We found Sm'Apples in nearby Ferndale and chose them based on the fact that they were featuring Honeycrisp apples. They are a favorite of our family. A little sweet, a little tart. (a bit like our daughters really!)
One thing I am really starting to enjoy about our family outings is running into friends! This time we ran into friends from when our girls were small (hello Heilborns!) Above is Eric Heilborn showing us their apple haul!
One thing we have to make sure of is not to get competitive when picking! We held ourselves to a bag of Honeycrip, a bag of Jonagolds, and a bag of what they called Fuji/Mystery apples that were a mystery since they had cross-pollinated with another apple variety.
Another bonus of our apple picking? We are buying local which is helping keep our local community farms healthy. And they are just plain delicious. We ended up with three bags full of apples. Though it drizzled on and off it was a perfect Northwest day for apple picking! And we ended up eating an apple or two the minute we hit the car! Heading home we realized we were very close to Twin Sisters Creamery which is the only cheese producer in the area that produces blue cheese! Hello detour!
I had been fortunate enough to taste this gorgeous blue cheese about a year ago at the eatery attached to Drizzle Olive oil and Vinegar Tasting Room in Lynden. Let's just say I remembered and knew Steve would be a fan!
We became more than just fans of their cheese after having a chance to talk to Lindsay, one of the pair behind the brand (her husband Jeff was busy cleaning in the production area behind the glass). She educated us on how the cheese was made while the twins that the cheese is named after entertained us by zooming around the room (one on a pair of inline skates!) Their raw milk Blue Cheese is smooth and zippy at the same time, while their Whatcom White which is made with raw milk is addictive. Needless to say we left with a piece of both!
Since we were in the area we decided to go and visit Appel Farms to check out some more cheese. This place has something for everyone. We were happy to grab a bite to eat, while Sam was excited to check out the Critter Corner!
Steve and I shared a huge cheese plate that seemed it would keep a farmer happy for a meal, while Sam was happy with her grilled cheese. We decided to buy a piece of Nokkelost Cheese which has spices and cloves and tastes different from anything we've had before. Then it was off to check out the grounds.
Sam was happy to find they had a yard out back with a large koi pond, three goats and a gorgeous cow. Though she was a bit surprised to find out how big the cow's tongue was and it's reach! You would have thought she was a city kid!
This was a really casual day of touring around but we were really happy with how it turned out. We ran into friends, came home with delicious products, and had a ball. If you are looking to take your own tour and you are in the area Sustainable Connections has a great website with information on where to find their print map of their Food & Farm Finder which is helpful in seeing just what is available nearby. We are always impressed and excited with what we can find in our area. This may be just one of many mini-food tours we take this Fall! Have you come across any surprises in your area?