Big News! Big Changes!
It’s official. Tomorrow (April 1, 2014) my last Whatcom Locavore column will be published in the Bellingham Herald. (No, this is not an April Fool’s Day joke.) It’s just two weeks short of being exactly four years since I started writing weekly articles for them.
Every week I wrote an article, created and tested an original recipe, and my daughter Joan took a beautiful photo to show Herald readers what local food was all about. It’s been an interesting ride, and the Herald has been a wonderful venue for spreading the word about eating local in Whatcom County.
The newspaper wanted story topics limited to ingredients and recipes, while I wanted to write about broader subjects, including local food sources, sustainable farming, relevant book and movie reviews, GMOs and health issues, local food related events, and so much more. It was time for a mutual parting of the ways.
So now Whatcom Locavore is moving on, and entering a whole new phase. I’m really excited about the possibilities! Here’s what you can expect to see in upcoming months:
- This blog will now be Whatcom Locavore headquarters.
- My future articles will be published here. You will probably see more articles overall, since I can write posts immediately without making sure they come out in the newspaper at about the same time.
- You’ll also see more photos than before. Here on the blog I’m not limited to a single photo per article. Joan will continue taking gorgeous photos of new recipes we create, and you’ll probably see some photos by me as well of events, farm visits, and more.
- Whatcom Locavore classes! Plans were already underway to offer some classes to help people learn how to eat as locavores (people who eat only locally grown foods whenever possible). I’ll probably offer a few this year, and then next year I’m planning a whole series of classes–complete with field trips!– that I think you’ll really enjoy.
- Whatcom Locavore cookbook! I’ve been working for what seems like forever to put together a cookbook, and I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This book will be published both as a regular bound book as well as several e-book formats. It includes nearly 150 recipes with photos and some introductory chapters about finding and using local food ingredients, as well as why eating as a locavore is important. I’m really excited about how it’s turning out, and I think you’ll love it, too!
- I’m planning to spruce up the look of this website, and make the recipe archives and search tools easier to use.
- More interactivity! I’ve been thinking about ways to make this more of a community activity. One thing I’m considering are various kinds of 30-day locavore challenges. Another possibility is recipe or photo contests. I’m still working out the details of how those will work, and looking for some great prizes to offer, too, so watch this blog for announcements!
Now that this blog is becoming the headquarters of what I do, here are some things you can do to stay in the know with what’s happening:
- Subscribe to my email list (click here to subscribe). This is probably the most important thing you can do. Subscribers automatically receive an email whenever a new article is posted. The emails are short and include a small photo with an overview of each article or recipe so you can quickly tell whether you want to click to the full version or not. I guarantee your email address will not be shared with anyone, or used for other purposes. Since I’ll be announcing the classes and the cookbook in articles here, you’ll also be informed about those as soon as they are offered.
- “Like” or “follow” Whatcom Locavore on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks (see right sidebar for links). If you’re primarily interested in recipes, Pinterest is a good way to go. There are a variety of Whatcom Locavore Pinterest boards to choose from.
- In order to ensure the site is as useful to you as possible, I’ll be asking you to participate in some short surveys in the near future to get your feedback. I hope you’ll respond and ask your friends to respond, too. The more input you give me, the more I’ll be able to focus on giving you the information and tools you want.
- If you know how, you can subscribe to my RSS feed and use your favorite feed reader. (Personally, I like Feedly.com, but there are many to choose from.) Click on the orange RSS circle icon (by the spoon picture in the upper right corner of this page) to go to the feed address for this blog.
- Finally, when you read one of my blog articles, please consider leaving a comment. Comment activity helps me gauge your interest in various subjects, and it’s also a great way to share information–not just with me but with other readers as well. If you’ve tried something, let us all know what worked or didn’t work for you.
So that’s my big news! I hope you’ll help support this transition by subscribing, and by spreading the word to your friends as well. (Click the Share button at the bottom of this article for lots of ways to do that.) Our circle of people interested in local foods has been growing steadily, and I look forward to working together to help that continue for a long time!