Entries tagged with “Farmers”.


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Just about anyone who read Shannon Borg and Lora Lea Misterly’s book, Chefs on the Farm, would have a craving to sign up for a week at the Quillisascut School for the Domestic Arts. It’s a hands-on immersion into cheesemaking, bread baking, and the other fundamentals of turning a farm’s products into food. And, for chefs, it’s a chance to experience every practical step from field to table.

On Sunday, we get a vicarious chance to visit, in the form of an “Urban Picnic” fundraiser featuring foods from a dozen top chefs and restaurants who share the farm’s ethos  – including Lark, Canlis, TASTE, and Top Chef Robin Leventhal, not to mention farm chef Misterly herself. Picnic tickets bankroll the farm scholarships that Seattle’s Chef Collaborative awards each year. Dining on sweet corn ragout and churro lamb and other goodies is an enjoyable way to contribute, and it does go both ways: When I talked to this year’s scholarship recipients, Zephyr Paquette of Elliott Bay Cafe and Zack Chamberlain of TASTE, I realized how much of their experiences at the school cycle back to us all. (more…)

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coopMy review of Michael Perry’s “Coop” is up now on the Christian Science Monitor’s books page. The book is subtitled “A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting,” which covered a remarkably large percentage of my own interests in seven words.

Perry’s website calls him a humorist, and the publicity materials stressed the book’s slapstick elements — or they seemed to me to be stressed; anytime you talk about things like getting bitten in the rear by a pig, I suppose they’re going to seem outsized. The book turned out, though, to have a hefty thread of seriousness and sadness running through it along with all the jokes and pleasure and joys. That would make it a lot like real life, just more self-aware and sharply observed than most. It’s worth a read even if you’ve never craved a pen of backyard chickens. Full review here.

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We took the ferry to Vashon Island to visit friends, but as long as we were there, we didn’t want to miss the Vashon farmers market and a stop at La Boucherie, the restaurant run by Sea Breeze Farm. I’m accustomed to buying raw materials such as meat and milk from Sea Breeze at Seattle venues; I liked the idea of sampling how they would cook and serve their own products, in their own island environment.

This early in the season, we were glad just to wander without fleece or raincoats; we knew we’d be lucky to find even salad greens to contribute to our friends’ kitchen. By the time we arrived around 1 p.m., though, even the greens were gone — but, unlike the Seattle markets, where eggs sell out post-haste, we still could have scored a basket of pastel beauties practically custom-laid for Easter.

Eggs at the Vashon Island Farmers Market

Eggs at the Vashon Island Farmers Market

Hogsback Farm table: "Sorry! We sold out!"

Hogsback Farm table: "Sorry! We sold out!"

Some markets stick purely to harvest goods, but I’ve always liked a mix of vendors. I was glad to see, especially in this spare season, some crafts, a Vashon winery, a chocolatier, and homemade caramels, among other tables. 

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Stone Buhr flour

Stone-Buhr flour, which has long advertised that it uses wheat grown in the Northwest, went one better in January: Its “Find The Farmer” website now lets buyers see exactly which farms grew the wheat for each separate bag of flour. Stone-Buhr owner Josh Dorf blogged that he was inspired by the writings of Michael Pollan.

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