Roots will be distributing seeds to EVERY kindergarten through 6th grader in Tillamook County.
If growing your own isn’t an option, consider signing up for a local CSA (Community-Support Agriculture) subscription box. This is a great deal and makes your veggie purchases easy throughout the growing season. Beginning in May (or June) depending on the farm, CSA subscribers receive a box (or set amount – half shares are often available) of seasonal produce. Generally, a full-share CSA provides enough (usually more than enough) produce for a family of four, and often half shares are available as well. The CSA boxes also usually come with recipes and ideas for the veggies, and include heirloom varieties and provide an opportunity to experiment and try lots of vegetables.
According to Corvus Landing Farm, “Your CSA share is truly an investment in the farm. Your early season payments have allowed us to buy seed, supplies, and invest in improvements to the farm. It is a huge motivator to know that there are folks ready and waiting to feast on the delicious returns! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”
For more information, contact the Farms directly for subscription information, amounts, costs, drop-off/pick-up/delivery and more:
Brickyard Farms – firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-815-8142 Also available “grown-at-the-coast” and tested for success in our Coastal environments – tomato and pepper starts available. Watch for the list of tomato and pepper varieties – email to be on the list to reserve your starts now – available mid-May…
Corvus Landing Farm – email@example.com – sign-up on their website – www.corvuslanding.com or call 503-392-9327
Moon River Farm – www.moonriverfarmers.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-753-6327
Moss Creek Family Farm – 503-300-0085 or message on Facebook, Moss Creek Family Farm
SNAP/EBT Payments for CSA Shares
Food Roots accepts SNAP payments for CSA Shares on behalf of our partnering farms. In addition, we provide SNAP customers with Double Up Food Bucks to reduce the overall cost of the CSA share, further increasing the affordability of local food. There are flexible purchasing options, please ask.
Register for your CSA Directly with Farms
Please note that this year registration for all CSA shares (including SNAP CSAs) will occur directly with farms. Please contact the farms below to choose and register for a share plan that works best for you. Some farms are in the process of setting up their CSA programs, so signup for their wait lists and be patient.
Meanwhile, until CSA’s begin, you can satisfy your appetite for local foods with Food Roots “Farm Table” storefront that features a wide variety of local producers including in-season vegetables, cheeses, eggs, honey and more! There are multiple ways to shop the Farm Table. You can order online at www.foodrootsfarmtable.localfoodmarketplace.com/Index for pick up on Tuesdays between 2 and 5:30 pm. Or shop in person Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 2 to 5:30 pm.
There are also local farm produce stands available with seasonal produce:
-Josi Farms (formerly DeNoble’s Produce Stand) at 735 Wilson River Loop, Tillamook – self-serve farm stand
-Valley Fresh Produce at 5112 Third St., Tillamook
-HomeGrown at Kendra’s River Inn, 34910 Hwy. 53 at Miami Foley Rd., Mohler
Food Roots understood that even before the Covid-19 pandemic, our rural community struggled with transportation barriers. Barriers to food security like transportation have only been made worse by the pandemic and we know that there is much work to be done so that rural families can regularly access nutritious locally produced food.
In July 2020, as a direct response to the pandemic, Food Roots launched its online local food marketplace for its two year old FarmTable. With the support of local organizations like Adventist Health, Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization, Oregon Coast Visitors Association, and private foundations, Food Roots has been able to increase staff capacity and infrastructure to continue programs, while making shifts that better serve our community during a time of unprecedented need and new challenges.
Food Roots is gearing up for another launch this spring 2021, a new food delivery service available to FarmTable customers throughout Tillamook County and in partnership with North Coast Food Web of Clatsop County. Stay tuned for more details to come!
The purchase of this new delivery vehicle was made possible thanks to Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization, Tillamook County’s Covid Relief Fund and Oregon Coast Visitors Association.
And, remember, starting in June local Farmers Markets will be opening as well – Manzanita Farmers Market on Fridays; Neskowin and Tillamook on Saturdays; and Pacific City on Sundays. Watch for more information about Farmers Market openings soon!
Pay it Forward with SNAP Match Donations: Food Roots offers a 2:1 match on SNAP dollars spent at FarmTable. This match can be used on all SNAP-eligible food items. Spend $1 with EBT payment, receive $2 free.
Interested in helping your neighbors purchase fresh food while supporting our region’s farmers and food producers! Just add “Support our SNAP Match Program!” to your cart with your next purchase. These funds are utilized as matching funds when customers shop with their EBT (food benefit) card.
You can make every month “nutrition month” by eating locally-grown foods that provides so many benefits to mind, body, soul and community. When you buy from a local producer, you are not only feeding your family, you are helping to feed many local families.