By Stefanie Donahue
Foods, farms and fishers local to Northwest Washington are the focus of a month-long campaign initiated by Bellingham-based Sustainable Connections Food and Farming Program.
The celebration lasts through September and was created by the nonprofit to encourage the community to purchase locally-grown food.
“Our plates and our shopping bags can be the most powerful tool that we have when thinking about impacting the health of our community,” said Sara Southerland, food and farming coordinator for Sustainable Connections. “September is the time to feast to that fact and recommit to eating local and supporting the amazing folks that make and prepare our food.”
This month, Sustainable Connections invites the public to take part in the Eat Local Month Challenge. Participants can access a series of plans and guides to make it simple to buy and eat local.
Select Bellingham restaurants will offer an “Eat Local Special” with at least half of the meal containing local ingredients. A series of events, including the Whatcom Farm Tour, are also scheduled during September.
The countywide self-guided Whatcom County Farm Tour includes 12 stops and takes place this Saturday, September 10. A map with a full list of stops, which include a winery, farms and markets, is provided.
The event begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. and is free of cost. However, a $10 Farm Tour VIP badge will be available for purchase and guarantees participants coupons and discounts on products available at each location.
Farm-touring adventurers are encouraged to carry cash and a cooler to prepare for spontaneous purchases at stops throughout the day.
All maps, including details on a 50-mile bike loop, can be accessed online at sustainableconnections.org or at the Community Food Co-op, Whatcom Farmers Co-op, farmers markets and visitors centers within the county. More information can also be found at eatlocalfirst.org.