North Coast Growers Association — Winter Market

The Farmers Markets throughout Humboldt are one of the best ways to assure your produce (and other food items these days) is locally produced and as fresh as possible.  Other ways are joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture farm) or buying your produce at a farm stand.

Throughout the years winter has been a tough time to get local produce.  Sure, there are plenty of greens and other crops that grow year round, but the farmers market ended in the fall and didn’t start up again until April.  Even then, in April, the actual food items were pretty few and far between, it seemed that the farmers market was mostly a place to get plant starts.

Why not have a year around market?  For years many people thought that would entail having an enclosed space since the inclement weather was thought to be a major obstacle to an outdoor market.  As many of us know, though — the rain isn’t as bad as you think.  Surely that is one of the secrets of Humboldt that has kept the communities small — if the word ever gets out, we will be overrun!

Several years ago, a few persistent farmers and Henry Robertson of Henry’s Olives, made an arrangement to sell their items in front of Cafe Brio.  This was pretty successful, so a couple of years ago the North Coast Growers Association took on the Winter Market and it is now a blooming and bustling operation, and occupies two full sides of the plaza.  The produce choices have expanded as well, and now, when the regular market begins in April, there are a lot more food items available.

Listen here for the interview with Laura Hughes


Quinoa – Yojana Miraya

With all of my interest in quinoa these days (if you haven’t seen the Food for Thought short film about quinoa and Blake Richard, you should check it out), it seemed like fate that I would meet Yojana Miraya.

Yojana is a student in the Masters Program for Community and Environment at Humboldt State University and friend of co-producer Jessica Eden.  She was raised in the Andes where quinoa was a staple food for her indigenous community.  Small amounts were grown for the village, none of it made the long arduous journey to the coast to be shipped away to other markets.

Listen to her story about indigenous foods of the Andes and how quinoa was part of her daily life.

Cultured Life Food – Kate Brown

Kate Brown is from the south — as you can immediately tell by her soft southern accent.  How does a gal from the south end up in Arcata making ghee, quinoa flour and gomasio?  Well, the highest quality ingredients are certainly here and readily available.

Let’s start with ghee — yep, clarified butter (buttahhhhhh) with the solids removed to make it super shelf stable and also changing the consistency for many recipes.  It all starts with Rumiano butter (yes, my favorite butter), and heated so that all those pesky solids float to the top and are removed.  Put into a lovely jar and it is ready to go…I’ve heard somewhere that ghee would last for thousands of years but I go through it too fast to test that one out.

Next quinoa flour — if you’ve been following the Food for Thought film project, you can learn a lot about local farmer Blake Richard who has been bringing us locally grown quinoa for several years now.  That is the quinoa for the quinoa flour.

Finally the gomasio — a combination of sesame seeds (not local) and salt — yep, this one is from Bryon Duty at Pacific Flake.

As they say — if you got it, flaunt it — and of course Humboldt County does.

Listen here for the story of the ghee

Listen here for the story about the quinoa flour and gomasio

Cultured Life Food website

Cultured Life Food Facebook Page