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

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.

Fall updates: call for recipes, news on the Makah Ozette potato, and a wild salmon habitat volunteer opportunity

Do you have a recipe for fall?

apple basketAs the days get chillier, many of us naturally find ourselves warmed by the kitchen as a stew or sauce bubbles away on the stove top or a roast cooks in the oven. And if we are lucky, a friend, family member or neighbor will have shared their recipe for the perfect fall dish. We’re hoping to offer some inspirational dishes to our Slow Food Seattle community. For our upcoming newsletter, we would like to feature your recipe! We’re looking for savory and sweet harvest recipes to share with your fellow Slow Food Seattle members.

From the recipes submitted, we will choose two of them to feature on the next Slow Food Seattle newsletter. If you have a seasonal recipe or perhaps a Thanksgiving favorite you would like to share in our upcoming newsletter, please email it with your name, the neighborhood you live in, and how long you have been a member to us at info@slowfoodseattle.org.

Help the Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group:
A volunteer opportunity to restore wild salmon habitat

Mid Sound Fisheries - Planting Project

Photo courtesy of Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group

Most of us have enjoyed a piece of grilled wild salmon a time or two. Some of us have even had the excitement of hooking one while fishing in the waters of Puget Sound. Maybe you have stood on the side of a stream and marveled at the sight of wild salmon making their way upstream to spawn in the very place they began their lives years before.

Have you ever wondered what you could do to help these amazing animals in their efforts to complete their life cycle? Wonder no more, pull on some rubber boots and meet the Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group on the river banks of one of the tributaries to Mill Creek in Auburn as we volunteer a few hour to restore its this vital salmon habitat.

It doesn’t look like much but this tributary supports juvenile salmon, providing important off-channel refuge during high stream flows. The Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group will be planting nearly 2,000 trees and shrubs over the course of a few days and need help to do so. A few hours from Slow Food Seattle members will greatly speed this effort and assure that wild salmon are welcomed home to clean, cool water in a free flowing stream.

Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group’s mission is to increase salmon populations to healthy and sustainable levels while working cooperatively with private landowners and others in the community to improve salmon habitat. They rely on volunteers and members to make habitat restoration a reality. Let’s help them make the project a success while being good stewards to our wild salmon populations!

Here are the details:

  • When: Saturday November 6th from 10am to 2pm
  • Where: Please meet at the corner of West Valley Highway and 15th Street NW. Parking is limited so car pool if possible. You will receive detailed directions once you sign up.
  • What to wear: Dress appropriately to plant young trees and be prepared for the day’s weather be it rain gear or sunglasses. Work gloves and sturdy shoes a must.
  • What to Bring: Mid Sound team will have warm drinks, some shovels and lots of small trees. Please bring your own shovel or basic garden tools (all clearly labeled) if they are handy. Remember to bring your our own drinking water, lunch and anything else that you need to make your day comfortable while digging in the dirt!

Sign up: Please put “Volunteer on November 6th” in the subject line when you email the Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group with your name and a phone number: info@midsoundfisheries.org. All volunteers must be 18 years or older.

If you’re on Facebook, you can also find the Mid Sound Fisheries page here. A great opportunity to feel good and do your part to preserve wild salmon and essential fish habitat. Thank you!

Update on the Makah Ozette Potato Presidium

Our Presidium has been in operation for almost four years (for background, see here as well as on the Makah Ozette Potato Presidium page). The objective of having  an abundant regional seed source was realized last year by our partner, Pure Potato.

We had finally reached the long awaited three years it takes to develop the available genetic material into a field of virus free seed potato. There was an abundance of seed available for the 2010 planting throughout the region and seed was even sold to a large potato grower in California.  Pure Potato sold all of its seed this spring and most of the 7 regional nurseries who stocked the seed sold out to home gardeners by mid spring.

A highlight of 2009 was Essential Baking Company‘s (EBC) adopting the potato, contracting with Full Circle Farm and making their seasonal potato bread using the Makah Ozette Potato (MOP). The management of EBC declared this to be the most flavorful potato bread they had ever produced. They are committed to continuing to use the MOP when it is available in the future.

2010 has been a disaster year for the MOP. Flooding destroyed the entire crop of seed at Pure Potato. This is a severe setback for the Presidium as it will take another three years to regenerate the seed stock to the 2009 levels. Pure Potato having experience the success with this potato is committed to carrying on with its development. Full Circle Farm has also experienced a significant loss of crop due to flooding and will not be able to supply EBC this fall for its potato bread. Unless MOP can be sourced from California this year, we may be eating plain potato bread this fall.

If you have grown MOP this year, you can try to save some seed from your harvest. Keep them in a mesh bag in your refrigerator till spring.

The Makah Ozette, a Potato with a Past

Makah Ozette Seed Now Available

“The history and the distinctive flavor of this potato give it a significant market advantage over most fingerling potatoes offered in today’s marketplace.” says Andrew Stout of Full Circle Farm.

Makah Ozette Potato

Makah Ozette Potato

It is visually attractive with its pale yellow color, rugged knobby shapes and many deep brows. It has unique earthy, nutty flavors that pair very well with grilled and roasted meats.

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

Questions?
Contact Gerry Warren, Slow Food Seattle
Makah Ozette Potato brochure [PDF]

We now have an abundance of first generation seed available. Larger quantities 25 lbs+ can be purchased from:

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

Smaller quantities are available from nurseries in the region:

Co-op Supply
Ph. 425.259.5571
2901 State St.
Everett, WA 98201

Co-op Supply

Ph. 360.659.1236
8323 State Ave.
Marysville, WA 98270

Portland Ave. Nursery
Ph. 253.473.0194
1409 East 59th Street
Tacoma, WA 98404-3555

Valley Nursery
Ph. 360.779.3806
20882 Bond Road Northeast
Poulsbo, WA 98370-9098

Stroh’s Feed & Garden Supplies
Ph. 253.858.2051
3408 Hunt St NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335-2097

Grange Supply
Ph. 425.392.6469
145 NE Gilman Blvd.
Issaquah, WA 98027-2996

Old 99 Nursery
Ph. 360.330.1426
21610 Old Hwy 99 SW
Centralia, WA. 98531

Sky Nursery
Ph. 206.546.4851
18528 Aurora Avenue North
Shoreline, WA 98133

Secret Gardens Landscape Supply

Ph. 360.379.3900
13570 Airport Cutoff Rd
Port Townsend, WA 98368