Brimming with freshly-picked and locally-grown Skagit Valley bounty (think plump berries,
crisp beets, fresh meats, field flowers, tender greens, sweet corn, etc.,) sixteen produce
stands and farm stores welcome visitors to Genuine Skagit Valley’s Farmstand Fresh, a
summer-long celebration highlighting growers and food producers from across the region
beginning July 1 through August 31, 2022.
Farmstand Fresh was founded by Genuine Skagit Valley (GSV), an organization that supports Skagit Valley growers and producers to help sustain farming in the region for generations to come. GSV members’ products bear a federally-registered ‘Genuine Skagit Valley’ certification mark, signifying that the product was grown entirely in the Skagit Valley.
From the fertile river-fed flats of the Samish Delta to the foothills of the North Cascades, the farming community just an hour north of Seattle produces roughly $300 million worth of crops, livestock, and dairy products on approximately 95,000 acres of land, according to
Washington State University Skagit County Extension in 2018.
“Skagit Valley soil is noted to be among the top two percent of soils in the world,” said Blake Vanfield, marketing director of Genuine Skagit Valley. “For more than 150 years, Skagit farmers and their fertile soil have supplied the Northwest, nation, and world with nearly every crop imaginable. And, yet, a recent survey shows that 50% of Puget Sound residents could not name one agriculture product grown in Skagit Valley.”
Farmstand Fresh was designed to attract visitors from Seattle and across the region to
experience the Skagit’s farm stands and working farms showcasing the diversity and quality of ingredients harvested in the Valley, said Vanfield.
A list of the participants can be found on the Genuine Skagit Valley website.
Guests can meet the growers, visit the fields and farms, and bite into summertime (such as blueberry ice cream sandwiches, juicy, red ripe Heirloom tomatoes, crunchy carrots, and scratch-baked goods.)
Despite the past year’s near-record flooding and scorching heatwaves, the Farmstand Fresh participants have weathered the storms and are on task to deliver all of their home-grown goodness once again this summer season, said Blake Vanfield, marketing director of Genuine Skagit Valley.
Genuine Skagit Valley’s “Explore” page allows visitors to customize their search and map out specific types of farms.
As part of the Farmstand Fresh program, visitors can enjoy the following:
● Chef Chat/Pro Tips: Register for a free 15-minute Zoom session with a local chef featuring tips and tricks on cooking and preserving your farmstand fare. To register scan
QR code on signage at participating farm stands. Quality to win a $25 gift certificate to a Skagit Valley farm to table restaurant by scanning the QR code on signage at participating farm stands.
● FREE Child + Chef Zoom Session: Skagit Valley-based cookbook author, cooking enthusiast, and founder of Young Urban Modern Chefs (Y.U.M. Chefs), Leah Brooks, is offering free Zoom sessions for children six years and up as well as a chance to win a signed copy of her cookbook during the Farmstand Fresh promotion.
A community cookbook designed to celebrate the Skagit Valley’s talented growers and food producers is slated to hit shelves in the spring of 2023. Genuine Skagit Valley has partnered with Raspberry Bow Press, Skagit’s first independent book publisher, to curate the community-driven cookbook, Genuine Skagit Cooking (working title for the cookbook).
Genuine Skagit Cooking (124 to 136 pages, paperback) will feature 30 to 40 recipes from
producers, business owners, and residents around Skagit Valley, highlighting the unique
agricultural diversity of the region. Readers can expect recipes for a range of dishes for every meal of the day, utilizing some of the fantastic produce grown here in Skagit Valley.
The recipes will include interesting facts and stories about the foods featured. Readers will also learn more about Skagit Valley producers through farmer profiles. Paired alongside food photographer Charity Burggraaf’s photos of recipes and ingredients, Genuine
Skagit Cooking will bring to life the region’s agricultural way of life, inviting both locals and
others across the country into the kitchen to cook the Skagit way.