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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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March Edible Gardening Tips

OOPS! Not spring-like yet - this cold and wet spell we had has gotten us working on our patience! On 3/4/11 my soil temp was hovering between 35 and 40 degrees but we have had a nicer weekend so it should start to come up now. According to the chart below (from http://naturalgardening.blogspot.com) about the only things that will germinate at these low Germination charttemps are spinach and lettuce, and with our very wet soils that might not even happen. If you are frustrated, join the club. All you can do is build a hoop house (plans were discussed last month) and let the soil both warm up and dry up some so as not to rot the seeds. A soil thermometer is a nifty gadget and can be bought locally at nurseries or ordered online. 

Please note the green indicator - the most practical temp for planting!  Keep your eye on the thermometer for warmer soil temps.  Realize also that for some temps planting  them in the ground might mean they may not have enough time to mature.  You might need to start them inside or buy from a vendor.

Indoors or in a cold frame, onions, peas and broccoli can be started in pots. Rig up a simple cold frame with some plywood and an old window frame to control the temp and moisture of the Cold Framepotted soil, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't get too hot or dry - open some  during the day if not raining and close at night. Or just wait until the Farmers' Markets opens to buy starts from your favorite vendors. A heat mat and grow lights will allow you to plant many seeds. Some warm weather veggies can be started now but only using the mat and light - use the chart to see what temps to put the heat mat at for germination of things like tomatoes.

For outdoor work, pruning fruit trees and grapes and weeding are about the only things to do except wait. Digging in cold wet soil is not good for the soil so have patience!

Mason bees are stirring in their cocoons and will come out when the temps are around 50 degrees to pollinate your fruit trees. Put up new, clean houses/tubes for them and put in a new location if you have been bothered by mites.
 
Plan on attending the Peninsula Fruit Club Spring Grafting Show on March 26th from 11-5pm at the Silverdale Community Center.  Get your fruit questions answered, buy rootstock and scion wood, make a tree, learn about pests and diseases and stock up on footies and other supplies.

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.