My recent trip to Port Townsend, WA started off with an incredible experience at the local farmer's market. This was my introduction to this quaint, Victorian, port town in northern, WA. The history is rich with stories, famous visitors, and a relaxed atmosphere. My lifelong friend Starla, introduced me to the town by taking me to the local farmers market uptown. Her friends Alejandro and Heidi were vendors and have a business called Paella House. As I spoke with them, I found out more about their family business where Alejandro learned as a child to make this special recipe, even showcasing the original pan he learned to make it in. Heidi shared the story of how they started making it for friends and getting feedback, eventually turning into a full time business. All the ingredients were locally grown (or caught) expect the saffron and olive oil from Spain-um, wow.
I waited as they put the final touches on the seafood paella (also offering a vegan version) and talked to a lady in line who shared that her farm supplied the green beans used in the paella. She was speaking my language...local farms supplying restaurants and stores just makes perfect sense to me. I love seeing communities working in that symbiotic relationship instead of outsourcing from far away vendors. Port Townsend seems to get it. Buy local, grow organic, eat well....like really, really well.
Other vendors included healthy plant seedlings, handmade art, flowers (so many flowers!) local craft beer, baked goods, and so much more. Live music topped off the atmosphere and made you feel part of a community that sustains itself. Even for a Tennessee girl who isn't used to wearing a jacket in May, I felt warm and cozy from the vibes of the people and the coastal old world atmosphere.