spoon

Locavore Convenience Food

Category : Make It Yourself, October, Seasonal Menu Ideas, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Manufactured Convenience Food? Not Necessary!

Photo by Alejandro Linares Garcia

Eating as a locavore (a person who eats only locally grown food as much as possible) doesn’t mean you have to give up convenience. It also doesn’t mean you have to eat processed foods.

Are you a busy family cook who sometimes doesn’t have time to do more than grab a frozen something from the freezer, heat it up, and serve? With just a little planning and preparation, you can still make those freezer dinner raids when you’re strapped for time. The difference will be your meals will have better nutrition, fewer chemicals, better quality and taste, and you’ll know you’re supporting local family farmers and the local economy. In short, you can still have those frozen french fries–but they’ll be a lot better for you, your family, and your community! Continue Reading

Meatloaf Comfort Food

Category : About Food Sources, CSAs, January, Main Dishes, Recipes, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Locavore MeatloafWhen I think of classic comfort food, I think of meatloaf. When I was a child, meatloaf was my favorite main dish. Top with a little Worcestershire sauce and ketchup, serve mashed potatoes and green beans on the side, and I was a happy kid.

Others must feel the same way. “Meatloaf” is one of the top five recipes people search for on the Food Network web site, and it’s categorized there as a “Comfort Food.” Continue Reading

Fats, Cholesterol, and Locavore Eating

2

Category : December, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Fats and Cholesterol--RevisedI used to worry about the health effects of eating meat, and in fact was a low-fat vegetarian for about 15 years. I was concerned about the living conditions and treatment of commercially raised meat animals, and I was concerned about how the saturated fats found in meats were believed to affect health. What happened was I gained weight. Somehow that didn’t make me feel healthier. Continue Reading

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 Farmers Market Opens!

Category : About Food Sources, April, Bellingham, Farmers' Markets, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Rabbit Field Farms - Who Grows Your Food?Bellingham’s Saturday Farmers Market opened last Saturday (April 2)! The weather was daunting, but we here in Whatcom County rarely let that stop us, so there was an enthusiastic crowd. I arrived early in the afternoon, and most farmers I talked with had been doing a brisk business all day. Continue Reading

Winter Farmers Market

1

Category : About Food Sources, Bellingham, December, Farmers' Markets, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Pork Stir Fry MenuAfter Thanksgiving, my supplies of local foods were depleted, so we made a family outing to the Bellingham Farmers Market last Saturday. The sun was out, the air was crisp, and we planned to make a quick trip of it.

Most of the north end of the market was vacant, since a lot of the summer produce stands and fast food stalls have shut down for the year. Most of the remaining vendors were under the shelter at the south end. However, there were still plenty of exciting local foods still available. Continue Reading

Variations on a Theme

Category : November, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Variations on a Theme MenuHoliday get-togethers usually center around a meal, and potlucks are an easy way to spread out the work as well as enjoy new recipes. I’m always looking for ideas to fix a traditional dish in a new way for my potluck contributions. My goal is to satisfy those who aren’t comfortable venturing too far afield (gastronomically speaking) and also to stimulate those explorers who enjoy trying something different. A potluck dish also has to be easy to pack and carry, and preferably doesn’t require re-heating or fussing with before serving. Continue Reading

Vegetable Pot Pie

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Vegetable Pot Pie ServingFall root vegetables are the theme of this one-pot dish of stick-to-your-ribs goodness. Just as the cold weather begins to settle in, the local food markets begin to carry hearty, heat-holding root foods.

Potatoes, carrots, turnips, and beets are well known to most Americans. When you buy from locally grown sources, though, lesser known varieties are also available.

Celeriac (or celery root) is a root vegetable I’ve seen but had never tried cooking with before. It’s flavor is a lighter version of celery stalks, and it has a texture similar to all the common root vegetables. When cooked, it stays crisper than a cooked potato, and doesn’t have the creamy texture of a cooked beet. It’s more like a turnip, though the flavor is milder. Continue Reading

Holiday Gratitude

Category : November, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Holiday Gratitude MenuHolidays are upon us. Are you planning to serve dishes for all or part of your holiday meal with ingredients grown in Whatcom County? I’d like to give you some good reasons to do so: Continue Reading

Garden Cleanup

Category : November, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Garden Cleanup MenuMy home garden has been taking care of itself for the past few weeks (insert ironic chuckle here) while I’ve been busy canning, pickling and freezing produce from other sources. Last weekend I finally ventured forth to see what had happened in my absence.

Let’s see, how can I emphasize this enough… CABBAGE had happened, and in a big way. There were three smallish heads, one large head, and one monster that weighed in at 10 pounds after cleaning and trimming. Continue Reading

Northwest Mushroomers Show

Category : November, Related Organizations, Seasonal Menu Ideas, Wildcrafting

Northwest Mushroomers Association - Edible MushroomsFor 21 years, the Northwest Mushroomers Association has organized a annual public show of an enormous variety of local wild mushrooms. Since I’d never attended a mushroom show before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at Bloedel Donovan Park recently.

At the ticket table I was given a brochure to help me get oriented. I couldn’t miss the rows of tables down the center of the room containing the specimens (see photos I took), but other features weren’t as obvious. For example, experts were available at one table to help people identify wild mushrooms they’d found. Another table allowed people to try making spore prints, one of the most reliable methods of identifying mushroom genus. Continue Reading

BelleWood Acres Tour

1

Category : Farm Stands, October, Seasonal Menu Ideas

BelleWood Acres AppleCrisp fall morning air and bright sunshine set the tone for a delightful visit to BelleWood Acres. Accompanied by several Whatcom Locavore blog readers, we met farmer Dorie Belisle for a guided tour just as her farm store was opening.

Dorie and John Belisle own 62 acres of former dairy land near Lynden, half of which is planted in apple orchards. Their 25,000 trees produce 1.4 million pounds of fruit every year. Continue Reading

2010 Cloud Mountain Farm Fall Fruit Festival

Category : October, On the Farm, Seasonal Menu Ideas

2010 Cloud Mountain SquashCloud Mountain Farm (6906 Goodwin Rd. near Everson) recently hosted their annual Fall Fruit Festival, and we were among the first to arrive Saturday morning. I’d been looking forward all summer to tasting over 200 varieties of apples and other fruit and vegetables grown by Cheryl and Tom Thornton, the farm owners, and their hard-working staff. Continue Reading