Monday, February 10, 2014

Growing a garden, farmers markets, preserving seasonal food for later use. All these lead to a more sustainable, creative way of thinking about food. My husband, Master Photographer Eric Tworivers, is on a journey to help build a transition to local, fresh food.

Why did you become a Master Food Preserver?

I became a Master Food Preserver mostly to make sure that I could save our food in the safest way possible. My wife encouraged me to look into the Master Food Preserver Certification after I realized the fun I have preserving foods. She (Deanna, my wife), is a Certified Master Composter, and directed me to the right place to begin the process, in this case it is Washington State University Extension Services.

What was the process?

The process is really pretty simple; I contacted the Extension office and signed-up, my application was approved and I took a very intensive, hands-on course over two months and received my Certification.

In exchange I give volunteer time during the growing season to others via the Extension Hotline and our own website.

How does this relate to your interest in farmers markets?

My interest in Farmer's Markets comes more from my early life, in that I loved going to 'Flea' markets and such, and when Farmer's Markets began to flourish I just kinda went right along with them. I grew to check-out any markets I could back in my younger days, when I was doing a lot of touring playing music.

Today, my interest in Farmer's Markets is driven very much by the concept of 'Farm to Table to Pantry' with our food. The food thats presented today in our stores is most often harvested WAY before it should be, to allow for travel of long distances, and many, many things are created and sold to us that are Genetically Modified, and that's NOT good news for anybody except the corporations controlling the bottom-line. As long as the stockholders make a profit, to hell with the people, seems to be the common thread.

Farmer's Markets fight this trend by bringing the LOCAL farmer's products to the LOCAL consumer, and in so doing the quality of the food is MUCH better, allergens are reduced (we are eating foods from our own area, not across the world, we are used to the local allergens), nutrients are higher in quantity and quality, and you can learn from the Farmer/Rancher EXACTLY what went in to creating the food you are about to enjoy.

What experience do you have, professionally, with farmers markets?

I have worked in booths at Farmer's Markets, selling on the Craft side (stained glass, many years ago), and on the Farmer's side, most recently I spent last summer working Farmer's Markets selling Organic Pork products and Organic Eggs.

I also have many year's of experience performing music at Farmer's Markets, giving me yet another take on how they work.

Today, I am Market Manager of Battle Ground Village Outdoor Market in Battle Ground, Washington, and this Market (which has been largely a Craft Market),will transition to a Farmer's Market beginning this season (2014).!outdoor_market/cjd6
Do you see farmers markets as part of a sustainable food movement?

ABSOLUTELY! As a matter of fact, now that you have me thinking about it, I see Farmer's Markets as one of the main tools we have to get people weaned away from the over-processed, GMO foods we are offered in the stores. Through the Markets we can not only bring fresh, healthy foods to the consumer, but we can also teach the consumer (remind them, really), what to do with the foods they have just gotten at the Markets. We (Markets) bring demonstrations, answers to questions, help in many ways, and it's ALL about creating and maintaining a healthy, sustainable food supply.

Tell us a little about the Food Ambassador program and how it relates to farmers markets.

The Food Ambassador Program (of which I am a Member), created by Chef Jamie Oliver, is primarily designed to help improve the quality of food served in our nation's schools. Within the framework of helping the schools, we refer to the Market's and the associated Farmers and Ranchers, to educate parents, students and school administration that LOCAL and HEALTHY are the best way to go when it comes to feeding our kids.

When we can succeed in getting fresh local foods into the schools, everyone benefits; the kids (eating better), the school (providing better nutrition), the community (local dollars spent seeding, growing, harvesting, distributing are all kept local), it becomes a win-win for all involved.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent interview. I'm impressed with you, my friends. =:0)