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The Local Dirt: February 2020

Feb 1st, 2020 | Category: News

Save Family Farming was presented the “Most Valuable Partner” Award from the Washington State Dairy Federation! Congrats to Save Family Farming.  the local dirt web

The Northwest Agriculture Business Center announced registration is open for the Island Grown Farmers Cooperative’s one-day Meat Cutting Workshop on April 6. Now in its 13th year, more than 400 students have been through the program presented by the farmer-owned co-op butcher shop at their facility in Bow. Two IGFC master meat cutters and an assistant will lead the class. “Students tour the IGFC mobile slaughter unit and stationary facility, learn proper cutting and preparation techniques, and receive one-on-one guidance from professional butcher staff in hands-on meat fabrication. This workshop is primarily geared towards culinary students, chefs, and meat producers working in the industry.” The registration fee is $120 per student and includes all personal protection supplies, knives and tools, as well as snacks, beverages, and a BBQ lunch. The workshop runs 8 a.m to 5 p.m. To register, see, or for questions contact or 360-336-3727.

The New Mexico Tamale Co., of Ferndale, was named among the 100 top places to eat in the United States in 2020, according to Yelp’s ratings and reviews in the country and state. Congrats to owner Dora Ruiz and staff! This is the seventh year Yelp has released the top 100 list.

Congrats to this year’s Good Food Award winners! It’s always exciting to see producers in our northwest corner of Washington State recognized each year. A total of 219 crafters from 38 states, Washington, D.C. and Guam were honored across 16 categories. Washington State has a total of 20 winners, with four from our northwest corner. And this year’s winners and winning products are Lummi Island Wild Co-op (Bellingham) for their Wild Smoked Sockeye, Wild Pink Salmon Ikura; Daniel’s Artisan (Ferndale) for their Bonneville; HOSAco (Bellingham) for their Standard Fermented Hot Sauce; Shrub Farm (Bellingham) for their Ginger & Hawaiian Chili Shrub; and Madrone Cider (Friday Harbor) for their The Reserve Blend.

The annual Grange Baking Contest welcomes entries from members and non-members, and will be held at the Feb. 18 meeting at Ten Mile Grange in Lynden. Entries are due between 10 a.m. and noon for judging. The evening will begin with a potluck at 6 p.m., followed by an auction of the baked goods starting at 6:45. A meeting will follow. The auction is always lots of fun, with items going from $2 to $30. Try out a new, or a tried and true recipe, and enjoy!

The Mt. Baker Beekeeper Association is looking for speakers and presenters of any bee-related subjects and materials that would be of interest to their membership. If you or someone you know would like to share your talents or knowledge at one of their meetings, send an email to Membership is open. Meetings are held the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Gateway Centre Executive Suites, 1313 E. Maple Street in Bellingham on the third floor.

Viva Farms are  accepting applications through Feb. 14 for their Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture, a bilingual (English-Spanish), hands-on, applied course in Certified Organic production and small farm business management. Participants will apply knowledge and practice techniques of sustainable agricultural production on a Certified Organic parcel, located at the Viva Farms incubator. Program details available at

The Mount Vernon City Library is working on a seed library, with programming notices coming in the future. Anyone interested in being involved should call the Library at (360) 336-6209.

The Whatcom Conservation District presents the Farm Speaker Series: Annual Grazing Plan Development on Feb. 20 from 6-8 p.m. at the Everson Auction Market. Featuring years worth of research from WSU and OSU staff and other regional experts, learn how the Westside Pasture Calendar and other tools can help you develop a 2020 grazing plan for your farm. Hear from a local agronomist about services they offer and pasture management case studies. Planners will share the latest research in regenerative agriculture, and a local farrier and beef producer will share how they plan and implement their own grazing plans. To RSVP, contact Katie Pencke at or call 360-526-2381 x105.

Starting Feb. 4, the Whatcom Farm Club will be meeting the first Tuesdays of the month, 4-6 p.m. at Free Range Flowers, 6222 Medcalf Road. According to Celeste Monke, of Free Range Flowers and a member of the Washington Young Farmers Coalition, there will be soup, bread, and salad served. Bring your own choice of beverage.

Edison’s Chicken Parade returns Saturday, Feb. 23 in downtown Edison at noon! Enjoy the Word Famous Chicken Parade and all the local fun.

The Skagit Valley Food Co-op               is offering a free Movie Night film series during the month of February.  All movies are shown at 7 p.m. in Room 309. The schedule is: The Need to Grow (Feb. 5); The Biggest Little Farm (Feb. 12); Kids Can Save the Planet (Feb. 19); and Artifishal (Feb. 26). For complete film descriptions, see

Delightful Dahlias’ annual dahlia tuber sale will be on March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Burlington Senior Center, 1011 Greenleaf Ave. in Burlington. They grow over 2,500 dahlia plants with over 400 different varieties, and sell dahlia tubers in the spring and fresh cut dahlia blooms in late summer and fall. Visit their website at to see photos of dahlias or to place an order.  For any questions, contact 360-629-4439.

Avenue Bread continues to support local organizations through their Project Kneaded Dough – donating 25 cents of every loaf of bread sold in their four cafes each month. A non-profit is supported monthly. This year, the following organizations have been selected: February – Bellingham Girls Rock Camp; March – Junior Achievement; April – Bellingham Explorers; May – Blue Skies for Children; June – Bellingham Giving Circle; July – Engedi Refuge; August – Max Higbee Center; September – Sea Mar Visions; and October – Lydia Place. Several local organizations receive donations in November and December.

The WSU San Juan Extension website is now home to a collection of historical articles from the 20th century. Find them at

Lydia’s Flock Icelandic and Shetland Sheep is offering their first lambing basics class on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at their farm in Bellingham. This course is for those who are preparing for their first lambing season or would like to refresh their lambing knowledge and skills. More course specifics and registration information  is available at Need based scholarships for all sheep focused courses are available. Contact for details.

–Grow Northwest


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