Summer Food Course Photos 2010

Summer Food Course Photos 2011

Summer Food Course Photos 2012

Welcome to this site, all interested in resilient farming!

Welcome to this site, all interested in resilient farming!

The postings most appropriate for you have the label, "Resilient Farms."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Buy Local or Bye-Bye Local -- the end of an era for Pastazza's in Bellingham

The day-long farewell at Pastazza's yesterday was certainly an event of mixed emotions. After almost three decades of the Bermans restauranteering local foods (and most astoundingly, in the case of their Innisfree restaurant, with its offering of owner-grown nourishing foods), the uncompromising and tasty kitchen is finally closed. Business was booming in the past month (leading up to the closing) as loyal customers scrambled for their last chance at the hand-made pastas and pizzas and other fabulous dishes.

If Fred and Lynn had seen just 25% of the business this past month, over the past year, Pastazza's would still be open. For sure, there were some loyal customers and utterly loyal staff -- Anne, the faithful pasta maker, 25 years; Sue,  pastry chef and office manager, 19 years; Andy, lead dinner chef, 14 years; Mike, lead lunch chef and chief of ordering, 14 years; Ken, 7 years; Ambyr &  Melissa, 6 years; Brendan & Rachel, 4 years,  as well as the remainder of our staff, Carrie, Caitlin, Lexee, Walter, Travis, Sam, Ginny and Oleg serving from 2 years to several months. What other restaurant can boast such long-time staff -- truly committed to local fare and business?

Please, let's remember:  Buy Local or Bye-Bye Local 
(an expression that Fred himself coined, during his long tenure with Bellingham's Sustainable Connections).

From an earlier e-mail notice sent by Lynn and Fred Berman: It is with with very mixed emotions that we announce our retirement on November 28th. Beginning with Innisfree in Glacier, followed with Pastázza in Barkley Village, and Pizzázza & Book Fare in Fairhaven, we've been privileged to serve you and to be a part of the local restaurant community. Pastázza has been an integral part of our lives with you, our customers, who are like family that we look forward to welcoming into our 'home'.                                                                                

Fred continues his hard work with WSDA, ensuring that farms of all scales have a chance to prosper. Were that only true for homegrown restaurants as well.

Manures, Biodynamic Composts, and Fertility Management

At the farmstead. Following our snowy Thanksgiving, and in a narrow window of warm weather, I was able to build a fall biodynamic compost, as well as check on how well previously-applied manure had decomposed on the fields. Below, sulfur rich manure ready for application (see MIT researcher Stephanie Seneff's essay on the importance of such fertility inputs at Also see and
Below, ash minerals, "green" organic matter, "brown" organic matter, nitrogen-rich cut grass/hay, manures, peat moss (as per Steiner's first recommendations in Agriculture). All mise-en-place -- ready to build the compost. Note that the peat moss is to be used sparingly -- as it was in Steiner's time. The compost was to be made, almost to homeopathic-scale recommendations, so as to conserve resources. For this compost, we used some peat moss from material remaining after establishing an acid-loving blueberry stand. Organic substitutes for the peat moss are possible -- and depending on relative availablity, certainly desirable.

One view of the completed compost pile after BD preps have been applied.

Thanksgiving at Inspiration Farm -- the 100 meter diet

Whatcom county resilient foodsheds include global, local, glocal (a combination of the previous two), and the very local, as in the 100 meter diet we experienced this Thanksgiving. Living in the Pacific Northwest is literally, a garden of Eatin.' Here, young farmer Rosie Kerkvliet carves the homegrown turkey.

Taste testing -- two homegrown turkeys; heritage breed, in the foreground. 
Also, homegrown portobellos (from inoculated woods at Inspiration Farm in Whatcom County) with on-farm eggplant.

Butter with sprouted-flour breads.
Rabbit stew (traditional German style -- Hasenpfeffer) 
Cornbread -- homegrown and pan-cooked.
 Squash pie.
 Our own raspberries and rhubarb.
Local cream and raspberries -- a nutrient-dense delicious dessert.
Making gravy with freshly-ground oat flour.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bountiful Thanksgiving

Time is indeed a limiting factor, as our farm resilience studies show-- although it need not be a wasteful one. It is easy to prepare nourishing foods, especially as we take a few days now with family and friends to celebrate a new gastronomy of co-production (producer-consumer networking) and nutrient-rich tastes.

Olive Oil Promotion

Chris Kerston of Chaffin Family Orchards -- in January, freshly-pressed olive oil can be available in Bellingham in 12 hours.

Bountiful harvest at Stoney Ridge Farm, one of the farms in our Resilience Institute study (Whatcom County) -- Happy Thanksgiving!

Fast Dance, Fast Food, and Slow Food Thanksgivings

Today, I braved snow (something we should be used to, in this, one of the coldest counties in the continental U.S. – looking at average annual temperatures), to attend a jazzercise class. Jazzercise is, arguably, the fast food of dance – corporate dance at its best BUT it holds a huge allure to many folks; an allure I appreciate. The class is fast-paced and economical (costing a dollar-something a class, depending on how many weekly classes you take), completely without guilt (you can stroll in late without anyone making a peep), replete with current tunes and themes, and loaded with people trying to take care of themselves – the good energy and hormones pulsate through the room – in an utterly positive environment. The amount of energy that can be expended with just a deepening of a knee-bend or placement of the arms is astounding (for some of the science behind this, see work at or my own book, Finding Balance). Yet, I also enjoy my $15 ballet classes and do appreciate their value!

Somehow, I think here there also is an analogy to fast food. We might ask: What, if any, place is there for fast food – something to think about especially as we busily prepare for a “Slow Food,” nutrient-dense Thanksgiving. In the coming weeks, I’ll be blogging on the topic of saturated fat’s seemingly unlikely role in health and weight loss. Until then, look at MIT researcher Stephanie Seneff’s diet-related essays at: If Seneff is right, then perhaps Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try and change the low-fat, low fat-soluble-vitamin diet that is the menu de jour for millions in this country. For more provocative ideas, also see: Fat Head (the movie). Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Beginning in the 1930s, and through 1945, the “First Kitchen,” led by First lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her house staff, was a plain and simple one (“dreary,” but perhaps appropriate for Depression-era fare) writes Laura Shapiro in the New Yorker this week. Lunches were stuffed eggs, fried liver, carrot relish or maybe broiled kidneys or braised sweetbreads, creamed beef. Mrs. Roosevelt was devoted to Cornell University home economists and their “science” – eschewing the art of cooking for a more “scientific” homemaking approach. Shapiro writes that as homemakers were embracing “canned soup, cottony white bread, and American cheese,” Mrs. Roosevelt was focusing on efficient (and seasonal) cuisine – unfortunately, she did little to advance the idea that such food indeed could be very tasty. Today, we know that seasonal- and nutrient-rich foods can be delicious; we, ourselves, our preparing one such this Thanksgiving. See the definitive missive on the topic – NOURISHING TRADITIONS by Sally Fallon and any of the featured blogs at