It 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 (http://www.festivaloffamilyfarms.com), 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.
Jas 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 (http://redbarncider.com). 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 Gewurztraminer.
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.
On our way back to I-5, we stopped at Rexville Grocery (http://rexvillegrocery.com). 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.
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.