Harvest season is a busy time every year and I thought you might like a rundown of what's happening the next few weeks with regard to local food events, classes, and more. Some highlights:
WHATCOM WATER WEEK, SEPT. 8-14 (AND BEYOND)
A series of events celebrating the importance of Whatcom County's water resources kicked off last weekend. Plenty of events are still coming up to share what's known and what is being learned about our water, and to inspire and help residents learn about stewardship efforts. Many are related to local food.
For example, today (Tuesday, Sept. 11) at 4 p.m., you can take a tour through three habitat restoration sites on Whatcom Creek: Redtail Reach, Salmon Park and Cemetery Creek. These large-scale, in-stream sites were completed as part of long-term Whatcom Creek restoration efforts in response to the 1999 Olympic Pipe Line incident. Contact: Renee LaCroix, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-778-7966
On Saturday, Sept. 15, starting at 11 a.m., BelleWood Acres is hosting activities for the whole family. Some activities will center on the creek that runs through their farm: Stream Science Walk (1 p.m. with staff from Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association) to explore water health, bugs in the creek and much more. A visit from Sal the Salmon and an educational display will also help visitors of all ages learn about how BelleWood is a Salmon Safe farm. Kids' activities include horse rides given by the Arabian Youth Club, Apple Bin Express train rides, face painting, and a visit from "Wayne" the raindrop, the Whatcom Water Week mascot. Booths and display from NSEA and the Conservation District will be on site. Contact: Sarah Fowler, email@example.com, 360-318-7720
On Thursday, Sept. 20, attend an Efficient Irrigation Using Rainwater Workshop at 1 p.m. The four-hour workshop will discuss low- to zero-pressure drip irrigation and soaker hose installation and use. The irrigation source presented is from two rainwater harvesting systems. The workshop is for home gardeners and education professionals seeking to learn more about efficient irrigation systems and alternative water sources. Contact: Anitra Accetturo, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-778-7732
For lots more Whatcom Water Week events, see whatcomwin.org/www/events.html.
WHATCOM SKILLSHARE FAIRE, SEPT. 22
Here's a fun festival about teaching and learning all kinds of useful, handy and practical skills - many of which are related to growing, preserving and storing local food. This description comes from the event's website:
"Years ago, lots of people knew how to repair and sharpen tools, make a braided rug, raise chickens, make soap, build a fence, make simple toys and much more. The goal of SkillShare is to help revive those skills, showcase some new ones, and provide a place where all of us can come learn from people more experienced in these crafts and trades."
It's being held at the Deming Logging Show grounds and will also feature spaces to swap and barter such things seeds, recipes, clothes, household items, pottery, produce, preserves and all kinds of other interesting and useful items and services. It's $2 per person to get in, plus $8 for a vehicle. Kids 14 and under enter free. You're invited to bring things to barter or teach a skill yourself, if you like. Check it out at whatcomskillsharefaire.org or call 360-739-1968.
WHATCOM HARVEST DINNER, SEPT. 23
This annual fundraiser is hosted at a different Whatcom County farm each year. This year it will be at the new BelleWood Acres store at 6140 Guide Meridian, between Bellingham and Lynden. The dinner supports learning about our food, starting with where and how it was grown and prepared, through enjoyment of a community meal, featuring produce from school and community gardens grown just for the occasion.
Each dish and appetizer will feature fabulous locally harvested ingredients like wild salmon, chicken, savory pies, succulent vegetables and delightful desserts. Pair that with a specialty cocktail from BelleWood Acres' new distillery, local Mount Baker Vineyards wines and Boundary Bay beer and you are in for a treat! For tickets visit whatcomharvestdinner.com/tickets.
A portion of the proceeds from the dinner support the Sustainable Connections Food & Farming Program's Food to Bank On project. It's a three-year, farmer-incubation project that connects new farmers with business training, markets and mentorships, while providing farm-fresh product to area food banks.
ANNUAL FALL FRUIT FESTIVAL, OCT. 6-7
For 23 years Cloud Mountain Farm Center has been hosting a fruit tasting and harvest celebration extravaganza. Over 200 varieties of fruit and fruit products will be available to taste and enjoy. Live music provides background, and Julia's Pumpkin Patch is open for u-pick and they-pick pumpkins and gourds.
The nominal admission fee goes to support educational programs at the center. If you're planning to add some fruit trees, grapevines or berry bushes to your yard or business landscaping and you'd like to select a variety, experts are on hand at the tasting to give you advice and tips for cultivating each variety. This is also a wonderful family event with activities and demonstrations for all ages. And while you're there, be sure to pick up some fruit for your holiday pies.
The farm is at 6906 Goodwin Road, near Everson. See directions on their website: cloudmountainfarmcenter.org.
CARROTS WITH HAZELNUTS
2 cups carrots, julienned (Hopewell Farm, Everson)
2 tablespoons salted hazelnuts, finely chopped (Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards, Lynden)
1 teaspoons butter (homemade with cream from Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy, Lynden)
1 teaspoons honey (Red Barn Lavender, Ferndale)
Pinch of smoked dried cayenne pepper flakes (Rabbit Fields Farm, Everson)
In a saucepan, bring water about an inch deep to boil. Place carrots in a steaming tray over the water and cover the pan tightly. Steam carrots for about 8-10 minutes until just crunchy tender (slightly softened).
In a small skillet, melt the butter and add the honey and pepper flakes. When well mixed, stir in the hot carrots.
You'll find Whatcom County foods at these stores and farms. Many outlets have seasonal hours. We recommend you call or check websites for current hours.
Acme Farms + Kitchen
Appel Farms Cheese Shoppe, 6605 Northwest Road, Ferndale; 360-384-4996; appel-farms.com
Artisan Wine Gallery, 2072 Granger Way, Lummi Island; 360-758-2959; artisanwineclub.com
Bellingham Farmers Market, Railroad at Chestnut; 360-647-2060; bellinghamfarmers.org
Boxx Berry Farm Store and u-pick, 6211 Northwest Road, Ferndale; 360-380-2699; boxxberryfarm.com
Cloud Mountain Farm Nursery, 6906 Goodwin Road, Everson; 360-966-5859; cloudmountainfarm.com
Community Food Cooperative, 1220 N. Forest St. and 315 Westerly Road, Bellingham; 360-734-8158; communityfood.coop
Everybody's Store, 5465 Potter Road, Deming; 360-592-2297; everybodys.com
Ferndale Public Market, Centennial Riverwalk, Ferndale; 360-410-7747; ferndalepublicmarket.org
Grace Harbor Farms, 2347 Birch Bay Lynden Road, Custer; 360-366-4151; graceharborfarms.com
Green Barn, 8858 Guide Meridian, Lynden; 360-354-1008
Hopewell Farm, 3072 Massey Road, Everson; 360-927-8433
Lynden Farmers Market, 514 Liberty St., Lynden, fiveloavesfarm.blogspot.com
Pleasant Valley Dairy, 6804 Kickerville Road, Ferndale; 360-366-5398; facebook.com/pages/Pleasant-Valley-Dairy/161872142667
Red Barn Lavender Farm (egg CSA), 3106 Thornton Road, Ferndale; 360-393-7057
Small's Gardens, 6451 Northwest Road, Ferndale; 360-384-4637
The Islander, 2106 S. Nugent Road, Lummi Island; 360-758-2190; islandergrocery.com
The Markets LLC, 3125 Old Fairhaven Parkway and 1030 Lakeway, Bellingham; 8135 Birch Bay Square St., Blaine; 360-714-9797; themarketsllc.com
Terra Organica, 1530 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham; 360-715-8020; terra-organica.com