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."

Friday, December 31, 2010

Hello Local -- Good News for the New Year

Carolyn makes a seasonal egg nog latte, Book Fare at Village Books,
in Bellingham's historic Fairhaven.
Locavore Chef Charles Claassen celebrates one month of providing mostly FLOSSY-food (fresh, local, organic, seasonal, and/or sustainable) with his new restaurant, Book Fare at Village Books in Bellingham. Here, Carolyn is making one fabulous egg nog latte (heavy on the cream and eggs, light on the sugar) to celebrate the New Year.

Happy New Year: Old Ideas, New Ideas – Weight Control the Easy Way

Personally speaking, it looks like researchers Stephanie Seneff and Robert Lustig (see Gigi’s Top Science pics at this website) as well as Mindless Eating’s Brian Wansink ( might be right in terms of weight management. These science giants and, to this I humbly add my current work on Cook More, Eat Less, all weigh in on the side of excess carbs (for Wansink) or just carbs (for the others) as the cause of fat gain. Indeed, for Seneff, fat is the ultimate metabolic organ and eating carbs (incessantly, according to Wansink) is the surefire way to keep harmful weight, and more importantly, dead fat (again, back to Stephanie) high, high, high. This suggests that “fat” people are fat-deficient. Read Stephanie’s work, for more.

When a young biologist, Loyola Marymount University’s Stephen Scheck (now, Western Oregon University dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), tried to convince his departmental colleague (me) that sugar/carbohydrates was the real culprit in weight gain, I gave the whole idea short shrift in my then current writing project, Finding Balance. Times have changed, as all the material on this website addresses (as well as the second edition of Finding Balance).

So, what’s the personal part? Well, in an empirical/case study, I’ve noticed that in three weeks, over the holidays, my weight has barely fluctuated by more than an ounce or two. What’s the secret, especially with holiday eating?  Whenever I feel like something utterly sugary/ “starchy” – I eat saturated fat. Often, it’s coconut oil in hot water, or it’s cheese, or any number of nourishing fats. 

Party food -- Mozarella in olive oil

Fructose-rich, but mitigated by the fat-rich
 and/or cholesterol rich cream and eggs

For more, see:
Stephanie Seneff (on fat as a metabolic organ, obesity and fat deficits, cholesterol and fat-soluble vitamin deficits and weight gain/neurological dysfunction).
Robert Lustig (the bitter truth on sugar, especially fructose)
Brain Wansink (mindless eating).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Washington state dairy featured in my guest blog at

See my new guest blog at........

Pacific Northwest Holiday Foods

Late fall in the Pacific Northwest still brings seasonal bounty -- greens, tubers, fresh-pressed cider, plus dried beans (here, scarlet runner beans just shelled). 
Our Christmas was roasted chicken (below, slowly-cooked chicken broth, with parsley added in the last few minutes of cooking) and roasted vegetables, bean soup, fried cauliflower and steamed beets, pumpkin (biodynamic) pie with sprouted-flour crust.
Chicken broth
Holiday breakfast (pressed salad, homemade
applesauce, pancakes -- in our house, both
gluten-free and sprouted flour options).
Bean-Cabbage-Bacon soup

Cauliflower, rolled in eggs (pasture-raised
hens) and
sprouted flour-cumin-salt mix.

Pumpkin (biodynamic) with
sprouted-flour crust.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fresh-Local-Organic-Seasonal-Sustainable -- for 100 kids at a symphony camp? Bellingham's Ciao Thyme Works Wonders

As we approach the new year, I think of all the wonderful food events I've experienced. One of the top has to be Ciao Thyme's catering of the Mount Baker Youth Symphony summer camp. This year (and it looks like, next year as well), we were able to work with Slow Food- and FLOSS- (Fresh-Local-Organic-Seasonal-Sustainable) chefs extraordinaire Jessica and Mataio of Ciao Thyme ( -- even entering its website, much less tasting the extraordinary food, is a marvel).
Ciao Thyme Owner-Chefs Jessica and Mataio
The effort required extraordinary volunteer effort, good will and cheer on the part of the teachers and students, and a group ambiance of healthy experimentation with varied foods tastes. It also required Ciao Thyme's commitment to serving nourishing and delectable foods by underwriting and sponsoring the week-long gastronomy adventure. The pictures are evidence of the success of the venture. The venue? Camp Casey, Washington, in August.

Students eager to eat, and help

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cultivating Regional Food Security and S 510

One doesn’t need to look very far to find good information on Food Security. For example, the "Cultivating Regional Food Security" conference at the University of Washington last weekend offered emerging research and lively discussion among the several hundred participants there. I spoke on the topic of our farm resilience work [see ]. What we’re finding is that time is an ultimate limiting factor for all the field tasks, regulations, experimenting, researching, hosting, and legal work farmers need to accomplish in any given day. Labor, too, is a vulnerability (we’re looking at that now). Stay posted. Until then, do follow what’s going on with S 510.
It seems that Amendment SA 4715 was agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent on November 30, 2010. In this amendment to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S 510), there is the following language:
Small Entity Compliance Policy Guide.--Not later than 180 days after the issuance of the regulations promulgated under subsection (n) of section 418 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (as added by subsection (a)), the Secretary shall issue a small entity compliance policy guide setting forth in plain language the requirements of such section 418 and this section to assist small entities in complying with the hazard analysis and other activities required under such section 418 and this section.
This Act may be cited as the ``Small Business Paperwork Relief Act''…….
Also, SMALL ENTITY COMPLIANCE POLICY GUIDE.--Not later than 180 days after the issuance of the regulations promulgated under section 415(b)(5) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (as added by this section), the Secretary shall issue a small entity compliance policy guide setting forth in plain language the requirements of such regulations to assist small entities in complying with registration requirements and other activities required under such section.
The Amendment also contains language about “small businesses” and “very small businesses” and about providing “sufficient flexibility to be practicable for all sizes and types of facilities, including small businesses such as a small food processing facility co-located on a farm” and about …. “….special attention to minimizing the burden (as defined in section 3502(2) of such Act) on the facility, and collection of information (as defined in section 3502(3) of such Act), associated with such regulations;…”
Also, that the Secretary … "shall exempt certain facilities from the requirements in section 418 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (as added by this section), including hazard analysis and preventive controls, and the mandatory inspection frequency in section 421 of such Act (as added by section 201), or modify the requirements in such sections 418 or 421, as the Secretary determines appropriate, if such facilities are engaged only in specific types of on-farm manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding activities that the Secretary determines to be low risk involving specific foods the Secretary determines to be low risk.
Action remaining: The bill now goes on to be voted on in the House, although the debate may be taking place on a companion bill in the House. See:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

S 510 -- And, a thought for Riley Detweiler

One of the main threats to farm resilience is the lack of time farmers have – as noted in an earlier essay here. Time is actually an abstract concept, but, for farmers, it literally means time to meet, comply with, experiment, host, test, read, litigate – especially for limited resource farms. And so, a serious threat to small farms and locally-produced food has emerged in the form of S 510, (the “Food Safety” bill).

We’ve been watching closely what’s been happening to S 510. The Senate passed the Bill with its Tester amendment mostly in tact (which provides exemptions from costly food safety plans and more). Now, the House (which did not include this critical amendment) and Senate bills must be reconciled during a brief session. Supporters hold up the recent recall of a half-billion eggs after a Salmonella outbreak, as well as other outbreaks of contamination and disease, as reasons to bolster up food safety legislation.

Personally, it was fall 1995, in my first class at Western, that I encountered what such tragedy looks like. Just two years prior, in 1993, 16-month old Riley Detweiler had died of food poisoning; his father was taking my class. Often times, Mr. Detweiler would be away, having lunch with Al Gore or being interviewed on network television – fighting hard for food safety. Mr. Detweiler was busy, and he was angry. On the first day of class, he had told me, “I can’t read your textbook” (which was entitled Meat). Rather, on the last day of class, he gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Geography of Industrialized Meat. The presentation to my 450 students concluded with a picture of his baby son (leaving not one dry eye in the lecture room) – the endpoint of 300 different possible sources of meat inputs. But, therein lies the problem – in both engineering process and unforgiving geography/untraceability of that industrialized meat.

S 510 may be a solution – but not necessarily to the problem of unhealthy meat and eggs. It seeks controls that easily undermine the kind of farming that is the key to reducing risk in the American food system. For more, see Monsanto Expose and Farm To Consumer.

Dedicated to Riley Detweiler and small- and medium-sized farms everywhere trying to produce the most health-ful and nutritious foods possible.