Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms

schuhIt was stunning weather filled bright blue sky and a cool breeze in the high 60’s.  October is a busy month for farm harvest tours but we chose to visit Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms (, a two day celebration of family farms located about an hour north of Seattle.  We brought back goodies- pumpkins, wine, kettle corn, and vegetables for corn chowder.

Kraut cabbage is much larger than Jason's head

Kraut cabbage is much larger than Jason's head

lucypumpJas and I made a few stops along the tour. Our first stop was family friendly Schuh farms- including a farm animal petting area, corn maize, fresh made kettle corn and pumpkins galore.  It was pretty fun.  I ran into Jennifer Schuh who wore a hat adorned with a decorative black bird.  I had been wanting to talk with her for about a month about the Puget Sound Food Network, but we agreed to circle back in November when both of our calendars were quiet.  In addition to pumpkins and an apple pie, Jas and  I bought a $5 thing of kettle corn, bypassing the pumpkin shakes stand.

Up the street we stopped for hard cider and wine tasting at Tulip Valley Vineyard and Orchard (  We tasted both Fire Barrel and the Tulip Festival ciders, as well as Tulip Valley sweet and semi dry Rieslings, and a Gewurztraminer.  Since I already buy their cider in Seattle stores, we bought a bottle of grapes

Onward to La Connor  to visit Hedlin Farms.  We got there late in the day but I loaded up on sweet corn, red and green bell peppers, garlic, onions and lettuces for dinner tonight.  We paid a visit to some riding ponies resting in the shade and gave a few soft pets.  By 4:00 p.m. hedlin was ready to pack up for the day, but the overall turnout for the weekend was brisk this year. turkey

On our way back to I-5, we stopped at Rexville Grocery (  There we met Joyce Welch who is a member of Slow Food Skagit River Salish Sea.  We sat at the bar and had a glass of wine each, and just enjoyed this gem of a shop that sells a unique combination of gas, motor oil, ethnic sauces and condiments, local shellfish, excellent wines and micro brews, locally baked breads and cheeses, and a stellar prepared foods sections including their famous Reuben sandwich, which uses mostly local ingredients. skagit pres

The weather couldn’t have been better.  Jas and I are just now hitting our stride in Washington.  It’s taken us a little longer than it did in New York or Portland.  After three years we’re just starting to enjoy what this lovely state has to offer.colors of fall


4 thoughts on “Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms

  1. You were Here! Darn. I spent most of Saturday and Sunday at a Pumpkin Farm Stand On McLean Road, between Mt. Vernon and LaConner, with my culinary students, selling cider, hot chocolate, and our baked goods. I am glad you had a great time. Yeah, Joyce at the Rexville is a wonderful woman and her daughter Sydney is too. So, wasn’t it just amazing out there? And then the moon last night?
    This is a magical place.
    I’m still planning to get you that habernaro/golden beet pickle recipe.
    Take care.

    • Yes, and I thought of you the whole time wondering if I would by chance run into you. We didn’t get out as early as I wanted. It was a gorgeous day! yes can’t wait to see the beet recipe!

      • Okay! Here is the recipe:

        the brine:
        2 cups sugar
        2 cups water
        2 cups white vinegar
        1/2 t. salt

        4 habernaros, cut in half, seeds in
        5-6 lb. of golden beets

        Trim beets but leave whole. Simmer for 40 minutes, drain and slip skins off.
        Cut in one inch chunks.

        Combine brine ingredients and bring to simmer to dissolve everything. Keep hot.

        Have 4 quart jars, lids, and rings washed and sterilized. Have water bath ready for the 4 jars.

        Drop two pieces of habernaro pepper into bottom of each quart jar. Fill with the beet chunks up to 1 inch from top. Pour brine over, wipe rims, place on lid and rings halfway screwed.

        Process in open canner for 25 minutes, slight simmering water. Remove from canner, place carefully on a towel on counter top. Let cool and rest and listen for the TING! Wipe clean and store in cool dark place (you know all that)

        Bruce’s regular beet recipe has celery seed, nutmeg, a bit of cumin and cinnamon in it but he likes the brine for these golden beets to be clear and pretty. The heat is pretty full palate on.

        I have a picture of one of the jars on my blog.
        Thanks for being here!

  2. Sounds like a beautiful day. We are going pumpkin picking on Saturday. Glad you are enjoying Washington, but Oregon (and Oregonians) miss you!

    P.S. I want to come to your pickling class, but I have class (for my MPH program) on Tuesdays. Since we have so much fruit growing around the new house, I was thinking that next year I can entice you to come down and do a pickling/canning class for me and some other folks in town!

    Lots of love to you and Jason,

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