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Announcement: What’s This Web Site All About?

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Category : Whatcom Locavore Basics

Early Summer Bounty PaintingFor several years now, I’ve been reading and talking with people about the advantages of becoming a locavore*, a person who eats only¬† food grown, farmed, or produced locally.

I’ve learned a lot. I could go on at length about why eating locally is more sustainable, is often healthier than typical grocery store food that’s been transported an average distance of 1500 miles, and why it’s good for the earth and all living things in many other ways, but instead I’ll refer you to three books that got me interested in the first place. Continue Reading

Can Whatcom County Farms Feed Whatcom County?

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Category : Whatcom Locavore Basics

2011 Whatcom Food & Farm FinderA reader wrote in with this question recently: “Do you know if there is any data about whether Whatcom County produces enough food to feed its population?”Short answer is, “Perhaps yes, if we eat mostly berries.” I’m just joking (sort of). The real answer is much more complicated. Continue Reading

Organic Food: Better for You or Not?

Category : Whatcom Locavore Basics

Fresh KohlrabiYou’ve probably seen the media headlines saying something like “Organic Food No Better for You Than Non-organic.” The Stanford study cited in those articles was a “meta-analysis”, meaning the researchers surveyed already existing research. Their conclusion? Non-organic food is just as nutritious as organic food.

While there are some studies contradicting that statement, the real problem is that the headlines imply that there’s no benefit to choosing organic food. They suggest that nutrition is the only reason people choose to buy organic over conventionally raised food. That’s ridiculous, even according to the Stanford study itself. Continue Reading

Purslane: Pesky Weeds or Gourmet Greens?

Category : July, Seasonal Menu Ideas, Wildcrafting

PurslanePesky weed? Edible landscaping plant? Medicinal herb? Gourmet greens? Purslane is all of the above.Purslane (Portulaca olearacea–also called “pigweed”) is a determined and adaptive plant. According to a Whatcom County Noxious Weed Control Board* handout, a single plant can produce 240,000 seeds which can remain viable in the soil for up to 40 years. A small part of the plant can sprout into a whole new plant. If you pull it up, the plant can still go on to produce seeds, and if it’s anywhere near dirt it will root and grow again. It’s even a succulent (meaning it stores water), so can withstand a certain amount of drought conditions. (That means it’s also not an herb or vegetable.) Purslane takes hardiness to a whole new level. Continue Reading

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

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

Whatcom County Bees

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Category : About Food Sources, Bellingham, Book and Movie Reviews, Farmers' Markets

Honeybee

Photo by William Warby

For the past decade, US media has carried reports of declining honeybee populations and the impending doom it could mean for food production. I’d seen depressing stories about colony collapse disorder (CCD) where whole hives of bees inexplicably disappear, so it was with some trepidation that I picked up Beekeeper’s Lament by Hannah Nordhaus from the library. However, I wanted to know exactly was happening with our fuzzy little friends. Continue Reading

Acme Farm + Kitchen (Part 2 of 2)

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Category : About Food Sources, CSAs, Home Delivery, Where to Buy Local Food

Acme Farms + KitchenOur first delivery from Acme Farms + Kitchen (AF+K) arrived last week, and included an unexpected surprise! I had anticipated the beautiful, high quality organic food. I know some of the farms where the food was grown and they consistently produce nothing less than excellence. The big surprise was the packaging. AF+K has taken “reduce, reuse, recycle” to new heights. Continue Reading

Acme Farms + Kitchen (Part 1 of 2)

Category : About Food Sources, CSAs, Home Delivery, Where to Buy Local Food

Acme Farms + KitchenLast week I mentioned the reduced access to locally grown foods during the winter months when the Farmers Markets are closed. This week, in following up on a suggestion from Marvin Fast at Red Barn Lavender Farm, I discovered a new business which provides a perfect solution–Acme Farms + Kitchen (AF+K). Continue Reading

Local Food Classes

Category : Make It Yourself

Rabbit Field Farms - Who Grows Your Food?As I began transitioning to eating as a locavore (using only locally grown food as much as possible), I naturally did more cooking at home. I rediscovered a love for cooking and preserving fresh, delicious foods. I also started looking for ways to learn more about food preparation and local farms. As always, I found an abundance of local resources. Continue Reading

2011 CSA Programs

Category : About Food Sources, CSAs, Where to Buy Local Food

Farmers MarketCommunity Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are one of the easiest ways to get a steady, affordable supply of locally grown foods during the growing season. It also gives a farmer some cash at a time of the year when they are spending money for seeds, and guarantees sale of a percentage of their crops in advance. 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

Spicy Pork Stir Fry

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes

Spicy Pork Stir FryPork is a perennial favorite in our family. Roasts, chops, sausage, bacon, ham–there are so many cuts and preparation methods from which to choose that I think of it as one of the most flexible meat sources. Continue Reading