spoon

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

Bellingham Farmers Market Opens Today!

1

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!

Continue Reading

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

Holiday Help From Whatcom Locavore

Category : Whatcom Locavore Basics

Mint Candy Cane BeetsWeeks leading up to the holidays can be a stressful time, even when we love the people and activities we are planning. Here at Whatcom Locavore, we’d like to offer you some simple ideas to help make your holiday preparations less stressful and more enjoyable. Continue Reading

German-style Sweet Potato Salad

Category : October, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

Sweet Potato SaladSweet potatoes can be prepared exactly as you would prepare regular white potatoes, though the flavor will be considerably different–richer and sweeter. In salads, as fries, mashed, sautéed, boiled, steamed, or however you choose to prepare them, sweet potatoes add a sweet earthy flavor to any dish.

I also use them in recipes just as I would squash or pumpkin. Their sweetness makes them ideal for desserts as well as savory dishes. The classic sweet potato pie is a good example. In the recipe below, I’ve used a favorite German potato salad recipe and adapted it to use sweet potatoes instead. Continue Reading

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

Braised Short Ribs With Mushrooms Recipe

Category : Main Dishes, October, Recipes

Shiitake MushroomsIn honor of the 2013 Wild Mushroom Show, hosted every October in Bellingham by the Northwest Mushroomers Association, I wanted to create a mushroom recipe. The main question in my mind was about which type of mushroom to use. The list wasn’t as long as you might imagine. While there are multitudes of edible mushroom varieties that grow wild in this area, and I love hunting for them and looking at them, I have zero skills at identifying them. I sadly crossed all wild mushrooms off my list. Continue Reading

Fruit Ball Delight Recipe

Category : Desserts, Recipes, Salads, September

Fruit Ball DelightOne fall day at the Bellingham Farmers Market, Nooksack 9 was offering Butterscotch melons, a deeply flavored variety of cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is something I’ve missed since moving to western Washington state years ago. Continue Reading

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

Creamy Lobster Mushroom Sauce Recipe

Category : Holidays, Recipes, Sauces and Dips, September, Vegetarian

Creamy Lobster Mushroom SauceLobster mushrooms have a meaty texture, even more than portobellas. For that reason they are often used by vegetarians in recipes instead of meat. People also use lobster mushrooms to dye fibers for knitting or weaving.

Lobster mushrooms are particularly fascinating in the strange world of fungi. Read my article about Lobster Mushrooms.

If you’re interested in learning more about mushrooms and how to identify, collect and eat them safely, I’d recommend contacting the Northwest Mushroomers Association (NMA). Call Jack Waytz at (360) 303-4079 or Margaret Dilly at (360) 675-8756, or see their website at: www.northwestmushroomers.org   Continue Reading

Eggplant!

Category : Recipes, September, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Eggplant for CaponataEggplants, those lovely deep purple vegetables with smooth skin and undulating curves, are difficult to grow in our climate. That makes it a particular pleasure to find at the Farmers Market or in a home garden.

I recently found some beautiful certified organic eggplant at the Sunseed Farm booth at the Bellingham Farmers Market. I wanted to make some caponata (see recipe below), so selected one to bring home with me.

At the last minute, just as I was getting ready to do the cooking, that eggplant met with an untimely end in my refrigerator. Now, since I had planned to write about eggplant for this column, I had a full blown eggplant emergency. something for which I had no preparedness plan.  Continue Reading

Spicy Beef Sausage Recipe

Category : Breakfast, Main Dishes, Recipes, September

Spicy Beef Sausage RecipeHere’s a beef sausage recipe I created as a substitute for chorizo in a recipe for Caldo Verde from the Winter Harvest Cookbook (see my review of the book). While this does not make chorizo, the spicy flavor makes a good alternative. It’s really quick and easy to make from locally grown grassfed beef. Continue Reading

Caldo Verde Recipe

Category : Recipes, September, Soups

Caldo Verde RecipeThis recipe is reprinted from Winter Harvest Cookbook by permission of the author, Lane Morgan (p. 68). (Read my review of the book.) I chose a robust soup for our chillier fall evenings.

The recipe is shown exactly as published, with notes added about how I adapted it to use all locally grown ingredients, including sources. I sauteed the beef sausage before adding the leeks and garlic.