Eat Local Month

Food, farms and feasting

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Harvest season has arrived! Ripe plums, succulent tomatoes, spicy greens, shiny apples, crisp corn, mouthwatering peaches—right now we have unending opportunity to experience the plethora of flavors and foods from across Whatcom County, arguably one of the most bountiful regions in the United States.

Just in time for harvest season, Sustainable Connections presents its annual Eat Local Month. Events such as “Restaurant Week,” “Market Week” and “Seafood Week” happen through September, but the food-related festivities kick off with the Community Food Co-op’s annual “Farm Fund Hootenanny” from 6-9:30pm Sun., Sept. 3 at the beer garden at Boundary Bay Brewery.

While raising money for the Co-op’s Farm Fund—which works to increase the supply of local, sustainable and organic food by supporting and establishing projects that strengthen the local food economy—you can enjoy locally sourced beer and barbecue, take square-dancing lessons, listen to sweet music by the Penny Stinkers, and find out more about food and farming projects.

If you’re not sure where to go from there, look into a new and decadent event—the Whatcom County Food Fest. Eight local food businesses and more than a dozen growers have teamed up to offer three days of local food, farms and feasting.

On Fri., Sept. 8, join BelleWood Acres and Crave Catering for “Revel,” an evening of spirits tasting and hors d’oeuvres paired by award-winning chef Justin Hawkinson. tour the BelleWood Distillery and slip outside to enjoy Farm Tunes by the Tea Seas Trio.

Come Sat., Sept. 9, take part in the first day of the Whatcom Farm Tour. Pet baby calves, see exactly how your food is grown and meet local farmers. Bring a cooler and stock up on produce, cheese and handmade pies. Purchase a Farm Tour VIP Badge for exclusive offers at each farm stop. That evening, head to Boundary Bay Brewery for their Farms, Fishers, and Fermentation Fete, where they’ll be exploring beer pairings with their favorite Whatcom-based ingredients. (Try grilled scotch-brined veggies with an ESB, herb- and almond-crusted salmon skewers with a harvest rye, beer-b-qued oysters with an Irish stout, and much more.)

Even if you have a few too many tasters Saturday night, you can still start Sun., Sept. 10 off right with a special Farm Tour Brunch at Goat Mountain Pizza. For the first and only time, Chef Charlie will be whipping up an epic breakfast buffet, working with local ingredients and paying homage to the farms that produce them. Delight in classic favorites that have been given a Pacific Northwest twist; fried eggs with shiitake gravy, waffles with local apple and pear compote, handmade herb sausages, and savory breakfast tacos.

Continue the tasty fun with more local farms, or if wine, cheese and chocolate is more your thing, head to Vartanyan Estates Winery. Evolve Chocolates, Twin Sisters Creamery, and Vartanyan will be showcasing decadent sips and bites; all three of these businesses are women-owned and operated and all three are dedicated to incorporating the best local ingredients for truly unique food experiences.

Finally, end Sunday with a fried chicken picnic at Clayton Meadows with ACME Farms + Kitchen. Chef Andrew will be making his secret-recipe fried chicken with local pasture-raised birds and Whatcom-sourced fixings; buttermilk-maple coleslaw, biscuits and honey butter, peach hand pies and more. Invite friends and family, order a whole bird, and lounge away the evening.

More than just a weekend full of incredible eating, the Whatcom Food Fest—and the many other events taking place through September as part of Eat Local Month—want to help us reconnect with what we eat and get to know the folks that raise and prepare it; to see the profound impact that happens when we buy more local food from Whatcom County farmers, food businesses and restaurants. It’s what keeps our downtown unique and vibrant, what saves farmland, and what keeps more money circulating in our local economy. It’s a powerful way to nourish the community you love. Happy eating!

Diana Meeks is the Communications and Program Assistant at Sustainable Connections

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