Going Wild at Cafe Wylde

P stands for Plant-based

Plant-based. What is it?

“We offer local, vegan, and organic food straight from the earth”, reads the sign of Café Wylde in Everett, WA. It is a late February day and uncommonly dry for the Pacific Northwest. I stand on the sidewalk and wait for my friend to arrive for our late afternoon dinner. Both of us just had birthdays and this is our celebration together. Knowing I am vegetarian, she suggested a “plant-based” restaurant. This may conjure a picture of tie-dyed hippies with long hair and Birkenstocks serving behind the counter but today “plant-based” diets reach across many demographics.

There are several derivations for the term, “plant-based”, encompassing diets which exclude red meat to the more commonly associated vegan diet. It is the latter which most people may think of when seeing this description on a menu. Wikipedia says it this way, “a diet consisting mostly or entirely of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, and with few or no animal products.”

People may choose “plant-based” diet for a variety of reasons. Ethical, environmental, and health are usually the most common reasons leading someone to alter their food habits.

At Café Wylde, they encourage that extra leap of health by using locally sourced, organic ingredients. Keeping it local reduces the carbon footprint as well as ensures the highest nutrient value because the produce is picked daily, from the field to your table.

Along with creative and delicious main dishes, there are a variety of healthy teas, smoothies, and fresh juices all prepared in house and on the spot at Café Wylde.  The women who dreamed this vision also incorporate gratitude as their motivation behind the scenes.  Gratitude for the planet, its abundance, but most of all for the support of customers celebrating their birthdays.

Exploring Deception Pass – The Bowman Bay/Rosario Beach Trail

Photo by Deception Pass Bridge; by Author

One of the more accessible hikes and a favorite of mine is the Bowman Bay/Rosario Beach Trail. This is where we headed on a beautiful spring afternoon with water bottles in our backpacks and a picnic lunch packed for our return.

Heading west, we followed Hwy 20 until just before the Deception Pass bridge where there is a road going off to the right with signs directing you down Rosario Beach Road and to the park. This park is a popular spot with camping as well as hiking and has many day use features including picnic areas and public washrooms. It is here where the Maiden of Deception Pass (Ko-kwahl-alwoot) totem pole stands holding a salmon above her head, keeping watch over the Salish sea.

With camera and binoculars in hand we begin our trek heading south on the Rosario Beach trail. The path meanders through wooded areas providing some nice shade on warmer days, up some small inclines and around Bowman Bay. This leg of our day hike is just over 1 mile.

Walking Rosario Beach Trail Photo by Author

Wild, Wet, and Beautiful

A Northwest Getaway

Tiny droplets of ocean spray hit my face as I turn into the wind. I am bundled up
warmly from head to toe; knit hat, quilted jacket, gloves, and warm socks inside my
shiny red rubber boots.
The sun is at a quarter slant in the sky, for it has been up for hours. But we chose to rise leisurely before
venturing out on this late winter morning. My partner and I have come up to Semiahmoo Resort for
a long weekend and rejuvenation get-away.

Lavender and Its Ability to Unite a Community

FieldsLavender and Its Ability to Unite a Community and Heal the World.

by; MaryRose Denton

“The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, with fields of lavender…”(William C. Bryant).
Voyage to the largest island in the San Juans, just off the Northwest coast of Washington, on any summer day in mid -July and you will experience the aromatic and visual delight of fields in the peak of purpleness. This is lavender in full bloom. This is a “place of great gathering”, this is Pelindaba farm, http://www.pelindabalavender.com

(insert picture of fields)

Pelindaba, owned and operated since 1999 by Stephen Robins, is a premier grower of certified organic lavender, hand-crafting their lavender products which are made with the essential oil, distilled on-site at the farm. Thy are the largest vertically integrated lavender operation in the country which translates into they do it all themselves; they grow the lavender, distill it into essential oil, harvest it, and make all their products in house. The only do lavender and they do it, very, very well.

(insert Farm pic)

At Pelindaba, they live by a certain ethos, one of sustainability. The farmland is a preserved open-space as well as agricultural land. The cutting fields, which grow 4-5 different varieties of lavender, is open to the public year-round. “Never locking the gates”, is Stephen’s philosophy for this communal spirit invites anyone to walk the fields or picnic on the benches, while soaking in the healing vibrations of these pretty purple plants. Weddings and private functions are held in the fields which are also open to painters and photographers alike, of all degrees, for inspiration and any artistic activities. Any time of year is splendid to visit these fields on San Juan Island but in mid-summer, at the height of blooming, the flowers and fields are purely magical.

(insert Path of Lavender and pic of Cutting fields)

Just to the left of the gravel drive as you enter the farm, is the Gatehouse. It stands a charming, white farmhouse which became the first retail store in 2001, for all the Pelindaba products. Walking up the steps to the Gatehouse, you walk through what is termed the Demonstration Garden. In here, more than 50 types of lavender grow, with the intention to show the wide diversity of this plant.

Behind the Gatehouse are educational exhibits including a hands-on distillery area. A second tier to the Pelindaba ethos is education and a sense of responsibility, a giving back to the community be it a county wide community or a world- wide one. As Stephen stated, “by doing good in the community in which we live, we are doing good by the world”.
(insert picture of Stephen)

So, what makes lavender so popular to the aficionado as well as the new comer? It has universal appeal. Lavender has been written about for centuries in prose and poetry, giving it a sentimental air, and can be found as a fundamental staple to the quintessential Shakespearean garden. From the garden to the plate, lavender is widely used in culinary dishes for both flavor and decoration. Its oil has been used for hundreds of years to remedy all sorts of maladies from sore muscles, insomnia, and tension headaches to nervous conditions and anxiety. The chemical components of lavender, such as linalool, not only provide antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties but also have shown to be analgesic for pain relief. Lavender is safe for all ages and pets too!
(insert picture with bee)

Besides being an environmental and sustainable crop that requires very little resources, it is a versatile, non-toxic product for almost anything that ails you, and it can be found 100% certified organic, made by Pelindaba. In 2004, Pelindaba expanded their retail presence off the farm and into the neighboring community of Friday Harbor. Today there are stores throughout Western Washington as well as Oregon, Colorado, California, Illinois, Florida, and Hawaii. Throughout it all; the years, the growth, the ups and the downs, Pelindaba has continued to maintain its vision and the vision of its creator Stephen Robins, “to do well by our island environment – physically, economically and culturally.” It is a great gathering of crops and a place for great gatherings of people. It is Pelindaba.
(insert row of lavender and pic with butterfly)

To read more on the inception and concepts of Pelindaba Lavender farm or to find a store location, please visit their website at http://www.pelindabalavender.com .
For further information on visiting the San Juan islands please contact the San Juan Visitors Bureau at http://www.visitsanjuans.com .

(insert pic of Flowers)