Small farms need need capital to get started each year. Despite the objective deliciousness of cheap pizza, you should be eating fresh food to be truly living. Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs invite you to partner with your local farm to meet both these needs at once: you pay literal seed money upfront and reap a weekly share of the bounty throughout the growing season.
LINC Foods, a farmer’s cooperative, offers add-ons like local eggs and meat at an additional cost. CasaCano Farms offers a picky-eater-friendly deviation from the traditional CSA: for a membership fee, you can shop at the farm or at their farmer’s market stand for wholesale prices.
And thus, the adventure begins. As you dig through your box of goods, you’ll learn all kinds of things. For example, that dill exists independently of dip, and what the heck that weird little knobby potato is. (It’s a sunchoke.) There’s no shame in sticking to a recipe, but you’ll gain confidence to branch out as you develop an understanding—perhaps even a friendship—with the almighty vegetable.
Tolstoy Farms: tolstoyfarms.org
Urban Eden Farm: urbanedenfarm.com
LINC Foods: lincfoods.com
CasaCano Farms: casacanofarms.com
Learn the Ropes
Build confidence to move beyond your usual rotation of weeknight dinners—or learn a few tricks for wowing guests—by signing up for a live cooking class. In Spokane, The Kitchen Engine’s class offerings range from Salad Lab to cutting your own steak to making traditional Thai cuisine. Classes fill up fast, so plan in advance to learn from the masters.
The Kitchen Engine: thekitchenengine.com
Grocery store aisles are for toiletries and winter. While the sun’s out, throw on a tank top and peruse the aisles of your local farmer’s market for greens that stay fresh longer and eggs from chickens who (probably) have names.
Local food stays fresh longer and tastes better, and shopping at a local market is a treat in itself, with live music and tempting aromas floating through the air.
Each local market holds its own charm and most vendors accept EBT cards, making fresh food more broadly accessible. Catholic Charities’ Food For All program offers their kids’ nutrition program KERNEL at five local markets, giving kids the chance to earn vouchers for veggies by completing an activity.
Liberty Lake Farmer’s Market:
Spokane Farmer’s Market:
Thursday Market (South Perry):
Kendall Yards Night Market:
Fairwood Farmer’s Market
Kootenai County Farmer’s Markets (Coeur d’Alene & Hayden):
Eat (Local) Out
Not all restaurant ingredients are created equal, but with a little research, you can eat local while eating out. Several Spokane restaurants have transcended business as usual to seek out fresh, local ingredients—or even grow their own.
A hidden rooftop vegetable garden supplies some of Hills’ Restaurant & Lounge’s vegetables and herbs. Strolling along the Centennial Trail in Kendall Yards during the warm months, you may spot Central Food chef David Blaine watering the garden right outside his restaurant.
Blaine sources produce and meat from local farms, which are listed on the restaurant’s website. Similarly, Wild Sage Bistro and Santé name their suppliers online for conscious consumers.