"}
Food

Eat Local Month

It’s what’s for dinner

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

When I looked out my kitchen window the other day and saw an intrepid squirrel hanging upside down from my one and only sunflower plant—where it was busy cramming seeds in its mouth—I was tempted to run outside with a broom and scare it off. Then I realized it was Eat Local Month, and the hungry critter was only following the rules.

I’m not joking. In Whatcom County, even the animals can get in on the action. As a further example, the seeds the squirrel couldn’t fit in its ever-expanding cheeks fell to the ground, where my flock of egg-laying hens quickly made them disappear. Nothing went to waste, and everybody was happy.

If you, too, would like to see such circle-of-life moments, you need look no further than the aforementioned Eat Local Month. Planned and executed each year by the folks at Sustainable Connections, the month-long food and harvest celebration is a veritable smorgasbord of edible—and educational—action.

Wild foraging trips, a farmstead supper, an Eat Local cooking class and an Incognito dinner at Ciao Thyme, and an organic pesto-making class at the Bagelry have already occurred, but there’s so much more to come.

I’m not going to be able to elaborate excessively on every event that remains, but I’ll offer up a few of the highlights, and then let you decide if you want to investigate further.

One of the big Kahunas, of course, is the 6th annual Whatcom County Farm Tour, which takes place Sat., Sept. 14 at eight area farms, two wineries and, per usual, the Bellingham Farmers Market. While it makes sense to start or end your tour at the Depot Market Square—where you can see the fruits of the labors of many, many farmers in one place—what you do before and after is entirely up to you.

Among the options: Check out the living laboratory at Everson’s Cloud Mountain Farm Center, find out more about organically grown fungi at Cascadia Mushrooms, sip sustainable wine from Dakota Creek Winery and homegrown spirits and cider at BelleWood Acres, and head to Lynden for farm tours and pulled pork sandwiches (and other gustatory goodies) at Farmer Ben’s. There will also be wine and chocolate tastings at Blaine’s Dakota Creek Winery, berries and flowers at Bellingham Country Gardens, furry beasts to pet at the Camelot Alpaca Ranch, and more.

Organizers point out the self-guided tour is free, but encourage participants to bring cash for farm products. Other tips include bringing a cooler to keep purchased foods fresh throughout the day, and considering paying $25 for a Farm Tour VIP pass, which will net them a variety of coupons and freebies from each of the stops.

That same day, a Community Garden Tour will see bicyclists meeting at the Bellingham Farmers Market and traveling to a variety of urban gardens, where they’ll find out more about the abundance of produce and greenery in gardens around town, and sample the goods. Participants can choose from a “short and sweet” ride (three gardens, under five miles), or a “scenic” outing (six gardens, 10 miles).

Come Sun., Sept. 15, a Threshing Party and Non-GMO Corn Project Harvest will make a visit to Lynden a necessity. On Thurs., Sept. 19, food writer and activist Nancy Ging will helm a “Locavore 101” course at the Cordata Community Food Co-op for anyone who wonders what the word really means—and how to go about taking it seriously.

The following weekend will be a full one. To further understand what it takes to get an egg to the kitchen table—or to get milk from a goat, make your own bread, build a worm bin, garden in the winter, cook wild edibles or harvest plants for medicinal purposes—the second annual Whatcom Skillshare Faire will be taking place Sept. 21-22 at Ferndale’s Hovander Homestead Park.

Sept. 22 will also bring the 8th annual Bite of Bellingham to the Depot Market Square—an event that celebrates the wealth of good places to eat in our area, and highlights those who work hard to bring them to us.

Near the end of Eat Local Month, Sept. 26 will see school districts throughout Whatcom County celebrating Taste Washington Day by cooking up fresh vittles harvested in our foodshed and feeding them to the kids at lunchtime. A Common Threads fundraising dinner with local farmers also happens that night at Ciao Thyme.

Finally, the 11th annual Whatcom Harvest Dinner wraps up the month Sept. 29 at BelleWood Acres. This event—which features food procured from school and community gardens as well as from local fishermen and farmers—sells out every year, so you’ll want to get tickets now and mark the event on your calendar.

Of course, eating local doesn’t just have to happen during September. Hopefully, the events listed here will encourage people—and the occasional squirrel—to consider more carefully where their food comes from, and act accordingly.

SVCR-0604_GritsGlamour_770x150-CW
More Food...
Eat Local Month
A gold medal standard

If eating local were an Olympic sport, Whatcom County would likely be in the running for a gold medal.

In fact, every September we enter an intense training period known as Eat Local Month. Competitors join Sustainable Connections to celebrate the bounty that comes from the area’s…

more »
Firehall Cafe
Of appetites and art

Lynden is bustling these days, and there are no shortage of great places for a light lunch. One often-overlooked eatery on the city’s Front Street is the Firehall Cafe, located in the Jansen Art Center.

The bright, open-plan, 30-seat restaurant opened in 2012 with the debut of the center,…

more »
Small Potatoes
The spuds of summer

Potatoes are often considered a fall crop, to be hoarded in the root cellar through the winter, roasted with other roots and perhaps a sprig of rosemary and served alongside other hearty fare. But summer? Now is the time for spinach and lettuce, for peas, herbs, summer squash and all the…

more »
Events
Today
5Point Adventure Film Festival

10:00am|Downtown Bellingham

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Barbecues and Beach Parties

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Ferndale Street Festival

6:00pm|Downtown Ferndale

Final Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Historic Fairhaven and downtown Bellingham

A Little Night Music

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Doubles

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|Nugent's Corner

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Sedro Car Show

9:00am|United General Fitness Center

Wondermud

10:00am|Bellingham BMX

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Discover Birch Bay Days

10:00am|Birch Bay Drive

Island Market

10:00am|Islander Grocery

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|Peace Portal Drive

Improv for Kids

10:30am|Improv Playworks

Fidalgo Bay Day

11:00am|Fidalgo Bay Resort

A Swinging Weekend

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Holly Street History Tour

1:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

This Old House

2:00pm|Point Roberts Community Center

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Drinking for Dogs

4:00pm|Green Frog Acoustic Tavern

Downtown Throwdown

4:00pm|Public Market

Scary Monster & the Super Creeps

5:00pm|Heart of Anacortes

Toys for Tots Benefit Concert

5:00pm|Eagle Haven Winery

Moonlight in Margaritaville

5:30pm|Maple Hall

An Evening with Ann Morris

7:30pm| Lummi Island Library

Circus on the Water

8:00pm|Lookout Arts Quarry and Boundary Bay Brewery

Artifacts Wine Bar Village Books
Tomorrow
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

A Little Night Music

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Discover Birch Bay Days

10:00am|Birch Bay Drive

A Swinging Weekend

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Chuckanut Classic

6:30am|Boundary Bay Brewery

Veterans Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Post 1585

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Run to Fight Blindness

9:00am|Cascadia Eye

Marsh Mucking

10:00am|Tennant Lake Interpretive Center

Anacortes Open Streets

11:00am|Commercial Avenue

International Concert Series Finale

2:00pm|Peace Arch Provincial Park

Cirque Literary Journal Reading

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Chuckanut Writers Info Session

4:00pm|Village Books,

Sunday Night Fusion

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Artifacts Wine Bar Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Monday
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Music Enrichment Project Meet and Greet

4:00pm|Piper Music

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Get Out More Tour

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

see our complete calendar »

Artifacts Wine Bar 5 Point Film Festival Northwood Steak and Crab Andrew Subin Bellingham Farmer’s Market Swinomish 2016 Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1