Nettles Farm was created from second growth forest in 1992 by owner Riley Starks. Its long history of providing food products for farmers markets, restaurants, and grocery stores culminated in the founding of a true farm to table restaurant at the Willows Inn, in 2001. Everything that was grown and produced at Nettles Farm became ingredients for the restaurant, and sales elsewhere were stopped. A snapshot of that relationship can be seen in the thoughtful TV series, Deconstructing Dinner, in the episode on Eggs. Though he sold the Willows Inn in 2012, there remains a strong bond between Nettles Farm, Chef Blaine Wetzel and Mr. Starks. A good summary of that time in our history can be found in Outside Magazine.
Stella the Truffle Hunter is pictured with me above. Stella was born July 18, 2014, in Sequim, WA. She is one of the rare breed called Lagotto Romagnolo, known to have been trained to hunt truffles in Italy since at least 1540. She is hypo-allergenic and is the oldest of all water dogs; the poodle and Portugese Water Dog derived from her stock. She has a sweet temperament, the most sensitive nose of any canine, and really doesn't have any negative attributes that I can find. We are in love! She and I are learning to find the hundreds and thousands of truffles that grow right here on Nettles Farm. Who knew??!
Raquel Ruis Diaz, long-time front of the house at the Willows Inn, has joined Nettles Farm as manager. She is lending her considerable hospitality skills to this little piece of paradise, to free me up for a greater involvement in Lummi Island Wild, our reefnet wild salmon Co-op.
At Nettles Farm, you have several choices for a true agritourism experience, and they start right outside your door. There are breeding pairs of Sulmthaler chickens, a small flock of the famous Red, White and Blue Poulet de Bresse Chickens, and another flock of our own famous Poulet Bleu chickens, you can explore the exciting world of home and commercial chickens. During the changing seasons, expect to be able to harvest berries, fruits, some vegetables, and even the foraged plants that Chef Wetzel uses at the Willows. Nettles Farm is a magical place, where the everyday dramas of nature take place right before your eyes, in an environment of good air, good water, and good food: in short, good energy to revitalize and enrich your life.
Nettles Farm b&B
Our two rooms, the FarmHouse and the FarmHouse Suite, can each sleep at least 4 people. Both are set up with the gourmand in mind. Reserve a room now!
At Nettles Farm, I have been striving to find the best eating chicken in the world. To that end, I am breeding the famous Poulet de Bresse, the dramatically large and rare Sulmthalers, and also interesting laying hens. But the real star of the program is the Poulet Bleu, a red, white and blue chicken developed by Canadian poultryman Peter Thiessen. This bird looks a lot like the Poulet de Bresse, but the flavor is deeper.
On a sporadic but ongoing basis I butcher some of my specialized breeds, and you can buy them right here on the farm. My goal is to give you the opportunity to see and taste for yourself the different breeds of chickens, to better understand what is wrong with the Cornish Cross, the paradigm of our country. For a $50 fee, I will teach you to butcher your own bird, and you can take this wonderful skill home with you for your own backyard birds. Find magazine articles featuring my chicken workshops in the Spring 2013 NUVO, and in June, 2013 Seattle Magazine.
Things to do
I have a two person sea kayak that is available for a nominal fee. It is located very near the beach, with easy access.
Our beach is one of the best beaches on Lummi Island. The goats below are standing on a 75 million year old fossil of a palm tree. This fossil is accessible at a 2 foot or lower tide. Not far away is one of 3 petroglyphs in Washington, called "She Who Watches".