The Makah Ozette Potato Presidium – Spring 2012

Photo by Yunhee Kim for Sunset Magazine

Makah Ozette potatoes with bacon cream. (Photo by Yunhee Kim for Sunset Magazine)

In the 1980’s an unknown fingerling potato was recognized to be a staple in the diet of Pacific Coast Native Americans of the Makah Nation. The Makah occupy the region around Neah Bay, Washington, that is the most northwesterly point in the United States. Tribal lore reported that this potato had been used by these people for about 200 years. The Makah had named this potato the Ozette after one of their five villages located around Neah Bay.  More about the Ozette and how it became part of the Ark of Taste can be found here. The presidium is focused on increasing seed production to bring more seed to market. Here is where those efforts stand currently:

  • After flooding annihilated the seed crop of 2010, our partner Pure Potato had to start again with the three year process of producing an abundant crop of certified seed potato. A project they had just completed. We are grateful they are willing to do it again.
  • The Certified Generation program starts with PreNuclear minitubers. These are first grown in “test tube” then planted in the green house.  The resulting crop of mini tubers is planted the next year for reproduction in the field and then classified as Nuclear.  The following years they are classified as Generation 1, 2, etc. as long as they remain within the disease parameters specified by the Department of Agriculture.
  • This Spring Pure Potato will plant 32 pounds of PreNuclear Makah Ozette minitubers in the field. This should yield approximately 30 one hundred pound sacks of Nuclear seed potato. In the spring of 2013 they will plant 16 sacks per acre that will yield 200 sacks per acre.
Makah Ozette Potato

Makah Ozette Potato

The question for Pure Potato is; how much to plant and how much to sell in 2013? We need potential growers to tell us of their intentions and to get on the list for notification of availability by emailing marlys@purepotato.com.

Next year, 2013, depending on the yield, there may be a limited supply of Nuclear Generation Makah Ozette seed potatoes for sale at $2.00 per pound. The plan is to keep reproducing this variety and increase the volume to meet the needs of all those interested in growing it.

This spring there is some seed available from Potato Garden (800.314.1955, cdrockey@potatogarden.com).

Gerry Warren
Presidium Coordinator
cgw@speakeasy.net, 206.818.5366

Resources:

For the history and back story of this potato go to the Makah Ozette Presidia page at Slow Food USA or here for more.

Makah Ozette Potato brochure [PDF]

Pure Potato
marlys@purepotato.com
360.354.6555
9020 Jackman Rd
Lynden, WA 98264

Potato Garden
cdrockey@potatogarden.com
800.314.1955
12101 2135 Rd
Austin, CO 81410

Join Slow Food in September: Donate in any amount to become a member!

Join Slow Food USA

Slow Food is working to add more voices to our powerful network of changemakers demanding a just and healthy food system. From now through September 30, 2011, your donation in any amount this month makes you a member of Slow Food USA.

Membership donations are critical to this movement – 75% of the operating budget of Slow Food USA comes from charitable contributions from individuals just like you and me. These donations help the organization reach and educate new people, support local chapters in their outreach and projects, and lead national campaigns to improve food and farming for everyone.

Though there are a variety of membership benefits, the best part is knowing your contribution plays a critical role in bringing people together to plant gardens and share food, to support farmers and local food traditions, to teach the next generation about good food, and ultimately to transform food and farming in the U.S.

ENGAGE

  • Help shape the direction of the slow food movement.
  • Receive invitations to attend local, national and international events and enjoy discounts where available.
  • Learn about opportunities to volunteer on local and national projects.
  • Your contribution – in any amount during September – makes you a member of Slow Food USA.
  • Your contribution of $60 or more also includes regular discounts on books, publications, and other products.

Join Slow Food in September!GET INFORMED

  • Learn about important national and international food issues.
  • Access exclusive online and offline content, including opportunities to communicate with leaders in the food movement.
  • Get tips on cooking, gardening, and “going slow”
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest food news.

CONNECT

  • Become a part of our active online community. 
Connect with people who care about slow food locally.
  • Join your local Slow Food USA chapter (that’s us, Slow Food Seattle!).
  • Get an exclusive Slow Food USA member card (with a donation of $25 or more).
  • Support a movement that is local, national, and global.

 

Take the $5 Challenge on September 17th

THE CHALLENGE: This September 17, you’re invited to take back the ‘value meal’ by getting together with family, friends and neighbors for a slow food meal that costs no more than $5 per person. Cook a meal with family and friends, have a potluck, or find a local event.

WHY: Because slow food shouldn’t have to cost more than fast food. If you know how to cook, then teach others. If you want to learn, this is your chance. Together, we’re sending a message that too many people live in communities where it’s harder to buy fruit than Froot Loops. Everybody should be able to eat fresh, healthy food every day.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Take the pledge to share a meal with family and friends, find a local meal or host your own. If the date doesn’t work, you can still take the pledge to show your support – and Slow Food USA will send you $5 cooking tips and updates on the campaign.

For more background on the day and the campaign, read the frequently asked questions. For $5 cooking tips and other resources, click here.

Get together for a slow food meal that costs less than $5/person & take back the value meal!

On Twitter? Join in the conversation by following/posting using #5challenge.

Background On The Issue:

Annual SFS Membership Meeting: Jan. 30

Join us for our Annual Slow Food Seattle Membership Meeting & Potluck on Sunday, January 30, 2011!

Free to all current SFS Members ~ Only $25 to join Slow Food!

We’ll share some wonderful food, introduce our current board members and the slate of new candidates, as well as take some time to chat about the different programs and areas that Slow Food Seattle is currently working on in the our community.

SFS Members – please register for this FREE event: RSVP by Saturday, January 29th via Brown Paper Tickets

Bring a dish and bring the family!

Please bring a potluck dish (any course you prefer) and a non-alcoholic beverage to share. This meeting is FREE and open to all current Slow Food Seattle members and their families.

Dishes should be ready to serve and include serving utensils. Bring your own plates, flatware and glasses, etc. We’ll provide cards for you to label your dish with its name & yours. Please note any dietary information that may be helpful to fellow members.

Share the Slow Food experience with friends and family: $25 makes you a member!

Join Slow Food USA for $25!

Event Info:

DATE: Sunday, January 30, 2011
TIME:
2:00 to 4:00 PM
LOCATION:
Montlake Community Center | 1618 E Calhoun St, Seattle, 98112
Free Parking | Directions

Questions? Contact Jennifer Johnson at info@slowfoodseattle.org or 206.423.4673.

Nominee for Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste: The Sugar Hubbard Squash

Slow Food’s Ark of Taste aims to rediscover, describe and publicize forgotten flavors around the world. Through the Ark of Taste program, Slow Food USA has a catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. Since 1996, more than 800 products from over 50 countries have been added to the international Ark of Taste. By promoting and eating Ark products we help ensure that they remain in production and on our plates.

The mission of the Slow Food Ark of Taste is to preserve traditional tastes and to celebrate them, by introducing them to the Slow Food membership and then to the world. All of the foods on the Ark of Taste are heritage products that have real economic viability and commercial potential for the communities that grow, produce or harvest them.

Since it’s inception, Slow Food Seattle has successfully boarded four regional food products onto the Slow Food Ark of Taste including Olympia Oyster, Marbled Chinook Salmon, Geoduck, and Makah Ozette Potato (our only Presidium product). Slow Food Seattle’s latest Ark of Taste nomination is the Sugar Hubbard, a sweet heirloom winter squash with a unique Puget Sound heritage. Former Slow Food Seattle Co-Chair, and Puget Sound Food Network Project Manager, Lucy Norris, recently wrote about this important heirloom in the winter 2010 issue of Edible Seattle.

Read the full story in Edible Seattle, or download a PDF version.

Sugar Hubbard Squash

The Sugar Hubbard Squash, grown at Sherman's Pioneer Farm Produce in central Whidbey Island, is Slow Food Seattle's latest nomination for the Ark of Taste.

Sherman’s Pioneer Farm Produce in central Whidbey Island grows the only commercial crop of Sugar Hubbard in the country. It is the result of combining traditional blue Hubbard and Sweetmeat squash, inheriting the best flavor and texture characteristics of both. The Sugar Hubbard is a nutrient dense, starchy squash (with a high glycemic index), but also very high in vitamin A, exceeding USDA requirements for Beta Carotene. Most winter squash varieties are interchangeable in recipes, and the Sugar Hubbard is nutty-sweet and the colored deep orange like a marigold. Try it in a favorite recipe that calls for winter squash, and you’ll be impressed.

The Sugar Hubbard has an excellent flavor, and it’s uniquely local to Puget Sound, with a strong family heritage. It has every asset required for boarding onto Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. Slow Food Seattle’s interest in boarding this product on the Ark of Taste will send a signal to conscientious consumers and help boost market demand in our area. Voting with your fork helps food producers like the Sherman’s remain profitable in the business of farming in our region. Only the best tasting endangered foods make it onto the Ark, and we think the Sugar Hubbard is a great fit.

Find the Squash
Peeled squash cubes are available at all Whole Foods locations in Oregon and Washington as long as the supply holds out. Liz and Dale continue to look for additional retailers for their squash. Sherman’s Pioneer Farm Produce is located at 46 South Ebey Road, Coupeville, WA. Contact Liz or Dale Sherman at 360.678.4675.

Looking for recipes?
Spice Loaf – by Editor, Edible Seattle
Chili Stew – by Lucy Norris, adapted from an original recipe by Liz Sherman

Excerpts with permission from Edible Seattle.

Dale Sherman in his field of Sugar Hubbard Squash

Dale Sherman in his field of Sugar Hubbard squash. Photo: Lara Ferroni

Lucy Norris is Project Manager for Puget Sound Food Network, a project of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center, former co-chair of Slow Food Seattle, and author of Pickled: Preserving a World of Tastes and Traditions.

Slow Food Seattle Albacore Canning Day with Jeremy Brown

Tuna canning guru and Washington fisherman, Jeremy Brown

Tuna canning guru and Washington fisherman, Jeremy Brown.

In the spirit of Terra Madre Day, over fifty Slow Food Seattle members and community supporters came together on November 28th for a day-long fish canning workshop called – “Time to Tin a Tuna!” – taught by Jeremy Brown, a Bellingham-based commercial fisherman and longtime proponent of Slow Food.

Wild Pacific Albacore has been in the news for all the right reasons – topping the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Super Green List and on National Public Radio in a feature on the growth of micro-canneries in the Pacific Northwest.

Though you can find canned albacore tuna at your local food co-ops or fish markets in many communities, this was an opportunity to learn firsthand with someone well-versed in the process and safety considerations of using pressure cookers. At the end of the day, attendees left with both with the pride of supporting a local fisherman and a good stock of Wild Pacific Albacore to last through the long northwest winter. In past years, Jeremy had done these canning days in the coastal town of Port Townsend, Washington with Amy Grondin, a Slow Food Seattle board member and Port Townsend resident. This was the first time collaborating directly with Slow Food Seattle.

Volunteers washed, trimmed, and cut the tuna into chunks for canning.

Volunteers washed, trimmed, and cut the tuna into chunks for canning.

We were at maximum capacity a matter of days after announcing the event. We were able to use a commercial kitchen space donated by Gourmondo, a local catering company and Jeremy arrived with everything we needed to preserve our own delicious and nutritious, locally caught albacore tuna to see us through until the 2011 albacore fishing season.

The fish was pre-cut into steaks and with the help of a rotating assembly line of volunteers – we cleaned, trimmed, chopped, packed and processed a thousand pounds of albacore in eight hours!

The recipe was an old Breton family recipe Jeremy picked up while in France many years back – simple and delicious for anyone with a pressure canner and access to some great local fish:

  • Pack tuna cut into about 2-inch chunks into jars along with a pinch of salt (we used kosher salt and 12-ounce jars).
  • The secret ingredient that adds just the right level of sweetness is a slice of carrot.
  • Add extra-virgin olive oil about half-way filling the jars, wipe the rims, cover with the lids and process.

Slow Food Seattle made the round-up on Terra Madre Day on the Slow Food USA blog!

Wild Pacific Albacore Tuna

Wild Pacific Albacore Tuna

 

June Lee (bottom left), Philip Lee (top right), Amy Grondin (top center) skinning and cleaning albacore.

June Lee (bottom left), Philip Lee (top right), Amy Grondin (top center) skinning and cleaning albacore.

Tuna in jars, ready to be processed. The "secret" ingredient is a slice of carrot for sweetness.

Tuna in jars, ready to be processed. The "secret" ingredient is a slice of carrot for sweetness.

SFS board member, Patricia Eddy and her husband, John Eddy breaking down tuna steaks.

SFS board member, Patricia Eddy and her husband, John Eddy - both of cooklocal.com - breaking down tuna steaks.

Jars of tuna, waiting their turn for the pressure cooker.

Jars of tuna, waiting their turn for the pressure cooker.

Pressure cooker, letting off some steam. Tuna jars cooling in the background.

Pressure cooker, letting off some steam. Tuna jars cooling in the background.

Photos: Jennifer Johnson