Parker just finished up his second week of work at Preserve Market; the new arm of downtown Winters bar/restaurant Preserve. Along with their house-made charcuterie, local cheeses, wines, and produce, they make delicious sandwiches and salads from everything they source. Coming from Portland, where ‘farm to table’ and fresh/local foods are simultaneously an honest pursuit and a service industry version of greenwashing, I’ve been amazed at how this market takes those ideas to the next level. These folks aren’t just paying lip service to sustainability, farm to table, and locally sourced goods. It’s the real deal! Naturally, Parker has had a ton of fun and learned a lot by going out to farms, meeting the farmers, picking up that day’s harvest, and then selling it to friends and neighbors in town. Those of you who know him know that this is right up his alley! Fresh produce, creating a sense of place for the new market, and making a connection with everyone who comes in the door: he’s in his element!
This weekend, I finally got in on the action.
While I’m already ensconced as a regular at the market, I’ve been envious of Parker’s trips out to the farms. Yesterday, he and market chef Adam Hinojosa were invited to Kingfisher Farm to pick what was left over after their CSA deliveries. Preserve Market carries Kingfisher’s produce, so when Matt from Kingfisher made his delivery for the day, he invited Parker and Adam to come out, and I invited myself along for the ride!
We gleaned from the jalapeños, sweet peppers, tomatillos, squash, basil, and arugula that weren’t fit to sell for one reason or another. Amazed at the gorgeous produce and the incredible generosity of our hosts, we eagerly offered to help if they ever needed (it’s the least we could do!). As it happened, Matt needed a hand getting some strawberries in the ground the very next day. He was going to be out of town and they needed to be planted within the week. He said he’d learned not to turn down an offer to help, and took us up on it! At 8am the next day, Adam, Parker and I showed up to get some Albion starts in the ground!
We’re learning that alongside their commitment to sustainable food, reciprocity and human sustainability is also alive and well in this community. It feels good to be taken up on an offer to help, good to be relied on, and good to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. We hope to spend more time at Kingfisher Farm helping however we can.
And we can’t wait to taste the literal fruits of our labor when these babies are ripe!