Eat Local Month:

Every year, the Food & Farming team at Sustainable Connections invites the community to take a month to explore and enjoy the bounty of local food in our region during Eat Local Month, including events & activities like the Whatcom County Farm Tour, and “Find the Fork” scavenger hunts to connect people with food that is grown, raised, harvested and made right here in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island counties. This year we are creating new opportunities for fun and community connection, amidst all the disruption that COVID-19 has caused. Join us all August long for a redesigned Eat Local Month as we provide a window into food & farming in our region.

Join us all month long as we highlight four industries in our local food system:

Farm Week: August 1-8 

Meet your farmers, and learn how to GET A TASTE! Join us for a keynote event, a virtual Whatcom County Farm Tour, right from the comfort of your own home on August 6th, followed by a conversation with local farmers answering questions from the community, and sharing their stories, struggles, and joys of farming. Opportunities for exploring farm fresh flavors and experiences will be provided with our Local Farm Stand Loop: a chance to get out of the house, take a short drive using our guide to farms that will be open to the public during the months of August and September with U-pick, farm stands, and pop-up markets, a much needed escape with some fresh air and fresh flavors.

Whatcom County Farm Tour – Thurs. Aug 6 

An online, heavily promoted event that will feature 10-12 farms in a pre-recorded video format.
Be a farm stop on the (Virtual) Whatcom County Farm Tour

Farm Stand Loop 

A Guide & Driving Route promoting Whatcom & Skagit farms that are open to the public with farm stands or U-pick during the months of August & September. We will be promoting through a farmer video series throughout the month as well.
Be featured on the Farm Stand Loop

Restaurant Week: August 9- 15 

Meet local Chefs and restaurateurs, and learn how to GET A TASTE of their seasonal Eat Local Month specials crafted with fresh ingredients from local farms and food producers.
Be a featured Eat Local Month restaurant

Market Week: August 16-22 

Get to know your local farmers markets and grocers, and GET A TASTE of what’s fresh, along with special offers and recipes to try at home.

Seafood Week: August 23-29 

Meet your Fisher, learn about our region’s rich seafood offerings, and GET A TASTE!

We always love doing the farm tour. We do it every year. And we often have family come to visit from out of town specifically to go on the farm tour because it is so much fun.

2018 Farm Tour Participant

It was just great to learn about all the variety of local food available. Definitely gave me more appreciation for local producers. And more willing to pay higher prices for higher quality products!

2018 September Eat Local Month Participant

The farm tour weekend was by far the highlight! We went both days and made it to almost all farms. I learned so much about how dairies and creameries work. It was fascinating. I also loved the flower farm. What a beautiful area! I felt closer to the community by learning more about our local options.

2018 Farm Tour Participant

It was fun to see what dishes and local ingredients the participating restaurants came up with. I really hope they continue to let diners know when they use local ingredients, as that is often a deciding factor for me in choosing from the menu.

2018 Eat Local Month Participant
Virtual Whatcom County Farm Tour 2020

Be a Featured Farm on the virtual Whatcom County Farm Tour:

An online, heavily promoted event that will feature 10-12 farms in a pre-recorded video format. 

How it will work: 

  • We come and shoot video of you and your farm (in late June/early July)  
  • We edit clips from all the participating farms into an hour+ format. 
  • The Virtual Whatcom County Farm Tour event is held on Thurs, August 6th 
  • We continue to promote the video post “event” via social media, website, newsletter, and other channels. 

Benefits of participation: 

  • Filming & editing video content for your farm (that you can use in the future) 
  • Inclusion of your farm in Farm Tour promotion 
  • Listed on the SC & Eat Local First websites and: 
    • Facebook event 
    • SC newsletters 
    • Eat Local First social media 
    • Farm Tour event promoted with paid advertising dollars via social media 
    • Farm Tour video promoted after event with paid advertising dollars via social media 

Featured Farm Guidelines:

1. Comittment by June 8: 


2. 1-2 hours of filming time: 


3. Short description (50 words) by June 15th for website promotions: 


4. Attend one mandatory Zoom Meeting: 

A moment to come together, and connect with all the people that make our local food system work! This will be a chance to connect, get clear on Eat Local Month details, and create connections for cross-promotion. 

5. Create a VIP Farm Tour Offer: 

We offer a VIP Farm Tour experience to people who make a donation to the Farm Tour Fund.  It encourages people to fully participate, and create even more engagement with participating businesses.  We ask that you create an exclusive Farm Tour VIP offer for the month.  In the past folks have had awesome giveaways: Ferndale Farmstead gave away insulated lunch bags with full sized cheese logs; Boxx Berry offered free berry sundaes; Ten Fold Farm gave away free tote bags.  Other suggestions include: coupons for a percent off of their purchase on farm, 2 for 1 deals, or, if you purchase “this item” you’ll receive “this”. Please note – you have full discretion and autonomy as to how many offers you give out. We can include language such as ‘while supplies last’ or ‘for the first 100 customers’ to make sure you are not overextended.

6. Fee: 

The fee for participation in the Whatcom County Farm Tour is $60 for Sustainable Connections members, and $120 for non-members. Membership starts at $190, so this is a great time to become a member if you haven’t already! Fees are used to cover a small fraction of the costs of staff planning time, promotion, and video productionfor the tour.  Fees will not be collected until we have reviewed all applicants and finalized participants, but will be due before your farm is included in any promotional materials.

If you’d like to participate, fill out the Eat Local Month Participant Application before June 8th. Spots fill up quick!

Apply to be on the Farm Tour

Be a Stop on the Farm Stand Loop:

A driving loop promotion & map of Whatcom & Skagit farms open to the public in the months of August & September 

How it will work: 

  • You shoot a short video (about 2 minutes) and we edit and post to our website & social media
  • You send us content for the Farm Stand Loop Guide, and we create a PDF guide for promotion
  • We promote via social media, website, newsletter, and other channels

What Sustainable Connections Provides/Benefits of participation:

  • Farm Stand videos promoted with paid advertising dollars via social media 
  • Listed on Farm Stand Loop PDF we design and promote 
  • Inclusion of your farm in Farm Stand Loop promotion via:
    • Facebook event
    • Sustainable Connections newsletters
    • Sustainable Connections & Eat Local First social media channels
    • Farm linked on custom map on ELF Food Atlas
    • Custom Event Flier for your farm, and a sign to display at your stand

Featured Farm Guidelines:

1. Minimum days open:

Farms desiring to participate in the heavily promoted farm stand loop will need to be open to the public for a MINIMUM of eight days during the month of August.

2. Attend A REQUIRED Zoom Meeting:

We will take a moment to come together, and connect with all the people that make our local food system work! This will be a chance to connect, share what your Eat Local Month Special will be, and create connections for cross-promotion. 

 

3. Create a VIP Offer: 

We offer a VIP Farm Tour experience to people who make a donation to the Farm Tour Fund.  It encourages tour goers to fully participate, and create even more draw to each stop.  We ask that you create an exclusive  VIP offer for the day of your tour.  In the past folks have had awesome giveaways: Ferndale Farmstead gave away insulated lunch bags with full sized cheese logs; Boxx Berry offered free berry sundaes; Ten Fold Farm gave away free tote bags.  Other suggestions include: coupons for a percent off of their purchase that day at the farm, 2 for 1 deals, or, if you purchase “this item” you’ll receive “this”. Please note – you have full discretion and autonomy as to how many offers you give out. We can include language such as ‘while supplies last’ or ‘for the first 100 visitors’ to make sure you are not overextended.

4. Safety Measures:

We ask that you create and manage a safe farm stand experience following, at a minimum, our provided safety guidelines:

  • Discourage customers from coming to your farm stand if they are experiencing the following symptoms: coughing, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell
  • Provide a parking area separate from the farm stand with adequate distance to prevent contamination
  • Provide pre-bagged options for produce (Salad kit, spring veggies, herb bag, weekly produce box, flower bouquet)
  • Farm stand owners/workers need to wear masks and gloves, and wash hands frequently
  • Prevent customers from touching products until transaction is complete
  • Frequently sanitize surfaces that customers touch (keypads, counters, etc)
  • Use barriers or visual cues to prevent customers from touching surfaces
  • Create visual cues for 6’ distancing when customers are in line (chalk lines, flags, cones, etc)
  • Serve one customer at a time unless there is a way to create 6 feet of separation between customers you are serving
  • Encourage online payment and touch-free payment (CC reader, exact change with no handling for cash)

5. Fee: 

The fee for participation is $30 for Sustainable Connections members, and $60 for non-members. Membership starts at $190, so this is a great time to become a member if you haven’t already! Fees are used to cover a small fraction of the costs of staff planning time, promotion, and printed materials for the tour.  (Fees will not be collected until we have reviewed all applicants and finalized participants.)

Apply to be on the Farm Stand Loop

Be a Collaborative Partner

We’d love to spread the word about any food or farming events you may be having in the month of August! The sky is the limit, here!

EDUCATION We love opportunities to intentionally share a learning space with our community.  Are you a Wellness Director? HR Manager? Community Activity Coordinator of any kind?  Hit us up, and we’ll come to you with a brief, engaging presentation on what it means to Eat Local First, and why it is important for our community!

COMMUNITY Do you have an annual event on your farm that you want others to know about?  Have an awesome foodie event planned already?  Let us know what you’ve got in the works now so we can start planning and find creative ways to promote!

ART We’re looking for opportunities to tie in our arts community this year!  We’re thinking poetry, music, creating of any kind – we’d love to highlight the beauty that lies in the fields, farms, and foods we all enjoy.

Can’t host an event, but still want to help spread the word?  We’d love to supply you with posters and Eat Local Month guides to have at your business!  Let us know we can drop some by!

*This opportunity for collaboration is open to members and non-members.

Be an Eat Local Month Partner

Thank You to Our Eat Local First Sponsors & Partners

Thank You to Our Food & Farming Sponsors