Food and Farm

The Food & Farming program

The Food & Farming Program is helping to create a vibrant local food economy. We support local farmers, connect food buyers to local farms and artisans and encourage our community to always Eat Local First!

Contact Sara Southerland about how to get involved!

We connect local food & farming businesses of all kinds

CONNECTING & SUPPORTING

Helping local food businesses connect and providing resources to increase their success.

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One-on-one Consultations
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Marketing Tools for Farmers, Businesses, Fishermen & Producers
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NW WA Farm-To-Table Trade Meeting
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NW WA Chefs Collective
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Local Wholesale Products Directory

 

Local Food

GROWING A LOCAL FOOD FOLLOWING

Promoting local businesses and encouraging people to eat local.

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Eat Local First
Campaign
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Whatcom County Farm Tour
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Harvest of the Month
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Connecting Businesses to CSA: Farm Fresh Workplaces
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Resources & Maps for Finding Local Food
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Demo Days at the Farmers Market
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Downtown Market Walk
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Eat Local Month

New Farmers and chefs

BUILDING A HEALTHY FOOD COMMUNITY

Building a local food system and the farmers that work within it.

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Beginning Farmers Food To Bank On Program
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Farmer’s Marketing Toolkit
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Business Agriculture Development Group
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Collaboration with Regional Partners

 

Eat Local First for Businesses

Free for Sustainable Connections members, the Eat Local First campaign is a collective marketing effort to promote local food. 

Promote your business and tell the story of the local products and ingredients that you grow, raise, serve or sell! We define local as food that is grown, raised, or produced in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan & Island Counties. Right now, only about 3% of the food we eat in NW Washington is also grown here. Our goal is to get that number to 10% by 2020! Grocers, markets, restaurants, and distributors can get started by filling out the Eat Local First application materials.

Individuals can view recipes, find events, and get involved at EatLocalFirst.org.

 

Whatcom County Farm Tour

Head out with family and friends for a chance to see, taste and explore Whatcom County’s diverse family-owned farms, on this free, self-guided tour. Find exciting educational and interactive activities at each of the tour stops, meet local farmers and see how your food is grown and raised from seed to plate. Savor the flavors of our region by sampling fresh produce, cheese, apples, chocolate milk, wine and more!

Farm to Table Trade Meeting

The Farm-to-Trade Meeting connects 180+ farmers, fishers, chefs, grocery buyers, food artisans, processors, and distributors for a day of networking and education. Attendees can enjoy valuable networking, hands-on workshops, in-depth panel discussions, local product trade show, and the most amazing 7 course lunch from the NW Chefs Collective & BTC Culinary Arts program! Learn more and register here.

Food to Bank On

Food To Bank On is a three-year farmer incubation project that connects beginning farmers with business training, markets and mentorship, while providing farm-fresh product to food banks and shelters.The program includes:

  • Training: Business planning, technical training workshops
  • Markets: New farmers deliver fresh food to local food banks; farmers are connected with new markets through Sustainable Connections membership.
  • Mentorship: In addition to valuable peer-to-peer relationships with the cohort of farmers, each new farmer is paired up with an experienced mentor farmer.

Chefs Collective

The Northwest Washington Chefs Collective, facilitated by Sustainable Connections Food & Farming Program, is a group of local chefs and artisans dedicated to:

  • Providing a forum for chefs & food artisans to connect, share ideas and promote local food
  • Supporting local farms, fishers, and food producers
  • Educating customers and the public around the importance of seasonal eating

How to get involved: From line cooks to sommeliers, from grocery buyers to food artisans, anyone dedicated to serving and promoting local food, is invited to be a member of the NW WA Chefs Collective. Members are invited to attend all events for free and are also eligible to serve on the Steering Committee. Learn more here…

Harvest of the Month

The Harvest of the Month is a local and seasonal produce item that’s featured on school menus each month – and we’re helping to take it community-wide! Look for the harvest item at local grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets to Eat Local First all year long! Want your business or organization to participate? Contact Alex about receiving free promotional materials every month and help our community learn about seasonal eating, where our food comes from, and why eating local matters.

Farm Fresh Workplace

Get Farm Fresh food delivered to your workplace! Round up 5+ co-workers and sign up for a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture box, where you’ll get a weekly delivery of local food from farmers right here in our community.  Becoming a Farm Fresh Workplace and participating in a Workplace CSA is  tasty, convenient, fun, a good deal, and is one of the most powerful ways we can support our local farmers. Contact Alex to learn more!

Whatcom Food and Farm Finder

The Whatcom Food and Farm Finder contains nearly 150 local businesses offering everything from apples to zucchini, heritage animals and specialty cheese, fine dining to casual fare and one-stop shopping experiences along with a fold out map for easy navigation. They are distributed at over 200 locations, available ONLINE, and can be used with our handy Interactive Map. The Whatcom Food and Farm Finder helps locals:

  • Eat with the seasons
  • Find u-pick and farm stands
  • Celebrate at local food & farm events
  • Find organic farms and meet farmers
  • Learn about Community Supported Agriculture
  • Pick restaurants that source locally and bars that make their own beer and spirits
  • Source direct from fishers and ranchers

Culinary Agritourism Map

This guide draws visitors from around the Puget Sound region and lower B.C. and helps establish Whatcom County and NW Washington as a premiere culinary agritourism destination. Over 15,000 copies are printed and distributed to select airports, ferries, tourism offices, hotels and bed and breakfasts throughout the Puget Sound region. It is also available ONLINE, and can be used with our handy Interactive Map. 

Demo Days

A collaboration between Sustainable Connections & the Bellingham Farmers Market; Demo Days showcases simple ways to prepare seasonal produce, and helping answer questions for shoppers in preparing and storing fresh foods at home

Join us the 2nd Saturday, of each month from May to October, at Depot Market Square. We’ll be demoing how to cook, chop, prep, preserve and use tons of local and in season fruits and veggies. Stop by and grab a featured recipe card and ask us “How to use that!

Many thanks to our 2017 Food & Farming Program Sponsors!

Eat Local First Sponsors & Partners

Food & Farming Sponsor