Orcas Island is one of my family’s favorite escapes. Never been? Check out this scenery and see what you’ve been missing:
Harvest season is a great time to get acquainted with the San Juan Islands and if you need an excuse to hop a ferry consider this: The Great Island Grown Festival is underway. Designed to celebrate the bounty of the San Juans, as well as showcase the farmers, distillers, entrepreneurs, and chefs who make the most of it, the festival includes two weeks of workshops, demonstrations, tastings, tours, farm-to-table meals and more.
A few highlights:
October 4th on Lopez, tour Sweetwater Shellfish Farm and Hatchery. See how they raise clams, mussels, and oysters, and taste them too! (Sweetwater Shellfish Farm, 203 Shoreland Drive, Lopez; call 468-0533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
October 6th on Orcas, chef Christina Orchid of Red Rabbit Farm is “Going Whole Hog” with a full day of pig-and-pork culinary events. Classes in butchering, roasting and preserving pork will culminate in a pig roast at 4:30pm! Participate in Farm Olympics (hay bale lifting, pail carrying and more) throughout the day. All proceeds benefit the Orcas School Farm to Cafeteria Program! Dinner $65 per person. Reservations required; contact Christina Orchid 376-3208 or at email@example.com
October 11th, on San Juan Island, pick apples and tour Westcott Bay Cider from 10am-1pm; tour San Juan Vineyards from 1:30-3:30pm; sample local and regional cheeses at San Juan Cheese from 4-6pm; then have more of everything at Coho Restaurant, 5-9pm. Picking, tours, and demonstrations are free; reservations required for dinner at Coho. http://www.cohorestaurant.com/reservations/
October 13th on Lopez, tour the multifaceted operations of Jones Family Farms and stay for a dinner of farm-raised products prepared by chef Derrek Bugge of Frank’s Oyster House & Champagne Bar in Seattle. ($80 per person for a five-course meal, reservations required; Jones Family Farms, 1934 Mud Bay Road, Lopez; call 468-0533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)