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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

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

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

Cloud Mountain Fall Fruit Festival 2013

Category : On the Farm

2010 Cloud Mountain - Pink Pearl AppleWeather cooperated, and the day was reasonably warm and partly cloudy as we made our way to the annual Fall Fruit Festival at Cloud Mountain Farm Center near Everson. Cloud Mountain has been hosting this festival at the farm for more than 20 years, and our family looks forward to the event held in early October.

Several key elements go together to make the Festival the remarkable event it is. The centerpiece is a tented area where an incredible variety of fruits are available for guests to taste. Apples are the main feature, but you can also taste varieties of: quince, both wine and table grapes, plums, prunes, currants, gooseberries, pawpaws, josta berries, walnuts, akebia fruit, persimmons, medlars, cranberries, kiwi, blueberries, peaches, cherries, garlic, and both sweet and hot peppers. Continue Reading

BelleWood Acres Opens New Store–and Distillery!

Category : About Food Sources, Farm Stands, On the Farm, U-Pick Farms

BelleWood Acres Apple on TreeFor years BelleWood Acres has had their farm store in the heart of their apple orchards. As the farm developed, the store began to feel cramped, and owners Dorie and John Belisle wanted to move their retail sales away from their wholesale operation, with its busy trucks, forklifts–you get the picture. on the other side of their farm at 6140 Guide Meridian near Lynden. Continue Reading

2012 Whatcom Farm Tour

Category : About Food Sources, Events, Farm Stands, On the Farm, U-Pick Farms

September 8, 2012
10:00 amto5:00 pm
10:00 amto5:00 pm

Photo of farm barnNext Saturday, September 8, is one of my favorite events every year–the annual Whatcom Farm Tour! It’s a free self-guided tour of farms around the County who open their gates to visitors from 10am to 5pm. A lot of the farms offer special events, rides for the family, tastings, and more during the day. Continue Reading

Learn to Harvest and Thresh

Category : Grow Your Own, On the Farm

Backyard Beans and Grains ProjectJust received this message from Krista Rome of the Backyard Beans and Grains Project (BBGP). She’s offering some great opportunities for gardeners, farmers, and others to learn to harvest and thresh local grains and beans:

Continue Reading

Organic: Facts and Fiction

Category : About Food Sources, On the Farm, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Photo of Field at Small Farm“Organic” is a term used to describe some food and farming techniques, but the meaning can be confusing. Let’s try to sort out some fact from fiction. Continue Reading

Backyard Beans and Grains Project

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Category : CSAs, On the Farm

Backyard Beans and Grains ProjectFifteen years ago, Krista Rome began a small garden in her yard as a way of getting more connected with her food. Each year she enjoyed what she calls “peaceful tinkering,” tending her garden with basic hand tools. Then in 2008 she read three books back to back which changed her life: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver; Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan; and Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, who first wrote about the locavore “100-mile diet” (eating only foods produced within a 100-mile radius of where you live). Continue Reading

2012 Whatcom Food & Farm Finder

Category : About Food Sources, Bellingham, CSAs, Farm Stands, Farmers' Markets, Home Delivery, On the Farm, Other Food Producers, Retail Stores, U-Pick Farms

2011 Whatcom Food & Farm FinderSustainable Connections is a nationally-lauded local organization with a dedicated Food and Farming Program. A key part of the Program is an annual publication called the Whatcom Food & Farm Finder, and it’s one of the single most useful tools available for anyone interesting in eating local food. The booklet includes a comprehensive directory of farms, farm stands, u-picks, ranchers and fishers who produce food in Whatcom County. It also lists farm events, some basic guidelines about farming practices each farm uses (such as organic, salmon safe, etc.), and primary products grown, all keyed to a County map for easy locating. The Finder also lists restaurants, cafes, caterers, and grocers who support local agriculture.

On April 7 at the Bellingham Farmers Market opening, the brand new 2012 Whatcom Food & Farm Finder will be unveiled. You can pick up your free copy at the Sustainable Connections booth.

After that, find copies at the Community Food Co-op stores, libraries, and other retail locations.

2011 Fall Fruit Festival

Category : Farm Stands, October, On the Farm, Related Organizations, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Chopping Apples for Cider at Cloud Mountain Farm CenterAnticipation was in the air as we joined other families arriving at Cloud Mountain Farm Center for the second day of their Fall Fruit Festival. Almost immediately my grandson was recruited to try turning the wheel on the apple chopper for the hand cider press. The fun was underway! Continue Reading

2011 Cloud Mountain Fall Fruit Festival

Category : Events, Farm Stands, On the Farm

October 1, 2011
10:00 amto5:00 pm
October 2, 2011
11:00 amto4:00 pm

2010 Cloud Mountain - Pink Pearl AppleIf you’ve never been to one of Cloud Mountain’s Fall Fruit Festivals, next weekend is an opportunity to share the joy! If you’ve been to one before, we’ll see you there!

Cloud Mountain Farm Center, located at 6906 Goodwin Rd., east of Everson, will be hosting their 22nd Annual Fruit Festival, Saturday, October 1 from 10am-5pm, and on Sunday, October 2 from 11am – 4pm. Fruit sampling of over 200 varieties of apples, European and Asian pears, kiwis, table and wine grapes, cider, and jams and jellies of unusual small fruits will take place throughout both days. Continue Reading

Incognito Dinner at Cloud Mountain

Category : Events, On the Farm

October 2, 2011
4:30 pmto7:30 pm

Cloud Mountain Farm and Ciao Thyme Incognito DinnerAs a grand finale for Cloud Mountain Farm’s two-day Fall Fruit Festival, Ciao Thyme is teaming up with the new Cloud Mountain Farm Center for a farm dinner to remember! Dining will begin with appetizers and wine in the orchard. Then, everyone will gather at the table for a 5-course seasonal feast with a menu that features fruits and vegetables from Cloud Mountain Farm and wines from northwest vintners. Come early and taste nearly 200 varieties of fruits and learn about the new non-profit farm center at the festival, which runs from 11am-4pm on Sunday. Continue Reading