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BelleWood Acres Tour

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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

Harvest Vegetables–and Crab!

Category : Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

Harvest Vegetables and Crab MenuWhile I’m not a vegetarian, at this time of the year I easily could be. The diversity of locally grown vegetables being harvested now is a wonder to see and delightful to taste. However, when a friend offers some fresh crab they just caught and cooked, thoughts of being vegetarian succumb to the flavor of fresh seafood. Continue Reading

Centennial Smoothies at the Fair!

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Category : Related Organizations

NW Washington Fair Centennial LogoEveryone is invited to visit the Northwest Washington Fair this week in Lynden to taste a very special Centennial Smoothie. Whatcom Farm Friends, a sustainable agriculture policy advocacy group, coordinated with the Washington Red Raspberry Commission and the Whatcom County Dairy Women to develop a smoothie using all locally grown ingredients in honor of the Fair’s Centennial this year. Continue Reading

U-pick Produce–Inexpensive, and Fun!

Category : August, Seasonal Menu Ideas, U-Pick Farms

U-pick PeasPeople often think eating locally grown organic food is expensive. That can be true of some products, but there are nearly always ways to keep costs in line. For example, you can pick produce yourself and pay less. Many small farms in Whatcom County have u-pick operations. Continue Reading

Locavore Chili

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Category : Main Dishes, Recipes

Locavore ChiliHere’s the recipe for the chili I entered in the 2010 Lummi Island Chili Cookoff sponsored annually by Lummi Island Heritage Trust. I used ingredients almost entirely grown on Lummi Island.  Continue Reading

Lummi Island Chili Cook-off 2010

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Category : July, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Lummi Island Chili Cookoff 2010Everything was ready. I’d spent nearly two weeks tracking down and gathering ingredients from my gardening friends. The mixture had been simmering all night in crockpots and the wonderful fragrance in the morning held promise.

It was the day of the 2010 Chili Cook-off, an annual event sponsored by the Heritage Trust* on Lummi Island. I was entering for the first time with my recipe for Locavore Chili. 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

Where’s the Beef?

Category : May, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Photo of Where's the Beef MenuRaising high quality grassfed beef commercially has been a challenge in Whatcom County. First, it takes a lot of land to raise enough cattle for year-round meat availability. Second, they have to be slaughtered at a USDA-approved facility, and none was available here.

Several farms have overcome these obstacles and local beef is now available for those locavores among us trying to be healthier and reduce our carbon footprint by “eating local.” It’s very difficult and expensive for farms to get their grassfed beef certified organic, but most locally produced beef is raised as organically and humanely as possible. If you have any doubts, you can always ask the farmer (another benefit of eating locally), or ask the market where you buy the meat. Continue Reading

Food Purchasing Priorities

Category : Not Available?, Whatcom Locavore Basics, Where to Buy Local Food

When purchasing food for locavore eating, here are the priorities I use: Continue Reading

Cucumber Yogurt Salad

Category : Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Photo of Cucumber Yogurt SaladOnly a locavore can understand the excitement I felt when I saw the beautiful long English cucumbers from Dominion Organics in Ferndale in the produce rack at Terra Organica. The first appearance of any variety of fresh produce in the spring is like running into an old friend you haven’t seen for awhile. It’s always cause for celebration. Dominion grows these early beauties in their greenhouse so they can be harvested while the soil is still far too cool for planting them outside in the garden.

When I talked with the produce person to confirm these were definitely grown locally, they also noted happily that the “plastic” wrap around each individual cucumber was completely biodegradable. That was good news, too. Continue Reading

Creamy Potato Cheese Soup

Category : Recipes, Soups, Vegetarian

Photo of Creamy Potato Cheese SoupWhen you have a busy week ahead of you, it’s nice to cook something in enough quantity to use for a few days as leftovers. Soup is a perfect make-ahead dish, since the flavors of soup continue to blend once the dish is complete. As a result, the leftovers may be even more flavorful than the original servings.

This soup is fairly quick and easy to make, with a stick-to-your-ribs heartiness that is as welcome in a thermos on a chilly spring day as it is on the table. It’s an easy recipe to customize, too, by adding chopped  greens, carrots, fresh herbs, or whatever local veggies you have in the fridge. Continue Reading

Green Garlic Menu

Category : April, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Photo of Green Garlic MenuI was really excited this week to find some local green garlic in Terra Organica (Flora & Cornwall, Bellingham). Green garlic (also called “garlic greens,” “spring garlic,” or “baby garlic”)  is a good example of a food item you don’t often see in grocery stores except when it’s locally produced.

Garlic is usually planted in the fall for harvest midsummer of the following year when the tops begin to turn brown and dry up. That’s a signal that the plant is sending all its energy into growing the bulb just below the ground. However, in early spring, before the garlic begins to form a bulb, it grows a stalk and leaves that look much like scallions, or green onions. If harvested then, it’s called green garlic. Continue Reading