Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
If you live in the Yakima Valley, the seemingly endless and wide variety of produce could lead to the next big thing in the local food movement. From pickled asparagus to pasta sauce, local food entrepreneurs are cooking up all sorts of success.
Take a look at Tieton Cider Works who presses heirloom variety apples into award winning hard cider. Or Bale Breaker, who after growing hops for 82 years decided to put their efforts into brewing beer and have been wildly successful. Los Hernandez represents the region’s growing Latino community and makes tamales that people line up out the door for. Tieton Farm and Creamery is another local food based business taking goats milk and turning it into artisanal cheeses that are topping lists across the state.
Looking to capitalize on a growing local foods movement, the city of Yakima recently interviewed a consulting team to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a commercial kitchen business incubator that would support local producers.
Many of these incubators have been popping up around the state in places like Dayton, Wenatchee, and Walla Walla. With the Tri-Cities and Yakima looking, eastern Washington is setting itself up for a major food renaissance. Who knows, you might just be the person to cook up the next big thing.
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