The peak season on the Olympic Peninsula – late spring through early fall – is a time of abundance and fruition for the area’s farmers and food growers, and an opportunity for …
The peak season on the Olympic Peninsula – late spring through early fall – is a time of abundance and fruition for the area’s farmers and food growers, and an opportunity for people to get to know what is available to them by way of land and sea. The Eat Local First Olympic Peninsula campaign is a resource here to facilitate the connection between food producers and consumers, and celebrate the local food system.
Eat Local First Olympic Peninsula is part of the statewide Eat Local First Collaborative campaign focused on promoting and building a diverse and vibrant local food economy. Some of the campaign goals are “to grow and sustain sales for local farmers, food producers, and food businesses, increase access to locally sourced food for low income and rural populations, and educate consumers on how to use local crops when they are in season,” said Lisa Vaughn, who works as a farm and food finder liaison in Clallam County through the Washington State University Extension’s Regional Small Farms Program.
The campaign’s website
(eatlocalfirstolypen.com) hosts the WA Food & Farm Finder, CSA Finder, and Wholesale Finder, and is encouraging all local farmers, markets, grocers, restaurants, food banks, and nonprofits to join the campaign and make a free listing. Currently, Eat Local First Olympic Peninsula is seeking restaurants committed to shifting 10 percent of their food budgets for local products to join the campaign. (For those who need assistance with criteria, creating a listing, or updating an existing listing, contact
Another goal for the Eat Local First Collaborative is to aid in minimizing barriers for schools, hospitals, and community organizations that want to source their food locally and regionally. The USDA recently awarded ELF with a Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant to “support the creation of online wholesale marketing infrastructure to increase equitable market access, digital proficiency, and sales for small to midsize farms and producers in Washington state,” according to the grant announcement press release.
For those who want to participate this summer in the effort to support local farms and food producers, for the third year in a row, ELF Olympic Peninsula will be sponsoring the Eat Local Month event in Jefferson and Clallam counties during the month of September. Throughout the month, each day of the week will feature businesses and organizations committed to engaging consumers about local food resources and availability. With the help of social media outreach, the community is invited to connect with the local food system through farm tours, farmers markets and stands, food banks, and restaurants. There will even be a chance to win a number of prizes by participating in posting and sharing photos about your appreciation for and experience with local food.
Working within a collaborative, Eat Local First Olympic Peninsula is partnered with The Food Co-op in Port Townsend, Olympic Culinary Loop, The Local Food Trust, Jefferson County Farmers Markets, North Olympic Development Council, and Washington State University Extension’s Regional Small Farms Program.
The intention of collective “is to educate, inspire, value, and eat our way around the loop,” said Steve Shively of the Olympic Culinary Loop.