We are so fortunate for our beautiful, local farms. They feed us with fresh produce — mounds of ripe berries, piles of thick, rich greens, barrels of crisp, sweet apples — and they protect our rolling hills and rural character. Not only do our farmers work hard to grow all this amazing food, they offer their bounty in our local farmers markets, grocery stores, CSAs and restaurants. So next time you pass a farm stand, grab a few extra carrots to support our local agrarians.
In the children’s classic Blueberries for Sal, Sal and her mother kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk their way over Blueberry Hill, meeting a couple of bears and picking enough blueberries to can for winter. Lucky for us, we can have the same u-pick experience, but without the danger of mother bear hungrily eyeing our toddlers. Blueberries, apples, produce — we have an amazing number of u-pick farms surrounding us. Grab a pail!
Pick an array of vibrant berries at Barbie’s Berries, a u-pick and we-pick farm in Ferndale. Kick off the season with fresh strawberries. The little red juicy berries pop up around June and end in mid July. Following come raspberries, blueberries and blackberries for picking. Now experts in the field, Barbie’s Berries have been growing fresh fruit since 1996.
7655 Melody Lane, Ferndale, barbiesberries.com
Blue Heron Farm
This certified organic farm is located in Rockport and offers both u-pick and already picked blueberries, raspberries and green beans. Cross Skagit River to visit the farm in July and August for peak blueberries and raspberries, or visit in August for prime-time green bean season. Simply call two days prior to your arrival and you will be directed to a perfect patch of fresh produce for picking.
12179 State Route 530, Rockport, pickyourown.org
Boxx Berry Farm
A community staple, Boxx supplies most of the major grocery stores with berries. They have a great u-pick as well — pick 20 pounds of berries and you get a free scoop of ice cream! Harvests start in early June and run through until early August. Boxx is also a family-friendly stop on the Whatcom Farm Tour in September.
6211 NW Rd., Ferndale, boxxberryfarm.com
Apples, apples, apples! And, in the fall, pumpkins. But mostly, the Belisle family is all about crisp, delicious
apples. You have a choice of you-pick, or already picked apples in the farm store. There’s also an on-site distillery and an excellent farm-totable bistro. Family-friendly, accessible and welcoming, Bellewood is a great stop on your hunt for great local produce.
6140 Meridian Dr., Lynden, bellewoodfarms.com
Bow Hill Blueberries
This blueberry farm has been in business since 1947, making it the oldest family-run blueberry farm in Skagit County. The farm has 4500 high bush blueberries of different varieties. The owners are passionate about being part of the surrounding community and enjoy offering a place where kids and adults alike can have access to both u-pick and we-pick blueberries. The farm is currently in transition to organic and only spread organic composts. They refrain from spraying conventional herbicides and pesticides. The season is from mid-July to September, so grab a bucket and pick a row. Don’t be afraid to eat a few right from the bush.
15628 Bow Hill Road, Bow, bowhillblueberries.com
Owned by Jim Bjornstad, this farm prides itself on the size and sweetness of its berries. The farm has u-pick buckets, but they recommend bringing containers for taking your fruit home (i.e. those buckets stay on the farm). If you aren’t up for picking, Bjornstad also operates farm stands all over the county.
6799 Old Guide Rd., Lynden, bjornstadfarms.net
RiverScent Farm and Ka-Boom Nursery
Located in beautiful Deming, RiverScent is dedicated to a chemical-free growing environment, GMO-free heirloom seeds sources and the highest standards of sustainability. They specialize in lavender, tomatoes, herbs, garden vegetables and flowering perennials. Lavender is available in fresh or dried bundles.
6244 Rutsatz Rd., Deming
The freshest produce for purchase is likely to be at farm stands and green grocers, places where vegetables are picked (or shipped quickly) on a daily basis. We also are lucky to have a plethora of great farmers markets and co-ops. Our local mainstream grocery stores like Haggen also carry fresh local produce. Here are a few of our favorite sources.
Crossroads Grocery, Inc.
Offering produce, movie rentals, beer and wine, gluten-free foods and more, Crossroads is a truly local grocery store. Located near Silver Lake in Maple Falls, they’re a great picnic supply shop. They feature local crafts as well.
7802 Silver Lake Rd., Maple Falls, crossroadsgrocery.com
Terra Organica and Bargainica Owner Stephen Trinkaus is a well known Bellinghamster, and his store is popular with foodies. Specializing in organic produce, Trinkaus is also dedicated to heirloom seed-grown produce. Bargainica is the bargain aisle in Terra Organica, offering organic produce and products at bargain prices. Both stores offer local produce and goods whenever possible.
1530 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, terra-organica.com
Fairhaven Farmers Market
Every week this summer, the Fairhaven Village Green will host 24 vendors for a Wednesday farmers’ market from noon
to 5 p.m. Peruse the choices of local produce and crafts. Or find a meal of your choice from a vendor and take a spot on the lawn for lunch. From 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. live music will play from the stage for everyone to enjoy.
Fairhaven Village Green, Bellingham, bellinghamfarmers.org
Bellingham Farmers Market
Treat your taste buds at Bellingham’s Saturday farmers market. With ample seasonal food from a variety of vendors, all of your shopping can be done here. Choose from local meats, vegetables, fruit, cheese, coffee, tea and bread. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. walk around for samples, stop for lunch and bring\ a bag to fill with groceries. Be part of the hustle and bustle of Bellingham-sters looking for good food this summer.
1100 Railroad Avenue, Bellingham. bellinghamfarmers.org
Anacortes Farmers Market
More than just a collection of vendors, the Anacortes Farmers Market is a locavore paradise with loads of local produce, flowers and products. Their annual The Art of Gardening event every April is a fun way to learn about gardening, gather inspiration, teach children about gardening and enjoy the early spring weather. Their blog is loaded with gardening tips and articles of interest about organic produce and other topics.
611 R Ave., Anacortes, anacortesfarmersmarket.org
Since 1933, Joe’s Gardens has offered locals fresh produce and cut flowers straight from where they were planted. This summer, fill your bags and baskets with sweet blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, crisp vegetables, beautifully colorful beets, and other produce. Don’t miss their famous sugar snap peas.
Once summer ends, continue to visit the garden for the beautiful braids of garlic. The garlic is still grown with the original seed that founder Joe brought from his family in Genoa, Italy. Joe’s Garden has Breadfarm bread delivered fresh daily so people in Bellingham have access to the local bread.
3110 Taylor Avenue, Bellingham, joesgardens.com
Bellingham Food Co-op
Bellingham is lucky enough to be home to two great food cooperatives, one on Westerly Rd., one on Forest St. Customers have access to local produce and specialty items as well as prepared meals from the deli. The co-op membership is as low as $3 a month, with which members receive special discounts and programs.
1220 N. Forest Street, Bellingham and 315 Westerly Road, Bellingham
Skagit Valley Food Co-op
Buy local produce and goods at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op. They have everything from grass-fed meats to artisan cheeses. Get lunch at the deli or meet a friend for coffee made with beans the co-op staff roast themselves.
202 S. 1st Street, Mount Vernon, skagitfoodcoop.com
Goods Nursery and Produce
Amazingly fresh produce, most of it right out of the orchard or garden, Goods was a new upstart in the produce world of Bellingham in 2011. This year, it’s going strong, and their produce is among the most flavorful of the green grocers in town. While some of their produce is local, some of it is also trucked in from Yakima. But don’t let that stop you…the truck runs almost daily. And though Goods sources from some of the same places as local grocers, their handling and storage techniques are fine-tuned to ensure the utmost in flavor and freshness. As a bonus, they have a children’s garden for cultivating the budding agrarian in your family.
2620 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, Goodsproduce.com
Van Zandt staple Everybody’s Store is Whatcom County’s oldest natural food market. With an extensive deli, excellent wine and beer selection and well curated gifts, Everybody’s Store keeps customers coming back for more. They specialize in local cheese and sausage as well as produce.
5465 Potter Rd., Van Zandt, everybodys.com
Growing your own fresh veggies is fun and satisfying, but if dining is more your style, these local restaurants do the fishing, foraging and picking for you. All you have to do is show up
“From seed to plate” has been co-owners Azizi Tookas and Chris Sunde’s motto since the beginning. What began as an heirloom tomato farm is now a full restaurant, booming with service and local ingredients. “From seed to plate” means just that: the owners believe knowing and supporting the local food systems makes for a quality plate of food.
And quality it is. There is a sandwich for everyone, including the Rocket B.L.T., slabs of thick bacon layered with avocado, maple-tomato relish, garlic aioli and arugula between a soft, hearty baguette. For veggie lovers, try the Mediterranean with basil aioli, tomato, fried eggplant, creamy buffalo mozzarella and sweet balsamic reduction. Don’t’ like sandwiches? No problem. The salmon-quinoa cakes are unstoppable.
1317 Commercial Street, Bellingham, brandywinekitchen.com
Slurp spaghetti “Lady and the Tramp-style” at one of Bellingham’s beloved Italian restaurants. Situated on the corner of W. Champion and N. Commercial streets sits The Table, a place committed to serving great food made with local ingredients. The menu is constantly changing to involve the best and brightest seasonal ingredients.
Try a dish made with their fresh pasta like the penne with pink vodka sauce.
100 N. Commercial Street, Bellingham, bellinghampasta.com
Located not far from some of our other favorites, Bow Hill Blueberries and Breadfarm Bakery is Tweets, a humble restaurant with killer food and sweet ambiance. The menu changes weekly to encompass what’s fresh, local and tasty. Pair your meal with great coffee, pastries and company.
5800 Cains Court, Edison, tweetscafe.com
Their German-style beers are echt, but that isn’t what makes Chuckanut a locavore’s haven — they offer an entire locavore menu in addition to their regular specialties. Local seafood, Avenue Bread, Darigold cream and others are well represented on this tasty list.
601 W. Holly, Bellingham, chuckanutbreweryandkitchen.com
A team from Avenue Bread is heading out to Spring Frog Farm this year to pick strawberries, from which they’re going to make shortcakes for the store. They are also going to be gathering blueberries and raspberries from Hopewell Farm to use in their scones and pancake specials. Avenue sources their ingredients from Happy Valley, Edaleen Dairy, Hempler’s and Wilcox farms. If that weren’t enough, they are donating 25 cents per artisan loaf of bread to Common Threads Farm, which is a community education farm that runs a summer camp to teach kids about organic farming. Bellingham, James St., Downtown and Fairhaven,
The next time you’re in Friday Harbor, visit Market Chef — a place for fine food made from scratch. Peer into the deli case before snagging a satisfying sandwich or soup. The menu changes, offering seasonal specials, but a recent one included a hot meatloaf sandwich made from island grass-fed beef. If that isn’t tempting, plunge your spoon into their creamy and rich house-smoked Steelhead chowder. They specialize in island-grown produce and meats.
225 A Street, Friday Harbor
Jessica and Mataio Gillis make it their mission to create beautifully crafted dishes from fresh, local ingredients with a dose of community spirit. With long community tables, cooking classes and nonprofit sponsorships, Ciao Thyme is more than just a great place to eat — it’s a community staple.
207 Unity St., Bellingham,
The Copper Hog’s delicious eats are sourced from Alm Hill Gardens, Painted Hills Ranch, Anderson Valley Farms, Carlton Farms and Desire Fish Company. Pair those fresh offerings with a pour from their amazing beer selection, and you’ve got one good meal.
1327 N. State St., Bellingham,
Duck Soup Inn
A small cabin in the woods, Duck Soup Inn is on many lists as a destination dinner. Locally sourced but unpretentious, Duck Soup Inn has been serving inventive and delicious meals since 1975. They are dedicated locavores, with fresh local meat and seafood on the menu along with foraged ingredients.
50 Duck Soup Lane, Friday Harbor, ducksoupinn.com
Located in sweet La Conner, Seeds is home to Chef Daniel Geer, whose long career in the restaurant business began in Anacortes. Lucky for us, Geer hasn’t strayed far, and his years of experience in the kitchen show with every delicious bite of Seeds’ fare. Seeds offers a Fresh Sheet of locavore specials all sourced from nearby farms and waters. It’s also a kid-friendly bistro, with great children’s menu options.
623 Morris St., La Conner,
The Willows Inn
When describing a dinner at The Willows, one runs out of superlatives. Everything on the menu is caught, grown or foraged on Lummi Island and prepared by James Beard Award Winner Blaine Wetzel, so not only is everything absolutely fresh, it’s all beautifully prepared. From a single mussel served in its own steamer box to birch bark tea, every menu item is carefully considered. The Willows also hosts several author events. Put it on your bucket list.
2579 West Shore Dr., Lummi Island, willows-inn.com/dining
Community Supported Agriculture
What the hell do you do with a rutabaga? CSAs are a great way to get fresh produce into your home without having to get your hands dirty. Customers buy shares directly from individual farmers. The produce is then divvied up and packed at the farm for either door-step delivery or centralized pick-up. Most shares offer recipes and cooking tips, making the mysterious vegetables that come over the transom easier to handle. Because the shares can be pricey (typically around $400), families often split shares as well, or buy smaller shares to complement their grocery lists. Some CSAs offer discounts and payment plans, a trend that we hope catches on. Some boxes have a few pre-made ingredients, like pasta, eggs or sausage along with the produce. Having a relationship with the farms and farmers who supply our food gives us a better sense of the hard work and value of local farming.
Alm Hill Gardens
Beautiful Everson is home to Alm Hill, a family-owned fruit and flower farm. Operating year-round, Alm Hill supplies farmers’ markets from Seattle to Bellingham, and area universities and schools. Dedicated to fresh, healthy produce, Alm Hill has a huge variety of greens, root vegetables, legumes and berries. They also have lots of lovely flowers, including edible ones. They accept internet orders. growingwashington.org
Rabbit Fields Farm
Another Everson gem, Rabbit Fields Farm offers up certified organic produce grown in the fertile soil of the Nooksack River valley. Owned by Roslyn McNicholl, Rabbit Fields is currently in its seventh growing season. The farm also offers Bunny Bucks, which is a credit system. You can spend Bunny Bucks at the farm store, or at any of their stands at farmers’ markets. rabbitfieldsfarm.com
Sumas River Farm
Lynden blue grapes. Golden raspberries. Nettles. Purple carrots. Sumas River Farm includes all the usual CSA offerings, but strives to add a little something extra in your box every Wednesday with doorstep delivery from May to October. With shares starting under $200 for one person, they are also one of the more reasonable CSAs in the area. Farmer Helen Solem also invites guests to come visit any time, as long you call ahead. Helenssumasriverfarm.com
Osprey Hill Farm
Located in the Acme Valley, Osprey Hill raises heritage turkeys and chickens in addition to produce. Their produce, poultry and eggs can be found in natural food stores, co-ops and restaurants in the area. There are three share types: produce, chicken or farm-fresh eggs. The best part? They offer discounts, payment plans and they accept EBT, so those who may have trouble covering an entire share have some payment options and breaks to make their CSA more accessible. ospreyhillfarm.com
Acme Farms + Kitchen
It’s hard to call Acme a CSA per se. Acme is an online retailer for local food and specialty items. Customers can either create their own basket or choose one of the pre-selected baskets. Acme offers doorstep delivery (for a fee) or pick-up. The Locavore Box includes ingredients for 5 meals for $79. Acme also has meal kits, baked goods, pantry items, meats, gift baskets and more. acmefarmsandkitchen.com
Dandelion Organic Delivery
Maria Stavrakas and Jonny Lane, proprietors of Dandelion Farms, are all about convenience for the customer. They offer home or workplace delivery for around $30. They offer two bin sizes and either weekly or every-other-weekly delivery. We also know that their boxes are ample, and the variety of fresh produce is excellent. dandelionorganic.com
Specializing in neighborhood and workplace deliveries, Growing Whatcom offers more than 100 varieties of vegetables, fruit, herbs, nuts and greens. A collaboration of several farms and small businesses, they ensure that the produce they sell is chemical-free and grown on small farms. They also offer an online farm stand, where you can select produce for pickup at their location on Railroad Ave. in Bellingham. growingwashington.org.