Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap Peninsula have a wealth of small farms producing vegetables, fruits, meats and dairy products. The Puget Sound area also has miles of shorelines and access to fresh and saltwater fisheries. And there are a growing number of local food artisans creating fine cheeses, breads, wines and much more. Finally, we have an ever-growing list of restaurants and food retailers who include local food in their offerings. Look for the Island Food Circle decal on their door.
The distribution system hasn’t quite caught up with all of this local abundance, so buying it isn’t as easy
Makes about 20 cookies
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup of sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked nettles (squeeze out the cooking water and finely chop, it should look like frozen spinach)
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 400F. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt, then add to butter mixture, and mix
Find vegetable starts for your garden, meet local food producers and taste their wares, learn how to join a CSA, and much more at the first annual Spring into Island Food Fair on Saturday April 4 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Bainbridge Island Grange Hall, 10340 Madison Ave NE.
Vegetable gardeners will have the opportunity to select from a large selection of garden starts from Bainbridge Island's Butler Green Farms. Several varieties of kale, plus peas, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces, bok choi, chard, cabbage, beets and spinach starts will be available for purchase. All start sales will benefit the Bainbridge Island Grange.
In recent years, the number of food products being made on Bainbridge Island has grown dramatically. Jams and jellies made with Island-grown fruit, spice mixes using locally-grown herbs, sausage from local pigs, sauerkraut, wines, and much more are now available from area producers. Attendees to the event will have the opportunity to meet the producers, taste their products, and purchase product to take home. Participants include Bainbridge Island Vineyards, Jake's Pickup, Holly Lane Gardens, Sweetlife Farm, and many more,
In addition, there will be representatives from local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. CSA's offer a weekly share of a farm's production in exchange for an annual fee. In addition to produce farmers such as Butler Green Farm, Farmhouse Organics, Heyday Farm, and Persephone Farm, there is also a Community Supported Shellfish Farm offering fresh oysters from Island beaches.
The event is sponsored by the Bainbridge Island Grange Hall, Butler Green Farm, and Sound Food.
Is this the year that you'll ensure yourself a weekly supply of fresh local food by subscribing to a CSA? Short for "Community Supported Agriculture", CSA programs enable you to buy a share of one farmer's crop by paying an up front fee, which usually equates to about $25/week (or less for half shares). This helps the farmer by providing much needed cash in the spring to help pay for seeds and equipment. In exchange, you receive a share of the farmer's harvest in weekly installments throughout the season. There are many different flavors of CSA programs. Most of them now offer a lot of options and flexibility about what subscribers receive every week, and where and how it's delivered. Read on for a list of local CSA’s for 2014 and their contact information.
Butler Green Farms
Brian MacWhorter is the master farmer who, with his wife Amy Kuhl, owns Butler Green Farms. For the past 29 years he has been farming on Bainbridge; he now works six different farms on the Island. Butler Green’s CSA program has over 150 members. In addition to fresh vegetables and eggs, MacWhorter offers pastured pork, beef, chicken and lamb to his CSA subscribers. Brian is also helping to foster the next generation of Island farmers through his intern program and his collaboration with the Educulture program for children.
Butler Green CSA members are invited to shop at the CSA store each week, with the amount of their purchases deducted from their remaining balance. The Butler Green farm store is in an historic farm at 10152 Valley Road in Rolling Bay, across the road and west of Bay Hay and Feed. The 2014 CSA has already begun, and MacWhorter is offering salad greens and a few other early crops at the CSA store, open every Tuesday and Thursday to members only. New this year: Butler Green's CSA will be open Monday through Thursday during the summer months.
A full CSA share, which is usually enough to keep a family of four in veggies through the summer, costs $500 at Butler Green. You can "re-up" at any time to add more money to your account. Half shares are available for two-person families, at $250. The easiest
Cooking with your children and as an entire family is a way to bring everyone together daily for a shared experience. Barbara Kingsolver, in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, reminds us of the importance of finding family time in the kitchen. She says, “The time we spend making dinner is hugely important because it gets us together after all our separate agendas, and when we sit down to eat we have a sense that the food in front of us is special.” Articles in this new series, will help you and your family put together simple, delicious meals with the special people in your life. Look for tips, resources, and recipes to make it all a little more manageable.
Part 1: Get Ready!
Before you can start cooking, you need to make sure that you're really ready. Is your kitchen a comfortable place for everyone, regardless of age, skill level, and attention span? Setting aside a little time to think about this can go a long way towards eliminating daily frustration. Here are a few suggestions for properly preparing your physical and mental space.
Prepare the physical environment.
Where will everyone “be”? Do you have enough space to share and both get your jobs done? Can your child safely reach the counter top or will he be more comfortable sitting at a table? When children are very young, you might want to prepare part of your meal sitting on the floor. A toddler-height counter and sink can quickly and frugally be constructed using a metal food service bin. (see photo ) Step stools will need a convenient storage space so that they can be independently accessed by the child when needed.
Collect some tools.
Child-sized utensils, cloths, boards, and bowls go a long way towards making tasks less frustrating for little ones. Storing children's tools in a designated area and making them available all the time will cut down on prep time. Look around for what you already may have and re-purpose it. For example, glass pint containers become pitchers that can be kept at a child's height in the refrigerator. “Please get the milk out,” becomes a realistic request. Small metal scissors, when kept washed in the silverware drawer, can be used for cutting all manner of things.