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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 artisans creating fine cheeses, breads, wines and much more.

The distribution system hasn’t quite caught up with all of this local abundance, so buying it isn’t as easy as walking into your neighborhood supermarket. You need to know where to look. "Think local first" is the mantra. Start by looking for what you need close to home.

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If you love to cook, and you’ve ever wished for a commercial, licensed kitchen right here on Bainbridge Island, you’re in luck!   Would you like to:   make value-added products from your farm produce? Have a legal kitchen from which to do catering? Have a professionally-equipped kitchen in which to take or offer cooking classes? Have a space to do big baking or canning projects, by yourself or with a group?

We’re in the planning stages of just such a kitchen, to be a part of the new BARN artisan center, and we

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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

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Terra Bella Farm: Two girls making it happen

I visited Terra Bella Farm on a warm, sunny morning to talk with two young farmers, Emily Magnotto and Rachel Fesler-Schnitzer, while they harvested kale, swiss chard and other fresh vegetables.

The two became friends in 9th grade and over the years developed a farming dream, nourished by Emily's time living in Italy and Rachel's work in Hawaii with WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farmers).   

The dream started to turn real in the fall of 2007 when they cleared and planted a cover crop on some land that Emily's family owned on Bainbridge. The land was overgrown though it had been part of the original Wardwell Farm.  Since then they've built a greenhouse, expanded the crop production and successfully marketed their produce. You'll find some of their fresh veggies at local restaurants such as Hitchcock, Pegasus and Arbutus, as well as being available at the Bainbridge Farmers' Market and the Sound Food Ferry Farm Stand.

This year they've added delicious soups to their offerings at the Bainbridge Farmers' Market.  Emily, who grew up on Bainbridge, creates the soups at a friend's commercial kitchen with input from her husband Giuseppe. Rachel works at the farm full-time and relishes the time spent in the field as well as the opportunity for 'knowledge expansion." When asked for her farming secrets to survival, Rachel's immediate response was "disco and green tea!"

Chard at Terra Bella As I nibbled tender green beans and snap peas at the farm, I found it easy to share their delight in connecting to the land and the community through teamwork and a dream of 'two girls making it happen."

What's Fresh

Bainbridge Island Farmers' Market: Opens April 12, 2014
Poulsbo Farmers' Market  Saturdays: Opens April 5, 2014
Suquamish Farmers' Market: Opens April 16, 2014

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Island Food Circle

Island Food Circle Guide

Organizes food sources by category so that it's
easy to locate an outlet that's convenient to you.