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Homemade Corned Beef Recipe

Category : Main Dishes, Make It Yourself, March, Recipes

Homemade Corned Beef Recipe Spices

“Corning” beef is actually a method of pickling. The raw beef is soaked in a salty brine for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the recipe you use. (I opted for a few days, because that’s the way I am.) Continue Reading

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Whatcom Farms Offering CSAs in 2014

Category : About Food Sources, CSAs, Whatcom Locavore Basics, Where to Buy Local Food

Photo of farm barnIt’s that time of year again–time to consider signing up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. (Learn more about what a CSA is and how it works.) CSAs can be a good local food solution for people who don’t have much time or inclination to shop for food.  They can also be more affordable than purchasing food items separately.

This year’s CSA offerings (see below) include produce, chickens, eggs, fish, flowers, and much more. It’s really quite amazing! We live in a local food paradise. Continue Reading

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Bellingham Farmers Market Opens Today!

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Category : About Food Sources, Bellingham, Events, Farmers' Markets

April 5, 2014
10:00 amto3:00 pm

Bellingham Farmers MarketWoohoo! Today (Saturday, April 5, 2014) is the official opening of the 22nd season of the Bellingham Farmers Market! At 10am Mayor Kelli Linville will do the traditional tossing of the cabbage and the opening bell will ring to open the Market.

Over 20 new vendors will be doing business this year, with new farms on the list including: Bluebelle Gardens, Leaky Dam Farm, Mariposa Farm, Outer County Farm, Purple Horse Garden, and Spring Time Farm. Skagit Valley Cured Meats sounds interesting, too. What new local foods and varieties will they be offering? I can’t wait to see!

Do you suppose anyone will have asparagus? Oh, the anticipation!

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Big News! Big Changes!

Category : About Food Sources, Book and Movie Reviews, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Photo of Bellingham HeraldIt’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. Continue Reading

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2013 Ciderfest at BelleWood Acres

Category : Farm Stands, On the Farm, Retail Stores, U-Pick Farms

BelleWood Acres Apple on TreeI’d been looking forward to the annual BelleWood Acres Ciderfest for weeks, and I finally got there on Sunday afternoon. When I came in the door I was enveloped in the sweet, fruity smell of fresh apples and the lively sounds of the fiddle and guitar combo of the Gallus Brothers.

I got there just in time for a late lunch, so I made my way through the crowd to the Bistro area. Fresh cider, hard cider, cider cocktails–the beverage menu options seemed endless. It was clear that the heart of this event was an apple orchard farm.  Continue Reading

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Farmers Market Finds: Local Sweet Potatoes!

Category : About Food Sources, Bellingham, Farmers' Markets

Sweet PotatoesUnexpected food finds are one of the things that make shopping at any local farmers market fun and interesting. Organic produce farmers are able to do small scale experimenting to see if new varieties can be grown successfully in our climate.

Over the past several years there have been several of memorable moments. Continue Reading

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2013 Wild Mushroom Show

Category : October, Wildcrafting

2013 Wild Mushroom ShowEvery year in October the Northwest Mushroomers Association (NMA) hosts a Wild Mushroom Show at Bloedel Donovan Park in Bellingham. It is a unique event, and a remarkable demonstration of the diversity of nature. It’s also really fun!

Members of the NMA gather fresh examples of as many varieties of mushrooms as possible which grow wild in our area. Tucked in with moss to help keep them moist, hundreds of mushrooms are displayed in trays. Labels identify the Latin names, common names (if any), and icons indicating edible or poisonous varieties. Continue Reading

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Fall Farmers Market

Category : Bellingham, Farmers' Markets

Butterscotch Melon(First published October, 2012)

A fall chill was in the air, and by “chill” I mean it was windy and cold. I hadn’t been into town to visit the Bellingham Farmers Market for several weeks, so I was looking forward to seeing the produce vendors and what they were offering. Continue Reading

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Roasted Squash Seeds Recipe

Category : Grow Your Own, Make It Yourself, October, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

Roasted Squash SeedsWinter squash (including pumpkins) have a nutritional treasure at the center–and a tasty one, too! In the middle of the stringy pulp are the lovely squash seeds. They are quick and easy to roast, filling the kitchen with a wonderful fragrance that only comes in the fall.

Cleaning the seeds can be a bit of a chore. They grow in little clumps, and I pinch them off one at a time like picking grapes. Then I put them in a colander and rinse well under cold water, rubbing the seeds together to remove the slippery juice. (Learn more about how to cut open winter squash.)

Don’t let seed cleaning stop you from fixing this healthy autumn snack. Just put on some good music and have at them! The rich flavor and concentrated nutrition makes it worth the effort. Continue Reading

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Winter Squash Adventures!

Category : Grow Your Own, Make It Yourself

Sweet Meat SquashFall is the time for ripening winter squash. Most people are familiar with acorn squash, pumpkins, and maybe delicata or hubbard varieties, but there are dozens of squash varieties available to grow.

They all have one thing in common–most have a very hard shell. The bigger the squash, the tougher the shell. As a result many cooks limit their culinary squash choices. Continue Reading

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Sauteed Pears With Vinegar Reduction Recipe

Category : Desserts, October, On the Farm, Recipes, Vegetarian

Sauteed PearsIf we were going to do true confessions I’d have to admit pears are my favorite tree fruit. They’ve been my favorite for as long as I can remember, going all the way back to childhood.

When I was in my twenties, I can still vividly remember the time at a friend’s house in Alaska when I first tasted fresh pears with Gorgonzola cheese. I think I may have swooned.

For the recipe below, I chose a vinegar reduction for a tart contrast to the sweet Bosc pears, some hazelnuts to add a roasted crunch, and some basil as an earthy note to warm up the pear’s brightness. I recommend you be sitting down when you taste it. You might swoon! Continue Reading

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Bosc Pears

Category : On the Farm, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Bosc PearsWhen thinking of Washington farm products, most of us think of apples. Washington is known as the largest apple producing state in the country. Did you know that Washington farmers are also the top producers of pears?

Apples are a wonderful fruit and I enjoy many varieties of them, but if we were going to do true confessions I’d have to admit pears are my favorite tree fruit. They’ve been my favorite for as long as I can remember, going all the way back to childhood. When I was in my twenties, I can still vividly remember the time at a friend’s house in Alaska when I first tasted fresh pears with Gorgonzola cheese. I think I may have swooned. Continue Reading

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How to Clean a Fresh Salmon

Category : About Food Sources, Other Food Producers, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Smoked Salmon and Biscuit(Originally published October 10, 2012)

A couple of weeks ago I had an iconic Pacific Northwest food experience. It began with a salmon.

It was the last day of reefnet fishing, a special method of salmon fishing which has been practiced in Legoe Bay off Lummi Island for many years. Reefnetters keep the fish they catch in live holds until the last possible moment. Besides keeping the fish alive it also greatly reduces stress and bruising from rough net handling. When you buy fish directly from the fishermen on the beach at the end of the fishing day, you get the freshest possible fish in the most perfect possible condition. The fish will be whole–head, guts, and all. I bought a chum salmon from Rush Rock Reefnet. Continue Reading

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