Dining at the Willows Inn
New Policy for Nettles Farm Guests
There is a new policy at the Willows Inn regarding Nettles Farm guests:
Nettles Farm guests have the first chance to book open tables at the Willows Inn 15 days prior to their requested reservation date. When you reserve your stay here at the farm, let us know that you want to reserve a table at the Willows. We will take care of it from there. Tell us your preference as far as the night, and we will try for that, but it may be another night of your stay. 15 days before your stay we will let you know your reservation night.
When you make your reservation, please apprise us of any dietary restrictions, which we will pass on to the Willows Inn. Here is the Willows schedule:
May 1 - June 30: Thursday - Monday
Seating is at 6:30, cocktails from 5.
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??! At left, Stella finds her very first truffle!
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. Here is a new video posted on the Patagonia website, describing our fishery.
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 for serious cooking. 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.
Things to do
Moondance Sea Kayaking Adventures.
Moondance Sea Kayak offers guided foraging and other tours from Legoe Bay. Owner Kristi Kucera and her experienced guides have led hundreds of trips and will make you comfortable no matter your skill level. You will want to book with them a week in advance if possible, and let them know where you are staying. Ask for their special Sunset Paddle!
Outer Island Excursions offers whale watching and other adventures on small boats that originate from Orcas Island. Owner Beau Brandow has an amazing success rate at finding both Orca and other whales, and may be able to pick you up from out beach.
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.