We pulled our car into the icy barnyard off Double Ditch Road in the Nooksack Valley north of here. The farm had been cut off by a recent ice storm that downed power lines and blocked roads. The snow-covered valley looked and felt like Siberia, the cold Canadian Cascades looming nearby.
I got out of the car with a canvas bag and walked toward dairyman Larry Stap, whose family has run the Twin Brook Creamery going on five generations. Balding, lively, a bit of an elfin grandpa, Stap’s ears have been sharpened by experience. He could have mistaken my bag’s slight tinkling sound for ice. But rather he exclaimed: “I hear bottles.” I handed him a sack full of empty Twin Brook milk bottles. When my wife learned that I was going to be visiting the farm, she suggested I return our stockpile of empties. That hand-off was a signal that I, a Seattle consumer, was intimately connected with the creamery’s rich 100 percent Jersey milk. The product produced on this farm north of Lynden is purchased routinely at our urban co-op in the heart of Capitol Hill.
We Seattleites love our farmers’ markets, but do we love our farmers? Do we know anything about them or what it takes to get great food from farm to table? What is our future as a town of foodies?
Read the full feature about Whatcom County dairy farms here.
Read full feature article here: A farming tale: In Whatcom County, farmers have much to say about the urban-rural divide