Kelsey Creek Farm

Did you know that there is a farm in Bellevue, WA, just minutes from Megan’s Island?! I didn’t. But now, I do. And you do too.

A few weeks ago some girlfriends and I were looking for a scenic walking location somewhat near Bellevue. I did some quick Google-ing and discovered Kelsey Creek Farm. This place looked pretty online, so I was excited to check it out in person.

Side note: I have a thing for barns and farms. I have a goal in life of owning a nearby barn/farm and renting it out for weddings. I think I’d make a killing and have a lot of fun. That’s on the bucket list. More details at some point, although it’s many years away. In the meantime, I pin ideas to my “Dream Barn” board on Pinterest. I love Pinterest.

I digress. Back to the Kelsey Creek Farm. The Farm is run by the City of Bellevue and is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. We stopped in on a Sunday mid-morning and were the only people there. It’s free to walk through (donations are gladly accepted) and you can “meet” lots of fun farm animals: sheep, goats, chickens, bunnies, horses, pigs, and a cow.

Here are some of our new friends:

Sheep at Kelsey Creek Farm

Sheep at Kelsey Creek Farm

Cow at Kelsey Creek Farm

Cow at Kelsey Creek Farm

Bunny at Kelsey Creek Farm

Bunny at Kelsey Creek Farm

Goat at Kelsey Creek Farm

Goat at Kelsey Creek Farm

Fluffy chicken at Kelsey Creek Farm

Fluffy chicken at Kelsey Creek Farm

Kelsey Creek Farm offers group farm tours, farm classes (for kids 2-6 years old) and day camps (for kids 4-7 years old). It also can be rented out for birthday parties. Occasionally, it holds special events that adults might enjoy too. In fact, one of them is coming up this next Saturday (4/26/14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). What is it? Sheep shearing! Here is the description from the web site:

Watch the sheep being shorn of their winter coats. Enjoy spinning demonstrations, children’s crafts, tractor/wagon rides, pony rides, food, animal viewing areas and more. No pets allowed in the barnyard areas. Free shuttle service available from Wilburton Park and Ride, 720 114 Ave SE  and Bannerwood Sports Park, 1630 132nd Ave SE.  No entrance fees. Costs vary for food and activities. No ATM on site and we cannot accept charge cards. Go here for more info.

Kelsey Creek Farm: Such beautiful terrain

Kelsey Creek Farm: Such beautiful terrain

We had a great time exploring on our walk and I wanted to share some of the opportunities at Kelsey Creek Farm beyond walking and making new critter friends.

They offer “adoption” of critters on the farm, which is a fun idea. I have a friend — and a husband — that I think need to “adopt” an animal or two. More information about critter adoption here. They also offer a picnic shelter event space for up to 50 people, for a mere $30 per day — actually,I’m not sure about that exactly. The three difference websites about the Kelsey Creek Farm aren’t clear on what you actually get for $30. I guess you have to email someone for more information. (Update: I found actual fees, after clicking through about 15 different pages. It’s much more than $30. More here.)

That leads me to my next point: Kelsey Creek Farm needs to streamline their websites! There are too many sites with too much out of date and/or confusing information. For example:

You can start in several places. I started with Google. There, I found http://www.farmerjayne.com/which directs to http://bellevue.com/happening.php?id=1036 (which appears to be a for-profit website highlighting events in Bellevue. Why would a city venue direct away from a city site? Seems counter-intuitive to me). I initially stumbled across the Kelsey Creek Farm through the “walk on in Bellevue” website. (Nice SEO!)

Thinking that there had to me more information somewhere, I Googled City of Bellevue and searched for “Kelsey Creek.” Only 2,600 page options came up. I started at the top and found this page with relatively no information and really mediocre photos http://www.bellevuewa.gov/kelsey_creek_park.htm. I eventually found this page which seems to have the most information: http://parkstrails.myparksandrecreation.com/Details.aspx?pid=23.

Normally I don’t have the patience to go on a wild goose chase like this for something fun to do. The Kelsey Creek Farm website (I can’t remember which one; there are too many) states that they have more than 250,000 visitors each year.

Anyway, there are some great links here about a great event this weekend at Kelsey Creek Farm. Grab your rain gear and head out to the Kelsey Creek Farm this Saturday. Maybe I’ll see you there?

 

 

 

{Gone Pinning} Backyard bench

GonePinning

Happy weekend! Last weekend we spent many hours cleaning and staining the deck, planting and re-planting new plants, rearranging the yard and plotting future projects.

Here was the main focus of my plotting: the lower deck in the backyard:

Lower deck, in need of a bench

Lower deck, in need of a bench

Then it was off to Pinterest to find some good ideas to fill in that gap in the laurel that looks right at the neighbor’s house, provide some extra seating for all the parties we’re planning for this summer, and finish off the lower deck. Beyond finishing the pizza oven, this is the only thing we really have left in the back, which is AWESOME!

So, here are some of my ideas. Let me know your thoughts. We’ll have our Megan’s Island contractor/supervisor (my Dad) over here soon and I look forward to sharing the finished product with you shortly.

Standard bench with backrest

Standard bench with backrest

Another basic bench, this one without a back. This could double as a storage location.

Another basic bench, this one without a back. This could double as a storage location.

Maybe something in between? I do like adding a planter into the bench design

Maybe something in between? I do like adding a planter into the bench design.

A more modern look, with a concrete planter as part of the base

A more modern look, with a concrete planter as part of the base

Or a bench that matches our front fence?

Or a bench that matches our front fence?

So many great ideas. I’m looking forward to talking it out and making a design decision this weekend. Have a great Easter and rest of the weekend!

Spring has sprung

Just a few weeks ago I planted some spring bulbs and guess what? They’re already coming up!

Sprouting astilbe

Sprouting astilbe

Before too long they’ll be flowering up a storm. I’ve also been really impressed with our ferns. We have planted 19 varieties of ferns in the backyard in the past year and I’m happy to report that they’re coming back! We’ve had great luck/green-thumb-skill with most all of them except for a sword fern that we might have overly cut back. (Possibly thanks for nothing, Cisco.)

Ferns: returning! Love me some fiddleheads

Ferns: returning! Love me some fiddleheads

 

This is a Japanese Painted Fern that we thought was a goner, having been dug up by squirrels. BUT: We've got fiddle heads

Japanese painted fern

This is a Japanese Painted Fern that we thought was a goner, having been dug up by squirrels. BUT: We’ve got fiddle heads!

More fiddleheads

More fiddleheads

Camellia blooms

Here’s a wide shot of the fern garden…and the cats. I love spring.

Cats in the fern garden!

Cats in the fern garden!

Our camellia has already returned to full glory.  Here’s the evidence:

Camellia blooms

Camellia blooms

The warm, sunny weather combined with intermittent rain have been great for the garden. Check back for more garden updates!

{Gone Pinning} Easter

Easter is already here. Where did the time go! We don’t have official plans yet, but they will likely be something like Thanksgiving: I’ll post a blog post about different fun food ideas that I’ve found on Pinterest and my parents, the loyal blog readers that they are, will choose one of those items for our Easter feast.

So, here are my ideas!

Perhaps, an app?

I love me some veggie trays. 

I love me some veggie trays.

I made this one for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving vegetable tray | Megan's Island Blog

Thanksgiving vegetable tray | Megan’s Island Blog

"Carrots" with salmon mousse

“Carrots” with salmon mousse

Blackberry brie bites 

Blackberry brie bites

Spinach artichoke dip in Parmesan cups 

Spinach artichoke dip in Parmesan cups

Or, maybe, dessert:

Grilled Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Peaches with Salted Bourbon Caramel 

Grilled Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Peaches with Salted Bourbon Caramel

Strawberry pudding dessert cups

Strawberry pudding dessert cups

Rice Krispie eggs dipped in chocolate and sprinkles 

Rice Krispie eggs dipped in chocolate and sprinkles

Birds nests 

Birds nests

Yes, this will be a wonderful Easter indeed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I think we will!

{Wine Wednesday} 2011 Klinker Brick Zinfandel

WineWednesday

This rainy {Wine Wednesday}, I’m taking a look back to Monday and remembering the 70 degree temperatures and the glasses of wine that Brandon and I enjoyed on the deck.

2011 Klinker Brick Zin

2011 Klinker Brick Zin

We opted for the 2011 Klinker Brick Zinfandel, a favorite and a recommendation of some dear friends of ours. And? It didn’t disappoint!

I found these tasting notes on the wine from Cliff’s Wine Picks:

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color. The big and bold nose has brambly berries, roasted herbs, warm baking spices, road tar, dark bittersweet chocolate and vanilla bean. This has a very full body with moderate tannins and decent acidity. This is a rich and jammy style of zinfandel with spicy berries and chocolate up front with more spice and vanilla coming in on the back end. The finish gets a touch muddled as the body and alcohol over powers the acidity that was trying to hold everything together. This was better as an after dinner drink where it shined. Not a lot of subtlety here. Those who like a big and ripe wine will love it. (88 pts)

We enjoyed our wine with kalbi steak and spinach salads (it’s salad week!) and it paired quite nicely. It was also pretty good by itself, before and after dinner.  At $19 per bottle, this is a full-bodied, delicious, affordable wine that I’d suggest you add to your everyday wine stash.

Enjoy and happy Wine Wednesday!

My favorite wine drinking location: my deck!

My favorite wine drinking location: my deck!

Sunset on Megan's Island

Sunset on Megan’s Island

Game of Thrones is BACK!

Game of Thrones throneGuess what starts tonight? Season four of Game of Thrones! If you’re tuning into HBO at 9 p.m. (6 p.m. if you’re not in Seattle, or don’t care to watch it in HD) tonight, I’ve got some great ideas for a special premiere party. We’re having a party of two and I might use some of these myself for the best Sunday night ever.

Here are some of the genius ideas I found on Pinterest

Drinks perfect for your Game of Thrones viewing party

Drinks perfect for your Game of Thrones viewing party

Anyone for a Ned Stark (Game of Thrones) head on a stick (cake ball)?!

Anyone for a Ned Stark (Game of Thrones) head on a stick (cake ball)?!

Game of Thrones fictional food hits

Game of Thrones fictional food hits

Here is a sample of the Fictional Food Hit List for book 1: A Game of Thrones. The blogger came up with 75 food and drink references. Find the full list here. Some of the ideas look good, but some not so much.

  1. Roasted onions and gravy on trenchers
  2. Bread, two little fish, black bacon, and dark beer
  3. Honey duck and orange snap peppers
  4. Roasted joints of meat
  5. Thick black sausages
  6. Dothraki blood pies
  7. Fruits and sweetgrass stews
  8. Delicate pastries from Pentos
  9. Honeyed wine
  10. Squirrel stew with black bread and hard cheese

Now, some decoration ideas:

Perfect for a party, or a fridge: Game of Thrones inspired menu

Perfect for a party, or a fridge: Game of Thrones inspired menu

Game of Thrones map and eggs

Game of Thrones map and eggs

And for some entertainment during the show…

Game of Thrones bingo

Game of Thrones bingo

And if you’re good… a bingo-like workout while you watch. Personally, I’ll work on some bicep curls with a big glass of wine. To each, their own.

Game of Thrones inspired workouts

Game of Thrones inspired workouts

Just a few more hours to go… Here is the fourth season trailer to get you even more amped up. I love TV.

{Gone Pinning} Spring break!

GonePinning

We tried to celebrate Brandon’s spring break from school this week, but circumstances beyond our control made that less of a reality. We did use “spring break” as our theme of the week for dinners, but the rest, relaxation and sun weren’t in our cards this week. But man, doesn’t that sound nice? I can almost see/smell/hear the sounds of the waves now…

Since I don’t have the time to travel to a fancy tropical location, I scoured the interwebs (thank you, Pinterest) for some things that get me in the mood for spring, sun and relaxation. Enjoy!

Hawaii: Yes, please  

Hawaii: Yes, please

Beach: yes, please 

Beach: yes, please

Cocktails? Yes, please.

Strawberry tequila lemonade: yes, please 

Strawberry tequila lemonade: yes, please

Kiwi blueberry mojitos: yes, please 

Kiwi blueberry mojitos: yes, please

Adult Capri Suns (vodka + lemonade): yes, please

Adult Capri Suns (vodka + lemonade): yes, please

And to drink all of this safely by the pool?

Plastic wine glasses: yes, please 

Plastic wine glasses: yes, please

Some tropical-inspired foods? Yes, please.

Monkeying around with lots of tropical fruits

Monkeying around with lots of tropical fruits

Grilled avocado salsa: yes, please 

Grilled avocado salsa: yes, please

Citrus-y cilantro shrimp: yes, please 

Citrus-y cilantro shrimp: yes, please

Vietnamese summer roll salad: yes, please 

Vietnamese summer roll salad: yes, please