Don’t Miss the WA Artisan Cheesemakers Festival!


The third annual Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival returns to the Seattle Design Center on Saturday, September 27. This year’s festival will feature over 80 cheeses and dairy products from 23 Washington cheesemakers including many of the recent American Cheese Society award winners plus a plenty of mouth-watering tasting options to explore.

In addition to a stellar lineup of the local cheesemakers the event will also feature several artisan foods and beverages that are destined to be enjoyed with cheese, making the tasting experience even more delicious, inspiring and adventurous.

Participating producers:

  • Boat Street Pickles—Pickled Figs, French Plums, Pickled Raisins, Pickled Apricots
  • Columbia City Bakery—Bread and Pastries
  • Girl Meets Dirt—Cutting Preserves and Spoon Preserves
  • Hitchcock Deli—Charcuteries, Sauerkraut and Mustard
  • Simple & Crisp—Simple & Crisp Apple, Orange and Pear
  • Tease Chocolates—Truffles, Signature Bars, Toffees, Sugar Island Caramels
  • The Troubadour Baker—Spiced nuts, Semolina Nigella Biscuits and Smoked Paprika Coins
  • Diamond Knot Brewing— IPA, ESB and Blonde Ale
  • Iron Horse Brewery—Irish Death and High Five Hefe
  • Sound Brewery— Dubbel Entendre and Tripel Entendre
  • Diversion Wine Diversion Cabernet Sauvignon, Majestic Red, Merlot and Chardonnay
  • Lobo Hills 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 Dry Riesling and 2010-11 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cider tasting by PCC Natural Markets featuring hard ciders by local producers


Saturday, September 27, 2014, 1:00-5:00pm


Seattle Design Center

5701 6th Avenue S., Seattle, WA 98108

Free parking available in the parking lot outside the building and an underground parking garage in the adjacent building.


$35 advance tickets or $40 at the door

Admission includes all cheese samples and 3 drink tickets. Beer tastes are one drink ticket each and wine tastes are 2 drink tickets each.

Advance tickets are available online at

Must be 21 years old or older and have a valid ID to be admitted.


Now with nearly 60 cheesemakers who call it home, Washington State is becoming one of the most prominent cheese-producing states in the country. The Festival celebrates the vibrant local artisan cheese industry by showcasing a variety of cheese made in Washington State. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the cheesemakers and learn about their products, business and philosophy to enhance their tasting experience and appreciation for the art of cheesemaking.


The Festival will also feature a variety of locally produced artisan foods and beverages including bread, charcuterie, jam, chocolate, and crackers to accompany or pair with the cheese. Try a beautifully aged sheeps milk cheese with a smear of chutney or a luscious blue cheese on a walnut levain with a touch of sweetness then add some spiced nuts and slices of charcuterie to complete the cheese plate.  Or experiment with different beers, wines or hard ciders to find a perfect match for your favorite cheese.


Most of the featured cheeses will be available for purchase at the Festival Cheese Shop.


For those who wish to hone their cheese know-how cheesemonger Sheri LaVigne from The Calf & Kid will guide you through a comprehensive tasting that will explore a diverse selection of cheeses made in the region and learn about the people, animals, and environment that make for the bounty of dairy products. Local beer and wine will be paired with cheeses along with other pairing elements from the area.  Seminar tickets are available at


The Festival is a benefit for Cascade Harvest Coalition a Seattle based non-profit dedicated to supporting healthy farms, healthy food and healthy communities. Since 1999, the Coalition has been instrumental in building alliances and facilitating programs that support local growers, food buyers and consumers throughout Washington State to ensure access to locally grown food in all of the places that we live, work, shop, eat and play.


Web site:


Phone (press inquiries): (206) 915-0015

Slow Money Thriving in Oregon

Community investing efforts are growing across the Pacific Northwest! There are various LION networks in the region, different crowdsourcing efforts, and two formal networks in Oregon that have organized around Slow Money.

WFFC_circle_logoSouth Willamette Valley
Inspired by a visit from Woody Tasch to the University of Oregon in early 2013, a few attendees set out to help build resilience in their local food and farming economy. They went on to form Slow Money South Willamette Valley with a mission to catalyze low-interest loans to local, sustainable food and farming businesses in their region.  


Slow Money SWV had their first public gathering in December 2013 where they catalyzed 3 loans to local food and farming entrepreneurs. In just over a year, they’ve catalyzed 10 loans totaling over $98K through a peer to peer lending format. 

For more info about SMSWV contact Erin Ely at

SOSlowMoneySouthern Oregon
Farther south in the Rogue Valley, Southern Oregon has its own network appropriately named SO Slow Money.

SO Slow Money had their 2nd annual Home Grown Finance event on August 5th with several local emerging farm successes. They brought in $47,500 in private Slow Money seed investments last year and 4 of the 8 companies currently in their summer accelerator came through SO Slow Money.

We are incredibly excited for the future of local sustainable farming in Oregon thanks to these sustainable food champions. These fellow Cascadians are “bringing people together around a shared vision. It starts with the soil, entrepreneurs are the seeds and Investors are the water.”

For more info about SO SLow Money contact Rosetta Shaw at

Faith in food for Seattle’s Central District

clean greens farm
photo credit Camille Dohrn

Seattle’s newest farm to table operation, complete with a 22-acre vegetable farm in Duvall, wasn’t started by chefs in Capitol Hill. It wasn’t built by a farming collective in Ballard or a community co-op in Fremont. G.R.E.A.N. House Coffee & Cafe was started in the Central District by Reverend Robert Jeffrey Sr. and the New Hope Gospel Mission. Why? Because as the Reverend put it, “food is literally killing people.”

After health complications put Reverend Jeffrey in the hospital in 2007, he decided to create a solution in his own neighborhood. “Growing up in a family of sixteen children, we were very poor. I developed a kinship with those struggling with poverty early on, I guess I never lost that feeling,” said Jeffrey in a Clean Greens video. “People can use their collective strength to do something about their economic situation and one of those vehicles ultimately became food.” Their mission is about more than just a farmer’s market and restaurant. Its designed to help inspire and uplift an entire community.

photo credit Camille Dohrn

Growing everything from beets, carrots and squash, to pumpkins, radishes and a bouquet of different greens, the program is giving the neighborhood new access and appreciation for local, sustainable food. The farm bringing’s a new generation of community members to the land every week. While volunteers get their hands dirty they’re learning about crops, soil and have a richer understanding of where their food comes from. But more than that, they are building a stronger community through a CSA program, local food donations to vulnerable neighbors, and offer lower prices that  working families can afford. New Hope and Clean Greens Farm are quietly shifting the Central District from a food desert, to a model for strong healthy communities.

sampling the veggies
photo credit Scott Royder

Supporting two markets and a CSA program, the organization is also working towards becoming financially self sustaining. Previously working solely from grants, donations and volunteers, New Hope opened up G.R.E.A.N. in February. The Reverend hopes the cafe will soon provide enough money to move the entire farm off of donations.

The cafe has a hometown feel, like a neighbor inviting you over for lunch. Solar retrofitted roof and all, this operation is a standard bearer on how to use healthy sustainable agriculture to empower communities.

The group’s former CSA director Roger Jeffrey put it best in a Clean Greens Farm video; “we have to get back to real community, and I think the key to that is finding common ground, the way we do that is through food.”