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Honey and Allergies: Interview with Dr. Jean Layton, ND

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Category : Interviews, Whatcom Locavore Basics

HoneybeeDoes eating local honey help reduce pollen allergy symptoms? I’ve come across the idea several times but have never seen scientific studies about it. I decided to call my local naturopathic physician, Dr. Jean Layton, to see if there was any truth to it. As you’ll see, our conversation also ranged to other fascinating topics regarding the relationship between health and locally grown foods. Continue Reading

Rustic Apple Tart

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Category : Desserts, Recipes, Vegetarian

Rustic Apple TartA Rustic Apple Tart is the centerpiece of a meal menu I created after a visit to Cloud Mountain Farm’s annual Fall Fruit Festival. I’ve since used the recipe as a cooking demonstration at BelleWood Acres for the 2011 Whatcom County Farm Tour event.

I first planned to make a classic apple pie, but my friend Pat (co-owner of Artisan Wine Gallery on Lummi Island) convinced me to try a rustic tart instead.

I wanted to include cheese in the recipe as well, since that’s also a classic American flavor combination with apples. The crust of a tart needs to be a little sturdier than a pie crust since the tart crust is the cooking container. I decided to experiment with adding cheese directly to the crust. Continue Reading

Locavore Basil Pesto

Category : Recipes, Sauces and Dips, Vegetarian

Locavore Basil PestoHere’s the challenge which was the starting point for this basil pesto recipe:

Fresh basil is abundantly available right now, and I love basil pesto on pasta. But how do I make basil pesto without olive oil, which is not produced locally? Continue Reading

Cloud Mountain Farm

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Category : Farm Stands, July, Seasonal Menu Ideas, U-Pick Farms

Cloud Mountain FarmAnyone who lives in Whatcom County has probably eaten some food produced by the dedicated people at Cloud Mountain Farm near Everson. Have you eaten at Nimbus, Prospect Street Cafe, or Boundary Bay? Enjoyed some of the exotic fruit flavors in Mallard’s ice cream? Some of the ingredients you ate were almost certainly grown at Cloud Mountain Farm. Continue Reading

Yogurt Cucumber Dill Dressing

Category : Condiments, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Yogurt Cucumber Dill DressingFast and flavorful, this dill salad dressing combines well with nearly any salad ingredients. It’s smooth enough to go with spicier ones such as arugula, mesclun salad mixes, etc., but also adds enough flavor to perk up blander ingredients, such as hard-boiled eggs or plain lettuce.

Since no salad oil is produced here in Whatcom County that I know of, I’m constantly looking for alternatives for dressing bases. The tangy taste of yogurt is light enough to go with most greens, and also combines well with many herbs.  You can achieve a rich variety of flavors by blending yogurt with such fresh local herbs as lemon balm, sorrel, basil, dill and more. Don’t forget the garlic! Continue Reading

Herbed Meatballs

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes

Herbed MeatballsStart with a simple recipe, add a few pungent local herbs, and you have a whole new gustatory experience. Let me show you what we can do with pasta and meatballs.

I started with some Lummi Island grown, grassfed beef. I grated some dried homemade bread (made with bread flour from Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill, and other local ingredients) to make some bread crumbs. Then I walked out into the garden and snipped some fresh thyme and rosemary leaves. I had some aged gouda cheese from a recent visit to Appel Farms Cheese Shoppe, and some green garlic grown at Broadleaf Farm that I had purchased earlier from Terra Organica. Add a little salt and the meatball ingredients are complete. Continue Reading