Food

Farms to Gardens

A closer look at summer’s bounty

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

When naysayers open their mouths to argue that tomatoes tastes the same whether they’re purchased from Costco or from a local farmer, I’ve been known to take that opportunity to place a still-warm, just-plucked cherry tomato in their maw and ask them to reconsider their views. Typically, this is enough to shut them up—at least until it’s time to ask for a second (or third) taste test.

With summer’s bounty in its full, delicious glory, now is the time to convert remaining skeptics. To do so, two events happening in the near future will help make believers out of those who still aren’t convinced that farm-fresh fruit and vegetables are superior to produce that’s traveled hundreds—or thousands—of miles to reach your table.

Begin with the Skagit Food Co-op’s annual “Bike to Farm” tour starting at 9am Sat., Aug. 5 at Mount Vernon’s Edgewater Park, 600 Behrens Millett Rd. From there, bicyclists led by co-op staff members will pedal to the first stop at Skagit Flats Farm, where Andy and Laura Ross grow a variety of lettuces, onions, squash and other organic vegetables on their 13-acre farm.

After a quick tour of the acreage and a sample or two of the seasonal offerings, continue on to Living Rain Farm and Ralph’s Greenhouse on Calhoun Road for more organic wonders. You’ll find that leeks are the main crop at Ralph’s—which doesn’t actually have a greenhouse, and is run by a friendly fella named Ray deVries. Along with perusing other flower and vegetable crops, there’s a good chance attendees can sample carrots or other earthy edibles they dig themselves from the fertile soil.

Round-trip, it’s about an eight-mile journey thus far, but those interested in adding some time to their foodie road trip can head to Hedlin’s Family Farms, where 400 acres near the mouth of the Skagit River produce close to 40 crops and more than 100 different varieties of field- and greenhouse-grown produce. There’s no need to register for the tour, just show up with your helmet on, water and light snacks to keep you fortified.

From 4-6pm on Thurs., Aug. 10, see and taste the fruits of WSU Whatcom County Extension’s Community First Garden Project. At the annual summer tour, the public can join Master Gardeners to peruse five of the project’s gardens, starting at the Happy Valley Community Garden (located on 32nd Street between Taylor and Donovan avenues) and ending at Ferndale’s Friendship Garden.

At the free event, participants will visit with gardeners at the shared spaces, nibble fresh produce and receive a map and directory of all the Whatcom County gardens for future visits—from Lummi Island to Blaine, Sumas, Kendall, Lynden, and Everson.

At both events, those in attendance will learn more about what it takes to grow food locally, and why it makes a big difference at the dinner table. If you’re still not convinced flavor is a factor, it’s time to have your taste buds tested.

For more details about these events, go to http://www.skagitfoodcoop.com or www.whatcom.wsu.edu

BTown
More Food...
Going Green
A chef with a penchant for produce

I grew beets for years without realizing the greens atop the blood-red root vegetable could be cooked and consumed, and were in fact rich with vitamins C, A, and E.

These days, I’m apt to add them to everything from stir-fries to pasta sauces and omelets, and have even been known to…

more »
Food Truck Fridays
Lunch with a view at Zuanich Point Park

When my dad turned 80, I threw him a birthday party at my house that drew friends and relatives from near and far—including three of his four older brothers, my two siblings, a bevy of local compadres and various other notable humans who’d made an impact on his life thus far.

His 81st…

more »
Brandywine Kitchen
A farm-fresh friendship

What do you get when you take a great friendship and turn it into a business partnership?

In many cases, the friendship would be on the rocks, but Bellingham locals Azizi Tookas and Chris Sunde turned theirs into Brandywine Kitchen, a longtime lunch and dinner restaurant on Commercial…

more »
Events
Today
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

4:00pm|Vanier Park

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Northwest Washington Fair

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Wednesday Farmers Market

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Rodeo Dreams Reception

5:00pm|Inn at Lynden

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Music at Maritime

6:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Brewers Cruise

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Bicycle Noir

7:30pm|Cafe Velo

Village Books
Tomorrow
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Northwest Washington Fair

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Bicycle Noir

7:30pm|Cafe Velo

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

First Tee Golf Tournament

10:00am|Swinomish Golf Links

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Lynden Farmers Market

12:00pm|Front Street

Skagit Tours

12:00pm|Highway 20

Bow Farmers Market

1:00pm|Samish Bay Cheese

The Art of Adaptation

2:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Blues and Brews

5:00pm|Hotel Bellwether

Riverwalk Summer Concert Series

6:00pm|Riverwalk Plaza

Bard on the Beach

6:00pm|Vanier Park

Elizabeth Park Concert Series Finale

6:00pm|Elizabeth Park

Concerts in the Columbia

6:00pm

Brave Deeds

7:00pm|Village Books

Balkan Folk Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Skagit River Shakespeare Festival Finale

7:00pm|Rexville Grange Amphitheater

An Iliad

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Cemetery Club

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Help!

7:30pm|MBT's Walton Theatre

Bellingham Farmer’s Market MBT Help
Friday
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Northwest Washington Fair

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Bicycle Noir

7:30pm|Cafe Velo

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Skagit Tours

12:00pm|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

6:00pm|Vanier Park

Skagit River Shakespeare Festival Finale

7:00pm|Rexville Grange Amphitheater

The Cemetery Club

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

An Iliad

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Help!

7:30pm|MBT's Walton Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Lake Padden Park

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Ferndale Farmers Market

3:00pm|Centennial Riverwalk Park

Sin & Gin Tours

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Commercial Street Night Market

6:00pm|Commercial Street

Port of Anacortes Summer Concert Series

6:00pm|Seafarers Park

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Farm Tunes

6:00pm|BelleWood Acres

Salmon Dinner Sail

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

USA Dance

7:00pm|The Majestic

Dancing on the Green

7:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Burlington Summer Nights

7:00pm|Burlington Visitors Center Amphitheater

Participle Poetry

7:00pm|Village Books

Art of Rappelling

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials

The Heroes

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »

MBT Help Bellingham Farmer’s Market Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Lester and Hyldahl Village Books MBT Male Trove