Summer’s bounty is in full swing, and nowhere is that more evident than at your local farm stand. Farm stands are a unique and special part of the farm-to-table journey – it’s about as close as you can get to straight-out-of-the-ground fruit and veggies!
Farm stands are often on-site at farms, so the produce is fresh and vibrant. They’re also the perfect rest stop when you’re on a road trip through a new part of the state or simply taking the long way home. Farm stands are convenient for farmers as well, reducing their labor and transportation costs – after all, the food is just going from the field to the farm stand!
We’re fortunate to have an abundance of local farm stands dotting the valleys, roads, and hills of Northwest Washington. We’re even more fortunate that it’s Drink Local First season, too – meaning that our cocktail and mocktail recipes are about to get a whole lot more local and a whole lot more delicious.
Ever had a strawberry straight from the farm, still warm from its time in the sun? Now imagine that strawberry muddled with some local basil and topped off with sparkling water. Thirsty yet? Check out our recipe for a Strawberry-Basil Sparkler for a mocktail that truly hits the spot after some yard work or a hike. It’s fresh, vibrant, and of course everything is made more delicious with Whatcom-grown strawberries in the peak of summer. If you’re in an experimental mood, you could switch out the basil for another seasonal herb. That’s the beautiful thing about farm stands – culinary inspiration is never in short supply! Pro-tip for some of the juiciest strawberries around – head to the Mellema Farm Stand in Lynden!
Inspiration also abounds at local farm stand Home Farm, located in Blaine, a family-run farm that seeks to “bring the community together,” and “be a refuge from the everyday rat-race, a place to enjoy the simple things in life, like a field of flowers or the taste of a fresh picked berry.” Their vision also includes “serving as an educational opportunity for families—and kids, in particular—to see where their food is grown, learn how to pick it, and gain a deeper relationship to what they eat, as so many people are disconnected from their food sources.”
Blanchard Mountain Farm, a certified organic farm in beautiful Bow, also seeks to help folks develop a deeper relationship with their food and farmers. Their farm stand is open daily and offers the freshest produce from the farm, grown with love by farmers extraordinaire Walter and Linda. If you’re on a trip to the Chuckanuts, or simply want to try some of the best local food around, this is a farm stand must-see.
Capp and Tracy’s Garden is another local farm stand to stock up on local goodies for your drinks or meals. Also located in Blaine, this farm stand sells fresh produce, small bouquets, and herbs. Sounds like a mojito in the making, or perhaps a Gin and Tonic Cucumber Cooler.
East of Eden, located just north of Bellingham, has a farm stand bursting with seasonal produce galore – broccoli, cabbage, fennel, freshly-picked pints of strawberries, sugar snap peas, and string beans. If you’re wondering what drink can accommodate such a cornucopia of summer goodies, check out the Farmer’s Bounty Bloody Mary.
And of course, Bellingham’s beloved Joe’s Gardens is always displaying the sheer variety and quality of produce grown in this region. Their sweet berries are perfect in a Rosé-All-Day Sangria. After a day shopping at Joe’s, when berries are bursting out of every bowl on your counter and you have some good friends to gather with, whip up some sangria!
There are more than 460 farm stands and farm stores in the state of Washington. Whether you head there with recipe in hand or wait for inspiration to strike, a farm stand is the perfect place to ring in the summer. Not only are you supporting local farmers, you’re also eating hyper-seasonally. That means that you’ll find new exciting produce you might never have tried before (hello, kohlrabi) alongside your old favorites (we’re lookin’ at you, berries!).