For the past year, I have been the happy recipient of the weekly Grange Food News email from Chris Williams, who is an officer of the Deer Lagoon Grange. Chris’ official title is Pomona, and like her Roman Goddess namesake, she dispenses tantalizing tidbits of information about the gardens, fruits, vegetables and local foods of Whidbey Island. I marvel and admire how much effort she must put into staying informed about the farmers and foods of our island home. Thank you Chris for the wonderful job you do producing this email.
For me, Chris’ weekly email is a delightful reminder of how special our lives are here on Whidbey, and I am constantly amazed at the diversity, commitment and passion of our island farmers and food producers as well as others throughout the Pacific NW. Here are just a few examples of the food “adventures” I have learned about from Chris’ email newsletter:
1) Sea Breeze Seafood – Many of you know that during the summer there is a seafood vendor in front of the Bayview shopping center (Sebo’s / The Goose). Chris’ newsletter provides advanced notice from the vendor on specials, pricing, etc. You can also sign up directly for their newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Tuna Run – speaking of seafood, this is special. Each year, the Grange arranges a delivery of fresh albacore tuna from Westport’s annual tuna run. You have to pre-order, and the fish is available both whole and filleted. We ordered a whole fish, and now have the most incredible tasting canned tuna in our pantry.
3) Making Whid-Bee Friendly – David Neel of Island Apiaries is developing a program starting in January 2012 to take people through the hands on process of getting started with honey bees. At the end of the series, all participants will own a functioning bee hive with an established queen, drones and workers. He also is working on flower seed distribution so that everybody can grow bee-friendly flowers. Choosing the right plants to get a long continuous flowering season will help both native bees and honey bees, which are important pollinators of our food producing plants.
4) Foraging for Seaweed – Slow Food of Whidbey Island is planning a major seaweed foraging event at Fort Ebey. You can only forage seaweed there from April 15 to May 15th only. You will need a shellfish and seaweed license, which you can get from any hardware store. The hands-on foraging event will cost $35 to be followed by a cooking class and seafood meal at a kitchen venue to be arranged, for another $35.
This is very small sampling of the wonderful events and information available from the Grange. Email Chris at email@example.com to receive the newsletter, and of course, please consider becoming a member of the Deer Lagoon Grange.