FC Roadhouse cooking locally

Fall City Roadhouse is bringing local food to its diners’ tables.

Executive Chef Cameon Orel has created a farm to table menu, using products from nearby farms and food producers like Full Circle Farms, Fall City Farms and River Valley Ranch Cheese.

“We make everything from the freshest local ingredients we can find, but without being fussy about it,” Orel said. “We hear that people notice and appreciate our quality, guests tell us we have the best made from scratch soups, salads, burgers, fish, steaks and housemade desserts for miles around.”

During the holidays, the restaurant features menu items such as lamb shank braised in cabernet wine and figs, with creamy polenta, Full Circle Farms winter greens, butternut squash and Macrona almonds, and grilled Madras salmon served with housemade flatbread, tomato coconut curry sauce, basmati rice and a mango spinach salad with lime chile dressing, or an eggnog pot au crème with a holiday cookie. A River Valley Ranch cheese plate changes weekly; Cheesemaker Julie Stiel and Chef Orel pick a Washington wine to pair with the selections of the moment.

The Fall City Roadhouse restaurant reopened last July. The Fall City Inn, which opened in October above the restaurant, consists of seven whimsical, art-filled hotel rooms. The Inn offers an affordable overnight alternative for tourists, winter and summer sports enthusiasts, and Snoqualmie Casino guests.

Tree farm earns eco-friendly label

In recognition of their environmental practices, Carnation Tree Farm is the first Christmas tree farm in the Northwest to be certified as Salmon-Safe.

The independent regional eco-label certifies agricultural practices that protect water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and native biodiversity.

“The Snoqualmie Valley is changing and I have a responsibility to take care of the land and give back to this community,” said Carnation Tree Farm owner Roger Thorson. “Salmon-Safe is a great way to let people know about our environmental commitment.”

The farm’s environmental practices include controlling soil erosion by planting grasses between the trees, experimenting with drip irrigation systems to conserve water, and reducing the need for weed control chemicals by using a custom mower that rolls around each tree, applying mulch chipped from the tree limbs on site. A wetland restoration project, plantings of native trees and shrubs, and vegetated field borders all create wildlife habitat and enhance the experience of visitors. The farm has also established a tree recycling program, in conjunction with area Boy Scouts.

Thorson is the fourth generation to farm the property, originally settled by his great grandfather in 1901. He planted the first Christmas trees on the former dairy and sheep farm in 1978, and has stewarded the land ever since.

“Roger is one of the most environmentally conscious Christmas tree growers that you will find,” said Larry Nussbaum, who manages the Salmon-Safe program for Stewardship Partners, a Seattle based conservation group. “He is finding creative ways to deal with pests and maintain fertility of the tree farm, while also enhancing habitat around the property.”

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