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A unique time of year is upon us, when the earth’s soil thaws and new life sprouts from the fertile soil; birds chirp all day long beneath the shady trees while the sun moves slowly across the sky; it’s not only light enough, but also warm and dry enough to enjoy dinner and wine on the porch with family and friends. Spring means abundance, spring means life, spring means the opening of the summer farmers’ markets! So, next time you plan a sunset dinner on the front lawn, consider the nutrient-rich, homegrown, made-with-love goods that you can find not only on the island but on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Local farmers and venders producing such specialties as handmade clothing, kombucha, wine, chocolate, and oils didn’t stop when last year’s farmers markets did. While winter harvests have been sold in CSA boxes and at grocery stores, the most exciting part of the year, not only for farmers, but for consumers, too, will begin on Saturday, April 11, from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, at the opening of the 2015 summer Bainbridge Island Farmers’ Market at the Town Square/City Hall.

With more than 40 venders offering fresh produce, delicious specialty foods, vibrant flowers and plants, crafts, desserts, and much more beneath what we can hope will be bright blue skies, your Saturdays are about to get a little healthier and more full of community fun! Trade your car for a long walk, near or far, across the beautiful island with a few bags, an empty stomach, and plenty of time to spend getting to know your neighbors, venders, farmers, and listen to the rotating live band while eating lunch on the warm, grassy lawn.

Local food venders featured at the Bainbridge Island Summer Farmers’ Market include but are not limited toe: B.I. Barbeque, Clara’s Wok, Rolling Bagels, Psychedeli, Bainbridge Vineyards, and Emmy’s Veggie House, as well as the abundance of samples from venders such as Iggy’s Foods, peddling the most delicious fermented health food this side of the Sound, as well as Mt. Townsend Creamery, F/V Ocean tuna, artisan peanut butter from Jammin PB, and many more. Crafters such as Gayle Bair Pottery, OHO Clothing & Accessories, Bapa Toms Metal Works, Laura’s Knitting Loft, Fern & Folly, Kuy Glass, and Wood Turning by Design offer a wide variety of goods, from pottery to fibers and blown glass.

Farmers—the reason for the season—present at the farmers’ market include: Bainbridge Island Farms, Butler Green Organics, Central Valley Nursery, Farmhouse Organics, Holly Lane Gardens, Laughing Crow Farm, Leapfrog Farm & Medical Intuitive Massage, Paulson Farms, Persephone Farm, Sol Farm, Sundown Ridge Farm, Sweetlife Farm, Tani Creek Farm, and Terra Bella Farms.

The opening of the island market will be closely followed by the following Kitsap Peninsula Markets that will have you covered from Tuesday to Saturday every week:

  • Port Orchard Farmers’ Market Saturdays: opens April 4, from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Poulsbo Farmers’ Market Saturdays: opens April 4, from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Silverdale Famers’ Market Tuesdays: opens April 28, from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Kingston Farmers’ Market Saturdays: opens May 2, from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Bremerton Farmers’ Market Thursdays: opens May 7, from 4:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Bremerton Farmers’ Market Sundays: opens May 24, from 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Contributed by Christine St.Pierre

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Contributed by Christine St.Pierre

On Friday, March 20, the sun will shine directly on the equator, and the length of day and night will be nearly equal. While we in the northern hemisphere celebrate the coming of spring with festivals and holidays, the southern hemisphere experiences the autumnal equinox, parting with the long, warm days of summer. The equinox has long been celebrated by many cultures as a time of rebirth, and nature certainly agrees. An incoming breeze is winter’s yawn rushing over the land and sea as the earth awakens with thawing soil, budding trees, and blooming flowers—but with the buds and the blooms must come pollen, spores, and allergens.

Fortunate are the few who don’t experience seasonal allergies. For the rest of us, it’s easy—and expensive—to wander into the nearest drug store, purchase over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, and spend the next few weeks in a haze until the pollen settles. Time is of the essence, and you just want to feel better—now! But, the secret to enjoying every ounce of beauty and sunshine that spring offers without sneezing your way through the day is to prevent allergy symptoms rather than treat them.

Truth be told, most alternative forms of medicine are as common as the groceries in your refrigerator or the flowers in your garden; food, herbs, and common weeds are among the many variations of natural medicine.

Herbal Remedies

Quercetin has been most historically used as a coloring pigment within the plant kingdom. Abundant in red wine, quercetin is the substance mostly responsible for the myth that people who drink red wine live longer, healthier lives. This substance is also a key factor in reducing the amount of the defense mechanism histamine released by mast cells, causing irritation and inflammation. Along with wine and grapes, citrus fruits, red onions, apples, tomatoes, parsley, broccoli, lettuce, and teas are incredibly high in quercetin. Although these foods are loaded with the substance, supplements are necessary to build up enough of the compound. Begin a suggested dose of 1000 milligrams a day between meals six weeks before allergy season.

Echinacea is an aesthetically pleasing flower with healing properties worthy of universal praise. A calming herb, echinacea is commonly used to treat upper respiratory infections. At first sign of heavy breathing or clogged bronchial tubes, begin consuming echinacea in the form of pills or tea.

Stinging Nettle, a common weed found in most yards, is a trendy super food and also a natural antihistamine that doesn’t have the same side effects of dry mouth and drowsiness as pharmaceutical antihistamines. Freeze dried nettle extract is sold in capsules, but making your own nettle products is incredible easy. If consumed in capsule form, 300 milligrams a day will provide relief for three to five hours.

Nettle can also be consumed as tincture, incorporated into food, or sipped as a tea. To make nettle tea, simple boil the leaves in water. Add peppermint leaves for added allergy relief. If you’re planning on putting nettle into food be sure to boil the nettle first to avoid the small, stinging hairs that cause skin inflammation and feel like you rubbed your hand on fiberglass. I suppose it goes without saying that gloves should be worn if and when handling nettle.

A perennial herb called goldenseal, also known as orange root, is often used to boost the effects of other medicinal herbs used for cancer or digestion treatment. Goldenseal increases secretion of mucous membranes to flush out passageways but also contains astringent factors that counter the flow, which counterbalances to aid in a runny nose. This mucous membrane tonic mixed with freeze-dried stinging nettle and saline solution is a magical elixir to cleanse mucous out of passageways. Drop a few drops of goldenseal underneath your tongue and hold the tincture there for a few minutes.

Food as Medicine

Consumption of the appropriate vitamins and supplements during pollen and mold season can be easily incorporated into your daily meals. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly in conjunction with Vitamin C, such as cold-water fish, walnuts, flaxseed oil, grass-fed meats, and eggs, are natural anti-inflammatory agents that will help to calm skin and other organs that tend to flare up during allergy season. One ounce of walnuts a day, whether drizzled over pancakes in the morning or blended into a veggie burger patty, and one tablespoon of flaxseed oil two to three times a day are adequate servings of the omega-3’s. Vitamin C, in its many forms, is a natural heal-all with tastiness to boot. An additional 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin C has been known to lower the levels of histamine in the blood, so consider consuming more kiwifruit, oranges, broccoli, and bell peppers.

Live cultures called probiotics keep the immune system strong and build resistance to allergic reactions. Found in things like kombucha, plain yogurt, kefir (fermented goat milk and grains), sauerkraut, dark chocolate, microalgae like spirulina or chlorella, miso, pickles, tempeh, and kimchi, probiotics are the live soldiers you send into your immune system to ward off sticky pollens. Local honey is thought to have a similar effect. Although the theory is not scientifically proven, the idea of consuming local pollen collected by bees native to your area acts as an allergy shot, implementing your allergies into your body so that your cells can adjust to the presence of the allergen and build immunity. Similarly, an old wives’ tale boasts that drinking goat’s milk after the herd has grazed on local pollinators (it even works for poison ivy) builds immunity.

Garlic, every meal’s lifesaver, scares off mosquitos, vampires, and a runny nose. Along with extreme heart health, the spicy nasal feel of garlic will surely clean out your tubes after a bite or two. Horseradish, chili peppers, hot mustard, hot ginger, cayenne pepper, onion, and wasabi also keep passageways clear because of their spicy sting. Carotenoids are another key factor to a diet that prevent the inflammation of airways, so a diet filled with things like apricots, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, butternut squash, and collared greens is sure to keep the airways open.

What to Avoid

As important as it is to consume healthy foods and appropriate vitamins to build immunity to and treat allergy symptoms, refraining from certain foods will also boost your immunity to the season’s nasty allergens. Eliminate foods that cause any stomach upset or mild breakouts.

Those allergic to ragweed should avoid melon, banana, cucumber, sunflower seeds, chamomile, and echinacea. Grass allergies should avoid raw celery, oranges, apples, tomatoes, and peaches, as well as wheat, corn, rice, barley, millet, rye, oats, sugar, and bananas. Beet sugar is fine, but most raw sugars consist of cane, so be cautious that raw or organic does not necessarily mean “beet.” Buckwheat flower, arrowroot, and nutritional yeast are wonderful substitutes for the thickeners and seeds that those with grass allergies must avoid. Reduce foods rich in arachidonic acid, such as egg yolks, shellfish, and some red meats, as a recent study associates these acids with allergies and hay fever.

Also remember that natural remedies can be toxic when consumed in large quantities and absolutely do not mix natural treatments with pharmaceutical drugs. Allegra, an antihistamine, coupled with an antihistaminic product like quercetin could supply too much activity, resulting in significant problems such as glaucoma, ulcers, bladder infections, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, deliriousness or hallucinations, and heightened side effects like incredible drowsiness or fatigue.

Inhale Essential Oils, Exhale Relief

Steam inhalation is another quick fix for allergic congestion. Inhaling the steam of essential oils will clear your nasal passages and open your lungs. Simply fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Once the boil begins to roll, turn off the heat and remove the pan. Add three drops of eucalyptus oil, three drops of rosemary extract, two drops of myrtle, and two drops of tea tree oil to the hot water. Tent a bath towel over your head as you lean over the steamy water and inhale deeply for five to ten minutes in the morning and at night. Relief will not be long lasting, so repeat up to three times a day if necessary.

A Not So Chilly Hilly

February 17th, 2015

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This February 22, the Chilly Hilly may only live up to half of its reputation. Unlike years past, the Chilly Hilly-a 33-mile community bike ride that draws crowds from across the globe-is scheduled for a day that boasts a sunny, 55-degree weather forecast. Chilly Hilly veterans-some of whom have embarked on this crazy ride since its origin 43 years ago-and first-timers can ditch the Gortex rain gear for colorful and whacky costumes to add to the herd of thousands-yes, many thousands!-of cyclists fleeing the ferry or hopping on in their own front yard. At maximum capacity, the Chilly Hilly has hosted riders from France, Canada, and states all across the country, riding 6,029 strong in 2010! The riders vary in ages too, ranging from toddlers to seniors and all ages in between.

Hosted by Cascadia Bicycle Club, the Chilly Hilly kicks off the cycling season with a wonderful event that combines creativity, exercise, community, and fun. For a small fee, anyone with wheels can enjoy what Bicycle Magazine named “one of the four classis rides” in the nation, according to Cascadia Bicycle Club’s website. The course starts at the very top of the off-ramp at Winslow Way at 8 in the morning and lasts until 3 o’clock, rolling along the island’s coastal vistas and forest roads for 2,675 feet of hilly climbing. Feel free to enjoy the course at your leisure, or treat it as race preparation-the only rules are that you have to enjoy yourself and remember, “It’s just a hill… get over it!”

For Seattle riders: day-of-ride packet pickup and registration will be held at Pyramid Brewing on 1st Avenue S., with plenty of street, lot, and garage parking in the area. If your bike is on top of your car, avoid parking garages! Your registration includes one beer ticket at Pyramid Brewing Company as well as ferry fair to and from Seattle if you register there. For Bainbridge riders: day-of-ride packet pickup and registration will be held at B.I. Bicycle Shop in Downtown Winslow.

Once you reach Battle Point Park, take a break for some free food and refreshments (closes at 2 o’clock), but be sure to save room for the chili feast with vegetarian options and hot drinks at the finish line (closes at 3 o’clock) which benefits a different Bainbridge Island nonprofit each year. Along the way, enjoy the islands numerous coastal and forest parks and pockets of neighborhoods including Rolling Bay, Manitou Bay, Fay Bainbridge, Port Madison, Fort Ward, Grand Forest, Strawberry Hill, Lytle Beach, Lynwood Center, and many more! Register for the event at here and dust off your bikes, costumes, and sunglasses because this one’s going to be a bright and sunny event to remember!

Contributed by Christine St. Pierre

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The time is now for another year of expressing your love and gratitude toward that special someone. Tempting though it may be to take a romantic ferry ride to Seattle and enjoy the city dizzy with love, cupid has struck many of our local businesses—and the weather—to align your perfect island Valentine’s Day. From flowers, wine, and chocolate to  full-course meals, sit back, relax, and enjoy your loved one in the community you love, too.

After an early morning of heart-shaped pancakes in bed and the welcoming of a beautiful 50 degree and, if the predictions are accurate, sunny day, step out for a Saturday brunch and velvety mocha at our local Pegasus Coffee House. Or, maybe you’d love that big city feel without having to leave the comfort of your sweatpants on a Saturday morning. In that case, you’re in luck: Lynwood Theater will present a live-broadcast of Iolanta/Bluebird’s Castle, a part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Emmy Award-winning series The Met: Live in HD. The screening features Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Bartok’s Bluebird’s Castle in a 9:30 AM live, double-broadcast, perfect to enjoy after waking up with the sun on this unseasonably beautiful Valentine’s Day.

While you’re out, allow Changing Seasons Island Florist to deliver floral arrangements right to your door—a bouquet of deep crimson tulips, or pastel spring flowers. After returning home to the beautiful blooms waiting at your doorstep, prepare a picnic and head to one of the island’s many scenic parks. Point White Pier offers rocky beachfront and beautiful southerly views, while Fay Bainbridge, on the opposite corner of the island, has a slightly different view, scoping the coastline from Seattle clear up to Everett. Just before dinner, treat yourselves to Bay Massage and Skincare’s Valentine’s Day package of one hour-long massage and 45 minute mini-facial. Experience pure bliss and leave feeling radiant, relaxed, and ready to wine dine, and maybe even dance a little.

“Music is only a mystery to people who want it explained. Music and love are the same.” To grasp the complexity in music, author Simon Van Booy could only compare it to one thing: love. This Saturday, Bainbridge Island is hosting an array of musical guests to satiate your desire to get close. Beginning at 7:30, the Katie King Jazz Trio will perform romantic jazz standards for you and yours at Bloedel Reserve. The Seattle jazz star had her start on Bainbridge Island and is eager to bring the love home. Tickets include a glass of champagne and dessert! On the south end, catch another musical performance by The Tropics at Pleasant Village’s Manor House. Included in this holiday package is a toast pour of sparkling wine, a “swag bag” of homemade confections, and a six-course tasting menu at The Beach House with stunning sunset views.

If you’d rather focus your taste buds on decadent wine and chocolate pairings, stroll over to Bainbridge Vineyards for tastings paired with locally-made truffles infused with their own raspberry wine. Perennial Vintners and Rolling Bay Winery will also feature chocolates from Theo Chocolate and Yukon Jackson alongside their wine pairings.

Contributed by Christine St. Pierre

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Born in 1921 on a small farm in Port Madison, Akio Suyematsu’s family moved to Day Road and began Suyematsu Farm in 1928. The iconic Suyematsu pioneered organic and sustainable farming methods, which are being upheld by the island’s farming community to this day. Upon his passing in July of 2012, the island community lost the last of the original Japanese-American homestead farmers on the island, a “living link with the island’s farming tradition,” as stated in the official Suyematsu Proclamation. Suyematsu worked hard to build an atmosphere through which the education, support, and expansion of the island’s conscious community would be facilitated. He accomplished this with the respect and admiration of those with whom he worked. Following his death, the City of Bainbridge Island honored Suyematsu’s dedication by declaring August 19 as “Akio Suyematsu Day.” Coincidentally—or maybe not—this day is also marked as “Earth Overshoot Day,” the marker of humanity living beyond our natural resources’ limits for the year. By evaluating the ecological budget within which we should all strive to live, we understand that the earth is not an infinite resource and we must nurture land, water, and sky in order to sustain. Suyematsu’s own ethics were very much the same.

Day Road Farms is the oldest and most continuously farmed property as well as one of the largest working farms in Kitsap County, producing 80-100 tons of food annually. This 40-acre farm is also one of the last large family farms on the island, which created its reputation as a strawberry capital. Aside from their famed strawberries, raspberries, and pumpkins, Suyematsu & Bertryn Family Farm also produces raspberries, corn, pumpkins, grapes, potatoes, garlic, onions, and seasonal greens.

Suyematsu’s life work also included planting 2 acres of grape vines on his property at Day Road; he handed over and, in 1976, sold the vineyard to Gerard and Jo Ann Bertryn, who began Bainbridge Island Vineyards and Winery, a conscious and sustainable viticulture practice, which focuses on caring for the immediate and surrounding landscape from which one harvests food. This winery was the first “salmon safe” certified vineyard in Washington state and the only vineyard in western Washington to refrain from using insecticides. As Gerard Bertryn so accurately stated, “The food you eat and the wine you drink is the landscape you create.”

Recently, Betsey Whittick, proprietor of Laughing Crow Farm and 25-year vineyard manager of the Bertryn’s property, began the process of taking over the vineyard with the help of nine young investing farmers, numerous community members, and the Open Space Bond under which she secured protection for the land. In 2000, the City of Bainbridge purchased nearly half of the farm’s land through the Open Space Bond, which maintains that the working landscape will be protected as farmland forever. That land is now managed by Friends of the Farms, an island nonprofit working to “preserve and enhance local farming,” according to their website.

Friends of the Farms works to build the island’s community, local economy, and landscape by promoting sustainability as well as supporting local farms and farmers. According to Ryan Montella, a Friends of the Farms board member, the organization “manages the stewardship of the land as well as the leases of all farmers leasing the land.” Montella, who serves on the government affairs committee, elaborates: “Aside from providing space for seven farmers, Friends of the Farm manages the Farm Link program and works to preserve up to 180 acres of farmland on Bainbridge Island, as well as numerous other initiatives including fund raising and grant writing.” The organization also manages the interns’ lease of the Suyematsu’s own home on the Day Road Farm once the interns are selected by various farms.

For more than nine decades his land has been producing quality food products as well as providing work experience for interns and edible education. The Suyematsu & Bentryn Farms has acted as home base for EduCulture since 2006, which, with the help of the Suyematsu legacy, bridges “sustainable local farming with education for sustainability,” according to their site. EduCulture provides a platform for teaching and learning in the field of agriculture for grades K-12, as well as community-based education for the greater Puget Sound area.

Contributed by Christine St.Pierrre

Photo Credit: Carolyn J. Yaschur of the Kitsap Sun

Spacecraft Presents…

December 6th, 2014

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Located kitty-corner from Bay Hay and Feed, tucked on the backside of the Rolling Bay Hall, you’ll find the home base for SPACECRAFT. Co-Founders Morgan Terry and Cortney Wollaston, two self-professed “vibe oriented” women, have made this hidden stage a truly unique venue for Bainbridge Island.

SPACECRAFT is a performance and event based non-profit organization with the mission to bring innovative and adventurous artists to Bainbridge. Terry and Wollaston believe their non-profit status is helping them fill a missing link in the Bainbridge art and entertainment scene.

Instead of obsessing on for-profit issues (like ticket sales concession prices) they can focus on finding diverse performances and curating a unique artistic space. “There really isn’t another place like this in Kitsap County,” says Wollaston.

Terry, who does the booking for SPACECRAFT, says she hopes the project will get people on Bainbridge listening to new music and trying new things. “When you come here tickets are always $10 advanced or $12 at the door,” explains Terry. “That way if you end up not liking it then it’s not the end of the world. At least you came, you tried something new, and you had a beer.”

Whether it’s a punk show or experimental performance art, Terry and Wollaston do their best to make SPACECRAFT as friendly as possible. “I want people to feel comfortable in a situation where they might be taking a risk,” said Terry. “Even if the show is pushing boundaries the rest of this is comfortable, local, and welcoming. That’s my goal.”

Interested in getting involved? Check out volunteer opportunities, as well as the SPACECRAFT event calendar, at SPACECRAFTpresents.org.


Contributed by Liz Pleasant

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, started like so many other Tuesdays at the pub… with our Open Mic night. This one was much different, however, Todd Houghton was noticeably absent. As many of you are aware Todd died unexpectedly in November. Nancy, Todd’s wife and Aaron, Todd’s son, were present, however, for one final Open Mic in Todd’s remembrance. The pub was packed with Todd’s friends in music… some old and some new. It was a night that all the good times that we have enjoyed over the last 22 years on Tuesdays was celebrated.

Follow the link to see the story we did on Todd for the Open Mic 20th anniversary: http://parfittway.com/Blog/?p=713

Thank you and so long, Todd -  it’s been good to know ya!

Check Willap Hills Cheese website for their gourmet gift packages, full of delicious treats personally selected by Amy & Stephen to complement Willapa Hills Big Boy Blue, Two Faced Blue and Pluvius, as well as their Artisan Cream Cheese Spreads. Great for gifts for family, business associates or holiday hosts!

Priced from $49.95, the gift boxes fit any budget, and shipping is included to Washington & Oregon.

Please call 360-291-EWES for shipping rates to other US states.

Ordering & Shipping Details: Orders received by Thursday at 3:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time) will be shipped the following Wednesday for Thursday or Friday delivery.

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Pierce County News did a spot on a couple of our local meat producers (Perry Schermerhorn & Becky Weed) and the Puget Sound Meat Cooperative’s mobile slaughter trailer… take a look. Becky Weed raises the beef we eat at our restaurants. It is all processed by the trailer in the video. Click on the link:

Pierce County News - Meet the Farmer

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