Hobby farm doesn’t wait for winter

While we have some big hopes for getting in some prime trail wandering this year, we also have plans to slowly expand our hobby farm. Add some rows to the garden, gates to the yard and chicken coop, and you know add some more chickens (with better rooster karma)? Maybe ducks by the fall?

Trying to balance our love of the trails with our love of growing a small farm can become difficult to maneuver. Trails can wait but planting and harvesting has to be carefully timed. I believe we can do both as long summer days give us expanded daylight hours to get it all done. Maybe.

Continue reading Hobby farm doesn’t wait for winter

Eating, learning on local seasonal fare with a winter CSA

While we still have some beets, carrots and chard in our own garden, I joined Farmer Georgie’s CSA at Willowood Farm. By supporting this farmer’s fare, I figured not only would we be well supplied in local veggies for the rest of the year but perhaps I could learn more about what grows well here. I want to learn how I can better rotate our own garden, so this winter CSA is just a little education, and a tasty one.

Continue reading Eating, learning on local seasonal fare with a winter CSA

Chickens in the garden

Fall has arrived with its rainy vengeance and I’m beginning to pull a regular harvest of what remains in the garden.

This week I focused on the beets and carrots. Well, with the amount we planted, I’ll be focusing on them every week, but I’m not complaining.

What, you mean I have to eat rainbow carrots and beets from my garden each week? Yes please.

Continue reading Chickens in the garden

Falling in love with sheep cheese

The Whidbey Island Chapter for Slow Food offers a variety of activities from jam workshops, to farm tours and potluck dinners. Since we are a foodie at heart in love with eating slow food, it seemed like a good fit and a way to meet like minded people.

My favorite Slow Food Whidbey event so far is the tour of Glendale Shepherd Farm. I had seen the folks at Glendale Shepherd at the Bayview Farmer’s Market and even purchased some of their cheese, but the tour, which included a wine and cheese tasting made me a sheep cheese fan girl. Walking their farm up and down toward the high cliff coastline looking over to the mainland was beautiful. Their 60 milking sheep have space to roam and graze on land with fantastic water views. Happy sheep make for happy cheese is what I learned.

While the Island Brebis is the cheese that has given them a claim to fame winning awards in the past, but the Tallulah is my favorite.  Tallulah is a mild cheese with a creamy center and on the outside boasts a nutty rind.

There was mention that the sheep were soon coming to the end of their milking time, which means Tallulah is coming to the end of the season. I will definitely be heading to the Bayview Farmer’s Market each Saturday to make sure I have the opportunity for another taste.

In just a couple of months, winter will arrive and the markets will close until May. It seems so far away, the end of October, but I know it will be here before we know it. And then, all my favorite things will be gone until spring.

 

 

The anniversary dinner

Six years ago, followed by friends and family, my husband and I came to the island to get married. Most Texans don’t choose Puget Sound for a destination wedding, but we did.

A few days before our guests arrived, we met Josh’s parents at The Oystercatcher for dinner in Coupeville. This weekend, we returned to celebrate our anniversary and pinch ourselves that we now live here.

I’m not going to compose prose to tell you about our meal. I’m just going to leave this nice little gallery of images for you to peruse. I just hope you aren’t hungry.

Slow food, easy food, good food

We’ve always prided ourselves as being foodies and living in Dallas allowed us to try a new restaurant each week as long as we could afford it (which usually, we couldn’t). We gravitated toward those restaurants touting local cuisine and we tried to buy local vegetables and meat. Food Inc. steered us away from the average grocery store and unless we could find something at our local farmers market, our grocery store was Whole Foods.

Going to the grocery store in Dallas was a Sunday event. Go have a glass of wine, meet neighborhood friends, discuss the menu for the week and the ingredients on the grocery list and then eventually shop for said ingredients. Our weekly trip to the grocery store took 3-4 hours which we really enjoyed.

About three months before our move, there was too much to do and we were trying to tighten our budget, so much to my husbands request to keep our Sunday shopping tradition alive, I caved to the food in a box. Plated, while not fitting the slow food framework, did allow us to have a weeks worth of dinners shipped each Tuesday and at the same price. It freed up our Sunday to pack, visit with friends and neighbors, or get ready for a work travel filled week. After getting adjusted to our surroundings, we paused our Plated shipments and focused back onto our local foodie passions.

Here on the island, being a foodie has a whole new meaning than what we experienced in Dallas. Don’t get me wrong, there are delicious restaurants here like Oystercatcher, Prima, and The Inn at Langley, but being a foodie here means local, buying local, eating local.

We started our slow food quest by joining the CSA at Prairie Bottom Farms and enjoy our weekly partial share of vegetables we pick up each week. We quickly learned that our neighbor was not only a farmer, but a baker. He supplies pork and fresh bread to the Oystercatcher and takes orders on the side to sell pork to the community. We purchased half of a pig and it arrived earlier this week. img_3226

Pork raised next door. How local can you get?

Last night we served up pork chops along with braised beets and zucchini and a green salad. All veggies came from our CSA with the exception of the tomatoes seen here as those won’t arrive until mid-September.

It felt good to eat a meal where we knew how the ingredients were grown or raised. Slow food is definitely tasty food.