I am an unabashed foodie. Put your hand in the air if you're with me. There, you see, I am in good company. Have car, will travel for good food (especially fresh vegetables).

When I started thinking about this blog post many weeks ago, I thought that it would turn out to be a post on thankfulness. I am thankful for for so many things as 2017 begins. For example, I am thankful for my family and a new job. I am thankful for that I get to live in such a beautiful place. The water, the verdant evergreens and the mountains provide clean air and an abundance of beauty.

I am also thankful that I live in a semi-rural area which has an abundance of wonderful farmers markets and farms. It's exciting to meet the people who till the soil and grow my food. A few of the wonderful local farms which I have personally visited and appreciated include Heyday Farm on Bainbridge Island (they sell their farm fresh veggies, eggs and meat in their Lynwood Center store), Scandia Patch in Poulsbo (Farmer Larry even introduced my little boys to his trio of baby pigs) and  Abundantly Green and Pheasant Field Farms in Central Kitsap. There are also several farms I like to visit which lie a little farther afield. Red Dog Farm in Chimacum runs a farmstand year round which features some of the most flavorful onions and amazing stir-fry vegetables I have ever tasted, the Chimacum Corner Farmstand earned my undying devotion this past summer with their fresh sweet organic peaches and tangy Williams Family Salsa, and Nash's Organic Produce farm in Sequim produces carrots so sweet they should be saved for dessert. As I said, these are just of the great farms which I have visited personally. For a longer listing of farms please visit http://www.pugetsoundfresh.org/farms (you will definitely find some new favorites of your own on this list).

Do you have a secret (or maybe not so secret) yearning to learn more about what makes our local farms so special? Or perhaps you would like to learn how to keep bees or raise chickens? You are in luck because Kitsap Regional Library is going to feature a number of upcoming "Urban Homesteading"  classes which will get you started keeping chickens and/or bees (in addition to taking a farm tour). These classes (our brilliant reference librarians' creations) will feature local experts who will provide instruction in each area. I cannot wait! I hope to see you there (I will be the one in the back quietly nibbling on a fresh sweet carrot).

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