Food

Eat Local Month

An edible adventure

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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 ready for picking, and the clock is now ticking on when the fruits and vegetables need to be harvested.

I’ve experienced this astounding abundance many times before, and it typically means Eat Local Month is just around the corner.

Since Sustainable Connections started the event as a way to say “thank you” to local food producers, restaurants and artisans, September has been an optimal time not only to taste the seasonal smorgasbord the area has to offer, but also to give a nod to the positive impact the aforementioned entities have on our local economy.

At the sixth annual Hootenanny taking place Sun., Sept. 2 at Boundary Bay Brewery’s beer garden to kick off Eat Local Month,  both food and funding will be on full display. While attendees are listening to live music, square dancing, eating and drinking local fare and clapping their hands when Farmer Awards are given out, they’ll also be helping pad the Community Food Co-op’s Farm Fund, which directly benefits sustainable, organic food and farming projects in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Since 2000, the fund has distributed approximately $383,000 to more than 55 local farms and food and farming organizations, and generous contributions mean it will continue to do so.

“The farm fund is one of best ways of giving back we do around here,”  says Community Outreach Manager Karl Meyer. “I’ve been here six years now, and I’m struck how much this place is about local and the community. It’s such a competitive grocery environment, and a program like this brings out the Co-op difference.”

Following the “Hoot,” edible adventures will continue throughout the month. Nearly 20 restaurants—from Aslan Brewing Co. to the Wild Oat Bakery and Cafe—will offer $6 and $12 Eat Local Month specials created with fresh ingredients sourced from Whatcom and Skagit county farms.

Additionally, a Cooking Lit Book Group meeting Wed., Sept. 5 at Village Books will feature an appearance by scribe Susan Colleen Browne, author of Little Farm Homegrown: A Memoir of Food-Growing, Midlife, and Self-Reliance on a Small Homestead.

The following weekend, Sept. 8-9, the free, family-friendly Whatcom Farm Tour will see more than 12 area farms swinging open their gates and inviting people in to see, taste, feel and learn what goes into local food production. A variety of producers will be featured during the weekend, including those providing vegetables, beef, eggs and poultry, flowers, dairy products, and even yak. Related locavore events include a Farm Tour Brunch at Cosmos Bistro, a Farm to Pint Pairing at Boundary Bay, and a Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Pairing at Samson Estates Winery.

You’ll also want to schedule time to attend the ever-evolving Bellingham SeaFeast Sept. 21-22 at Zuanich Point Park to discover more about Whatcom’s maritime heritage and its internationally renowned fishing and seafood industries, and a Unity Care NW event Sept. 28 at the Ciao Thyme Commons that will highlight not only local food, but also provide information about Unity Care NW’s nutrition and food-based programs that help patients focus on nutrition and healthy habits.

Hopefully, it goes without saying that Eat Local Month doesn’t have to be contained to just September. Many nearby farmers markets continue into the fall, and we live in a climate that makes being a locavore possible throughout most of the year.

For now, though, enjoy the abundance in your backyard and beyond, and support those who make sure our plates will never be empty.

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Events
Today
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

10:30am

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

6:30pm

Village Books
Tomorrow
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

10:30am

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

Guffawingham

9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

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Tuesday
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

10:30am

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

7:30pm|Shakedown

see our complete calendar »

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