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."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Provocative Talk in Mt Vernon this Tuesday, April 24

Tuesday, April 24 in Mt. Vernon
"Resilient Farms - Research and Implications." The seminar is from noon to 1:00, with an open discussion to follow. For more information on my work, visit

A talk on the importance of small and medium sized farms in the North Puget Sound region and the disturbances threatening them. Severe weather, energy prices, and rapid changes in zoning practices all jeopardize western Washington farms' competitive position. A discussion will follow the seminar to address these issues. For foodies. Also, see our 2 1/2 minute film at
For directions, visit

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebrate Slow Food, and resilient farms in Whatcom County

Join us May 1 at the Bellingham Community Food Co-op for a Slow Food celebration. See my article in the April issue of the Co-op Community News, "Slow Food: Resilient Food Systems."

More: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The Slow Food movement links the pleasure of preparing and eating food to environmental sustainability and food community resilience. Enjoy a workshop featuring slides of Slow Food centers in northern and central Italy, narration by Gigi Berardi, Huxley professor and coordinator of the Resilient Farm Project. Learn about opportunities for Slow Food study in Europe and in Bellingham. Light refreshments to be provided by Charles Claassen of the Book Fare Café.
$6 students, $8 members, $10 non-members/ Downtown Co-op /register at Co-op
Slow Food, Resilient Food Systems
Gigi Berardi
Whatcom County residents are indeed fortunate to be living in a community and region that has such favorable physical resources (permitted water rights issues notwithstanding), know-how, and interest in supporting agriculture and fishing. From Sustainable Connections to the Food Bank Farm, Community-to-Community to Uprising Organics to Twin Brook Creamery, Boxx Berry Farm to Veen Huizen Dairy, Weston A. Price Foundation to BelleWood Acres, Ciao Thyme to Transition Whatcom (and many, many others), growers, farm suppliers, and community members are united on the need to protect farmland, provide good food, and build communication networks that celebrate common goals while identifying points of unrest and contention.
This author is still quite convinced that Slow Food as a movement is the key to unlocking some unifying theory about food, centered on the primacy of taste. Slow Food is the food movement associated with journalist, author, and activist Carlo Petrini -- it links the pleasure of preparing and eating food to realities about social justice and environmental degradation, or at least it should be. Slow Food, in other words, promotes equitable and profitable worker, producer, and consumer food cultures committed to high quality, taste-full foods.
Yet such food cultures are vulnerable. Agricultural and food policies can threaten small-scale production and global economic accountingsystems can affirm - or deny -- the worth of resilient practices in such systems. Sometimes the effort required to support a resilient, Slow Food system is huge, as in the extraordinary volunteer effort to provide Slow Food to 100 students at a local Summer Sounds chamber and symphony music camp each summer. Good will and cheer on the part of the teachers and students, and a group ambiance of healthy experimentation with varied foods tastes isrequired. It also requires (Slow Food champion) Ciao Thyme's commitment to co-producing, serving nourishing and delectable foods by underwriting and sponsoring the week-long gastronomy adventure.
The only way to achieve resilience in food systems is through respecting diversity, innovation, and valuing what we can produce in Whatcom County. Regulatory agency directives and public sympathies and support need to focus on helping farmer to build adaptive capacity -- seeing threats to farming as opportunities for positive change. The fact that food produced from suchsystems needs to be "real" is a given.
May 1, Beltane, marks the first day of summer in certain ancient calendars, and provides a good reason to meet over the promise of Slow Foodcultures - and those that care about how food is produced, prepared, and processed. At this meeting, we will network with others concerned about the future of food.
For more see See Twin Brook's Larry Stap (and other Whatcom County farmers) starring in the award-winning Our Farms Are At Risk, also at (and on Seattle TV networks this month).
Slow Food and Nourishing Traditions
Tuesday, May 1, 6:30-8:30 pm
Downtown Co-op in Bellingham/register at Co-op The Slow Food movement links the pleasure of preparing and eating food to environmental sustainability and food community resilience. Enjoy a workshop by Huxley professor and coordinator of the Resilient Farm Project Gigi Berardi, and light refreshments by Book Fare Cafe.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Resilience, revisited

See the Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 issue of the Bellingham Herald -- "Darigold output reduced after fire" the plant. At the time of reporting, the plant was running at 60% capacity (it typically converts about 4 million pounds of fluid milk into powder (mostly for export) each day). Resilience is about adaptive capacity and fall-back systems. Food for thought, as managers elsewhere ramped up for the additional processing supply.

Agroecology Practicum at work in the Arntzen gardens -- for the Bellingham Food Bank

Harvest first, then tend the beds and plant

Agriculture and The Vegetarian Myth

At times, almost sarcastic, and yet elsewhere in the text -- the startling message cannot be ignored...this is a great book for discussion of agriculture and nature.

Agriculture vs. Environment (s). California's Central Valley (photo taken last week).

The slowest of Slow Foods, and the most exquisite of tastes -- in Sooke

In studying foods, I have travelled around the world looking for Floss -- Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal, and Sustainable -- and it is difficult to find a meal more satisfying for its exquisite tastes and presentation (and Floss-y ways) -- than at Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island.  Chef Robin and trusty maitre'd Brian deliver a meal beyond compare -- similar in some ways to the cooking we find in Toscany and Emiglia-Romagna. Bravo. Bravi.

Roasted parsnip and pear soup, with toasted cumin yoghurt
 and pumpkin seeds -- the apple cider vinegar, delicious

Quadra Island sea angel oysters

Berkshire pork tenderloin with Yukon potato, and
Moonstruck Baby Blue raw milk cheese

Hecate Strait halibut with smoked sockeye, a lovely snow pea vine and stinging nettle sauce, and a mouth-watering lemon thyme semolina polenta

The master -- Chef Robin Jackson

Foraging for marine foods

Korean and Chinese-born Canadians harvest marine plants on an exceptionally low tide -- as have many Coast Salish cultures.

Summer Slow Food, and Fine Music

See my article in the April issue of the Co-op Community News, "Slow Food: Resilient Food Systems."

The Mount Baker Youth Symphony Summer Sounds Music Camp -- a fine example.

Farming with wetlands

In the San Juan Islands.

Protecting the native skunk cabbage stands.

Macrobiotic cooking

Courtesy of Teresa Rieland. See:

Food self-sufficiency in Bellingham

Finally. With our backyard wheat production -- and threshing at Inspiration Farm.

Farmer Ben

See Farmer Ben (a former WWU student!) in action at / and also at WSU-sponsored field days (in the background)......

410 Final Projects 2012 -- Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture

Class potlucks

Homemade apple sauce for the class