Local Food Updates

  • Island Food Circle Guide
  • Nettle chocolate chip cookies

IslandFoodCircle logo 3-8in copy 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

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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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Free Permaculture workshops and presentations

If the word “permaculture” doesn’t  roll off your tongue, then you probably haven’t met Chuck Estin, our local permaculture expert. Chuck has been practicing and teaching the principles of permaculture for many years.  This year he’s launching a series of free workshops and presentations to introduce more people to this growing movement, which was developed in the 1970’s as a way to create sustainable and self-sufficient agricultural eco-systems.


For anyone interested in sustainable food production and communities, these workshops are a generous gift. Chuck said, “My interns and I are offering these presentations at Real Foods Cafe, and Saturday workshops at various locations around the Island. All presentations and workshops are free, because we would like to encourage more local food growing and community self-sufficiency.”


Chuck is also in the process of modifying the Lytle Road Community Garden, a private community garden managed by the neighbors.  It will include a whole permaculture edible landscape in addition to the pre-existing annual veggie beds, and will be available for viewing as a “demonstration” permaculture site for visitors.


Whether you attend a workshop or visit the community garden, you’ll find lots of ‘food for thought”! Here’s the list of free presentations and workshops.  If you’d like more information, please contact Chuck at:

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Workshops are 1:00 to 5:00 on Saturday afternoons as various locations around the Island. Each workshop will have an informational component and a longer hands-on part.

June 19


4380 Old Mill Road
(from Winslow, take Wyatt to "head of the bay"; continue up steep hill and take a left on Old Mill Rd; go 1.6 miles just past left hand bend in road; site is on the left side)

Hands-on preparation of a variety of different mushroom cultivation systems.   Take home a sample mushroom kit for growing your own oyster mushrooms in your house.  Please bring cordless drill with 5/16th inch drill bits if available.  The workshop is at a property recently purchased to develop a "mini"-Permaculture demonstration and teaching farm.  Some time will be spent looking at this site through the eyes of "Permaculture designers" to share the process being used to design this suburban farm site.  Please let Chuck know if you plan to attend.

July 17

Winter gardening/Garden bed construction

Learn to  create a variety of different garden beds to choose what the best system is for your needs. Essentials of winter gardens (which should be planted in July-August).

August 21

Fruit trees:  grafting, summer pruning and year-round maintenance of fruit trees and berries

August is the best time to prune “water-sprouts” on fruit trees. Learn by doing pruning and bud-grafting of new fruit trees.  Year-round maintenance for healthy fruiting trees and shrubs.

September 18

Plant propagation

Why buy plants from us when you can propagate your own? Propagation methods from cuttings, layering, root division and more.

October 23

Sheet mulching  and garlic

October is the time to plant garlic. Got an empty field? Learn this low-work, low-maintenance method of garden bed production that is perfect for garlic.





Presentations begin promptly at 8:00 pm, and will finish at 9:00 pm. Informal questions and discussion may continue afterwards. Real Foods Café will host the presentations.

May 13

Spring garden amendments and Seed Saving Exchange

Getting ready for spring planting:

Test your soil to add the right amendments to revitalize your garden for spring planting.

Seed exchange: bring your own saved seeds to trade with others. Packets of Fedco’s best open-pollinated seeds for sale.

June 10

Permaculture Design  and Retro-fitting the suburbs into sustainable communities

Principles of Permaculture design for the backyard, farm or neighborhood.

How could we “retro-fit” the suburbs to become food-producing, sustainable communities?

July 8

Greenhouses: solar, conventional and growing strategies

Examples of solar and conventional greenhouses for the Pacific Northwest. Crops, seasons and efficient food production in our area.

August 12

Water catchment and storage

Going beyond the “50 gallon rain barrel”  How  to design a water catchment system appropriate for your irrigation needs. Calculations, example systems and methodologies.

September 9

Composting,  vermiculture, and chickens

Turn your waste into garden gold. Want it fast, or want it no-work? Critters can help you out: worms & chickens.

October 14

Food storage and preservation

Solar and conventional food dryers; traditional preservation; fermentation systems and more.






Workshops are 1:00 to 5:00 on Saturday afternoons as various locations around the Island. Each workshop will have an informational component and a longer hands-on part.


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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