THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO EXTREMELY HIGH WINDS IN THE FORECAST. STARVATION ALLEY WILL SPEAK AT OUR APRIL 9 LECTURE AND HAVE SAMPLES OF THEIR JUICE FRIDAY DECEMBER 12, 11-1.
We’re excited to have the farmers of Washington state’s first and only certified organic cranberry farm at our next monthly lecture Beers to Your Health at Fort George Brewery. Jared Oakes & Jessika Tantisook of Starvation Alley Farms will tell their story of transitioning their bogs to organic and helping others do the same.
Starvation Alley encompasses a total of 10 acres in Seaview Washington and Long Beach. The couple took over the farm where Oakes grew up in 2010. They wanted to farm cranberries organically, but were told by farmers and other experts that it wasn’t possible. They explored that assumption and eventually gained organic certification for their farm.
“It is hard, especially in the beginning because we didn’t have any support. If you want to learn to grow organic apples you could probably find enough stuff on line, call universities, or get advice from professionals. That wasn’t available for cranberries. As new farmers transitioning to organic we lost a lot of production for the first two years, hence the value added products,” Tantisook said.
Starvation Alley created a brand of juice that attracted the attention of the emerging craft cocktail industry. The farmers sell their product to 70 accounts, mostly bars in Portland and Seattle. They sell their juice and cranberries at farmers markets and locally at Astoria Co-op. The juice is raw, unsweetened and undiluted cranberries. It is not heated or pasteurized which Tantisook says enhances the health benefits and taste.
Starvation Alley Farms is building its research database with a goal of spreading sustainable farming and educating consumers about the food system and the importance of supporting local farmers. They are working with two other cranberry growers on the Long Beach Peninsula to transition to organic certification. There are currently only about 300 acres of organic cranberry farms in the U.S. out of 39,000 total acres of producing cranberry bogs.
Tantisook and Oakes will be here at Astoria Co-op Grocery on Thursday December 11, 4-6 p.m. offering free samples of their juice. Anyone from the public is welcome to stop by and meet the farmers and sample their products. They will then present at Beers to Your Health at the Fort George Lovell Showroom (14th and Duane St. in Astoria) starting at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. The talk is free and open to all ages.