Lovers of local food won’t want to miss Skagit Valley’s just-released, homegrown cookbook, Serving the Skagit Harvest, Recipes and Tips from Eat Your Yard.

The book contains over 100 recipes and tips from 50 contributors in the Skagit Valley. There are contributions from home vegetable growers, from CSAs and restaurants, from Graham Kerr—who has just embarked on a vegetable-growing experience of his own—and from the chef at Skagit Valley Hospital, who is sourcing local food for the hospital cafeteria.

Interspersed with growing, harvesting, and vegetable-storing tips, the recipes are divided by season and focus on what can be grown at home and sourced from local farmers’ markets. A harvest calendar showcases the breadth of produce available in the Skagit Valley, and the resource section lists places to explore for fresh local food.

The cookbook also introduces you to some fascinating folks. Meet a woman who gardens in a wooded area of Bow and another on the banks of the Swinomish Channel, a fellow who grows food at the base of Mount Erie and one who gardens in a sun-challenged yard in Concrete.

Books can be purchased for $20 at Eat Your Yard events and selected outlets in Skagit County, including Skagit Valley Food Co-op in Mount Vernon, and Ace Hardware, Pelican Bay Used Books, and Watermark Book Company in Anacortes. An order form for mail order copies is available at the Skagit Beat the Heat website,

Eat Your Yard, a project of Skagit Beat the Heat, runs workshops to teach beginning gardeners how to grow food in their own backyards. Sessions regularly attract from 40 to 80 people at the Anacortes Public Library. Skagit Beat the Heat, the parent organization, has created other projects such as the Anacortes Community Garden (in partnership with the City of Anacortes) and the book, Living Green, Living Well. For more information, visit

Serving the Skagit Harvest makes a wonderful gift for anyone who values the unmatched taste of fresh, local food. Profits from book sales benefit Eat Your Yard to help our community achieve a more resilient food system, a critical need in this time of depleting oil supplies and climate change.

For further information:

Jane Billinghurst, Editor, Serving the Skagit Harvest

(360) 588-8073




1 bunch (or more) fresh kale or chard and/or any other greens

3 or 4 cloves garlic 

sea salt

1 sweet onion

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/4 cup olive oil


Wash the greens well, and drain, shake and pat dry. Remove the stems from greens. (Kale can be stripped off, holding one end of the stem. For spinach, hold the folded leaf in one hand & pull the stem off with the other. Most others, lay the leaf flat, and cut the leaf in half along one side of the stem, then cut the stem from the other half.) Discard hard round stems of kale, collards & spinach. Reserve tender stems of chard, beet greens, mustard & turnips. Chop reserved stems into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. Tear or chop the greens into roughly 2 inch pieces. Cut the onion into slices or chop into large pieces. Chop or slice the garlic, not too small.


Heat olive oil in a large skillet. (For kale choose one with a lid.) Add the onion & sauté briefly on medium/high heat. Add the garlic and any reserved, tender stems, stir, & cook a little longer. You will add the greens in sequence, with the most tender last. If using kale, start by adding it in large handfuls. Toss to coat & wilt. Continue adding kale until it’s all in the pan & all wilted. Put the lid on the pan & turn OFF the burner. (If it’s electric, move it off.) Allow to rest for 10 minutes or more. When it’s almost time to eat, remove the cover & turn the heat back up to med/high. Add salt & crushed red pepper to taste & toss a bit. (The red pepper “brightens” the flavor without heat if you just add a little.) Toss & begin adding other greens, if using. Collards would be next, then beet greens, turnip tops, and mustard. Spinach is last. (Skip the lid part if not using kale.) Add each green, then toss & cook to wilt. Then add the next green. When all greens are wilted & tender - serve them hot.


This is a great vegetable side dish just as is. It is so good and good for you too. It is also endlessly variable:

• At the end of cooking the greens, add tomatoes (canned or fresh chopped). If you plan to make this with pasta, you can include the juice from the canned tomatoes. Otherwise it will probably make it too wet.

• Spoon over rice, or any other grain, or polenta, or tossed with pasta, to make a complete meal.

• Mix the cooked greens with egg & ricotta & bake it (sprinkle parmesan cheese on top), either directly in a baking dish, or in a pie shell or in a shell of polenta.

  1. After the greens part of the dish is complete, with or without tomatoes, you can add beans. If you use canned beans be sure to rinse them well to get rid of the canned flavor. Use kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, or any others you like. Then cook a little longer to be sure it’s hot through.

from Carol Havens Slow Food Skagit


2 1/2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup bread crumbs (I use crushed croutons)

1/4 cup minced onion

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup total chopped parsley and fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 egg

1 or 2 tablespoons flour

Mix ingredients together well and drop by spoonfuls onto a sprayed griddle. Brown on one side. Turn. Brown on the other side. Serve.

Serves 2 to 3

from Dyani Wetcher

note from Burk - cooks adapt as we go sometimes, and at the Market I used shallot for the onion, and basil for the rosemary, and pan fried them in somewhat larger patties