The land of Canaan was said to be “the land of milk and honey,” but the Sky Valley might go it one better; it has those plus a lot of fresh eggs on many small farms.
For those who prefer for any of a variety of good reasons to buy local groceries wherever possible, the summer season offers rich opportunities to buy fresh duck and chicken eggs, raw milk, local honey, lots and lots of fresh fruits and veggies and even some locally farmed meats and cheeses.
Those opportunities can be hard to find, though. Some people sell goods through Facebook, some have honor system refrigerators on the property, some sell at farm stands and some through websites that can take some searching to find.
Here is a guide to finding fresh, locally-farmed eggs, milk and honey, as well as a few other Sky Valley groceries.
The Art of Milk
22426 SR 203, Monroe
This farm stand on SR 203 has a die-hard following for the fresh, glass-bottled raw milk sold by the half-gallon at the picturesque hut six days per week.
The hut, which looks much like an espresso stand, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12-6 p.m. and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We sell cheese, too,” said dairyman Art Groeneweg. “Cherry Valley Farms makes it for us, but it’s our milk. We only have it at the stand. It’s basically a raw milk cheddar, aged over 60 days. Most are more than six-months aged.”
There might be a jar or two left of blackberry honey from Carnation; Groeneweg said last week that it’s almost all gone.
Get there soon, though, Groeneweg said that, due to the overhead associated with the business, it might not be there much longer either.
“We recognized the need for farm-fresh options in the Monroe metro area and knew that it would be something of interest for those around us,” said Jenae Sinclair of J&S Homestead. “That’s when I decided to start a farm myself and offer to others. I enjoy having healthier options for my family and this gives me a way to offer both to my family and others with that same interest.”
Among the offerings of J&S Homestead, depending on the season, are milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit and meats.
Milk requires a $5 first time deposit for the jar. Bring your jar back each visit and get a new jar filled.
Goat milk is $5 a gallon; cow milk is $4 per gallon.
Eggs are $3 per dozen.
Vegetables, mix and match, are $1 per pound.
Apples, u-pick, are $5 for a 5-pound bag. Berries, u-pick, are $5 per pound.
Chickens are $1.25 per pound, pork is $4 per pound, lamb is $6 per pound, and rabbit is $5 per pound.
To learn more about how to order, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bee Happy Farm
Bee Happy Farm is a family farm on Yeager Valley Road outside Monroe that endeavors to locate hives away from potential sources of pesticide or chemicals. The farm currently has a limited supply of blackberry, wildflower and knotweed honey.
Order through the website at http://www.beehappyfarm.net
Kosian Farms is a group of Christian family men who have a locally-farmed food delivery service based in Sultan.
They sell blackberry, fireweed and knotweed honey, but are currently sold out. Check back at http://kossianfarms.com/. Also find cage-free eggs there for $4 a dozen.
Eggs and more
“We live on three acres on Trout Farm Road in Sultan and have lots of happy chickens, ducks and turkeys roaming around,” said Joanna Monger. “We like to sell our surplus eggs at $4.50 a dozen.”
“I have 20 chickens that are spoiled rotten!” said Amber Noel McLaughlin. She sells the surplus for $3 a dozen.
Find her on Facebook to order; she drops eggs off for customers for pick up at Sweet Indulgence Candy Shop in Monroe.
Bianca Tarleton has extra eggs every couple of weeks. She also has a parenting blog at http.thepierogiemama.blogspot.com. Email about eggs to email@example.com.
MS Doolittles Farm
Mark and Alice Portugal have lots of ducks and chickens, and each Friday at about 10 a.m., they load a refrigerator next to their garage with the week’s supply. They are usually sold out by late Sunday.
Duck eggs are almost indistinguishable from chicken eggs, said Mark Portugal.
“Some people say they are a little richer, but nowadays I can’t even tell the difference, except the size,” he said. “Some can get twice the size of a chicken egg. But people who are allergic to chicken eggs can have duck eggs.”
Whereas duck eggs sell for as much as $10 dozen in the city, on the MS Doolittles Farm, they are only $4, and chicken eggs are $3.50.
The MS Doolittles Farm does more than raise birds. It is also an animal rescue.
And soon, some organic veggies will join the eggs in the refrigerator.
“We’ll have 400-600 pounds of beans coming in, cilantro, radishes and basil,” said Portugal. “But it’ll be another few weeks.”
Find the farm, and the fridge, at 13504 Wagner Rd. near Monroe.
Drive up Lake Fontal Road on weekends and you might find a stand run by Madison, 7, at which you can find many locally-raised goods.
“She regularly sells eggs from her hens, but she has also sold a few rabbits (she raised), homemade jam, strawberries from our garden, Girl Scout cookies, and last weekend she sold her own bottle of water to a passing bicyclist!” said mother Nicole Erickson.
The shy but enterprising girl saves half the money for a horse, and the other half for college. Best hours to find her are noon to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Duvall, delivery to Monroe
Kylie Gagnier sells about five dozen eggs per week for just $3 a dozen; to order, find her on Facebook..
“Anyone can PM me,” she said. “I only get five dozen a week so I might have to start a waiting list if too many people request eggs. I live outside of Duvall, but travel to Monroe almost every weekend.”
“We sell duck, chicken and goose eggs when we have extra,” said Chad Keller. “We also raise a few pigs each year. We sell a half hog and keep one half for ourselves. One of the reasons we moved to the area was to be able to do this type of thing.”
Find Chad Keller on Facebook.
R Heritage Farm
Ben and Monique Russ own R Heritage Farm in Gold Bar, where they keep Berkshire pigs, heritage chickens, turkeys and ducks.
They have a CSA program in which customers can subscribe to farm boxes of whatever is fresh on the farm, or anyone can order from their online store.
Eggs of various hue from heritage breed chickens are $6.50 per dozen; check back regularly to see when they are in stock.
Other products include bacon, chicken, pork, sausage, ham and whole and half hogs.
Order and learn more at http://www.rheritagefarm.com.