Bastyr University Herb & Food Fair

Bastyr University Herb & Food FairIt was a gorgeous, sunny day in Seattle today—a perfect day for the 15th annual Bastyr University Food & Herb Fair.

I’d heard about Bastyr University Herb & Food Fair for several years, but never managed to make it there until today. Wow! What a great event, with so much free knowledge on all things herbal, holistic, and nutritious. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s Bastyr University Herb & Food Fair, along with links to some of the great info I discovered there.

Bastyr is a natural health arts and sciences university outside of Seattle, offering degrees in naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, nutrition, herbal, and Ayurvedic sciences, among other programs.

The Bastyr University Herb & Food Fair is a free annual event, open to the public. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit the beautiful campus and participate in events ranging from educational talks, workshops, and guided herbal medicine plant walks, to healthy cooking demos, and a wide range of herbal remedies and holistic product vendors.

Highlights of Bastyr University’s Herb & Food Fair

The biggest highlight of the day for me was hearing a talk by Todd Caldecott, a clinical herbalist and Ayurvedic practitioner in Vancouver, BC, and author of the book Food as Medicine.

Todd spoke about how:

  • Most of the “food” we consume today would not be recognizable by our ancestors.
  • The breads our ancestors made were fermented to break down the gluten that so many of us can’t digest today.
  • The sugar our ancestors ate was intensely labored over, both in the cane fields and then in the hand processing of it, into a golden treat so precious that is was only eaten for very special occasions.
  • Oils were hand processed and pure as well, not processed with chemicals, bleaches, and over heated to the point of being rancid, with added flavoring so that we don’t taste the rancidity.

I’m really looking forward to reading his book, which delves deeper into food as medicine, (just as soon as I finish the five other books that are currently on my plate!)

Another highlight was stopping by Julia’s Good Medicine — a booth full of herbal remedies, herbal infused olive oils, vinegars, and honeys, and herbal infused natural lotions, salves, and creams.

I talked with Julia who makes every product herself. She sells her herbal products at several fairs each month, in herb stores like Herban Wellness, a great herb and tea shop in Kirkland, as well as on Julia’s own website. I came away with a handful of her products that I’m excited to try out.

The Bastyr University Herb & Food Fair had so many great things to see, learn, taste, and smell it was almost sensory overload.

One unique product that really stood out for me were the ©BluSkilletironworks.comBlu Skillet hand-forged blue steel pans. We ditched all of our non-stick cookware several years ago in favor of healthier cookware. We love the old cast iron skillet we inherited from my grandmother, but have been on the look out to find a few other sizes. So I was happy to find their Gratin pans with loop handles, which will stow much easier on our boat than long-handle pans.

I talked to Patrick, the creator of these beautifully hand-forged (rather than cast) iron pans. According to their website, the forged iron “makes the pans lighter and easier to handle, as well as less porous and quicker to season. They can take high temperatures and they can go from stove top, to oven, to table—where they make a beautiful addition! The blue color is a product of heat treatment, which forms a protective layer of blue iron oxide on polished steel.”

One or two of these pans are definitely on our wish list. They aren’t inexpensive, but like a good old Griswold or Wagner cast iron pan, they can be handed down for generations, and will look great in your kitchen or boat galley too.

Please leave a comment to let me know if you tried out any of these products and what you thought? I have no vested interest in any of them, just wanted to share with you what I thought was some of the best stuff from a great herbal fair. Thanks Bastyr!

10 Responses to “Bastyr University Herb & Food Fair”

  1. Leslie Laya Raznick

    How wonderful to read about a local event Heidi. Thanks for all the information. Although I was there too I was busy discovering other treasures, like the rock embedded reflexology path (ouch!), so it’s doubly great to hear about what you found. I hope you’ll keep on your “roving reporter” hat and let us know whatelse you find out there!

    • Heidi

      Thanks so much for your comment Laya. I’d love to compare notes. And I look forward to writing about more local events in the future. 🙂

  2. Pam

    Thanks Heidi, I will definitely be on the look out for next years event….and chk out these products.

    • Heidi

      Thanks for commenting Pam, you would love it, definitely check it out next year! 🙂

  3. Molly Fox

    You’ve motivated me to go to the Herb Fair someday soon Heidi! Thanks for sharing the great article!

    • Heidi

      Hey Molly, I’m so glad you read my post, you would love the Bastyr Herb Fair! 🙂

  4. Laren Watson

    Thanks for the report Heidi! It sounds like it was great. Now I have another book to read on my list too! I am definitely all for Food as Medicine! And I bet the hubby would be all over those hand forged pans. I’ll have to share that with him. 🙂

    • Heidi

      Thanks for the comment Laren, let me know if you read Food as Medicine, and we can compare notes. And yes, Ted would love the pans! 🙂

  5. Tim Williams

    Heidi – thanks for letting us know what we missed while on vacation. Bastyr is located very close to our house and we try to catch a healthful lunch there when we walk around Saint Edward State Park – which is also a treasure as it is so close. Bastyr is truly unique – thanks for highlighting it. We look forward to reading your interesting articles… Thanks

    • Heidi

      Hi Tim, thanks so much for reading my post on Bastyr. Good to know that you get by there on our walks around St. Edward State Park, it’s beautiful there. Enjoy!


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