A DIY smorgasbord

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I’m proud of the year’s supply of garden-grown garlic bulbs hanging in our shed and the servings of beefsteak tomato sauce stacked in the freezer, but if the apocalypse ever came knocking, our household would still be sorely lacking when it came to storing up supplies for long-term survival.

And while the focus of the seventh annual Cascadia SkillShare & Barter Faire taking place Sept. 15-16 at a scenic locale near Lake Whatcom isn’t necessarily on how to emerge unscathed from the end of the modern world, many of the workshops and events that will be taking place during the two-day festival are indeed designed toward the concepts of self-reliance and resilience.

Food-wise, community presenters from both Whatcom and Skagit counties will be focusing on everything from seed saving to making fruit wines, dehydrating, water bath canning, mason bee harvesting, cider pressing, growing mushrooms, fermentation, pickling, microclimate storage, freezing, chicken and duck care, and edible and medicinal plants.

Sheep shearing, creating medicinal salves, naturopathic medicine, making a DIY solar home heater from trash, permaculture, blending essential oils for pain and anxiety relief, using local herbs from the forest for first aid purposes, and holistic self-assessment are other offerings on the DIY smorgasbord designed to promote both new-fangled and old-timey skills.

For those who’ve already put their know-how to use, the bartering faction of the event will allow you to share what you’ve got with others—whether it’s braids of garlic, stewed plums, backyard eggs, arts and crafts, or tools and building materials—while taking home other things you need or want.

“I traded my excess organic meat for homemade jam, jewelry, yarn, dried fruit and more last year,” SkillShare kitchen coordinator Naomi Siegel says. “I just made a few dozen jars or rhubarb jam to bring this year.”

Because organizers see bartering as a great way to meet people and perhaps get some treasures with no (or little) money passing hands, a dedicated period is scheduled at the end of the day to allow everyone time to get in the barter zone without having to miss out on a workshop or other happening. Barterers can rent a table for an extra fee, or if their supplies are limited, simply roam around the zone with their wares.

Food vendors, a beer garden, a fire pit sing-along area and numerous musicians will also help make the faire one to remember. As for me, I’m wondering what Floyd Garner’s “Preparing to Prepare for Disaster” workshop is all about—you know, in case it helps me conquer the apocalypse.

More Food...
An edible exploration

“Are you as excited for the next SeaFest as I am?” my first mate queried recently.

“For the record, it’s called SeaFeast,” I replied, reminding him that I’d had to make the same correction numerous times during last year’s festivities, when we spent a sunny September afternoon at Squalicum…

more »
Field Fare
The dog days of corn

Sugar is increasingly viewed by the public to be toxic in amounts that most Americans regularly consume, and many people are making efforts to curb their intake. But even as we shun junk food and other sources of sweetness, sugary snacks that are whole plant parts, like fruit and real baby…

more »
Eat Local Month
An edible adventure

I was only gone for four days, but the changes that took place in our garden last weekend while I was visiting friends in Idaho were mildly alarming. Suddenly, just about everything—from grapefruit-sized tomatoes to plums, blackberries, rhubarb, peas, kale and far beyond—is ripe and…

more »
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Vendovi Tours

10:00am|Vendovi Island

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

La Cage Aux Folles

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

The Wind in the Willows

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Brunch on the Bay

10:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Edison Farmers Market

10:00am|Edison Granary

Banned Books Week


Langar in Lynden

11:00am|Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Brunch and Learn

11:00am|Ciao Thyme

Your Vote Counts! Block Party

12:00pm|Depot Market Square

Audubon at the Museum

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

South Side Stories

2:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Trivia Time

3:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Waiting for the Whales

4:00pm|Village Books

Not-Creepy Gathering for People Who Are Single

6:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Moon Walk


Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Vendovi Tours

10:00am|Vendovi Island

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Banned Books Week


Baker Lake Cleanup Signup Deadline

8:00am|Baker Lake

Wheelchair Gangball

3:30pm|Bloedel Donovan

Monday Night Pizza

5:30pm|Ciao Thyme Commons

Books on Tap

6:30pm|El Agave 2

Open Mic Night

7:00pm|Village Books


9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

Village Books Trove Web
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Banned Books Week


Rainbow Reads Book Club

3:00pm| Ferndale Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Seabird Struggles

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Beginning Square Dance Lessons

7:00pm|Ten Mile Grange

Warlbers and Woodpeckers

7:00pm|Village Books

Comedy Open Mic


see our complete calendar »

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web Village Books