Send in the Shrubs

Several summers ago I stayed on my friend Lynda's farm in the Methow Valley. As expected in eastern Washington, the long summer days saw temperatures climbing and without air conditioning (we were on a farm, after all) we suffered through the stifling heat by moving slowly and wearing sun hats. In the evenings, we would sit on the porch and sip yuzu vinegar with a splash of sparkling water and a glass full of ice. It was Lynda's trick for keeping cool and while the first sip was bracing, the second was nothing short of refreshing. An addiction was born....

Editor’s Letter

I nearly threw a party after reading that the Farmers' Almanac predicts a hot, dry July and August for Washington this year. Hopefully our farmers will get something closer to a good growing season, and hopefully home gardeners haven't thrown in the trowel entirely. I'm feeling inspired by thoughts of fresh rhubarb to replace the frozen bags in my freezer, tender salad greens (hopefully several of the Asian varieties Amy Pennington writes about page XX), sweet peas and those addictive pea vines, and a luscious glass of white wine to wash them all down. So long, kale—I'll catch up with you next December. I'm particularly looking forward to reaping some benefits of my long-range garden efforts from the last two years....

Asian Greens Demystified

We have the great fortune of mild weather here in the Pacific Northwest and while wearing a wool sweater in July is never fun, the gentle temperatures do help prolong a growing season that can last all year long....

Pike Brewing Company

If you're walking down the hallway that leads south from the old Economy Market Building toward Union Street, and you notice a man in rubber boots banging on a giant red silo with a big wooden oar, get closer and start sniffing: you've arrived at The Pike Brewing Company when the brewers are working....

A Team for Life

Abby and Red stand tall, side by side, a pair of 3 year olds. Abby, although blonde, stands patiently and steadily. Red, whose name reflects the color of her mane, stamps lightly and looks twitchy. They're half-sisters, and they work as part of a team. Betsey Wittick, the third team member and the owner of Laughing Crow Farm, says cheerfully that her two partners have very different personalities....

Dinner at Home

I pity the spouse of a massage therapist because you just know that poor sap never gets a back rub. Across town, the dog trainer's dogs are sleeping on their masters' bed pillows. The accountant's personal taxes are always late. The judge is paralyzed because she can't decide if she wants apricot or grape jelly on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The therapist refuses to take his own advice....

Quillisascut Farm

Quillisascut means different things to different people. To some it's a farm nestled in the hills of northeastern Washington, to others it's an artisanal goat cheese served at restaurants across the state. Quillisascut is also a farm-to-table school, one that often leaves participants with a profoundly different perspective on the connection between land, plate, and community....

OUR AVAs – Snipes Mountain

Mount Adams presides in the western distance as you drive through the Yakima Valley. A great arc of sky connects the hills that form its boundaries like crumpled blankets: Rattlesnake to the north, Horse Heaven to the south....

Urban Foraging

Food Grown Right, In Your Own Backyard If only all textbooks were this pretty. Founders of the Seattle Urban Farm Co. have created a terrifically informative, nicely photographed guide to gardening—not just for Western Washington, but for any planting zone. Plenty of space is devoted to correctly choosing and developing a garden site that works for you; not only are there creative ideas for unusual spaces, but careful attention is paid to square footage, sunlight, and drainage. Later in the book, there's a particularly smart inclusion in the Crop Profiles chapter, labeled "what this plant can teach you." If you plant broccoli, you'll want to know about brassica rings, while if you grow peppers, you can learn how to create microclimates....

The Chardonnay Paradox

Why America's Favorite Grape Struggles to Find Its Way in Washington BY SEAN P. SULLIVAN PHOTOS BY CAROLE TOPALIAN Chardonnay is a grape of many contradictions. On the one hand, it creates some of the world's most sought after and expensive wines; on the other, it creates some of the cheapest and most abominable plonk. Some consumers revel in the grape. In fact Chardonnay dominates the U.S wine market at 20% of all wines sold (Cabernet Sauvignon is a distant second at 12%). Others revile the wine. When I recently asked a friend what advice he would give consumers about Chardonnay, he responded drolly, "Look elsewhere." He is not alone in that assessment. Why do so many consumers love Chardonnay while others love to hate...

Pass the Butterfish

There is a fish that I think you should meet. Most officially, it's Anoplopoma fimbria; you may know it as sablefish, black cod, or my personal favorite, butterfish. The latter is its most uncommon name but perhaps the most appropriate, as fans will agree the flavor and texture is more akin to a stick of butter than to, say, a fish....