Changing the World for the Better, One Meal at a Time

By MaryRose Denton

A recent Sunday evening, I find myself sitting next to my favorite guy, outside a local downtown Bellingham, WA, brewery. We are sipping our cool ales and enjoying the last rays of a waning sun. A feeling of peace and normalcy flutters around on the light breeze. What could make this delightful scene even better?

Dinner, from my favorite food truck!

Outside the brewery, the familiar green food truck with the fist logo is parked off to one side. This is Sage Against the Machine. Owners Tara and Nate Johnson have been inside all afternoon cooking and serving up their version of down-home vegan fare, with a flair! Come early, is the best advice, for even though their open hours list until 7pm, they typically sell out each evening.

How it all Began

Tara’s quest began seven years ago. She desired a healthier lifestyle, experimenting with various vegan recipes to find the ones her family would enjoy. Her love for cooking quickly turned into a passion. What she did not expect was to find love, community, and a sustainable small business. She took all her favorite recipes and turned them vegan. Now they are what’s for dinner on the menu.

She has been an off-and-on vegan for most of her life. As someone who loves to throw big dinner parties and feed people, opening a food truck seemed like a natural extension for her tasty talents.

It was her read of the book, Forks Over Knives by Gene Stone which changed her view on food. “I woke up to what is in our food and what is being done to it.”, Tara said. For this reason, she chose the name Sage Against the Machine, inspired by the ‘90s alternative rock band, Rage Against the Machine, whose music and lyrics spoke to action and revolutionary change. Tara and Nate hold the same intention, hoping to inspire positive change in the food industry. “Changing the world for the better, one meal at a time”.

Tara grew up in Oregon, moving around some before finding her way to Bellingham. Once she did, she knew this was her community. She was home.

Finding love, community, and a new adventure. It also led her to love…..

Edison, WA: Home of the infamous ‘Brewstillery’

OCTOBER 10, 2020

Head 90 miles north of Seattle, and you will find nestled in the open farmland of the Skagit Valley, the quirky town of Edison, WA. A creative hub inhabited by artisans and farmers alike, there is one place they both come together in synergy, a place called Terramar.

What is Terramar?

Overlooking the banks of the Edison slough, Terramar Brewstillery is as eclectic as this small town. Combining a brewpub, winery, pizzeria, and a newly opened distillery coins their now infamous phrase “brewstillery.”

Terramar is the brainchild of Chris and Jen Barker, who, after many starts, stops and life lessons, opened their big barn doors of the brewery in the summer of 2019. This year, on their first anniversary, they celebrated with the grand opening of their newly renovated distillery and speakeasy.(Image:Richard Schmitz)

Terramar is a local business that is doing it all, doing it very well, while keeping their commitment to sustaining a lighter footprint on the earth. Once an old slaughterhouse, the Barker’s revamped this withering structure into the lively, community gathering place it is today, all while maintaining the existing footprint and upcycling materials.

“Sustainability has been very important for us from the beginning,” Chris said. “Every decision made has that in mind.” Including their process for making libations. In keeping with their repurposing principles, they make beer and then use the wash from the brewery to make grain-based spirits like whiskey, vodka, and gin in their newly opened distillery.

Come inside for more on the modern day speakeasy….