September has been a very wet month. Normally the weather slowly drops off after Labor Day but this year we have had several significant downpours. Heavy rains are unusual for this area but we have had about 5 days inwhich we got heavy downpours. September ended up being the rainiest on record.
It is now October and temperature-wise, it definitely feels like Fall. The trees are still pretty green but the forecast was good weather this weekend so we headed north to the Skagit Valley and the scenic Chuckanut Drive along the Sound. It was also the Skagit Festival of Family Farms which made it a good time to visit the area.
Mt. Vernon is about an hour drive from our house. Our first stop was the Mt. Vernon Farmer’s Market. Fall was in high swing. The stalls were filled with apples, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower. I picked up a bottle of tarragon vinegar and some bright purple cauliflower.
We headed through town to Avon-Allen Road and headed north to the junction with Chuckanut Drive. Chuckanut starts through the Skagit farms before winding along the shores of the Puget Sound.
Our first stop was the town of Edison. It is a small gathering of buildings on the Skagit Flats with a few art studios and several food destinations. I wanted to visit the Breadfarm. I can not describe how intoxicating it was walking thorugh the door. The aroma of fresh artisan bread. The chalk board was a great guide to what was available. We decided on a loaf of potato bread, a blueberry Danish and a pistachio cranberry shortbread cookie. After wolfing down the danish and cookie we walked around the main street taking in the store fronts and looking in the other cafes. I needed some eggs and from the postcard on the ‘Bow Edison Food Trail’, I found that there were some fresh eggs at Bow Hill Blueberries. We headed over and picked up a dozen along with some dried blueberries. We discussed the harvest with the owner. He grows four types of heirloom blueberries. G was familiar with several of the types – Ruble is one of the smaller sweet types that he grows.
We returned back to Chuckanut and headed north to Taylor Shellfish. This farmer has raises oysters, mussels and clams in beds throughout the Puget Sound. I used to buy their mussels and clams when they had a stand in the University Market and I was very interested in seeing the Bow operation. Little did we know it was one of the main farms on the tour.
We waited for them to direct us down the one-way road. We found a placed to park and walked across the railroad to the farm. They had educational games for children, beaches to roam, crab races, samples of steamed clams and fresh shucked oysters. We got a couple of pounds of mussels to go.
The drive continues to curve high above the shore with glimpses of the San Juans and Olympics. We pulled out at one of the turnouts to watch the large tankers float by. The road is lined with evergreen firs and big leaf maples. The maples had not yet turned, another week but the air was fragrant with the scent of cedar, the day was warm. Life is good.
Edison Main street