Oregon writer Tami Parr has a new book out that I don't think I could live without now that I've read it. If you're a person who loves cheese, you'll understand.
Parr researched 71 Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia cheese farms and wrote brief profiles of each farm. The book is a collection of fascinating details about the history of each farm, as well as a look at the styles of cheese each farm produces. It also tells readers how to get to each of the farms – complete with maps. I am already planning on visiting a few when I take some time off in May. I'm sure I'll end up writing about them.
From our region, a handful of cheesemakers are featured.
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Among the featured Puget Sound area cheese farms are the Estrella Family Creamery in Montesano and the Mt. Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend. The book also looks at Port Madison Farm in Bainbridge Island.
Also featured is the River Valley Ranch farm, an organic cheese farm in Fall City. Coincidentally, I'll have a story about the farm next Wednesday in The News Tribune's food section, thanks to Jessica Troy, manager of the Proctor Farmers Market –River Valley Ranch sells its cheese there every Saturday.
Troy recommended I write about the farm as part of a series I'm writing about farmers and farmers markets. Beginning next Wednesday and continuing through October, readers will see a different farm and farmers market featured in The News Tribune's Wednesday food section. (For longtime readers of The News Tribune, you may remember I wrote a similar 14-part series from June-September 2005.)
I'll tell you about the farms, the food they produce and which farmers markets carry their products or produce. Within that feature, the market managers also will give me a "what's fresh" report letting you know what will be fresh at the farmers markets in the week ahead.
What else should I be writing about for farmers markets? Your thoughts, please.