About me

This page seems to be getting a fair bit of traffic even though it doesn’t say anything. Guess I better fix that! πŸ™‚

I’ve lived in Skagit County (Anacortes) since 1972 and Upriver (outside of Concrete) since the summer of 2003. I’ve lived a few other places in between, of course, and also traveled a fair bit abroad, but I’ve always come back to the valley. This is an incredible area and we residents can all consider ourselves fortunate to live here.

I’ve been a small business owner since 1995. When I learned that my work could be out-sourced and many other jobs were as well, I decided that I would do my best to not contribute to that problem. That was when I began considering not only what I was buying but from whom.

While living in Anacortes, the grocery store was never farther than a 10 minute walk away from home so shopping would happen whenever it was convenient. Now there’s a small grocery a couple of miles away, but the co-op and the other Downriver conveniences are 35 miles away! Needless to say, a full blown grocery run now takes pretty much all day so it gets carefully planned and usually happens every other week or so.

Of course, as I find more and more local sources for foods shopping becomes more rewarding. It often involves a short visit with a farmer or a merchant. Everything is fresh and of the best quality. I know it was grown and handled with care. If I have a question, I can just ask. It beats having young checkers asking me what an eggplant is!

I also know that my food dollar is going to the producer – the whole thing. On average in the US, a farmer only gets 8 cents per food dollar spent. Bringing the Food Economy Home is a good article on why it’s important to localize our food systems. It’s not like our local farmers are getting any farm subsidies to augment that 8 cents either!

Anyway, I hope you find something useful in these pages even if you don’t live in the Skagit Valley.

Dome home


16 responses

27 07 2007
Mike Wilson

Saara, I enjoy your posts to ABF and I wanted to tell you that I also enjoy your Blog. There is one book on your reading list that I intend to get.

Keep up the good work…


27 07 2007

LOVE your blog, found it on Goskagit.com
It’s great to have somebody letting us know about all the great local products that we may not otherwise know about!

27 07 2007

Thank you! I guess I really should post something here “about me” too. πŸ™‚

31 07 2007

Hi Saara,
I’ve been researching local foodshed stuff online for ideas for Eat Local Week promotions at the Skagit Co-op.[I just became marketing and outreach coordinator] Your blog is great! I would value chatting with you for a bit about your experience, will you shoot me an email when you get the chance?
thanks, Jodie

2 08 2007
just joe

hey!! where are all the autocad links??!!

i have a barley wine bottled named “fred” that ought to be ready this fall when it’s time to sit in front of the fire. send me an addy this fall and i’ll ship you some “nutritional yeast sample”.

nice writing.

pervertsburg (yeah yeah yeah) alaska

2 08 2007

Thanks, Joe! According to Google Maps that would make “Fred” pretty close to the average American food mile: Drive: 1,197 mi – about 1 day 7 hours. I’ll have to see if I can conjure up a “Barmey” by fall and we can trade. πŸ˜€
I was working hard to try to keep work and politics out of my blog. I half succeeded. πŸ˜‰
Keep reading, apparently you’re within the delivery radius of Full Circle CSA whereas Fosco isn’t!

22 07 2008

Hey there, I’ve misplaced your email address, so excuse the comment. We’re planning a local PNW blogger get together for August 24th. Details are here: http://urbanhennery.com/2008/07/22/meet-the-pnw-bloggers-august-24th/

6 05 2009

Hello, – I think I lucked out on something good! I googled “where to pick Morel mushrooms in Skagit County”!!! And your site seemed a good resource. Didn’t find where to pick the mushrooms, but you have lots of good information that I was happy to see. Thank you. (and if you do know of any good Morel mushroom picking places would love to see that too) A friend of ours said he saw some growing in the parking lot at Starbucks – didn’t say which Starbucks – but we agreed the fumes from all the cars probably made them inedible! We have never gone mushroom picking, but have a friend that loves to do that so thought maybe we could tell him something that he would be happy to hear!! Thanks again

6 05 2009

Thanks, Betty! I would love to know of some good morel picking sites as well. Burn sites are the best bet if there are any nearby. πŸ™‚

7 05 2009

Hey Saara – thanks for the tip – I don’t know of any burn sites, but will keep that in mind. I pulled up a site that sells Morels and now know why our friend is so enthused about finding and picking them himself!!!! (and why we haven’t been into Morels ourselves!!) They are just about good as gold!! He will get a kick out of my efforts to find him a new site! Thanks again, Betty

25 09 2009

Where in Skagit county can I buy wine yeast? or can I make it??? Going to try my first attempt at wine making and want any advice you can give…going to try a white fox grape w/ king apple mixture…? Thank you in advance, Bonnie

27 09 2009

Hi Bonnie! Northwest Brewers Supply in Anacortes carries it. http://www.nwbrewers.com/ They have slightly unusual hours so check their website. Good luck with the wine, it sounds delicious!

15 07 2010

saara ~ so impressive how much thought and time you’ve put into your food shopping ~ amazing. i am happy to be able to steal some tips! re: foraging ~ i would really like to find enough miners lettuce to fill like the size of a paper shopping bag ~ everyone says it’s everywhere ~ but would you be willing to share some secret stash locations? i live in bellingham. i have become addicted to miners lettuce and watercress salads :> is it actually possible to forage for watercress around here too?? thanks and keep on writing ! ~ anon

1 10 2010

Hi! I love your blog, I’ve learned so much about the area where I’m living!
Just wondering if you ever found the lady west of Mt. Vernon who had walnuts….I’m still searching for nuts

9 05 2011

Hello, I am a long time Wa resident – since 1948. I found your site by doing a search on maple blossoms. I have always wondered if they are edible – you have confirmed my suspicions. Thank you! Are those salmon berries at the top of this page? I do know they are edible and so are the salal berries and huckleberries. I have never tried the oregon grape berries? I wonder if you have ever tried to make maple syrup from the bigleaf maple? I understand there is a person on Vancouver Island who has classes on how to do that?
Dave T, Snohomish Wa

8 09 2013
Jaana Hatton

Hello Saara,

I am a Finn living in Anacortes, for five years now. It is a great delight to me to discover first and second generation Finns in the area, and I am always interested in meeting them. Being a writer, I have began to consider taking on a large scale project of interviewing and reseaching the Finns and their lives here. Please get in touch with me if you are interested.

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