Spokane Has Better Soil for Growing Food Bloggers Than Seattle

Palouse picture: View of the Palouse from Steptoe Butte

I was born in Pullman, WA to WSU Cougar parents and moved away when I was little. I went on to attend the University of Washington and didn't think much of my birthplace until I returned 36 years later to live in Spokane. We actually had a choice between Spokane and Seattle when we were looking to move our family back to the Northwest and we chose Spokane for a variety of reasons. There are times when I miss the urban energy of the Seattle area, but as my interests have turned to food and agriculture, I've come to really appreciate living in the Inland Northwest.

This morning I had a meeting with people at the church and along with sorting out a plan to hire a volunteer coordinator we talked about the state of wheat farming, the yields of this year's peas and lentils, and the consolidation of farms by large corporations. Conversations are never too far from issues of land and environment. I find this invaluable as I enter the conversation on this blog. I'd like to think I have too many conventional farmer friends to go off the deep end of foodie elitism and too many  cutting-edge sustainable farmer friends to trust people when they say we can't feed the world with organic or local.

The ratio of Spokane food bloggers to Seattle food bloggers may be 1 to 1,000 (For example, if blogs.com were to write something about the Spokane blog scene like it did recently for Seattle, it would be titled Spokane's ten blogs, not Spokane's top-ten blogs), and Seattle may be host to the annual International Food Bloggers' Conference, but I have to brag that Spokane kicks Seattle's urban undies when it comes to real-life experiences and perspectives on food, land and ag. issues.

For example, when NPR did a story this week on the world-class task of developing drought-resistant varieties of wheat, they turned to Washington State University professor Kulvinder Gill. Even this Husky can take a little pride in that.

Before I get carried away, I might as well mention that I'm getting tired of hearing WSU football fans talking every week about how much better they looked in this week's loss than last week's loss. I heard some fans bragging this morning about how they just know that the team is going to "upset" someone this year, which in Cougar football speak means that they will win a conference game.