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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

Ingredients:
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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Sound Food's weekly gardening tips 6-1

Throughout the summer we'll be talking to experienced Kitsap County gardeners to find out what they are doing in their gardens that week. We won’t give a lot of details – just some ideas to send you off to your bookshelf, library, local garden store or Google for more information. If you’d like to receive these updates in your email each week, sign up here.

Here's an update for the first week of June:
After being away from the garden for nearly 2 weeks…you can image the results.  Weeds everywhere…but also tremendous growth with many of my new plantings.  With 4 days off during the Memorial Day Holiday, I dove into the weeding, cleaning up most of my raspberry, strawberry, and flower, and vegetable beds.  With the extended period of warm weather, I planted my bean seeds…which in just one week…are starting to come up (hurray).
Last spring, I ended up planting my bush bean 3 times before they finally took due to the cold weather and poor germination.
 
My tomato and squash plants all seems to be adjusting to being outside the greenhouse.  Some leaf damage, but for the most part all survived.  Several tomato looked particularly sad, but with the warm weather, even they are starting to perk up.  I plan on staking them today, as several are now nearly a foot tall and starting to lean.  Overall, I have 24 tomato plants…as well as two Japanese egg plants.  I haven’t had much luck with the latter…but decided to try again.  Both are in containers…which I will move to my greenhouse this fall, assuming they have fruited.
 
Lettuce and spinach are doing great…with lot of growth.  My cabbage, broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, and Kale are also doing well.  I placed a plastic netting/row cover over them to prevent cabbage moth damage…only to encourage the slugs to move in.  I am trying an experiment this year in allowing some volunteer swiss chard, lambs quarters (which some consider a weed, but makes a great salad), and chick weed to grow among my cabbage/broccoli+…as a way of encouraging spiders.  I have found them great assets at keeping the cabbage moth larvae under control. So off with the netting, sprinkled some more sluggo, and then hope for the spiders to do their work.
 
Most of my fruit trees are doing well.  Looks like a good crop for most of my plums and frost peach.  Last year, these trees had very little fruit…due to a cold/damp spring.  This year was somewhat drier during the blooming period.  My apples are also doing fairly well.  I am particularly proud of my “large apple variety” tree…which I have grafted a number of the large heirloom varieties (Wolf River, 20 Oz., Alexander, and King).
This is the first year that it has a number of apples forming…so I’m looking forward to seeing how big these apples will get.  Next month, I will need to start wrapping the apples in footies.  Normally, the first of July is a good target date, but with all the warm weather, I may start in the next week or so to prevent apple maggot damage.  Finally, my pears are the least successful this year.  The pear mite is taking it toll and I will need to do a better job of spraying the trees with a dormant oil this winter to suffocate the mites.
 
Bees galore in my raspberry, logan berry plants.  My strawberries have been blooming for some time now and the first ripe fruit should start appearing in the next week or so. 
 
Finally, my first planting of corn is a 3 inches tall.  So I may very well make knee high by the 4th of July.  I also planted a second batch (this time seeds directly into the ground)…to prolong my corn harvest this year. 
 
Hope this helps.  Got to go.  Darren

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.