Some people have asked if our region is a good one for eating locally. My response is to say, it depends on what you like to eat. But in general, the Inland Northwest is a place of food abundance. Eastern Washington produces the following percentages of our country's food items according to the 2007 USDA report; 77% of hops, 74% of spearmint oil, 42% of lentils, 22% of potatoes, 8% of wheat & barley, 60% of apples, 47% of concord grapes and 40% of niagara, 60% of sweet cherries, 43% of pears, 28% of prunes and plums, over 20% of our countries carrots, sweet corn, asparagus, green peas, onions.
When we eat a can of Campbel's split pea or lentil soup, the peas and lentils are likely from Spokane Seed in the Valley. When we down a can of Budweiser, we're likely partaking in Yakama hops. When we eat a granola bar with dried cherries, we're likely biting into a little bit of sunshine from the Wenatchee area. When we chew on Doubleday spearmint gum, we're likely freshening our breath via the fruitful soil of the Wapato area. When we make pancakes from a box of Krusteaz Pancake Mix, we're likely consuming wheat from our state's vast dry field farming resource.
The Inland Northwest is a place of plenty.
If you want to skip the can of Campbel's soup, you can go straight to the offices of Spokane Seed in the Valley and get some manageable and inexpensive bags of peas and lentils (pictured above). They have four or five varieties of lentils.