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.

Reflections on the Changing Seasons, Terra Madre and the Quillisascut Farm

By Amy Grondin

Walking my dog each morning through the fields near my home gives me a chance observe the changes that turning seasons bring. Today there was a definite nip in the air signaling for me that autumn was seriously taking hold and the summer that many say wasn’t had passed. If you are a farmer, you see the changes in your own fields as crops come in and out of season. For shoppers, the offerings displayed in Farmers Market stalls act as indicators of the changing seasons. Summer sweet berries give way to crisp apples, thin skinned summer squash are replaced by their hearty, thick fleshed winter cousins and delicate greens and shoots fall back for chard, kale and collards that cascade in green-purple waves on market tables, awaiting their turn in a sauté pan.

For me the coming of fall also finds me planning ahead for winter yet remembering the experiences and tastes of the past summer. One of the finest experiences, loaded with sun ripe flavor and hands on experience, was my week spent in early August at the Quillisascut Farm School for the Domestic Arts in Rice, Washington for the Second Annual Slow Food Youth Workshop.

The first Slow Food Youth Workshop was proposed in October 2008 by Quillisascut Farm owner Lora Lea Misterly while attending the third Terra Madre gathering in Torino, Italy. Terra Madre is an international celebration of sustainable small scale food producers. It is hosted biannually by Slow Food International. At Terra Madre, religion, language barriers and debates are all set aside, not because the organizers ask that these differences be checked at the door, but because what is shared in common by the multicultural participants is so very powerful. All that attend Terra Madre are striving to preserve, foster and share their own unique way of producing sustainable food that is good, clean and fair.

During Terra Madre’s proceedings a challenge was issued by Slow Food USA Leader Josh Viertel for all in the room to bring Terra Madre home. Folks were asked to bottle up the energy and inspiration that was generated by the 5,000 people who were brought together from far reaching corners of the world. Once back home, how would each attending continue their work to produce good, clean and fair food while inspiring other to become a part of the sustainable food network?

The Slow Food Youth Workshop would be Lora Lea Misterly’s way to bring Terra Madre home. People between the ages of 18 and 29 would come to Quillisascut Farm for a week of learning first hand where their food comes from and how to embrace the seasonality of local goods. How lucky were Kim Bast and I to be standing next to Lora Lea at Terra Madre when she hatched the idea to host a workshop on her farm! While our status as youth had been officially dropped a while back, our role would be to assist at Quillisascut while learning with others through shared agricultural and culinary tasks.

Back home in Washington, with two Slow Food Youth Workshops completed, I happily report that a total of 22 Slow Food Youth representatives have visited the Quillisascut Farm. They have willingly taken on the duties of caring for goats and poultry, learned about organic gardening and had first lessons in making cheese with farm fresh goat milk. They have cooked meals together using the fruit, vegetables and meat raised on the farm, and have been overheard expressing their pleasure that the sustainably grown food they had followed from the field to the plate actually tasted better! Energized and relaxed at the same time by the rhythm of life on the farm, all shared increased awareness that our differences are our strengths and that respect, sustainable, biodiversity, community and enough are more than words – they are concepts to live a life by.

Much more than sustainable food was cultivated during the time spent on the Quillisascut Farm. And we have much to share! This past August four of the people attending the second annual Slow Food Youth Workshop were from Seattle. Two attending the workshop were sponsored by Slow Food Seattle – Andrew Heimburger from Seattle Culinary Academy and Erica Carre from FareStart – and two were sponsored by their workplaces – Ryan Stoy from Rainier Club and Anna Bazzi from TASTE at SAM.

 

These four exceptional individuals have agreed to work together with me to plan an event that will allow Slow Food Seattle members to meet them, hear their stories from the Quillisascut Farm and raise funds to send others from the Seattle area out to the Quillisascut Farm School for Domestic Arts in Rice, WA for the third annual Slow Food Youth Workshop in 2011! Stand by for updates and event details in November…But until then, please enjoy this recipe created by Chef Karen Jurgensen while teaching at the Quillisascut Farm School for Domestic Arts:

Jacob’s Cattle Bean, Kale and Chèvre Soup
The goat cheese adds a delicious tang to this comforting soup. The heavy cream binds the beans together and makes the soup thicker, so resist the urge to substitute whole milk or half-and-half. Because of the high fat content, this soup freezes well. Note: Canned beans are not a suitable substitute as the beans make their own stock and sauce.

Makes 8 servings

  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) Jacob’s Cattle beans or other white beans, rinse and soak overnight (3 parts water to 1 part beans, soaking water reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1½ cup tomato purée
  • 1 cup chopped preserved roasted red peppers (store-bought is fine)
  • 1 bunch black kale (or other kale), about 8 to 10 leaves, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cups (about three-quarter pound) soft goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Put the beans and soaking water in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and skim foam from the beans. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the salt (the water should taste lightly of salt). Cook about 1 hour, until the beans are soft in texture and creamy in flavor.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the carrot, celery, yellow onion and garlic, until the mixture is soft but not brown. Stir in the tomato purée, red peppers and black kale. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes and add salt to taste.

When the beans have finished cooking, stir in the vegetable mixture, bay leaves, thyme and chili flakes. Cook for about 20 minutes, then add the heavy cream, goat cheese and black pepper. Cook for 15 minutes more, then season to taste with salt.

Variations: In summertime use fresh tomatoes, peppers, and thyme. For a lighter minestrone-style soup, leave out the heavy cream and goat cheese.

— Recipe excerpted from Chefs on the Farm: Recipes and Inspiration from the Quillisascut Farm School for the Domestic Arts by Shannon Borg and Lora Lea Misterly with recipes from Karen Jurgensen and photography by Harley Soltes (Skipstone).