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

A garden flourishes in the spring and summer, bursting with color and bountiful harvests. Slowly, each of these lively plants will begin to wilt, dropping leaves and sinking closer to the ground. Eventually, the garden will decompose and freeze through the duration of winter. It isn’t until spring draws near that we must ponder the garden once again, accounting for the perennials that will awaken at the thawing of Earth to relive their dependable and vibrant cycle. The annuals are but a memory, their passionate bursts of life having ended at the first frost, and we must rethink and redistribute these varieties in different parts of the garden—places they’ve never been, where the soil is richer and the sun shines bright.

Since childhood, I’ve lived my life as an annual among perennials, giving every ounce of my spirit and energy and love to each steadfast community that welcomes me with open and productive arms. While the community and landscape of Bainbridge Island is and will remain nourishing enough to bring me back to life over and over again, I must move on and plant my delicate roots in the rich soil of Bellingham Bay. My life on Bainbridge Island altered my future forevermore—as would any life after living in such an empowering and mesmerizing environment. I was so inspired by the idea of regenerating the wealth of knowledge and inspiration I received from various sources on the island—YES! Magazine, our local farming programs, the community and music revolving around Pegasus Coffee House, and YOU—that I applied for and was accepted into Woodring College of Education’s Master in Teaching program at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

The bittersweet transition came quickly, and as eager as I was to get to the new community and environment I now call home, I knew that leaving came at the cost of becoming unfrozen in the timeless sphere beneath which all of us live blissfully on the island. I thought it was gone forever, the equity and togetherness and solidarity and passion and art and Earthly wonders, and prepared myself for withdrawal. But, then I arrived in Whatcom County, where the sun sets the sky ablaze and illuminates the art-covered buildings, garden-covered yards, bike-covered streets, and forest-covered valley between the Salish Sea and the North Cascade range. Here, the community is as vibrant and innovative as the island’s—in fact, the community is quite shared. The Bainbridge to Bellingham pipeline is real, as the exodus of young adventurers brings their journey to the trails and sidewalks of my new beloved streets, where we share music, friendships, art, and a passion for social justice and sustainability.

The Bellingham community is a macro version of our tight island family, made even more vibrant by the transient annuals amongst the homesteading perennial that come together to create a wild and productive multipurpose garden. Here, doors and minds are open, and the last days of sunlight pour inside of both as the mass migration of students inspires an even more bustling community, with events and music and food and beer—endless beer from tens of breweries around every corner—that nourish this hardy garden in the wake of winter. As I write my final words of farewell to you, island community, I smile at the thought of knowing you here, in various forms and faces, and look forward to connecting our communities in the future. Until next time.

–Christine St. Pierre

Friday nights have an air of excitement to them; many have wrapped up a week of nine to five and look forward to spending time with family and friends in the traditional “eat, drink, and be merry” fashion. Bainbridge Island has a wide variety of restaurants and bars that offer scenic venues for gatherings, but on the first Friday of each month, the city takes things a step further by providing our community with the First Friday Art Walk, a gallery hop and dining experience.

This event features visual art on display at the many galleries and boutiques that line downtown Winslow, from oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings to sculptures crafted from various mediums, blown glass, and textiles. Beginning at 6 PM and wrapping up at 8, the tour is designed to begin at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, located corner of 305 and Winslow, allowing for travelers from Seattle and beyond to jump right in after departing the ferry. Heading west from there, gallery-goers can visit places like Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, The Island Gallery, Roby King Galleries, Mesolini Glass, Millstream, and the Stephen Fey Photography Gallery. Many of these destinations feature art created by locals, including youth galleries!

Now for the “eat, drink’ part of the evening—many galleries provide refreshments, including snacks, tapas, and drinks. Akin to any other gallery opening, you can enjoy the company of your community and incredible visual art while sipping on local wine. In between galleries, enjoy a meal catered to the art walk with small plates and tapas that will get you out the door quickly yet satisfied, leaving plenty of time to enjoy more of what the First Friday Art Walk has to offer. For a quick snack, take a detour to Blackbird Bakery, Fork & Spoon, or Pegasus Coffee House and enjoy baked goods and café menu items. Otherwise, indulge in a dinner experience at Four Swallows, Harbour Public House, or Hitchcock Restaurant that includes small plates and weekend specials.

The event occurs early enough in the evening to bring the whole family along! Gather together and enjoy our finals weeks under the warm summer sun for an evening of art, food, family, and friends.

http://www.bainbridgedowntown.org/art

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