Sample the Bounty of the San Juan Islands ~T H I S F A L L~
This Special Section is a supplement of the Journal of the San Juan Islands, Islands' Sounder and Islands' Weekly
Find all events at
Orcas Island • Lopez Island • San Juan Island / Friday Harbor
From wine tasting to harvest dinners, farmers’ markets to farm tours, and film festivals to cozy lodgings, the San Juan Islands set the table for a delectable fall feast for the senses.
Calendar of events
Barbara Marrett photo
· Saturdays, Farmers’ Markets, Orcas Island and Friday Harbor/San Juan Island · Oct. 1, Friday Harbor Fall Farm Parade, San Juan Island · Oct. 1, San Juan Vineyards Harvest Festival, San Juan Island · Oct. 2, Orcas Island Farm Tour, Orcas Island · Oct. 7–9, Orcas Island Film Festival, Orcas Island · Oct. 8–9, Lopez Island Farm Tour, Lopez Island · Oct. 15, Salish Sea Festival, Orcas Island · Nov. 4–6, Friday Harbor Film Festival, San Juan Island · Nov. 12, Wild and Scenic Film Festival - A Change of Course, Orcas Island DINING SPECIALS Orcas Island · Doe Bay Café – Taste of
Taste of Autumn Savor Special 15% off of the Tasting Menu, October 1 - 31 www.doebay.com
Autumn Savor Special – 15% Off of the Tasting Menu, Oct 1–31 · Girl Meets Dirt – Jam Shop & Tasting Room Savor Special, Oct 1–31 · Fall Harvest Wine Dinner -- The Mansion restaurant at Rosario Resort, Nov. 4. San Juan Island/ Friday Harbor • Black Fish Bistro - Savor Daily Lunch & Dinner Specials, Sept. 22 - Nov. 12 · Friday Harbor House/ Restaurant - Savor the Island Three-Course Dinner, Sept. 22– Nov. 12 • Coho Restaurant - Savor the San Juans Chef’s Tasting Special, Oct. 1-31 • Coho Restaurant - Savor the San Juans Oktoberfest Dinner, Oct. 7 · Friday Harbor House/ Restaurant – Hunter’s Full Moon Dinner, Oct. 16 • Coho Restaurant - Mellisoni Winemaker’s Dinner, Oct. 21 These events and specials are just some of the offerings during Savor the San Juans. Visit www.visitsanjuans.com for additional lodging specials and event updates.
San Juan County Farm Tours
John Sinclair photos
See what’s behind the barn doors at the 2016 San Juan County Farm Tours. The tours offer a unique opportunity to visit three dozen farms, shellfish hatcheries, and value added businesses on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands. Tickets are now on sale at http:// goo.gl/wSGhUL. Tour dates are Sept. 24–25 on San Juan Island, Oct. 2 on Orcas Island, and Oct. 8–9 on Lopez Island. The farm tours offer a unique opportunity to visit farms, meet farmers, taste locally grown foods, learn skills and understand more about the challenges and opportunities of farming in San Juan County. Join together with community, tour attendees and farmers to feast on the bounty of local harvest. Each island offers unique opportunities over three weekends. Highlights include: a walk in an edible food forest; taste and talk about locally grown heritage grains baked in delicious pastries; sheep dog demonstrations: a visit to farms that use horse drawn equipment; tours of oyster shellfish hatcheries; an aftertour soirée and Grange dinner fea-
turing delicious local foods; a visit to local certified goat dairy; and so much more. There will be fun for everyone. Join the tour to meet the farmers and learn about farming in the lovely San Juan Islands. For more information about each farm tour, and to buy tickets, visit http://goo.gl/wSGhUL. Ticket sales support participating farmers. Enjoy dining and lodging specials as part of Savor the San Juans (www.visitsanjuans.com/savor). Contact Peggy at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Heritage Harvest Feast
SATURDAY, SEPT. 24 Reception at 5:30 p.m., Dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $125. For reservations, call 376-4849 or email email@example.com
An evening of fine dining and good cheer at Red Rabbit Farm. Bowls and platters are filled with the best Farm to Table items from the bounty of the fall harvest. One long table is beautifully set inside an timber wood barn.
Wings Over Orcas Island: An Aviation History May 14 to Sept. 30 at the Orcas Island Historical Museum This exhibit features stories and memorabilia from local and national aviation legends and more than 100 photos and rare aviation artifacts.
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Do you know who established the first scheduled air taxi-commuter airlines in the Northwest that has survived to this day? Can you name “The Flying Doc of the San Juans?” What recent Orcas resident took the famous “Earth Rise” photo from Apollo 8? Join us for this year’s feature exhibit in the Orcas Island Historical Society’s Pioneer Museum to learn the answers to these questions and to learn much more about the history of flight on Orcas Island. Michele Wiley
licensed independent agent
365 North Beach Road, #106, Eastsound 360-376-5707 ofﬁce | 360-722-2802 direct
Island Grown in the San Juans
How can you support your local farms? Look out for the Island Grown logo at farmers’ markets, on products, at restaurants and grocery stores and check out the farm and business members online at www.islandgrownsj.com. When you buy Island Grown products directly from farmers, or eat at an Island Grown restaurant, your money circulates within the local economy and supports our home-grown businesses. You can count on Island Grown farmers to employ earth-friendly practices. Island Grown’s standards ensure that livestock are treated humanely without the use of hormones, antibiotics or GMO feeds; fruits and veggies are chemical-free; and so that precious
water, soils and wildlife are preserved. Restaurants and grocery store members, pledge to buy at least 10 percent of their ingredients from local farms and the defining ingredient within an Island Grown value-added product is grown or wild-harvested in San Juan County. Great benefits are given to Island Grown members to assist their marketing efforts, including social media support (be sure to like Island Grown’s Facebook page), low cost advertising, online profiles and the opportunity to participate in fabulous foodie events. For Island Grown farmers who wish to create a new income-stream through a value-added product, the kitchen at Brickworks on San Juan
Island is offered at a greatly reduced cost. Ryan Farm, who produce San Juan Island Sea Salt, have been beavering away. “Being a member of Island Grown has been a huge benefit to us. Having reduced-rate access to a commercial kitchen has allowed us to create a wider range of value-added products than we could have on our own. In the last nine months we cooked, prepared and packaged tens of thousands of caramels in the Brickworks kitchen
because of this special program. And we hope to make many more. We are very grateful to Tyler Ryan. If you are a consumer within our local food system, we encourage you to join the movement. Sign up as a supporter of Island Grown and proudly display the logo on your car, window or chest. Help spread the word about this fantastic initiative that helps to sustain unique islands’ food and farming culture. For more information, visit www.islandgrownsj.com.
First annual Salish Sea Festival
Celebrate the tastes and traditions of San Juan Island waters this fall. Savor fresh oysters on-thehalf-shell, wild-caught local salmon and engaging conversation, talks and demonstrations on Oct.15, at Rosario Resort, overlooking the pristine waters of East Sound on Orcas Island. Attendees at the first annual Salish Sea Festival during the 9th annual Savor the San Juans will enjoy workshops on seaweed, sustainable locally sourced sushi, and local sea salt, engage in inspiring discussions focused on the incredible bounty of the Salish Sea marine food system, ending with a spectacular Taste of
the Salish Sea featuring tastes prepared by Willows Inn on Lummi, Hogstone’s Wood Oven Pizza, Doe Bay Café and other renowned local chefs. The festival is the first of its kind, bringing together seafood lovers with engaging speakers and panels on salmon conservation, tribal and local traditions, history and challenges of shellfish and seafood production in San Juan County. In addition to the activities mentioned above, there will also be tours of local shellfish facilities and a salmon hatchery. (www.salishseafest.eventbrite. com; www.visitsanjuans.com/savor)
Island film festivals show award-winning selections Orcas Island
The Orcas Island Film Festival is Oct. 7 to 10 in Eastsound, and highlights a curated selection of feature length and short films. Each year the festival focuses on critically acclaimed feature films from around the world and locally created short films. This year, it has more than 30 films showing in two venues over four days. There are 45 screenings, with Monday being a day of mostly repeat screenings so that you can see films you might have missed due to scheduling. The venues are all walking distance from each as are many of the restaurants and bars that you can enjoy around seeing films. For more information, visit www.orcasfilmfest.com. The Orcas Center is hosting a one-day “Wild & Scenic Film Festival” on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Change makers are rethinking
Lopez Islander Resort
4 Course Dinner for $30
During the month of October, we will be offering a sampling of our popular menu favorites with a 4 course dinner for $30. This will include an appetizer, your choice of chowder or salad, choice of entree and a dessert. Lopez Islander Resort
2864 Fisherman Bay Rd., Lopez Island, WA 98261 Valid: October 1, 2014 to October 31, 2016
how we inhabit our planet, and so can you. This year’s short films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling with the festival theme of “A Change of Course.” Sponsored by Orcas Center and the San Juan Preservation Trust.
diverse cultures and those daring would like to see. to explore new frontiers. Films are For lodging and dining specials shown in various locations around and information, visit www.fhff.org Friday Harbor (all within walking and http://www.visitsanjuans.com/ distance of the ferry) over the course savor-san-juans. Kenmore Air is the of three days. With more than 30 films showing, a movie-goers check- official airline of the FHFF. Fly Kenlist is offered on the festival’s website more and get 10% off your film festo help audiences plan which films, tival tickets, plus a free stainless steel The Friday Harbor Film Festival at what times, in what venues they water bottle. www.kenmoreair.com. will hold its fourth annual festival this Nov. 4–6 and it’s beginning to draw some big names to San Juan Island. Last year’s festival saw actress Katharine Ross accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her husband, actor Sam Elliott. The festival continues to feature award-winning documentaries and docu-dramas that highlight stories Weekly Savor Specials on Local Products from the Pacific Rim. Its goal is to entertain through the art of comFor the Month of October pelling storytelling, inspire audience members to be a force for positive Stop by and see us at 775 Mullis St. | (360) 370-5170 change, create awareness and apM-F 9 AM - 6 PM. Sat & Sun 10 AM - 5 PM. preciation for the environment,
San Juan Island
Agriculture in San Juan County
by Shannon Borg San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
Over the past 25 years, the overall agricultural picture in San Juan County has changed in interesting ways. On the one hand, the number of farms has grown from 155 in 1992 to 274 in 2012 when the last U.S. Department of Agriculture Census was taken, a 76.7 percent increase in the number of farms in 20 years. There has also been a 260.9 percent growth in the value of sales from agricultural products (values are adjusted for inflation), from $1,176,000 in 1992 to $4,245,000 in 2012. But the overall number of acres in farmland has decreased by 23.67 percent in the same time period, from 20,529 acres in 1992 down to 15,669 acres in 2012. The size of farms has also decreased by 56 percent, from an average farm size of 132 acres in 1992 to just 57 acres in 2012. In considering these numbers, we must look at this in terms of overall population growth as well. San Juan County population has grown 72 percent from 1987 (9,180) to 2012 (15,791), adding to the challenge of creating a food system that can sustainably support a growing population. And while there has been a steady increase in the annual market value of crops grown, from $300,000, in 1992 (with a steep rise by 2002 to $1,031,000) to $2,582,000 in 2012, the overall
picture is still one of farmers struggling to make a profit from their work. Livestock has increased more slowly over the past 20 years, with a market value of $1,433,500 in 1992 to $3,26,000 in 1997 and back down to $1,663,000 in 2012, perhaps showing more volatility in the livestock market, but also probably a result of more ranchers retiring or getting out of the business. More recently, following national trends, crop production has surpassed livestock production for the first time in history. This statistic highlights another essential fact that farms across the country are battling. Although there are many new young people working in agriculture, the average age of farmers is still rising, from 55 in 1987 to 60 in 2012. The reasons are many, but a lot of young farmers note financing and access to affordable land as the main challenges to starting new farms or entering the arena. As land prices rise and land becomes scarce, especially in a limited and finite landscape such as San Juan County, it becomes more and more cost prohibitive to purchase land and expect to make a profit from farming. But still, new farmers are finding solutions, such as sharing land, farming preserved land and other creative partnerships. So although the numbers show a steady increase in acreage and market value of farm products,
many challenges still remain. Our farmers markets are thriving, farm-tours are growing in popularity and more added-value products are being produced, and two approved community kitchens are in demand, including Taproot Community Kitchen on Lopez Island and the Brickworks kitchen in Friday Harbor. Restaurants are featuring more local produce, meats, cheeses and seafood on their menus. The Ag Guild, Agricultural Resource Committee, the Economic Development Committee, the three island Chambers of Commerce and the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau are collaborating more than ever on agricultural events, the Island Grown and Island Made programs, and other issues, finding ways to encourage agritourism as a way to help support our local farms, agricultural product-based businesses and restaurants. In light of this information In light of this information, along with a growing population it will be interesting to see what the next census tells us. But one thing is certain, if we want to keep the agricultural culture of the San Juan Islands alive, and continue to develop and grow a sustainable food system, more must be done on the county level to encourage and assist young farmers to enter this essential profession, continue to innovate and find markets for their products.