the local pork sandwich

happy pigs

A few weeks ago I went to visit some pigs out at Well Fed Farms. They were happy, handsome pigs, rooting up grasses on the fertile Skagit flats and being fed with apple pressings.

picnic roast

A couple of weeks later we got the call from Silvana Meats, and we picked up half a pig’s worth of fresh pork, neatly packed for the freezer. The smoked meats will be ready later (we’re very excited about bacon).

studding the roast with garlic

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farm picnic

oysters

I had meant to post these pictures two weeks ago, but life sort of got in the way. Better late than never…

This was a farm-to-table brunch potluck out at Gothberg Farms on the Skagit flats. The weather was less than perfect (cold and windy with occasional gusts of rain), but we got by with great coffee, amazing food, good conversation, wine and beer and lots and lots of oysters.

cheese board

Rhonda put together a cheese board with all of her fabulous handmade goat cheeses. I’m particularly fond of her “Woman of La Mancha” spiced aged cheese, but they really are all wonderful.

asparagus

There was roasted asparagus wrapped with buttery phyllo…

sliders

…and lamb sliders.

salad and cupcakes

Also several beautiful salads and what I believe were sweet potato cupcakes.

salads

rhubarb custard pie

And I made a rhubarb custard pie with fresh-pulled rhubarb from my garden. The custard didn’t set up quite perfectly (it never does when I’m trying to impress people), but it was tasty.

Hammerhead coffee

There was Hammerhead coffee from Bellingham, beer from Boundary Bay and North Sound breweries, and a selection of wine and bubbly, including runners-up from the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine competition.

shucking station

And kumamoto oysters. The best.

Golden Glen

Vic and Judythe farm store

Back in October I went out to interview the Jensen family at Golden Glen Creamery for the Nov/Dec issue of Grow Northwest magazine. You can read the original article here, but I thought it would be fun to post some of the other photos I took.

the cheese roomthe cheese room

The Jensens don’t actually own the creamery any more, but the family is still very much involved in running the place. All the folks I talked to were exceedingly proud of their milk, the quality of their cheese, and their rather snazzy cheese room. When Vic opened the door and let me peek in, a vast waft of garlic hit me in the face from the fresh wheels of dill-garlic cheese resting on the racks. If you’ve ever had that stuff as fresh cheese curds, you may agree with me that it’s one of the more addictive dairy products out there. I also got a glimpse of the aging room, which happened to be a trailer parked behind the farm store.

I did not get to meet any cows. I was informed that they were off being milked (something they spend quite a bit of their day at). No cheese samples, either. But  I got to have a large dog lean against my legs while I took notes, and the view from the farm was nice.

view from the farm

I used my trip out to the dairy as an excuse to drive around on the Skagit flats at dawn and take pictures of the autumn fields in the morning mist.

misty farm

misty barn

farm road

sunrise through fog

layers

view from Persons Road

(There are, by the way, calendars of my photographs for sale over at Qoop. Just thought I’d mention it.)

sheep farm

Martiny Suffolks

Last weekend we were delighted to have the chance to visit Martiny Suffolks, the farm from whence comes the lamb we’ve been eating all summer. As part of the Skagit Festival of Family Farms, many small farms up and down the valley opened to the public for the day, including great places like Taylor Shellfish, Golden Glen Creamery, and Gordon Skagit Farm (to see the festivities at Gordon’s, check out this post at Willow Basketmaker). There were all sorts of activities, but we were there for the free samples and to give a few sheep noses some scritches.

scritches

We probably would never have ended up as customers if Linda Martiny (who owns the farm along with Mike Donnelly) hadn’t decided to try running a booth at the Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market this year. We saw the sign for local lamb on the first day and made a beeline, immediately buying a selection of chops and ground meat. We ended up buying half a lamb, and I suspect it will only be the first of many.

Martiny Suffolks

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Festival of Family Farms

pumpkins in the street

Just a reminder to anyone in the general neighborhood: this weekend is the Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms, when many of the local small farms open their gates to visitors and feature tours, activities and goodies for the general public. If you want to visit a working farm or see where your food is coming from, now’s your chance. There will be hayrides and corn mazes and all kinds of fun stuff. Make a day of it!

The list of participating farms can be found here.