Indoor market to debut in Sequim this weekend

SEQUIM — Two things will wrap around you like silk and honey this Saturday: the scent of coconut oil and the music of the Port Angeles High School String Quartet.

They will fill the air during the Indoor Home Holiday, aka the inside edition of the Sequim Open Aire Market at the Boys & Girls Club, 400 W. Fir St., Sequim.

Stationed near the entrance to the club gym will be three Sequim women who, something like Diana Ross and the Supremes, hope to have you stop — in the name of local produce.

Demonstrations

Lisa Bridge, co-owner of the Rainbow Farm in Dungeness; Lisa Boulware of A New Leaf, a nursery near Sequim; and Kia Armstrong, outreach coordinator for Nash’s Organic Produce, will give cooking demonstrations throughout the day and toss together carnival squash, carrots, Brussels sprouts, wheat berries and other freshly picked products from the Dungeness Valley.

The female farmers’ performance will have a soundtrack provided by Port Angeles High School musicians, to be liberally seasoned with holiday songs, said market manager Mark Ozias.

This indoor Open Aire Market will also feature more than 40 art, food and body-care-product vendors from the North Olympic Peninsula, he added.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with live music from 9 a.m. till noon.

With their stir-frying demonstrations, Armstrong, Bridge and Boulware intend to prove it’s possible to create affordable, delectable dishes with organic vegetables and locally grown grains.

“People think, ‘Organic food is so expensive,’ and the processed foods, like cookies and pasta sauces, are,” Armstrong said.

“But if you make things yourself, and you’re a smart shopper, you find that local produce gives you more for your dollar.”

Making the time to prepare meals with homegrown ingredients, instead of buying the frozen or canned kind, pays off in richer nutrition and flavor, she added.

“We’re going to be cooking all day long, getting people excited about the versatility of local vegetables and grains” and handing out samples.

Clallam County’s farms grow and sell produce — from fingerling potatoes and carnival squash to January King cabbage and collard greens — throughout every winter.

This Saturday’s Sequim market — as well as the year-round Port Angeles Farmers Market every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fourth and Peabody streets — are among the outlets for such products.

The Port Townsend Food Co-op at 414 Kearney St. is a Jefferson County source of local goods.

Also for Saturday’s event, Armstrong is baking a new kind of corn bread.

These loaves are low-fat, with pureed local squash instead of oil or butter, and soft white winter wheat, one of Nash’s newest Dungeness Valley crops.

Armstrong admitted, however, that she’ll be using non-local coconut oil on Saturday, for two reasons.

First, it smells great, and fragrance is an important part of any holiday party.

Second, “we’re not trying to intimidate people into thinking they have to go all local all the time,” she said.

But as local farmers, Armstrong, Bridge and Boulware naturally hope to grow their customer base.

“People might not know what’s growing in their own backyard,” said Bridge, who spent this fall harvesting berries and potatoes at the Rainbow Farm on Towne Road, and organic “naked” oats, a grain that grows without hulls, at the Lamb Farm southwest of Sequim.

Bridge ran a community-supported agriculture, or CSA, operation in Massachusetts before she married Joe Bridge, a Sequim native who brought her here.

And though she’s never stir-fried for a crowd, she’s a yoga instructor and does not fear public speaking.

“I’m excited about showing people how they can eat seasonally,” Bridge said, “and the food will be delicious.”

Ozias added that Cedar Creek Cuisine of Sequim will sell breakfast and lunch items at the market.

Other vendors

Other vendors will offer handmade gifts and sustenance for the coming winter, such as house plants from Pacific Northwest Naturals and succulent wreaths from You-Seed-Ums.

“The Sequim Open Aire Market is committed to supporting local growers and providing access to local food,” Ozias said.

And while the Indoor Home Holiday is the last chance to shop a farmers’ market in Sequim this year, Ozias plans two more indoor versions of the Open Aire Market in early 2009.

The Winter Warmup comes on Feb. 7 and the Spring Preview follows on April 4; both will spread out in the Boys & Girls Club gym.

________

Sequim Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at [email protected]

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