Tag Archives: Seasonal Eating

It’s Autumn!!!


There is this wonderful scene from Pooh’s Grand Adventure (persevere through the advertisement!) that perfectly captures my feelings about this time of year.

“It’s Autumn!”

“Hot chocolate-y mornings and toasty marshmallow evenings indeed!”

Summer is hot and bright and the day is filled to the brim with endless tasks on the farm.  After the sogginess of spring it is a warm and welcome relief to be planting, weeding, and eating the early harvest of new greens and sweet berries.  Seems that there just isn’t enough daylight for the tasks before you.

Autumn brings the fruits of your labor.  Like the ant, endlessly preparing for the winter to come I am grinding through canning and preserving.  Right now the harvest is in full swing, canning and pickling and freezing and butchering and storing.   About the middle of October someone will mention putting something up in jars and I think to myself that I just can’t do one more batch.  Just can’t. Lost my will to can.  Do not have to fill EVERY jar.

Then it is done.  The frost hits the pumpkins, rain starts and harvest is finished.  The endless trips down the stairs to the basement canning pantry with full jars and the commensurate number of trips upstairs with boxes of empty jars – wide mouth quarts for pickles, peaches and tomatoes, narrow mouth for grape juice and apple cider – it just stops.  And then, a reversal happens and suddenly the full jars are coming back upstairs – two, three, four at a time – to make stew, soup, chili and other warm, comforting meals for cold, dark, winter nights.

Autumn is also a busy time for local farm with pumpkin patches and corn mazes.  Great article in the Sun the other day about Kenneth Jensen’s B-17 Corn Maze in Poulsbo. For a list of other harvest related activities in Kitsap check out the Kitsap Visitor and Convention Bureau’s Harvest Festival Page!  Farmer’s markets will all run through mid-October.  Bainbridge and Poulsbo markets have extended winter seasons through December for holiday shopping so even if you didn’t plant a garden you can still enjoy the bounty of the season!

The Taste of Summer

Blackberries and heavy cream.  The taste of summer.

Blackberries and cream

There are many reasons that I own a Jersey milk cow, and this right here is one of them.  Seems a silly thing to feed and milk a cow twice daily for two tablespoons of heavy cream on a bowl of blackberries a couple times a year but you do what you have to do!

As a kid we picked gallons of blackberries.  Dad would head out to check the cattle and we would all pile in the truck with plastic buckets and pruning shears.  We would chop our way into the thicket of brambles along the pasture and pick for an hour or so.  Every. Night.  Mom made jam and froze the whole berries for winter. It was hot and murderously scratchy work – and our nightly reward was a bowl of berries with a bit of sugar.  If we were milking a cow we would go to the fridge, open the milk jar and scoop off a dollop of the heavy cream of the top.  So thick it folds into leathery pleats as the spoon skims the top, this cream is the food of the gods.

True love … and home grown tomatoes!

“The tomato sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise is, however, a tomato’s highest calling!”

I have posted about this in the past but there is NOTHING BETTER than a tomato sandwich, made with a fresh and warm from the garden tomato, sliced thick.  I came across a post on Eatocracy from a few years back about tomato sandwiches.  We are of the same mind on this – it is the perfect sandwich!  You can’t get this at Panera or Subway – simply because the fresh tomato is a fleeting and seasonal fruit – it doesn’t ship or store well and what makes them so delectable is the fact that they are fresh from the garden!  If you don’t have tomatoes of your own you can get wonderful tomatoes from the local farmers market – these beauties are from Farmhouse Organics in Poulsbo and were at the market this week!

Farmhouse Organics Tomatoes

Where ever you get them, please don’t put them in the refrigerator.  Store them on newspaper in a cool dry place.  Eat them out of hand, make a caprese salad or some bruschetta, or just make endless bunches of tomato sandwiches – on white bread with good mayonnaise.  No substitutions or additions.

While you are eating your sandwich – over the sink – you can listen to John Denver sing his ode to “Homegrown Tomatoes”.  Two things that money can’t buy – true love and homegrown tomatoes!

Rubbing shoulders with the people who feed you!

A while back I posted about Kitsap Farmer’s Markets for those folks who were looking to get up close and personal with a farmer (sort of like going to the zoo but it costs less and you get zucchini!)  If you have taken that baby step and want to get even more farmy there are lots of events coming up this summer and fall where you can even see farmers in their natural habitat!

July 20th – Poulsbo Farmers Market Kids’ Day / Touch a Tractor

Bring out the kids for a day all about them! To start, show the kids how all of the delicious food at the market is grown by taking them around to all of the tractors that will be scattered throughout the market – some brand new, some 60 years old! Next, grab a fun tie-dye shirt, for which the PFM is famous! Choose your own size and colors!

August 3rd – Manette Edible Gardens and Chicken Coop Tour

Recalling the self-sufficiency of previous generations who planted Victory Gardens, Manette edible gardeners are opening their gardens to their neighbors to show techniques for growing food in small urban spaces. The tour is also a great way to learn about animal husbandry in the city.

August 15th – Friends of the Farm “Farm to Table  Dinner”  

All welcome to join us for the third annual Farm to Table Dinner on Bainbridge Island. Enjoy local food and spirits with delicious tastes from ten local restaurants, bakeries and wineries. Live country and western swing music provided by The Jangles.  Tickets available online.

Time: 6-9 pm
Location: Bainbridge Island Town Square (Madison Avenue by City Hall)

August 21-25th – Kitsap County Fair and Stampede!

So much fun you will have a cow!  Livestock exhibits and shows, educational displays and much more!  Come on Saturday, August 24th for the Kitsap Junior Livestock Association 4H and FFA Market Animal Auction and bid on hogs, lambs, goats, steers, rabbits and broiler chickens.  Auction begins at 11:00am.  Complimentary lunch sponsored by Kitsap Bank!

Kitsap County Fair Logo 2013

August 24th – Picnic at the Pig

Join the vendors and more after the market for a kid-friendly event, fun for the whole family! Pulled pork picnic dinner, live music, farm games and contests, a raffle, and a silent auction featuring goodie bags and baskets generously donated by local businesses and regular PFM vendors.

Time: 3:00-7:00pm

Adult – $15 (includes 1 free drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
Child (10 years or younger) – $5.

September 15th – Peterson Fall Farm Fair

Proceeds from the Petersen Farm Fall Fair support the Kitsap Agricultural & Community Alliance (KCAA) and the Kitsap Community Food Co-op (KCFC), who are partnered in this effort to increase access to local food to the Kitsap community.

Come to this family-themed fair and enjoy hayrides, hay bale maze, carnival games, live music, farm tours, vendors and much more!  In Silverdale, WA off the SR3 Trigger Avenue Exit.

Peterson Fall Farm Fair

September 23rd – Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner

Local chefs prepare an amazing Kitsap Grown meal!  Hosted by KCAA.  Follow them on Facebook as more information becomes available!

September 29th – Friends of the Farm Harvest Fair

Friends of the Farms sponsors and organizes the annual Harvest Fair at Johnson Farm on Bainbridge Island. This educational and fun event brings our community together to celebrate, appreciate and nurture local farming.  Not just for the kids, Harvest Fair encourages everyone to take a day and join us on the farm.

Time:  11:00am – 5:00pm


October 6th – Poulsbo Farmers Market Harvest Dinner

 The PFM Harvest Dinner is an annual fundraiser which showcases the very best that the market has to offer! Hosted by Chef John Nesby at Mor Mor Bistro in Poulsbo, this dinner features fresh, local ingredients purchased primarily from the PFM. The event begins at 5:30pm with cocktails, followed by dinner and a live auction.  Tickets available at the market starting in July.


What is at the Farmers Markets this week!

I have been on a(n) embarrassingly long hiatus from blogging – had to take care of my Moms (shout out to Trudy!) after she had a stroke and moved off the farm and up to Bremerton.  She is settled in, doing well and we are all adjusting to the new normal.  Hopefully now all of the mentally composed but unwritten blog posts can come to fruition!

Farmers markets represent a visible and tangible evidence of farming activity in Kitsap.  I was talking to a couple friends the other day about the changes I have seen in the last five years – we have 14 farms offering CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, there is USDA-inspected meats in almost all of the markets in the county, there are five Grade-A dairies licensed by the WSDA (with at least three more in the process!), we have a county strategic plan for agriculture to help guide policy for farming and farmland preservation, and we have a new agriculture signage ordinance.  We are making progress – but we need your help!  You need to buy local farm products, and a great place to start is at one of Kitsap County’s seven Farmers Markets!  We have seen them blossom and grow over the last few years!  The Kitsap Sun has covered openingschickens, new products and other news!


Photo by Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun.

Fresh in the markets this week are strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, lettuce and greens, carrots, beets, garlic, radishes, eggs, beef, chicken, pork and lamb, dairy products and value-added baked goods, jams and jellies, and much more!  Take the kids, make friends with a farmer or two, and buy dinner!




Market Dates



Bainbridge Island Summer Farmers Market


9 am –  1 pm

4/13 to 10/26

Bainbridge Island

Town Square at City Hall Park, 280 Madison Avenue

Map It!

Tim O’Brien


Bainbridge Island Winter Farmers Market


9 am –  1 pm

11/2 to 12/21

Bainbridge Island

Town Square at City Hall Park, 280 Madison Avenue

Town Square at City Hall Park

Map It!

Tim O’Brien

Bremerton Sunday Farmers Market


10:30 am – 2:30 pm

5/5 to  10/13


2nd & Washington Street

Map It!

Julia Zander

Bremerton Thursday Farmers Market


4 pm –  7 pm

5/2 to  10/17


1400 Park Avenue

This may be an approximate address
Map It!

Julia Zander


Kingston Farmers Market


9 am –  2 pm

5/4 to  10/12


Corner of Central Avenue & Washington Boulevard

Map It!

Clinton V. Dudley


Port Orchard Farmers Market


9 am –  3 pm

4/6 to  10/12

Port Orchard

Waterfront parking lot near Bay Street & Harrison Avenue

This may be an approximate address
Map It!

KC Pearson


Poulsbo Farmers Market


9 am –  2 pm

4/6 to  12/7


Corner of 7th Avenue NE & NE Iverson Street

Map It!

Brian Simmons


Silverdale Farmers Market


10 am – 4 pm

5/3 to 9/24


In Old Town Silverdale
Between the Boat Launch & Waterfront Park

 Map It!

Monica Phillips


Suquamish Farmers Market


3 pm – 7 pm

5/24 to 10/16


Across Suquamish Way from Suquamish Village Shell and the Suquamish Tribal Government Center

 Map It!

Alan Trunkey




Soup for the soggy soul

There are days that challenge my commitment to farming.  Like today.  Cold, wet, slushy, rainy, soggy…sick cows, muddy pastures, backed up storm drains in the milking area, I am tired and feel sick….it goes on and on.

So, as an antidote to all the woes of the world I made soup.

We had a hog butchered at Home Meats in Shelton.  They do an old-fashioned slow cure on their hams and bacon.  Very tasty indeed.  We had the ham for dinner earlier in the week and all that was left was a meaty bone.  I tossed it in the crock pot this morning with a pound of white beans, a chopped onion, a couple bay leaves, 3 quarts of water and about 1/2 cup of pan drippings from roasting the ham.  Pan drippings are my secret ingredient any time I need to give a soup or gravy a boost.  Intense, smoky and salty, the pan drippings  are strained and defatted and stored in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  It is so salty that it doesn’t really freeze properly, just getting firm but not solid.  A couple tablespoons adds life to potato-corn chowder, or gives an added layer of flavor to sausage gravy.   #2 son is always saying, “Everything is a little better with some pig on it!” and I think he might be right.

This afternoon when the beans were cooked I tossed in a couple potatoes, peeled and diced and half-a-dozen carrots, sliced up.   I stripped the remaining meat from the bone, chopped it up, tossed it in the pot and gave it a couple turns of the peppermill.

When we got in from doing chores this afternoon, chilled and soaked to the bone, it really hit the spot.  It will be even better tomorrow but for tonight it was good enough!

Culinary adventures

A while back I posted about the “Dark Days Challenge” and said I was going to share our progress … and then NOTHING.  So much for being a Food Blogger!

So, what are my recent culinary adventures?  Tonight, motivated by Ann Vogel’s trip down memory lane with the Egg and I (great book!) and having an excess of eggs, I made the Chiffon Cake.  For the record, the recipe must be calling for large eggs – not extra large – and 12 eggs might be a bit too many!  I made it with 11 farm eggs and it still spilled over the top of the pan.

It was definitely a lofty cake – perhaps a bit too much.  We will have it with berries and a bit of creme anglais tomorrow for dessert!

Tonight for dinner we had clams with pasta.  My sister-in-law was coming through Shelton yesterday and stopped at Tom Farmer Oysters (which should probably be called Tom Farmer Oysters AND Clams) and picked me up 5# of steamers!   After much debate (eat them plain – all by myself(!) – dipped in melted butter or do something with them??)  Weighing my alternatives and knowing that I was going to have six for dinner tonight I opted for pasta and used a recipe of Emeril’s and made it with bowties rather than linguine.  Very tasty indeed but no pictures because we ate it before I thought to get out the camera.  This brings up the the biggest problem I have with Food Blogging – the only time I think to take pictures is when the crew is late coming in for dinner and I have a couple extra minutes to set up a shot.  The other problem? Remembering to take a BEFORE picture to document the process.

Tomorrow Karen Olsen of Blackjack Valley Farm will process her first batch of broilers for the year and she is going to drop off a couple for me!  I guess that we will be having chicken in the next day or so.  Shannon and I have a batch of Red Rangers in the brooder right now and I will have about a dozen roosters to butcher late in August, but that is a long time to wait for chicken dinner!  I don’t have any definite plans for those chickens yet, but I do have a before shot!

And a possible after!

I promise, I will work on the photo thing!

If you want to learn more about raising chickens there are two upcoming opportunities to learn more about keeping feathered friends!

  • Backyard Chickens – Tuesday, May 10th, 2-3 pm at the Port Orchard Library.  Shannon and I will be giving a free presentation on backyard chickens.  Free to the public.
  • The Kitsap Poultry Grower’s Cooperative Meeting.  Also on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 6:30pm at the Kitsap Humane Society Training Center, 9167 Dickey Rd. NW in Silverdale. There is no cost to attend and non-members are welcome. More information is available at the KPGC website at http://www.kitsappoultry.com/.  This month’s special guest is Fred Berman, WSDA Small Farms and Direct Marketing Program, who will discuss current state regulations for raising, marketing and selling poultry and poultry products for farmers and other’s interested in raising poultry.

Chicken Stew with Ricotta-Chive Dumplings

Chris Henry posted my recipe for Chicken Cacciatore over on Peninsular Thinking as a follow up to her story on our Chickens 101 class.  That is my favorite recipe for stewing hens, but Harley suggested his favorite was this chicken stew and dumpling recipe.  It is pretty good too.  It is from Chefs on the Farm featuring the Quillisascut Farm School with photographs by Harley.  Check out the review here.  This is a “spring” stew because it features chives.  Winter variations can feature dried herbs or sage or rosemary as well.

Place a large (or two small) stewing hen in a pot with 1 onion, 3 stalks celery, 3 large carrots, two bay leaves, sage, thyme, parsley and 1 Tbsp pepper corns.  Simmer 2-3 hours on low.  Strain stock, discard vegetables, shred chick off the bones and reserve.  This can also be done in a crock pot on high for 4-5 hours or 8-10 hours on low.

For the Stew:

  • 2 Tbsp chicken fat or olive oil
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 1 pound carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk green garlic or 3-4 cloves thinly sliced
  • 4 c stock
  • 4 c shredded chicken
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme (1 Tbsp dry)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Saute veggies in oil or fat until onions are tender, add stock, bring to simmer and cook until vegetables are tender.  Add shredded chicken and time.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (make your own)
  • 1/2 c fresh chived, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c corn meal
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 3 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together, do not over mix.  Drop by spoonfuls into the simmering stew.  (Tip: use an ice cream scoop for nice round dumplings.  Cookie-sized for small ones, regular-sized for big ones).  Simmer small dumplings 4 minutes or until tender, larger dumplings will take 7-9 minutes.  Turn them over and simmer for 2-3 minutes longer.  Serve hot.  You will be tempted to lick the bowl. Winter Variation:  Potatoes, with sage in the dumplings instead of chives is also good.

Farmers on the Town

So, the other night Shannon and I put on our name tags (since it makes us look so much more official!) and went out on the town!  The Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance monthly meeting was a Meet the Farmer / Farmers Market Preview event and Potluck!  I am not saying that we were the country mice, but it was nice to get out and chat with Farmer Friends.  We put the WSU board up with the rest of the farmer displays and tucked into some amazing local food.  My new favorite?  Pickled Garlic Scapes!  Spicy, beautiful to look at and very tasty!  I am thinking that is what my scapes are going to do this spring!  I can’t wait for them to come up so I can get picklin’.

The rest of the meal was pretty tasty as well.  I must confess to a bit of pride myself – I can hold my own at a potluck!  But there was some tough competition!  Lots of varieties of bread, deviled eggs (yummo!), spring greens, chicken curry and nan bread…all washed down with Hummingbird Hill soda.  If you have never been to a KCAA meeting be sure and come next month!  You will be fed — physically and mentally — because they always have interesting speakers and programs.  For a complete summary of the event check out Brandy Williams’ post over at Kitsap Cuisine

Here is a pix from the smart phone – which apparently is the WRONG model for the awesome camera!

Speaking of picklin’ — Shannon recently posted about her food storage efforts — and canning and preservation are a huge part of that.  “In a Pickle” is her April class — check it out and get ready for summer veggies!

Like Shannon, I also have a large pantry, full of jams and jellies, pickles and sauces, fruit and juices, pasta, rice, beans, flour, and spices.  In addition, there are three (!) freezers full of meat and frozen fruit, berries, and veggies.  Right now we have about half a beef left from last summer, 10 stewing hens, a couple fryers, and a hog that we added to the larder last week.  There is also 10# of rendered lard — because you just never know when you  might need to make a killer pie crust for that rhubarb pie!  And, until the middle of February we also had onions, potatoes, carrots and garlic.  We still have a bit of garlic left — but the last of the stored vegetables are gone.  March to July is rice and pasta time!

We don’t buy many groceries — but we also spend a lot of time putting up.  Why?  Well, it tastes good, it is good for you, we know where all that food came from so there is no question about whether it is safe or healthy for the family, and it is thrifty!  The trade-off for our grocery independence?  We spend lots of warm summer nights sitting around the kitchen table snapping beans, hours peeling and canning peaches and tomatoes, early mornings in the garden picking baby cucumbers, and more than a couple cold fall afternoons butchering chickens!  It never stops from jammin’ with the berries in June until mid-November, by which time you have lost your will to can and are very thankful to be done.  A constant stream of empty jars come upstairs and go back down full.  Then abruptly, the process reverses and a couple at a time the jars in the basement pantry march back upstairs.  Peach-Orange-Pineapple Jam to slather on warm bread on cold winter mornings, dill pickles to crunch on with tomato soup and grilled cheese for weekend lunches, peaches for cobbler with whipped cream (thanks to Alexis the Princess Cow!) after Sunday dinners of roast beef, mashed potatoes and Bread and Butter Pickles.  I “go shopping” in the pantry a couple times a week all winter long and the emptied jars pile up on the counter until there is no more space, then I grab a box and tote them back downstairs where they wait on the bottom shelf of the canning pantry for the process to begin again!   This annual “uncanning” is more than an exercise in nostalgia — now it is hip and sustainable.  People blog about it — there are facebook pages devoted to preservation — and people are getting back on the train.   So, join Shannon and I this year as we share opportunities to fill your pantry in our classes, offer tips and recipes, and laugh a little at our failures (because there will be some — trust me on this!)

Don’t know how to get started?  It all begins with planting some seeds!

Kitsap Farm Calendar 1-21-11

Evening everyone!  Just got back from the first night of the 2011 WSU Agricultural Entrepreneurish and Business Planning Class!  Awesome group of folks – lots of enthusiasm for farming!

I also spent some time cruisin’ the blogroll tonight and read a great post on Dropstone Farm’s Blog about cooking in the Dark Days!  Check it out!  We have also been working on the Dark Days Challenge here – but haven’t blogged about it.  Maybe tomorrow while I am getting ready for the Cheese Making Class on Saturday (ack!)  Of course, the last time I got doing something else while I was making cheese it didn’t go that well.   Cheese needs your attention!

Local Events

Growing Groceries – Organically
January 8 – February 19

Grow your groceries organically – a series of four classes designed and taught by WSU Kitsap Master Gardeners to help you create your own backyard organic vegetable garden. WSU Extension Office, MG Program, 345 6th Street, Bremerton, WA 98337. http://kitsap.wsu.edu/Organic_Gardening_2011.pdf

WSU Kitsap Extension “Cultivating Success: Agricultural Entrepreneurship” Course
January 19 – April 13, 2011, 6:30 – 9:00pm

New and existing farmers will gain skills in business planning and direct marketing, learn to evaluate resources, legal and management issues, marketing strategies, budgets and financial statements, and develop a business plan for their farm enterprise. Norm Dicks Government Ctr. in Bremerton, WA. $225 farm/family/enterprise. For more information or to sign up for this course, contact Arno Bergstrom, WSU Kitsap County Extension at 360-337-7225, or awbergstrom@wsu.edu. Register here: http://kitsap.wsu.edu/ag/business_course.htm

West Sound Bee Keepers Association
January 18, 7:00pm

At Stedman’s Bees. info@WestSoundBees.org

Kitsap Mason Farm Bureau
January 20, 7:00pm

Belfair QFC conference room. For info: Jerry Garner Jlgarner2@embarqmail.com

Art of Making Cheese
January 22, 1:00-4:00pm
January 24, 6:00-9:00pm

Got milk? Learn to make cheese! Soft and hard cheese making techniques you can use in your home kitchen! Jan 22nd at the Silverdale Community Center. Jan 24th at the Fairgrounds in the President’s Hall Kitchen. Registration info: http://kitsap.wsu.edu or shannon.harkness@wsu.edu or (360) 337-7157

NEW!! Backyard Chickens / Chickens 101
February 5, 1:00-4:00pm

The class will cover care and brooding of chicks, equipment, housing for adult birds, feeds and feeding, chicken health, manure management, chicken breeds, and much more! At the Norm Dicks Government Center, Room 406, 345 6th Street, Bremerton WA 98337 Cost: $35 Contact: shannon.harkness@wsu.edu or dfish@wsu.edu

Canning 101
February 12, 1:00-4:00pm
February 22, 6:00-9:00pm

Preserving food sounds a little daunting to those who have never learned how to safely do it. Home food preservation does require knowledge, equipment, and time. Join us as we learn the basics of food preservation in this 3 hour workshop. Offered Saturday, February 12th at Silverdale Community Center and February 22nd at President’s Hall Kitchen. Registration info: http://kitsap.wsu.edu or shannon.harkness@wsu.edu or (360) 337-7157.

Westsound Small Farms Expo!
March 5, 8:00am-5:00pm

Save the date for the first Westsound Small Farms Expo! Classes for farmers and ranchers. Topics include agritourism, season extension techniques, managing mud, pastured poultry, network with local farmers, visit vendors and much, much more! Registration info: http://kitsap.wsu.edu or shannon.harkness@wsu.edu or (360) 337-7157.

Regional Events

NEW!! Orcharding on the Westside
January 22, 9:00am-4:00pm

Topics include the basics of tree fruit production, varieties and different fruit kinds, rootstocks, nutrient management, pest management, irrigation, orchard layout planting, pruning, and harvest indices. $75 per person and includes a catered box lunch. Location is Ed’s Apples in Sultan, 13420 339th Ave SE just off SR 2. www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/136747 or Karie Christensen at (425) 357-6039, e-mail klchristen@cahnrs.wsu.edu.

NEW!! Form I-9 Compliance Training.
January 25, 1:30–4:30pm

Hands on training in the proper procedures for completing and retaining the Form I-9; Latest information on responding to a government audit; Procedures for you to conduct an I-9 self audit. At the WFB Building – 975 Carpenter Rd NE, Lacey, WA 98516. http://www.wsfb.com/educationtraining

Country Living Expo & Cattlemen’s Winterschool
January 29, 7:30am – 5:00pm

Over 150 classes are offered from raising backyard chickens, chain saw maintenance, naturally dye wool and fabric, organic gardening, to learning about having your own family milk cow. $60 (inc 5 class sessions, a smoked prime rib or gourmet vegetarian lunch, and all-day trade show. At Stanwood High School. http://skagit.wsu.edu/countrylivingexpo/

NEW!! Saving the Family Farm
February 4, 7:30am-3:30pm

Join Union Bank, WealthCounsel, LLC, and the Washington State Conservation Commission for an event for farm families and attorneys and others interested in preserving the family farm. At the Union Bank headquarters located at 332 Southwest Everett Mall Way. Info: Amy Ward 206.587.4751 / amy.ward@unionbank.com. Reg by Jan 28th.

Washington State Swine Information Day
February 4, 8:45am-5:30pm

Presentations organized to meet the diverse and unique needs of the Pacific Northwest swine producer. Topics include transportation requirements on Washington highways, animal handling, basic swine nutrition and show pig carcass quality. Organized and sponsored by Washington Pork Producers, National Pork Board, and Washington State University Extension. Pillar Rock, Moses Lake, WA. Contact Sarah M. Smith 509-754-2011, Ext. 413 or smithsm@wsu.edu

NEW!! 7th Annual WFB Labor Conference
February 16

At Central Washington University in Ellensburg – the only conference dedicated to the labor and employment needs of Washington’s seasonal employers. Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna will provide the keynote address. http://www.wsfb.com/educationtraining

NEW!! Basic-Plus Cheesemaking Shortcourse
February 16-18

This 3-day offering is intended for the beginning cheesemaker who is serious about pursuing Cheesemaking as a business activity at the farmstead or artisan level. Avid hobbyist and enthusiasts are welcome too! Lynden, WA. Info: Marc Bates cheeseguy@charter.net 509-595-8652. $529. Registration: http://www.wsu.edu/creamery/basicplus.htm#

Northwest Washington Farm to Table Trade Meeting!
February 22

Grow your business with new market connections between local buyers and producers! This day-long gathering is designed to foster market opportunities for local farmers, ranchers, chefs, distributors, restaurateurs, processors, caterers, grocers and anyone who has a stake in the NW Washington food economy. Saint Joseph Peace Health Hospital Conference Center, Bellingham. lridenour@sconnect.org or call 360-647-7093.

NEW!! Dormant Pruning
February 26, 10:00am-3:00pm

Topics covered include the basics of pruning with an emphasis on the techniques and goals of dormant pruning. You’ll learn what issues can be addressed or exacerbated, the physiology of a tree’s response to pruning, along with what to look for when deciding to prune, or not to prune. Dress for weather & mud; bring gloves & pruners for practice. www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/136751 $65 per person. Andrew Corbin, corbina@wsu.edu (425) 357-6012.

NEW!! The Puget Sound Food Network Training
March 7

Aimed at helping our members take full advantage of their annual membership. These one-on-one trainings will equip attendees with an in depth knowledge of how to use the PSFN site, a customized online profile, and updated marketplace listings. The PSFN Operations Manager and Account Managers will be on hand to discuss how PSFN can help grow your business! At the NABC office, 419 S 1st St, Mount Vernon, WA 98273. Info: Ann Leason ann@psfn.org