Squash

It is that time of year when the fruits of our labors begin filling up not only our dinner plates but also become an integral part of beautifying the spaces around us. You guessed it, we are talking about SQUASH.

If you are anything like some of these green thumb agents, you have spent the past several months pouring your heart and soul into your garden prepping to produce these beautiful and tasty gems. But it is quite possible that you now have so many you do not know what to do with them. If that is the case keep reading for places you can donate your extras…. like my office.

Perhaps you are more like those of us that take advantage of the local Farm to Table programs our local farm community has to offer. You may have begun to receive these tasty treats in your special boxes. Keep reading to discover one of my favorite recipes.

BUT….maybe your most like me and you are… “Growing them…well… in the grocery store”. Let’s be honest autumn is my favorite time of year, but I wasn’t blessed with a green thumb. I am more like a big kid eagerly waiting for Shermans Farm to open so I can enjoy the full experience of finding the perfect squash for tonight’s dinner. I like sipping my warm cup of cider while riding on the tractor taking in the beautiful Whidbey farm views and snapping pictures of my kids next to the biggest pumpkins they can find.

Regardless of who you are, there is one thing we all have in common this season. We will all come into contact with SQUASH!

The majority of people will likely only use them as decorations, and that is ok. There is no denying these power-packed veggies are beautiful and studies show that sprucing up the space around you will make you feel happier. So, first things first…

Let’s Get Crafty:

CENTERPIECE

It can take as little or as much creativity as you desire. Place a variety of squash together with some leaves, flowers, candles, or acorns to spruce up your gathering space. For more inspiration follow one of our favorites local to our area: Erin Benzakein, founder of Floret. Floret is a Skagit Valley family-owned farm and seed company and New York Times Best Selling Author of A Year in Flowers for tutorials on arrangements.

OVERSIZED ACORN WITH ACORN SQUASH

Acorn Squash,

Supplies you will need:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue
  • Twine
  • Acorn Squash

Begin by placing a dab of glue at the top of your squash. Make a loop in the twine and attach the top of your squash. Place glue around the top ¼ of the squash and being laying your twine in a circular motion starting at the stem and continuing down to a ¼ of the squash, carefully laying each layer of twine up against the last.

 


For the Tummy:

Most importantly, squash provides a plethora of nutrients for our bodies. It is quite literally called a power-pack veggie. They are high in Vitamin A, B6, and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, and potassium.

The best thing about squash is that there are so many ways to eat it. I love it SO MUCH I am attaching one of my simple favorites.

Acorn Squash

BAKED ACORN SQUASH WITH BUTTER & BROWN SUGAR

Serves: 2-4     |      Preparation: 10min     |     Cooking: 1 HR 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 Acorn squash
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
  • Dash of Salt

DOWNLOAD THE FULL RECIPE CARD HERE!

 


Uplift the Community with Your Extras:

With all joking aside, if you have been blessed with having too much squash this year, the North Whidbey Help House in Oak Harbor, and Good Cheer Food Bank in Langley would love to have your donations.

 

Stay blessed. Have a favorite squash recipe or idea you want to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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Dog Parks On Whidbey, Windermere Whidbey, Whidbey Island

 

 

Posted on September 7, 2020 at 3:22 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Dog Parks on Whidbey

If you have been out exploring Whidbey recently, you might have noticed an abundance of furry four-legged creatures. It’s not much of a secret that Whidbey Islanders LOVE their dogs. As self-proclaimed “outdoorsy” people say, they are the perfect pet to have with you when hiking trails, swimming at the beach, and exploring places like the abandoned military installments of Fort Casey and Fort Ebey. 

 

Although exploring all the crevices of Whidbey is amazing, dog owners know there is something special about enjoying time off-leash with their furry friends. Luckily, Whidbey has some INCREDIBLE off-leash dog parks scattered throughout the island. We have listed our favorites below! 

 

 

1.Clover Valley Off-Leash Park | 740 Ault Field Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

 

Although this is one of the smaller parks on Whidbey, Clover Valley is well-loved and frequented by dog owners in Oak Harbor. The fully fenced-in park provides owners the opportunity to socialize their dog in a safe environment while they build friendships with other owners in the area.

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2. Patmore Pit | 497 Patmore Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239

 

Patmore Pit is the largest off-leash dog park on Whidbey. This fully fenced 15 acres of mixed terrain allows owners and their pups the opportunity to enjoy themselves for hours.  The park has 3 meadow areas, 2 wooded areas, an agility course, and a smaller area for more timid dogs.

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3.Greenbank Off-Leash | WA-525, Coupeville, WA 98239

 

Anyone who has ever visited Greenbank Farm knows that the surrounding area is incredibly beautiful with views of our gorgeous waters on either side and an abundance of trails. But did you know there was an off-leash area? Just north of the farm, you will notice they sectioned out parcels of land for low-impact recreation including off-leash play! It’s a wonderful place to explore if you get the chance.

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4.Double Bluff Beach Off-Leash | 6378 S Double Bluff Rd, Freeland, WA 98249

 

Have a water dog that LOVES to splash in the sea? Then you will love taking them to Double Bluff Beach. This location offers pets and owners a two-mile-long stretch of beach to play on without the nuisance of leashes to restrict your dog’s enjoyment.

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5.Marguerite Brons Memorial | 2837 Becker Rd, Clinton, WA 98236

 

This fully fenced 13- acre park offers dog owners peace of mind when allowing their dog to explore the various trails and meadows. Central gathering areas provide owners the ability to socialize with others while their dogs play.

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MAP:

Posted on September 3, 2020 at 12:02 am
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Drinking Water on Whidbey Island

Where Does Your Drinking Water on Whidbey Island Come From?

Drinking Water on Whidbey Island

WATER IS A PRECIOUS COMMODITY

As Whidbey’s premier real estate brokerage, Windermere agents get asked about our Island’s drinking water A LOT! Why? Water is a precious commodity, and one of the essentials of life. Knowing where your water comes from should be a primary concern of someone thinking about living on an island.

WATER ON WHIDBEY ISLAND

Many people who move to Whidbey have never experienced life with a well and even those who have rarely understand the implications that a well surrounded by saltwater might have. With the exception of the City of Oak Harbor and NAS Whidbey Island, who get all their drinking water piped in from the Skagit River (yes, it travels under the Deception Pass bridge), the rest of the island depends on tapping into our skinny Island’s network of underground aquifers.

WHAT IS AN AQUIFER?

Think of an aquifer as a of pocket of freshwater, or more like a saturated sponge. Under the surface, sometimes DEEP under the surface, these pockets have enough permeability to absorb new water that seeps through the layers of dirt, rock, and gravel of the ground but can also store enough water to keep from running dry. Maybe a visual would help…

drinking Water on Whidbey, Aquifer, Water, Fresh Water, Where we get our Water, Whidbey island, Windermere real estate whidbey island

The problem with the graphic above for Whidbey Island is we are not on bedrock and we have very few large lakes. In fact, we are surrounded by saltwater which can become a real issue for saltwater intrusion when removing a large amount of freshwater from an aquifer too quickly.

WHAT IS SALTWATER INTRUSION?

Saltwater intrusion is a condition in which saltwater enters an aquifer and contaminates the water supply. The intrusion occurs when too much water is pulled from the aquifer, too fast. The reduction in pressure pulls in saltwater from the surrounding shoreline, ultimately contaminating the freshwater. Take-a-look at the graphic below for a better understanding.

Drinking Water On Whidbey, Windermere Real Estate

Source: https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/process-saltwater-intrusion

HOW TO PREVENT SALTWATER INTRUSION

One way to prevent saltwater intrusion is to slowly and steadily remove freshwater from the aquifer and store it so when demand spikes, like during summer, the sucking from the aquifer doesn’t become so intense that it pulls the saltwater in. Think of a straw poked into the pocket of freshwater. If you suck too hard it will pull saltwater in from the surrounding sea.

Another important activity is to regularly monitor wells across the island and collect enough data to see signals of wells that have a higher risk of saltwater intrusion than others.

HOW IS IT PREVENTED ON WHIDBEY?

Here in Island County, we are so incredibly lucky to have a full-time hydrogeologist, Doug Kelly. Doug has a very rare and critical position. He has helped develop a data-gathering system and monitoring program that helps to give Island County residents early warning signs if their well is at risk and provides them with steps to take to prevent that from happening.

WHERE DO I GO TO FIND OUT MORE?

There is a phenomenal database that anyone can access on Island Counties website called ICGeo and with the layer for wells turned on you can see where all the wells on Whidbey are located. Within a few clicks, you can also get a report that is hyperlinked with all sorts of additional information and a great color code to quickly gain a bunch of info on the health of the water.

If this gets too confusing and you want info on a specific well just call your trusty Windermere Real Estate Broker! If you do not have one of these gems already, call us today!

Oak Harbor 360.675.5953
Coupeville 360.678.5858
Freeland 360.331.6006
Langley 360.221.8898

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Posted on August 13, 2020 at 6:37 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , ,

Old Growth Tree

Near Cranberry Lake

What You Will Find

During a typical trip to Cranberry Lake, at Deception State Park it would not be uncommon to see kayaks floating atop the still waters, fisherman sitting along the winding edges of the lake, and kids splashing in the shallow waters while their parent’s BBQ.

Have You Seen It All?

But if that is all you have seen you have not gone far enough. Just past the lake is a trail that will lead you through a very rare treasure to this region. SAND DUNES. Dunes are created as grains of sand accumulate into a sheltered area when the wind blows. The limited nutrients, high winds, sun exposure, and salty spray from the ocean makes it extremely difficult for plants to grow here. Many of the plants you see today have adapted to the harsh growing conditions causing them to develop things like small leaves that stand perpendicular to the sun to avoid direct sunlight that assists in the plant’s survival.

The Old Growth Tree

However, despite the challenges stands this old-growth tree.  It is quite a unique Douglas-fir.

Old Growth Tree Near Cranberry Lake, Deception pass, Whidbey Island, Washington

This particular tree has stood for over 850 years watching as the dunes have taken shape. Its thick bark has guarded it against the harsh conditions in addition to storms, fires, droughts, and disease that claimed others over the years. For generations, people have climbed this stunning tree. Unfortunately, now the bark is thinning but it can still be appreciated from afar.

Take a Look at Our Interactive Map of the Area Here:

 

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Posted on August 4, 2020 at 11:13 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , ,

A Trip to Langley

Plan your Trip to Langley

A Little History Before You Plan Your Trip to Langley

On the southern side of Whidbey Island along the Saratoga Passage lies the lovely little town of Langley. With a population of just over one thousand, this quaint town is home to a creative culture and endless entertainment.

Langley’s history has led to its unique and diverse culture. Established in 1891, Langley served as South Whidbey’s trading center for all types of goods with the wharf connecting island merchants to Everett and Seattle. In the 60s and 70s, that same wharf brought in a wave of hippies who would forever shift the culture of South Whidbey.

Although Langley’s docks no longer see the traffic they once did, downtown is filled with remnants of the original trades-town married beautifully with the artistic culture of the mid-century hippies. It’s quite a treat to visit. If you get the chance to spend a day in Langley and aren’t sure what to do, you’re in luck! We’ve created an itinerary for the perfect one-day trip in Langley. Just don’t forget your mask and keep a social distance! 

Itinerary for Day Trip to Langley

Coffee at Useless Bay

Enjoy some amazing early morning coffee from this local roaster to give yourself an extra boost at the beginning of your day. Between the friendly baristas, great drinks, and buzzing atmosphere you’ll be excited to return to this cafe over and over. 

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Breakfast at The Braeburn 

BEST. BREAKFAST. EVER. Or at least it’s hard to top. The Braeburn has an amazing assortment of breakfast choices ranging from light and sweet pastries to hearty mashes and breakfast burritos. There’s something for everyone!

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Morning Stroll Down Seawall Park

When you make your way out of The Braeburn you might consider taking a stroll down Langley’s Seawall Park. This seaside park is full of beautiful art that pays tribute to past island tribes and a walking path to help you get the most out of the beautiful view.

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Lunch at Ultra House

Ready for lunch? This ramen house is tucked away in the dead center of Langley village and serves absolutely incredible food! Enjoy slurping noodles and sipping broth and feeling like you’re another world away.

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Ice Cream at Sprinklz

What better way to end lunch than with some sweets?! Sprinklz is a local favorite when it comes to ice cream. It’s hard to beat their fun store or their incredible old fashioned ice cream. 

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Explore Downtown and the Star Store

Even though a few of the Langley shops have closed their doors during the pandemic, The Star Store alone could keep anyone’s attention for quite some time. This century-old mercantile seamlessly transitions from produce to products and more. 

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End the Night at the Taproom at Bayview

What better way to end the night than with some comfort food and a good beer? Bayview Taproom provides that and much more. You’ll love this community watering hole for its juicy burgers, kind servers, and joyful atmosphere. 

 

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Posted on July 21, 2020 at 11:15 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Collaboration, Competition, & Putting the Client First

-Why we are better together at Windermere

 

Many people think of real estate as a cutthroat competitive sales business akin to the dynamics that are portrayed on a TV show like Million Dollar Listing. The world is always pitting competition vs. collaboration against each other as if these two things are completely exclusive from one another.

 

This is why it is so darn refreshing when you see collaboration amongst “competitors,” and it’s something we see at Windermere all the time.

 

One of Windermere’s core values is that we are all better together, and we are huge believers in the very different way Windermere real estate agents operate. But what does “better together” really mean? How does this play out in the day-to-day?

Collaboration, Competition, & Putting the Client First

Of course, “better together” in part refers to the collaboration aspect in real estate. No one doubts two heads are better than one when it comes to problem-solving, and how about ten heads or a whole brokerage full of knowledgeable professionals to draw from? In our brokerage, a seasoned agent or a total newbie who comes up against something unusual (which happens more often than you would think) can easily pick the brains of agents representing 100’s of years of experience. From in-person conversations to our Facebook group page; we encourage ideas, questions, new information, resources, and sometimes just funny memes. Real estate is about being creative, not taking no for an answer and problem solving like a maniac. Having a support group you can rely on results in miracles for your clients other agents can’t produce.

 

“Better together” also means we have a lot of pride in the standard Windermere sets in the real estate industry. This translates to holding each other accountable when a colleague is delivering less than their best. For those of us who thoroughly understand the benefits of holding the real estate industry to a high standard, it literally hurts our hearts when we see agents acting in ways that are embarrassing for our profession and even worse, harmful to the client. This is why we believe in continually raising the bar on this industry so others have to stretch themselves just to keep up.

 

We take the idea of “better together” seriously but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to have fun doing it!

 

The video below was envisioned, orchestrated, and paid for by the agents. It is a pure collaboration amongst some of the most successful agents at Windermere in Oak Harbor who have intense respect for one another and understand that being better together helps everyone.

 

 

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Posted on July 8, 2020 at 8:08 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Awareness is the First Step to a Better Tomorrow

Many people are starting to realize that racism is a lot more widespread and day to day than most realized…

One of the first questions people are asking themselves is What can I do? What should I think?

At Windermere on Whidbey Island, we know that knowledge is empowering and clarifying when times are stressful and people are confused. It sounds like it’s almost too easy but it’s absolutely true that one of the best things you can do is listen, read, and watch with a heart to learn more. This is a shortlist of high-quality talks, videos, animations, and articles we think will help to get you started. There are thousands more. If you have a recommendation please leave it in the comments below. Thank you for showing up to this issue.

 

Why what has happened recently is such a big deal…

Trevor Noah on current events (18:12) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4amCfVbA_c

 

For those with young kids this short video may help explain racism…

Book reading of “Something Happened in Our Town” (8:50) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcOhOFGcWm8

 

Why being color blind is not a good thing…

TEDx Fighting to be Seen in a Colorblind World by Traci Ellis (14:34) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqvZRO2LPmw&t=101s

 

What does white privilege mean…

Sociology Live explanation (4:09) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLgbw_A1mLI

A talk about Charlottesville by Brene Brown (12-32 min) answer begins around 3:30 https://www.facebook.com/brenebrown/videos/1778878652127236

 

What is systemic racism

Explanation of how our systems have been built in a racist way (4:23) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrHIQIO_bdQ

 

Help in understanding the big picture with racism by academic Robin DiAngelo…

A book option: https://www.amazon.com/White-Fragility-People-About-Racism/dp/0807047414

An article option: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/16/white-fragility-racism-interview-robin-diangelo

 

How the Real Estate industry has contributed to racism…

Explained, Racial Wealth Gap (16:12) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mqrhn8khGLM&t=34s

The Disturbing History of the Suburbs (6:19) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETR9qrVS17g&t=7s

Real Estate Investigation: Testing the Divide (41:17) https://projects.newsday.com/long-island/real-estate-investigation-videos/

How a Real Estate brokerage should be talking about racism https://www.redfin.com/blog/its-not-enough/

 

Download your PDF Copy Here!

Posted on June 5, 2020 at 10:31 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

North Whidbey Q1: 2020 Stats

Report Quarterly Stats by Whidbey Communications

Posted on May 19, 2020 at 4:12 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Real Estate, Stats | Tagged , , , , ,

How to Successfully Buy Your House During COVID19

Serious Buyers

Serious Home Buyre working with Windermere Real Estate, virtual tour safe from home during covid19

For those buyers who are actively searching Active home Buyers Searching for a new homefor a home be prepared to follow local, state and the National Association of Realtors offers guidelines for looking at homes safely with tips like:

  1. Buyers wash their hands Serious sellers, have serious buyers wash hands before entering the home, safety precautions, Covid 19or use an alcohol-based sanitizer Hand Sanitizer before entering the home and again after leaving.
  2. Cover shoes with booties. covers shoes with booties before entering a home, Covid 19, Stay safe
  3. Wear facemasks. Wear a face mask
  4. Clean Serious Sellers, Clean down surfaces before buyers enter and after they leave all surfaces prior to entrance and again after.
  5. Sellers will hopefully open doors open doorand turn on lights Turn lights on for buyers prior to potential buyers entering to reduce the need for them to touch surfaces.

These requirements may stay in effect for some time so if you are ready and willing to buy a home with a trusted professional who has your best interest in mind and are taking the lead on this new eras, approach to home buying then let’s connect so we can help you navigate your move through this uncertain time.

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Posted on May 6, 2020 at 7:36 am
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Whidbey Family Resources During COVID-19 Closures

Whidbey Family Resources During COVID-19 Closures

Whidbey Resources, CoronaVirus

Many working parents with young children are scrambling to reassess the next 6 weeks and putting plans in place to keep kids healthy and learning while still earning necessary income. This is going to be a trying time for everyone but families with 2 working parents are facing a particular logistical headache. There are options out there and below is a collection of what is available…

 

Child Care:

Daycare, Kids, Whidbey island, Coronavirus

Boys & Girls Clubs are offering more than 50% off child care and reduced transportation fees. Fill out the application and find out more via the following links.

Oak Harbor Boys & Girls Club 

Coupeville Boys & Girls Club 

High School and College Students are out of school as well and might be looking for child care work. The going rate for long term child care is anywhere from $7-$15 an hour depending on how many kids, their ages, responsibilities, driving required, etc. When screening babysitters this article might come in handy. https://www.care.com/c/stories/6753/babysitter-interview-questions/

 

Short Term Homeschooling:

mom and daughter, teaching, learning at home

If you are finding yourself staring down the tunnel at 6 weeks of homeschooling when this has never been a part of your plan it can feel daunting. Here are three tips that may help.

1. Create Structure through a Schedule: 

Having a schedule that everyone can refer to and count on will help things from getting out of control. Here is a simple schedule we like.

2. Use the Online Resources at Your Fingertips: 

Thank goodness we live in the digital age and that we still have the internet through this. We highly recommend Prodigy Game for keeping kids 1-8th grade on track with their math. Looking for a daily curriculum and content to guide your academic time at home? This Scholastic site has set up day by day themed learning opportunities at four different age levels for free! https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

We would love to hear what you recommend and be sure to check out this long list of free or discounted resources! http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com/

3. Stay Positive & Create Community:

This too shall pass and you can choose to either wallow in the negatives or focus on all the silver linings! Since we are all in this together on Whidbey be sure to reach out to your fellow families, whether you have a previous relationship with them or not. Times of trial can bring people closer together in very authentic ways. Being outside is the safest way to convene and with some beautiful Spring days planning a walk with just a few families might be the perfect way to brighten everyone’s day. Want to learn more about outdoor opportunities? 

Visit these posts…

Geocaching on Whidbey Island

Parks in Oak Harbor

 

Posted on March 14, 2020 at 10:20 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Category: Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , ,