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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

Taking Personal Responsibility

Category : About Food Sources

No GMOsAmerica’s primary food production systems have serious problems, not the least of which is deep dependence on petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers–most of these are petroleum based. Then there’s genetically modified food (GMOs), hormones, antibiotics, additives–the list goes on and on.  Continue Reading

Learning to Cook

Category : Make It Yourself, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Learning to CookLast fall at a farm event, a woman told me she always enjoys reading my recipes. I asked her if she had a favorite. “Oh, I’ve never tried one,” she said. “I don’t know how to cook, but your recipes always sound so good.”

I was reminded of our conversation again just recently when I found an online video interview featuring Food Network star Alton Brown. Brown was asked if he thought a person could learn to cook by watching TV shows. He emphatically replied, “No.” Food shows could entertain and educate, he said, but too much about cooking requires hands on experience best learned from someone in person. Continue Reading

Veg Express – Food Truck Local

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Category : Bellingham, Farmers' Markets, Retail Stores, Where to Buy Local Food

Veg ExpressBellingham Dealsaver (sponsored by the Bellingham Herald) recently offered coupons for Veg Express, a food truck which operates at 700 Ohio St. just off I-5 in Bellingham. Though it’s been in operation for about two years, I hadn’t heard of it before. Continue Reading

Homemade Paneer Cheese

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Category : Appetizers, Make It Yourself, May, Sauces and Dips, Snacks, Vegetarian, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Homemade PaneerIf you love cheese, learning to make it at home can open a whole new world of culinary adventure. While some cheese requires special ingredients and tools, many cheeses can be made with equipment you probably already have in your kitchen. Continue Reading

Kohlrabi Bouquet

Category : Bellingham, Farmers' Markets

Fresh KohlrabiI couldn’t resist posting this photo of Roslyn McNicholl’s beautiful display of kohlrabi just before the Bellingham Farmers Market opened one Saturday morning recently. Roslyn owns Rabbit Fields Farm in Everson.

When I saw these beautiful vegetables I knew I had to take a picture. As I moved in closer, I bumped into another photographer who was intent on capturing the same image. We had a good laugh about being attracted to the same thing out of the whole market of possible images.

The fresh purple kohlrabi were exquisite. Nice trimming Roslyn!

Nettles Tea

Category : Beverages, March, Recipes, Wildcrafting

Nettles TeaSo now you’ve gone out and foraged some stinging nettles, and you know how to handle them comfortably. How do you cook them? Easiest place to start is making tea. Nettles tea is very healthy and will give you a good opportunity to see what nettles taste like. I thought it might taste kind of “green” but it’s got a sweet note that makes it very pleasant. The color is simply spectacular. Continue Reading

Stinging Nettles

Category : About Food Sources, April, March, Wildcrafting

Photo of Stinging NettlesFor many people, stinging nettles (Urtica dioica and the closely related Urtica urens) conjure up images of nasty burning sensations caused by brushing against the nearly invisible spines on the leaves of an otherwise lovely green plant. Nettles grow wild in damp, shady woods, and can reach several feet high.

Nettles’ sting comes from sharp silicate-bearing, hair-like structures on the leaves that actually shoot irritating substances into your skin like a hypodermic needle. Unlike plants which cause reactions for only some people, nettle stings affect virtually everyone who touches them.

So why not just avoid nettles altogether? Continue Reading

Fried Cabbage With Noodles

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Category : About Food Sources, April, Bellingham, Farmers' Markets, Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Fried Cabbage and NoodlesMost of the ingredients in this dish, except the butter, were items purchased at the Bellingham Farmers Market from Whatcom County farm vendors on opening day (April 7, 2012). Even this early in the spring, local farmers have an amazing array of vegetables and other foods from which to choose. Continue Reading

Bellingham Farmers Market Opening Day

Category : About Food Sources, April, Bellingham, Farmers' Markets, Where to Buy Local Food

Farmers Market - Alm Hill GardensAs I walked toward the Bellingham Farmers Market last Saturday on opening day, the background music started to swell. Was this the climactic scene in my own in-my-head local foods movie? It felt like it, but then I caught sight of the band playing gypsy music and snapped back to reality. The music was real, lively, and fun, and a big circle of people had gathered in the middle of Railroad St. to listen. One wiggly, loose-limbed fellow was displaying his dance moves, and kids were watching with rapt (and painted) faces. Besides that, the sun was out! The Market was definitely off to a running start! Continue Reading

Whatcom Farms Offering CSA in 2012

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

This list of farms offering Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs was taken from the 2012 Whatcom Food & Farm Finder by permission of the publisher, Sustainable Connections. Wherever possible, the Farm Name is linked to their website for more information. Learn more about what a CSA is and how it works. Continue Reading

Sign Up Now for CSAs

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

Free Range Eggs

Photo by Fir0002

If you read these articles frequently (and may you and your descendants be blessed forever if you do!), you’ve probably seen me mention Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. If you want to start improving the quality of food you eat by buying locally grown ingredients, CSAs are the single easiest way to begin–and to save money! Continue Reading