Wow—where to start?!! One really needs to take a trip to Woodinville to get a sense of the ambitious scope of the newly realized 21 Acres project—but I will try to give you a little taste here of the treat you are in for.
Upon arrival, I was lucky enough to be greeted by Gretchen Garth, 21 Acres Board President and one of its founders. We talked a bit about the market and the newly constructed building it is housed in. The market section of 21 Acres takes place in the downstairs area of a very large, built green, platinum LEED certified building. It gives shoppers “affordable options for fresh produce and value-added products and the opportunity to support local farmers.” Offerings include locally grown produce, fresh eggs, milk, cheese and butter, bread made with local grains, raw honey, dried goods, organic flower bouquets, plant starts and much more!
After introducing me to the most amazing homemade butter I’ve ever eaten, Gill Dey, 21 Acres Culinary Classes Director, graciously offered to take me on a tour of the upstairs facilities. And I have to say—this is where the scope of the 21 Acres project really hits home. One enters into a huge commercial kitchen space used to host the cooking portion of the 21 Acres School, a non-profit school dedicated to helping people learn to grow food, eat and live in a sustainable manner. Summer offerings included a whole host of cooking classes as well as home preserving and beekeeping. Want to hold your own cooking classes? Well it turns out that the upstairs facilities, including the kitchen, large event areas and a huge terrace facing the farm, are available for rent to the public for classes, meetings, receptions, special occasion dinners and anything else you can dream up!
And finally, if you haven’t figured it out yet, the name “21 Acres” comes from the fact that the project literally sits on 21 acres. “The Back 18”—the portion that isn’t used for everything that we’ve discussed up to now—is a working farm used to showcase sustainable farming in action.
Phew! That’s it in a nutshell. But again, to really get a sense of 21 Acres you have to check it out yourself. Enjoy!
21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living
13701 NE 171st St, Woodinville, WA 98072
Market open Weds., Thurs. & Fri.; noon-7pm