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. If you can’t find it there, expand your radius a bit and find what you can as close to home as possible.
You can see the difference the minute you crack open an egg from a farm-raised hen that spends most of her time pecking around outdoors. The yolks are a rich orange yellow. And the taste is rich and eggy. Now all you need to do is find them. Here are a few options -- and remember that local hens are in the mood to lay eggs only from about May to November:
• Go to the Sound Food Local Farm Map, and go to the Eggs category. Call the egg providers closest to you to find out about hours and availability.
• Look for signs posted at the end of driveways all over Kitsap County offering fresh eggs. There are lots of backyard farmers whose hens provide more eggs than they need.
• Visit your local Farmers’ Market. Many vendors offer eggs there. One tip: get there early, as eggs usually sell out before the end of the day.
• Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. Many of them offer eggs as part of the weekly selection.
• Bay Hay (Retail store in the Rolling Bay neighborhood of Bainbridge Island), sells eggs from Island farms http://bayhayandfeed.com/
• Hitchcock Delicatessan on Winslow Way in downtaown Bainbridge Island sells fresh local eggs: http://www.hitchcockdeli.com/
• Pane d’Amore (Retail store in Lynwood Center on the south end of Bainbridge), sells eggs from Island farms http://panedamore.com/
The Puget Sound offers a wide variety of local seafood. There is a local group growing oysters on the shores of Bainbridge Island which will be offered for sale later this year. And there are local fisherman and shellfish farms throughout the Northwest. Here is some information to help you get started:
Join a shellfish CSA or grow your own: Puget Sound Restoration Fund is collaborating with Sound Food and other groups to operate a Community Shellfish Farm on Bainbridge Island. To volunteer to help, learn more, of join the CSA contact Morgan Rohrbach at 206-780-6947 or go to http://www.restorationfund.org/projects-shellfishfarm-bainbridge.php
Shellfish farms and fishermen:
• Baywater Shellfish, Joth Davis, sells at the Bainbridge Farmers Market. Joth Davis, 206-799-7691
• Taylor Shellfish Farms, Bow and Shelton http://www.taylorshellfishfarms.com/
• F/V Ocean. Bainbridge resident Paul Svornich sells troll-caught albacore, frozen loins and canned, July - Sep. At the Bainbridge Farmers' Market or call 206-842-6036
• Lummi Island reefnet salmon: http://www.lummiislandwild.com/ Available at Town & Country market and Central Market in season (August – September)
• Community Shellfish Farm on Bainbridge: 206-780-6947
• Troller Point Fisheries sells frozen-at-sea Alaskan seafood at the Poulsbo dock a couple of times a year. Their spot prawns are incredibly good. Get on their mailing list at http://www.trollerpoint.com/index.htm
• Pane d’Amore carries Cape Cleare salmon, from a frozen-at-sea boat out of Port Townsend.
• Town&Country and Central Markets carry Lummi Reefnet salmon and local shellfish in season, plus a wide variety of fish and shellfish, some sustainable and some not. The sales staff at the fish counter in both stores can tell you how and where all of the seafood was caught.
Farming is flourishing in the Puget Sound region. It is becoming increasingly easy to buy produce during the season. Access is limited during winter months; the best answer is to stock up and preserve during the harvest.
Even though few farmers can afford the cost and time to be certified by the government as organic, all area farmers included on the Sound Food Map use organic and sustainable farming methods.
Because not all farmers welcome shoppers on a regular basis (they’re farming), it’s better to obtain your produce at a central distribution point. See below for some of the best sources for local produce. For a map and information about Westsound farms, visit http://www.soundfood.org/soundfoodmaps/soundfoodmap.html.
For information about what is ripe in the Puget Sound area right now, visit Seattle-based Seasonal Cornucopia. Produce Sources:
Local retailers that carry local produce:
• Bay Hay (Retail store in the Rolling Bay neighborhood of Bainbridge Island), sells produce from Island farms http://bayhayandfeed.com/ • Town & Country Market on Bainbridge Island: Look for the bright green “Locally Grown” stickers (the "NW Grown" stickers come from a radius that includes Oregon, Idaho, and Montana). T&C carries Butler Green salad mix, tomatoes, summer squash and corn in season, and local berries from Bainbridge Island Farms in season)
• Central Market Poulsbo: same as above, and carries Farmhouse Organics produce in season.
• Pane D’Amore (carries produce from Tani Creek Farm in season) in Lynwood Center on the sound end of Bainbridge. http://panedamore.com/
• Bainbridge Island Farms: Open seasonally for strawberry (June) and raspberry (July) U-pick Call 206-842-1429 for information and schedule
• Bainbridge Island Blueberries: Open seasonally for blueberry (August) U-pick, call 780-8407 for information and schedule
Government regulations make meat one of the most challenging products to obtain locally. Unless meat is processed in a USDA-certified facility, it cannot be sold by the piece through local distribution. And there are no local USDA slaughterhouses in Kitsap County. Local producers are hoping to share the services of one of the new mobile slaughterhouses – but until then local options are limited.
If you want to expand your search to find grass-fed meat produced outside the Kitsap Peninsula, visit the excellent Washington State map of meat producers on the "eatwild" website: http://www.eatwild.com/products/washington.html
Meat animals can be purchased by the whole or half directly from the farmer, and then processed and delivered to the purchaser. This is the only way that farmers can sell non-USDA inspected meat to consumers. USDA inspected meat can be sold by the cut.
• Clark Farm, Offering grass-fed beef from their farm in Sequim and at the Poulsbo Farmers Market. 360-681-5499
• Colvin Ranch: Grass-finished beef raised near Tenino, Washington. Recommended by several regular Island customers. http://www.colvinranch.com/
• Mountain Beef: Mark and Amy Ramsden have been bringing grassfed beef to Bainbridge from their ranch southeast of Walla Walla for many years. They deliver each year to the fall Harvest Fair on Bainbridge. http://mountain-beef.com/index.htm
• Rolling Bay Farm: Pastured lamb and pork by special order from their Bainbridge Island farm: 206-855-1850 http://rollingbayfarm.com/
USDA meat by-the-cut sources, direct purchase:
Some producers take their meat animals to USDA facilities, or have access to mobile USDA slaughterhouses.
• Butler Green Farm, Brian MacWhorter, offers pastured chicken, pork, beef and lamb through his CSA and at Bay Hay Farmstand. 360-620-5181 http://www.butlergreenfarms.com/
• Lopez Island Farm: Beef, lamb and pork. Delivers to Bainbridge Island approximately every six weeks by advance order only. Visit www.lopezislandfarm.com
• Short’s Family Farm: This Chimacum farm sells USDA grass-fed beef by the piece. 1594 Center Road, Chimacum, 350-732-4601, http://www.shortsfamilyfarm.com/
• Walker Mountain Meadows Farm: Sells pastured beef, pork and lamb at the Bainbridge Farmers Market. Farm at 82 Leadville Ave Quilcene, Wa. (360) 765-4747
• Bay Hay (Retail store in the Rolling Bay neighborhood of Bainbridge Island), sells frozen pasture-raised meat from local farms that is USDA inspected. http://bayhayandfeed.com/
• BB Ranch: a local butcher shop In Seattle's Pike Street Market selling beef, pork, lamb, goat, chicken, duck, and eggs raised locally by farmers in Lopez Island, Bow, Duvall, Marysville, and ranchers in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties as well as Eastern Washington. http://bb-ranch.com/
• Hitchcock Delicatessan and Charcuterie: In downtown Bainbridge Island. The in-house butcher shop offers dry-aged pastured beef and pork, Mat Hatcher chickens, house-roasted meats that are sliced to order. plus a growing selection of charcuteris including bacon, pancetta, cured lonza, cured chorizo, cured sopressata, fresh pork & garlic sausage, fresh sweet italian sausage, duck prosciutto, duck liver mousse, braunschweiger, and pork rillettes. http://www.hitchcockdeli.com/
• La Boucherie: this is the retail outlet for Sea Breeze Farm on Vashon Island. It's a combo butcher shop and restaurant, with a great selection of fresh pork, lamb and chickens from the farm. It's an easy day trip from Kitsap County via the Southworth ferry terminal south of Bremerton. 17635 100th Ave SW, Vashon Island. 206-567-4628
• Rain Shadow Meats: A local butcher shop in Seattle selling local meats and house-made charcuterie. 1531 Melrose Avenue, Seattle. http://www.rainshadowmeats.com/
• Town&Country and Central Markets: Both stores carry Thundering Hooves pasture-finished beef from Walla Walla.
There are a growing number of dairies in the West Sound area producing goat milk and cheeses. And some of the nation's best organic cow milk dairies are located in Lynden in northern Washington State. You'll need to hunt around a bit to find it all, but the honest creamy goodness is worth it. Milk and cheese sources:
• Blackjack Valley Farm in Port Orchard offers Grade A Raw Cow's Milk. Available at the farm, Call for directions: 360-731-3382
• Fernwood Creamery in Port Orchard offers Grade A Rew Cow's Milk. 360-876-6867 http://www.fernwoodcreamery.com/index.html
• Port Madison Farm: This nationally renowned dairy sells a wide variety of goat cheese made with milk from their Sunrise Drive dairy at the Bainbridge Island Farmers Market. 206-842-4125
• Hansville Creamery: Certified Raw Milk Goat Dairy. Available at the farm (by appointment: 360-638-2909).
• Mount Townsend Creamery: Port Townsend cheese producer. Products available at the Port Townsend Creamery, at Pane d’Amore, and Town & Country and Central Markets, and at the Mt. Townsend facility in Port Townsend, where you can see the cheese being made. http://www.mttownsendcreamery.com/team.html
• Bay Hay (Retail store in the Rolling Bay neighborhood of Bainbridge Island), sells Port Madison Farm goat cheeses, Mt Townsend cheese and Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy products in glass bottles (milk, heavy cream, half & half, chocolate milk. http://bayhayandfeed.com/farm-stand
• Hitchcock Delicatessan and Charcuterie: In downtown Bainbridge Island. Carries raw cow's milk from Blackjack Valley Farm. http://www.hitchcockdeli.com
• Pane D’Amore: Carries raw milk from Dungeness Creamery, plus Fresh Breeze dairy products in glass botles, and cheese from several local producers. 4569 Lynwood Center Road, Bainbridge, 206-780-1902
• Town & Country Market and Central Market: Carry Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy products from Lynden, WA (recgnized as one of the top ten organic dairies in the country by Cornucopia) , Twin Brooks Creamery dairy products (low-temp pasturization, no hormones or GMO, glass bottles, unhomogenized) from Lynden, Grace Harbor Farm yogurt and goat milk, and Mt. Townsend cheeses.
Where to find local food on and around Bainbridge Island
Want to know where you can find locally pastured meat, eggs from happy hens, or fresh-picked produce every day? We've pulled all of that information into one handy online guide, that's updated regularly. Sound Food's