Eat Local First




Cascadia Mushrooms

Healing people and the planet By Alex Smith November 2019 It’s rare that a delicious food can have a positive impact on the environment. As a conscientious consumer, we try to minimize the environmental impact of the food we eat. Tasty, nutritious food that positively impacts the ecosystem is a holy grail of sorts. Salmon […]

Sauk Farm
Sauk Farm

Constant improvement in harmony with nature By Alex Smith The Japanese language has a concept called “Kaizen”. This roughly translates as “continuous improvement.” It’s a concept often used in business to describe ways of making processes more efficient. Companies like Toyota have used this principle to reduce costs and create better products that they can […]

Cloud Mountain Farm Center
Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Growing Community Through Education  By Alex Smith September 2019 We all know that good food is important. Eating well is one of the most beneficial things you can do for general wellbeing. We don’t all eat well all the time, though. There are a number of reasons why, but in many cases it’s simply because we don’t […]

Kebab Casual
Kebab Casual

Building community one bite at a time By Alex Smith July 2019 The concept of “fast casual” is one that’s gaining momentum, and for good reason. Getting high quality food cooked right in front of you and ready to eat in minutes satisfies a unique place in answering the question “what do I want to […]

Home Farm UPick & Events
Home Farm UPick & Events

Daniel Burdick grew up on a farm in Connecticut and has always wanted to return to his roots. Starting a farm was a chance to reconnect to the land and the community. He wants people to know that his family values transparency with community above all else, noting that “our farm is their farm.”

Pure Bliss Desserts
Pure Bliss Desserts

Pure Bliss Desserts is giving a wonderful gift to the community: tasty treats made with integrity and love.

PeaceHealth
PeaceHealth

How is a nun from the 1880s and Bellingham’s local food scene connected? We’ll tell ya! Click through to learn how PeaceHealth set the stage for taking care of overall community health and wellbeing, and what that means for some of our local farmers today.

Bellingham Technical College
Bellingham Technical College

Let Your Tastebuds Travel the World with BTC Culinary Students! BTC is a Bellingham gem that is serving affordable and delicious local fare for a good cause.

Twin Cedars Farm
Twin Cedars Farm

Meet Twin Cedars Farm, totally dedicated to sustainable agriculture and growing delicious local food. “We start with the seeds, and decide what to grow based on flavor and cooking performance,” he says. “From there it’s a matter of making sure the soil has the right nutrients to produce a good final product…”

Lost Giants Cider Co.
Lost Giants Cider Co.

For the love of all things Bellingham… you need to get to know Lost Giants Cider Co. Pull up a chair and get to know friends and co-owners Chris Noskoff, Brad Wilske, and Abe Ebert.

2018 Think Local First Sustainability Champion
2018 Think Local First Sustainability Champion

Not only does ideal support local artists and craftspeople but they collaborate with a variety of local businesses, nonprofits, and students. They are dedicated sustainability stewards and are active participants in the Toward Zero Waste program.

2018 Food & Farming Sustainability Champion
2018 Food & Farming Sustainability Champion

Owners Azizi & Chris say that “from seed to plate” is a motto that encompasses both their history as food producers and their belief that understanding and supporting local food systems leads to a superior product. They are longtime local food buyers and champions!

Paellaworks
Paellaworks

Meet Paellaworks, one of the best local catering businesses in Whatcom! Showcasing the best of PNW ingredients with this classic Spanish dish….

Grace Harbor Farms
Grace Harbor Farms

The Lukens family didn’t start Grace Harbor Farms with the intention of growing a commercial business. Fast forward a generation and Tim and Grace’s son, David, has helped grow the business into a dairy, creamery, and distributor that creates wholesome and natural products like kefir, yogurt, and milk!

Gothberg Farms
Gothberg Farms

Gothberg Farms has proven to be one of the best goat cheese makers in the region, with their products highly sought after across the Pacific Northwest. Get to know this unique handcrafted artisan creamery!

Flying Bird Botanicals
Flying Bird Botanicals

Every time you brew a cup of tea, you promote peace and goodwill in your life and around the world. Because the integrity of the product benefits all the lives that have participated in bringing you a quality cup of tea. Meet Flying Bird Botanicals and the wonder woman behind it: Scout Erling.

Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants
Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Over 50 years of food and wine experience   By Liz Hansen December 2018 If you’re anything like me, buying a bottle of wine for a special occasion consists of deliberating over the prettiest bottle on the sale rack. As you can imagine, I often get stuck with my sub-par and uncomplimentary bottle of wine […]

Free Range Flowers
Free Range Flowers

Local flowers are just as beneficial as your local foods and other goods. Celeste Monke, farmer, florist, and owner of Free Range Flowers, is here to tell us exactly why local flowers are so important!

MIX
MIX

MIX employees are knowledgeable, cheery, and helpful! Abundantly Delicious   By Alex Smith November 2018 It’s rare these days to find something that truly defies our expectations. We’ve been exploring the edges of absurdity for so long that things we might have once thought crazy have become normal and even expected. Food is no exception, […]

Lummi Island Wild
Lummi Island Wild

Lummi Island Wild Marketing Manager Riley Starks, President Keith Carpenter, and General Manager Ian Kirouac Saving our oceans, one fish at a time By Liz Hansen November, 2018 Long, long ago, in the Salish Sea, the Lummi people devised ingenious methods to harvest wild salmon. Their methods were meant not only to respected the sacred […]

Food to Bank On Farmers Win Award, Program Now Accepting New Applications
Food to Bank On Farmers Win Award, Program Now Accepting New Applications

Photo by FotoMataio Fotografia. 2018 Farm Fund Hootenanny Farmer Award winners! From left: New Farmer: Jen Finch & Colin Fischer, Wanderwood Farm. Innovator Farmer: Griffin Berger, Sauk Farm LLC. Bright Spot Farmer: Helen Solem, Sumas River Farm. Mentor Farmer: Geoff & Anna Martin, Osprey Hill Farm.   Food to Bank On Farmers Win Award, Program Now Accepting New Applications […]

Tasca Del Tinto
Tasca Del Tinto

Traditional Tapas with a Bellingham Bend By Alex Smith   Tradition and innovation are constantly involved in a complicated dance. Classically trained chefs may thumb their noses at the idea of something like Thai-Italian fusion cuisine. On the other hand, the fusion chef may look at their classically-trained counterpart and see an antiquated concept; a […]

Twin Brook Creamery
Twin Brook Creamery

high-quality is the 108th year Twin Brook has been raising, grazing, and milking cows in Lynden, WA. Learn more about this 5th generation dairy farm dedicated to sustainable stewardship of their land and high-quality care for their animals!

Hauck’s Orchard
Hauck’s Orchard

Meet this family run orchard in Ferndale. Cherries, apples, pear, and plums grown with care and a dedication to sustainability.

Raven Breads
Raven Breads

A beautiful mix of art, science, and a bit of magic By Alex Smith   Wild fermentation is an intriguing term. Setting aside the fact that it could be a great name for a band or a party game, it turns out to be the source of some of humanity’s best creations. Fermentation is the […]

Skiyou Ranch
Skiyou Ranch

A Couple of Hard Working Animal Lovers By Alex Smith We all have that one friend. You know who I’m talking about. The person whose relationship with their pets is so strong that you often have to clarify whether they’re telling a story about one of their children or one of their dogs. This person […]

Barbies Berries
Barbies Berries

A Dreamland of Berries By Alex Smith   June in Whatcom County is well known for its fickle nature. Warm, sunny days begging for shorts and sandals give way to chilly rains that remind us we live in a maritime climate. Regardless of this variation in weather, one thing is almost a certainty come June: […]

Pepper Sisters
Pepper Sisters

Three culinary queens Celebrating 30 years of southwest success! By Diana Meeks   When she chose the restaurant’s name, Susan Albert didn’t know she was creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. When Pepper Sisters was created, it was named to pay homage to the most important ingredients in Southwestern cooking: red and green New Mexican chilies. Their […]

Sweet Bellingham
Sweet Bellingham

sweet treats & strong community By Diana Meeks   Nancy Babick has raised two beautiful children and founded two successful businesses. She’s a talented cake artist who can also build gorgeous in-store displays (how awesome is that table display pictured below?!). From humble beginnings to talented entrepreneur, she is a modern day renaissance woman.   […]

Rabbit Fields Farm
Rabbit Fields Farm

Connecting good people to good food By Alex Smith   Food is unique in its ability to bring together people of all backgrounds. There’s something about eating that helps us overlook differences and recognize that on a deep level, we’re all just humans moving from one meal to the next. This concept of food bringing […]

Keenan’s at the Pier
Keenan’s at the Pier

Casual, elegant…and damn delicious By Diana Meeks   I have a terrible memory. It’s common for friends, family, even past boyfriends to ask – eyebrows held high, “how can you not remember that?!” Dates, places, and events slip into obscurity. Some, but not all. I remember the first time I ate at Keenan’s at the […]

Farm Fresh Workplaces Come to Life
Farm Fresh Workplaces Come to Life

Samson Rope connects the employees to local food   One of the things we love most at Sustainable Connections is helping to make more local food connections. For the last 7 years, we have been connecting local employers with local farmers in the Farm Fresh Workplaces program, to get deliveries of farm-fresh produce straight from […]

Pollen Folly Farm
Pollen Folly Farm

A passion for fighting food deserts By Alex Smith   Next time you drive down Mt Baker Highway, I want you to try something. Take the time to notice and count the number of places you can buy fresh produce. I know, it’s hard to take your eyes off of the breathtaking views of the […]

The Rome Store
The Rome Store

Farm to Table Food Without Any of the Fuss By Diana Meeks The Rome Store, on Mount Baker Highway, is more than a hundred years old. In 1915 the store was moved, atop giant rolling logs, from Goshen to its current location. It’s easy to imagine it as a bustling community hub, before Mount Baker Highway was paved, with all […]

Viva Farms: Growing delicious food & Launching the next generation of farmers
Viva Farms: Growing delicious food & Launching the next generation of farmers

By Alex Smith The farming lifestyle is an alluring one. Waking up with the sun, spending time outdoors, the independence of knowing that your food is coming from within walking distance – what’s not to love? Given this idyllic picture of the American farmer, it may seem strange that we’re simply running out of them. […]

Homeskillet: Wild, wonderful, and a little bit weird
Homeskillet: Wild, wonderful, and a little bit weird

By Diana Meeks   If you don’t know these two, I’d like to warmly introduce you to Kirby and Tina White, owners of Homeskillet. Antartic dwellers, world explorers, artists, community builders, and comfort food extraordinaires. In 2012, they opened Homeskillet to instant fanfare–there’s been a line out the door since day one (seriously)!       […]

Appel Farms
Appel Farms

The second generation of Appel Farms ownership, from left to right: Rich and Ann Appel, and Ruth and John Appel The Fine Art of Farmstead Cheese By Alex Smith, February 2018 Take a moment to think about the word ‘values’. It’s come to be used in a number of ways and can invoke different ideas, […]

Dandelion Organic Delivery
Dandelion Organic Delivery

The Dandelion Organic Delivery family, from left to right, Jonny, Thanos, Sotiri, and Maria Fresh & local, delivered right to your door By Diana Meeks, Feb 2018   Garlic parmesan shrimp scampi, veggie Thai curry with coconut rice, spicy buffalo wings and homemade ranch dipping sauce…scrolling through Pintrest feels exciting and wildly aspirational at the […]

2018 Sustainability Champion Awards
2018 Sustainability Champion Awards

Thank you to Julien Scherliss for these great photos Congrats to our 2018 Sustainability Champion Award Winners!   Sustainable Connections awarded four Whatcom County businesses and two individuals Sustainability Champion Awards last Thursday for their deep commitment to making a positive impact locally. The Awards are an annual recognition of Sustainable Connections members who are leaders […]

Growing farmers, growing community
Growing farmers, growing community

The Food to Bank on Program By Alex Smith How many farmers have you seen in a single room at once? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably between zero and two (unless you count the farmers market depot as a room). In fact, it’s really quite difficult to get a group of […]

Probably Shouldn’t Distillery
Probably Shouldn’t Distillery

  What Happens When you do it anyways By Alex Smith   When advice comes from friends, conventional logic states that it’s a good idea to follow it. But sometimes we have a tendency to eschew the best intentions of our trusted companions. Sometimes there are good reasons for this insubordination. Other times, we just […]

Sea to Shore Seafood Co.
Sea to Shore Seafood Co.

Meet Chelsea and Peter, a young couple that has committed themselves to sustainable fishing and getting you all freshest most delicious seafood possible!

Bellingham Pasta Co.
Bellingham Pasta Co.

  Fresh Pasta, Made Simply By Alex Smith When I think of the holiday season, my mind immediately turns to good food shared with good people and a healthy amount of laughter. So it was perfectly fitting that I had the chance to visit the home of Bellingham Pasta Co and the owner, Katie Hinton. […]

Alluvial Farms
Alluvial Farms

  HIGH QUALITY PASTURED PORK FOR THE PUGET SOUND By Caitlin Singer With 13 years of combined farming experience, Katie Pencke and Matthew McDermott are practiced and accomplished farmers. From their roots in educational agriculture, they’re currently transitioning into providing local, organically-managed, pasture-raised pork. The term “alluvial” describes the fan-shaped deposits of soil at the […]

Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies
Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Yield: 6 servings  2 pounds red potatoes (about 6 medium), cut into 3/4-inch pieces  1 large onion, coarsely chopped  2 tablespoons olive oil  3 garlic cloves, minced  1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided  1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed, divided  3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided  1/2 teaspoon paprika  2-1/4 pounds chicken, skin removed, divided into smaller pieces  6 cups fresh […]

Apple-Pear Clafouti
Apple-Pear Clafouti

4 large eggs  ¾ cup warmed honey  1 cup milk  ¾ cup hazelnut flour  1 lb gravenstein or other baking apples or pears, cut into ¼- to ½-inch slices  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Oil a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan.  Beat eggs and honey until frothy (about 2 minutes).  Add milk and beat until smooth.  Stir in the hazelnut flour.  Distribute the […]

Triple Wren Farms: Fresh, local, beautiful flowers
Triple Wren Farms: Fresh, local, beautiful flowers

  It’s hard to describe how lovely a flower farm in the fall makes you feel. Sitting out in camping chairs directly between rows of exuberant dahlias and towering sunflowers, some at the zenith of their bloom and others that were slowly turning to seed, the air felt perfect. A light breeze blew, sunshine temporarily […]

Uncork and Unwind with the Vault Wine Bar
Uncork and Unwind with the Vault Wine Bar

  There’s a brand new spot that just opened up in Blaine that we’d like to introduce you too: The Vault Wine Bar. It comes by its name honestly as the building used to be a bank, and the original vault replete with its safe deposit boxes, still occupies a special corner of the business. […]

Boxx Berry Farm: A family farm for the community
Boxx Berry Farm: A family farm for the community

    The Boxx family has been rooted in Whatcom County for a long time – quite literally! In 1960, on twenty acres, Bill and Charlene Boxx put down some of their first berry plants. Bill’s dad had been a berry farmer before him and it seemed natural to continue in him family’s footsteps. Over […]

Q & A with Whatcom Community Foundation CEO Mauri Ingram
Q & A with Whatcom Community Foundation CEO Mauri Ingram

  Recently, we were lucky enough to chat with President and CEO of the Whatcom Community Foundation, Mauri Ingram (pictured in the middle above). The Whatcom Community Foundation is one of three community philanthropy organizations in our county and has made an immense impact since opening its doors, over twenty years ago. To date, they […]

The 2017 Chef’s Farm Tour!
The 2017 Chef’s Farm Tour!

By Alex Smith Take a moment to picture this: a chef strolling through a row of tomatoes while a farmer describes to him what makes that variety unique. A couple of hours later, a pizza maker pets baby cows while an artisan cheesemaker explains how the cow’s mother magically turns grass and alfalfa into rich […]

Riverhaven Farm: Nature oriented, permaculture driven, grass-based agriculture
Riverhaven Farm: Nature oriented, permaculture driven, grass-based agriculture

by Alex Smith In today’s world, healthy and ethical choices can be challenging. Highly processed food and large carbon footprints often seem like the easy choice. It’s rare to find people who are producing healthy food in a way that’s also healthy for the planet. Richard Kauffman of Riverhaven Farm wants to change that by […]

Blanchard Mountain Farm: Good food, great community, healthy ecosystems
Blanchard Mountain Farm: Good food, great community, healthy ecosystems

  There are many lives each of us could live, many different paths one could explore during the course of his or her life, and each comes with its own blessings and challenges. If we are lucky, or so predisposed, we get to experience many ways of being during this one lifetime. This is true […]

Hundred North: Modern Food and Drink
Hundred North: Modern Food and Drink

by Alex Smith Bellingham is leading the charge in a local food revolution. The city has the unique combination of community-based values and healthy lifestyles, as well as an abundance of great local food. The fertile valleys to the North and East are bursting with vegetables, berries, dairy cows, livestock, honey, and more. Look to […]