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Saturday, June 25, 2005 - Page updated at 12:49 AM

Sherry Grindeland

These little piggies stay home, eat handouts

Seattle Times staff columnist

Basil and Borage will spice up dinnertime at The Herbfarm Restaurant in Woodinville.

While The Herbfarm's renowned chef Jerry Traunfeld cooks with many herbs, this pair won't be on the menu. Basil and Borage are 8-month-old potbellied piglets. They're expected to arrive today from a Missouri farm.

A pig mascot has been a longtime tradition at The Herbfarm. Hamlet, the last pig, died in February following a brief illness. He had been a member of the family and staff since 1997.

Prosciutto was Hamlet's initial replacement, but that particular piglet didn't work out. Neither did the next pair.

"We briefly had two weaner pigs, Snuffles and Truffles," said restaurant co-owner Carrie Van Dyck. "But they grew too big, too fast."

When they're settled, Basil and Borage will become part of the pre-dinner tour. And like Hamlet, they will welcome tidbits from diners.

Oh, baby

A new arrival surprised Bonnie and Gary Remlinger and the Remlinger Farms crew in Carnation. A new-to-the-farm adolescent Black Angus cow came with a bonus — she was pregnant.

The cow birthed a 15-pound calf 2 weeks ago. That's small. Typically, Black Angus babies weigh 60-70 pounds at birth.

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The mother was so young she didn't know how to care for the little guy.

So the Remlingers tucked the weak baby into a bed of straw in the barn and began feeding it calf formula from a bottle. One worker slept in the barn the first night, next to the calf to keep it warm and comforted.

These days, the calf gallops from the night barn to the 4-H Animal Barn inside the farm's Fun Park. His best buddies are a young pygmy goat and Trevor and Tyler Hart, Remlinger grandsons who help with feeding.

Meanwhile, the baby is nameless, so the farm is running a Name the Baby Cow contest — entries available at its customer-service desk.

Floating fame

Kirkland native Karen Russell was recently featured on The Oregonian newspaper's front page. Russell works as an environmental lawyer specializing in water law. The daughter of Hazel and Dave Russell, a Kirkland city councilman, she has long been a water-quality/environmental advocate.

When she and her husband, Karl Anuta, were married 13 years ago, they had an outdoor wedding in the San Juans. Instead of limousines, the family kayaked to the ceremony.

The paper described Russell as "one of the most formidable environmental lawyers in the Northwest."

And the headline couldn't have been more appropriate. It read, "Karen Russell, Water Watchdog."

Capitol project

Christina Popchoi has already made her mark in the U.S. Capitol.

An oil-pastel painting created by Popchoi, a senior at Sammamish High School in Bellevue, hangs in the Washington, D.C., building.

It won the 8th Congressional District Art Competition sponsored by Congressman Dave Reichert.

The competition, started in 1982, selects outstanding art from each congressional district to hang for a year in the Capitol.

Other participants in the contest included Allison Brewer and Anna Cherepmina of Sammamish High; Diana Peiter, Mihai Peiter and Miyuji Sugiyama of Bellevue High School; and Mariko Sninoda-Mettler of Issaquah High School. (Diana and Mihai Peiter are siblings. She just graduated, and Mihai will be a senior in the fall.)

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or sgrindeland@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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