Known for its Finnish heritage and logging industry, Naselle’s official population of 419 is set to more than double for the weekend gathering, according to organizers.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm from young people,” suggests Fred Johnson, the Owner/Farmer hosting Farmstock. “And we need a new generation knowledgeable about raising and consuming local foods.”
Expanding upon the nationwide growth of public interest in Farmers Markets and local economies, Farmstock presents the Northwest region’s homegrown products through its own Tailgate Market starting at 10am on Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. Visitors can expect to find a seasonal array of produce along with specialty goods including local cheeses, meats, seafood and crafts.
Also at 10am, the day’s workshop schedule convenes as specialists in producing, preserving and fermenting foods conduct demonstrations and training throughout the day.
“These activities are all aligned with KMUN’s mission as a community broadcaster,” the non-profit’s Development Director, Tom Hartland, explains. “Farmstock offers our community a vision for local sustainability that’s also a pleasure – and a whole lot of fun.”
Adding to the fun and pleasure, suggests Hartland, will be the day’s lineup of regional musicians performing on the farm’s barn-sized stage, alongside a food court and beer garden opening midday.
The 70-acre farm will be open for tours of its producing fields and greenhouses, and Fred himself, a chef who sold his Vashon Island restaurant to acquire the farm, promises to helm the food court innovating with products he selects from whatever the farmers bring.
Johnson describes his love for cooking. “There is a genuineness in fresh flavor that you just don’t get from something that’s been sitting in a warehouse cooler.”
Remembering how he discovered the difference when preparing meals within hours of harvesting the ingredients, Fred adds, “It ruined me as a conventional chef. More and more, our food is not designed to be fresh – it’s about a long shelf life. It seems obvious. but it took me a long time to figure that out.”
Describing himself as a man with a mission, the locavore chef will host his special Farmhouse Dinner on Farmstock’s second day, Sunday, at 1pm. The ticketed event will be the culmination of the weekend’s harvests from local providers. “I’ve set out to grow and share the food I want to eat myself,” summarizes Johnson.
Sunday morning will feature coffee and scones, and convening at 10am will be a plenary discussion of homegrown sustainability for the region. Camping spots will be designated for visitors wishing to stay throughout the event’s two days.
Local and independent since 1983, KMUN is rated the region’s most listened-to station. Further information can be found on the station’s website, CoastRadio.org/Farmstock.