Media tour highlights Whatcom food and farming

The Bellingham Business Journal

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism is hosting five regional travel writers April 21-24 to promote culinary attractions, restaurants and agri-tourism in Whatcom County.

The writers and bloggers, from Edible Seattle magazine, Planet Eye Traveler website, Spokane Spokesman-Review, Washington Magazine and Seattle PI website, will be eating their way through Whatcom County for the next three days. They all plan to write about and share their Whatcom County-based culinary experiences, which the tourism bureau says will help bring more visitors to Whatcom County and support the local economy.

“This tour highlights the importance of a growing segment of tourism in Whatcom County: agri-tourism,” said Loni Rahm, CEO and President of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism. “We live in a community where the idea of ‘farm-to-fork’ is a reality, so to bring writers and visitors directly to these farms not only supports local agriculture, but it also improves our understanding of where food comes from.”

The writers, who are staying at the Chrysalis Inn & Spa, will dine at Flats Wine & Tapas Bar, Colophon Café, Skylark’s Hidden Café, Magdalena’s Creperie, Nimbus, Fino and will tour local farms. On Thursday, they will get a special guided tour from ”Dirty Dan Harris” in Fairhaven, a behind-the-scenes look at Taylor Shellfish Farms and a barbeque lunch of fresh shellfish there, a private wine tasting of Whatcom County wines at Purple Space in Bellingham’s Old Town, and a special Incognito Dinner by Ciao Thyme. The media tour venues have all donated their time, goods, meals and services to host these writers.

On Friday, the writers will be taken on a farm tour, highlighting lavender, cheese-making, bison and chocolate. The farm tour includes trips to Red Barn Lavender in Ferndale, Pleasant Valley Cheese in Ferndale, Lone Boot Buffalo Ranch in Ferndale (where lunch will be served, along with Trilby’s BBQ Sauce), Appel Farms in Ferndale, Silver Springs Creamery in Lynden and Chocolate Necessities in Bellingham. The hosted writers will also learn about a local food resource, The Whatcom Food & Farm Finder, which is published annually by Sustainable Connections.

Rahm said she hopes the media tour will serve as a reminder to locals that these farms, farmers, locally-made products and restaurants are an accessible, enjoyable and a unique part of the Whatcom County community.

Founded in 1978, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism is the official tourism agency for Whatcom County. Its mission is to improve the local economy by attracting visitors who stay longer. For more information on Bellingham and Whatcom County, visit www.bellingham.org.

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