Learn About the Source of Food at Quillisascut Farm School

At Quillisascut, food lovers learn the A–Z of the domestic arts
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Years before the current farm-to-table trend hit Seattle, Rick and Lora Lea Misterly were carting baskets of their small-batch goat cheese from their farm in Rice, Washington, to the kitchen doors of small, chef-owned restaurants around the city. Today, after the farm’s 25 years of slow but steady growth, cheese isn’t the only thing they transport across the mountains. Their Quillisascut Farm School of the Domestic Arts (Rice, 2409 Pleasant Valley Road; 509.738.2011; quillisascut.com) brings city chefs—both novice and experienced—food lovers, artists, teen cooks and many others to the farm to learn about food systems and experience cooking from the source.

Related: The Best Getaways for Food and Wine Lovers


During farm sessions that run anywhere from one day to one week, students milk the farm’s Alpine and Nubian goat herd, gather eggs from a rainbow of chickens and ducks, visit other local farms, forage watercress from local streams, harvest produce from the garden and fruit from the orchard, make goat cheese, can preserves and bake bread in a wood-fired oven. They learn from beekeepers, artists, chefs, winemakers and others who come to share their knowledge. The weeklong Farm Culinary 101 sessions have Rick leading the group in butchering chickens or a lamb or goat, as he talks about the connections we have to the animals that give us companionship, food and lessons in community.

Spending time at Quillisascut lets you step back from hectic city life and engage with the source of your food, making this getaway more than just a learning vacation, but a chance for self-discovery and transformation.

Road Trip: Concrete and East Skagit County

Road Trip: Concrete and East Skagit County

Enjoy a scenic drive and stay out in eagle country
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View the eagles during the Skagit Eagle Festival; snap a pic and enter it by January 15 in the Skagit River Bald Eagle Center’s 20th anniversary photo contest. Go win it!

WHERE: Concrete and east Skagit County.

WHY: Eagles are flocking to their spectacular winter getaway—why not join them? The Skagit Eagle Festival (1/1–1/31; concrete-wa.com) happens every January weekend, and your car makes a perfect blind for snapping pictures without scaring off these magnificent birds. Celebrate along the Skagit River with arts and crafts, wine tasting, photography tours and river rafting for eagle spotters.

NIGHT OWLS: Check out the Concrete Theatre, built in 1923 (45920 Main St.; 360.941.0403; concrete-theatre.com), updated for films, live music and events during the festival. early birds: Stop by 5b’s Bakery (45597 Main St.; 360.853.8700; 5bsbakery.com) for quality gluten-free baked goods and more for breakfast or lunch. For dinner, there’s Annie’s Pizza Station (44568 State Route 20; 360.853.7227; anniespizzastation.net), whose handcrafted cuisine would be a hit even in a town bigger than Concrete, population 753.

RULE THE ROOST: Spend the night in one of Ovenell’s Heritage Inn log cabins, located on a historic ranch across the river (46276 Concrete Sauk Valley Road; 360.853.8494; ovenells-inn.com). Pick up a steak or two—the cows are raised right there on the ranch—and throw them on the provided barbecue. Had enough of eagles? Elk, deer and coyotes are known to roam the ranch on a daily basis.