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The Local Dirt: April 2013

Apr 2nd, 2013 | Category: News

Skagit By Hand is airing a special segment next month on backyard chicken care featuring Dr. Matt Wesley from Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Wesley will be on hand to rate the funkiness of your chickens and answer listener questions about poultry nutrition, health and behavior. If you have a chicken question for Dr. Wesley, submit it by April 20 to and he’ll answer it on air.

In other poultry related news, Valley Farm Center in Mount Vernon is holding special chicken days including waterfowl on April 5, exotic chicks on April 19, heritage breeds on May 10, and meats birds on April 5, May 3 and June 7.

The Arlington Farmers Market is sponsoring an Ugly Chicken Contest on Saturday, April 13, with the winner receiving a new chicken coop. Spring veggie market, animals and more at the Arlington Co-op Supply at 101 S Olympic Ave.

Hannegan Farm and Home, just south of Lynden, is celebrating its first anniversary this month, and will hold an Open House as well as workshops about poultry, goats and beekeeping. Contact the store for details.

The grand opening of Northwest Brewers Supply is Saturday, April 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. With brats on the barbecue, they will host the “NORWA” homebrew guild for a brewing demonstration. This is a great time to ask questions and see homebrewing demonstrated at all skill levels. The business is now located at 940 Spruce St. in Burlington.

The Skagit Valley Food Co-op is sponsoring a Mother’s Day Essay Contest, open to all moms who have a story to tell about raising their kids and the Co-op. Entries must be submitted by Mother’s Day, May 12, and be 500 words or less. See for more details. The winner receives a $250 Co-op gift card. Two runners up each receive a $50 gift card.

A Rocha/Five Loaves Farm were gifted 1,437 seed packets (as a donation from ACE Hardware) and are looking to give some of them away. Contact Additionally, Growing Veterans received seeds from Seeds of Change and would like to donate some to school gardens. Contact

Skagit BroomWorks held its 1st Annual Ugly Broom Contest, accepting photos of very ugly brooms. A lucky fellow from North Carolina took the ugliest title, and will now receive a beautiful broom, made by hand in Stanwood.

The Northwest Agriculture Business Center is offering marketing consultations on the following dates: Island County (location TBD) on Wednesday, April 10; Skagit County (Mount Vernon) on Monday, April 15; Whatcom County (Bellingham) on Wednesday, April 24. Visit

Birdsview Brewing Company in Concrete is raising funds through Kickstarter to purchase 25 to 30 new kegs so they “can ramp up our distribution and share our fantastic beer with the world.” The Kickstarter project ends April 16.

Another project raising funds through Kickstarter is Carne, a new butcher shop coming to downtown Bellingham. Local resident Chad Johnson is opening the small shop and says he plans to use meats from local farms, as well as Washington State and Oregon, and offer various cuts.

Sustainable Connections has released its annual Whatcom Food & Farm Finder, listing food producers, farms, restaurants and others in Whatcom County. In addition, their 9th annual Future of Business Conference, Inspiration & Innovation, on April 25-26 in Bellingham. The conference kicks off  Thursday, April 25 with an evening “Localicious” reception featuring local food and beverage businesses, including Good To Go Meat Pies, Dashi Noodle Bar, Acme Farms + Kitchen, Kulshan Brewery, Evolve Truffles and more at the Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham. Visit

Three Sisters Cattle company has opened 3 Sisters Family Farms & Market in Coupeville. The store, open daily, carries their products as well as local items. They are also looking for a bakery to work with for local breads, buns, and sweets.

Another Whidbey Island farm, the Little Brown Farm in Freeland, is offering 40 percent off their cheesemaking classes through April.

After several years of searching, Well Fed Farms has found a permanent home, now located on Collins Road, west of Sedro Woolley.

Cascadia Mushrooms will be a featured Farm Walk with Tilth Producers on May 13. To register, visit

Alice’s Pies, launched by Bellingham resident Alice Clark, will offer fresh seasonal pies at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market, starting April 20.

Bow Hill Blueberries’ food processing and cold storage facility will be host location for a Farmers and Chefs Mix It Up event on Monday, April 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. Farmers, chefs and producers can bring a dish to share and discuss regional food and the North Sound Wholesale Market, with representatives of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center. RSVP appreciated.

Adrift Restaurant in Anacortes has finished its remodel and is now open for business.

Kulshan Brewery is celebrating their first anniversary on Saturday, April 6, all day. The business is in the process of expanding their beer garden, too.

HamsterPuncture, focusing on community style acupuncture, has moved to its new office at 1609 Broadway Suite 202 in Bellingham. The business offers a sliding scale for acunpuncture, from $15 to $40. See

Mount Vernon’s Forte Chocolates was awarded the Gold at the Academy of Chocolate 2013 annual awards in London, UK, and was one of only three American companies to be awarded gold. Forte received Gold (the highest award given in the Filled Chocolate category) for its Caramel with Rosemary and Orange. Forte also received Bronze in the same category for its Chipotle Caramel with Orange chocolate. The company was awarded the Silver in 2011 for its Sea Salt Honey Caramels.

In other chocolate news, Lynden’s Fresco Chocolate received a Good Food Award for their PNG 220 at the 3rd annual Good Food Awards Ceremony, held in San Francisco in January.

The Mirkwood & Shire Café, a vegetarian/vegan eatery at 117 E Division St. in Arlington, is offering a “Food Service Industry Night Party” on Sundays with all night happy hour prices for all food industry employees. Free karaoke, free pool, music and dancing.

–compiled by Becca Schwarz Cole

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