From Farm to Feast: My Culinary Visit to Heyday Farm

After taking the Bainbridge ferry from Seattle, I recently visited Heyday Farm on Bainbridge Island. It was such a neat experience and so different from my typical day as an engineer that I wanted to share my experience with you.


Since I arrived at the farm early in the day, I was ready for breakfast. I decided to stop at the bakery to see what I could find, and I am so thankful that I did. I purchased some pumpkin spice granola. It was delicious, with just enough pumpkin to brighten my day and enough sweetness to give a pep to my step.

While at the bakery, I looked around at all the delicious things they had to offer. I could not resist buying a loaf of banana-walnut bread to take home. I also loved seeing their brownies and ginger bars. While I resisted the urge to buy them on this trip, I promised to try them after my next ride on the ferry to Bainbridge.

Farm Tour

Farm EntranceI loved wandering around the farm. One area that particularly caught my attention was the apple orchard. I loved learning that the workers on the farm pick the apples and press them into apple cider.

I also enjoyed seeing the flowerbeds. This six-acre historical farm grows its flowers, which the staff uses to decorate their Thursday and Friday night community dinners.

While in the flowerbed area, I bumped into Tifanie Mitsui, half of the husband-and-wife team that owns it. I asked her how she got interested in restoring this historic farmstead, and she told me that she grew up in Seattle. She told me that her family moved to Bainbridge when she was five. She says she has a passion for locally grown food. Therefore, she loves operating Heyday Farm.

She also told me that people often use the flower garden for special events, like weddings. The team loves to make people’s dreams come true on their big day because one of the farm’s core values is to help people celebrate what is unique to them through farm-to-table food and beautiful environments. If the weather does not cooperate for an outdoor event, they also have a beautiful barn where people can hold special events.

As I continued wandering around the farm, I came to the farmhouse. The owners lovingly restored this home after they purchased the farm. The home has four bedrooms and can accommodate up to eight people. This would be a wonderful place to stay if you are visiting on holiday from overseas.

Near the home, I ran into Tadao Mitsui, Tifanie’s husband. I asked him how he ended up owning the historic farm. He tells me he grew up on the island and worked in traditional kitchens. Yet, he missed the connection between where the food was grown and where it was eaten. Therefore, he and his wife opened the farm to help people enjoy farm-to-table meals.

He asked me if I knew about all the special dinners that occur on the farm throughout the year. He said guests especially enjoy the appetizers he prepares, where they bring in a fabulous winemaker to talk about what wines to pair with different appetizers.

Wine Tasting

Official Image from Wine tastingTadao suggested I attend their fabulous wine tasting that afternoon as they had a last-minute cancellation. I am so thankful that I did it because it was delightful. They served appetizers and five wines offered regularly.

One of my favorite wines from the ones I sampled was a red wine from ‘Hock & Deuce’ Mae’s Vineyard near Applegate Valley, Oregon. It had just a touch of blood-orange to it. Since about 30% of this wine is made from whole clusters, it has a delightful, unusual depth. Many wine experts rate this winery as one of the top options in the Applegate Valley.

Community Dinner

The main reason that I visited Heyday is to eat at their community dinners. I was blessed to visit with tablemates from around the country. While my work as an engineer often keeps me tucked away in an office by myself, I am very social and love meeting new people.

Since I went in the summer, I enjoyed the most delicious berry and peach crunch. It just melted in my mouth. The main ingredients for the dish were grown right here at the farm.

I also enjoyed the main dish, a citrus crab salad served in an endive spear. It was a beautiful presentation, and the different tastes blended wonderfully. This dish was so pretty with its many different colors against the white plate the staff served it on.

Community Dinner Glasses

One of my tablemates told me about attending the Mardi Gras dinner at Heyday Farm and the terrific time that they had. The staff prepared a delicious gumbo and served it with fresh bread and a fresh cheesecake dessert.

The staff at Heyday Farm never announces the menu ahead of time. Instead, they see what is ready on the farm and find creative ways to serve it. These dinners occur on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the year. They find that changing the menu weekly keeps them focused on making creative dishes and beautifully presenting them.

While there was no live entertainment playing on the night that I attended, events at Heyday Farm often feature live musicians. A crowd favorite is the duo nights, when two musicians put on an intimate concert for those in attendance.

While most people coming to Heyday Farm attend a special event or community dinner, you can easily plan an escapade to explore this farm. The next time I come, I will try to take the Bainbridge ferry on a Saturday to enjoy the Saturday brunch. Regardless of when you come to the farm, you will appreciate the attention to detail that this farm pays to everything from choosing the best wine pairings to serving creative dishes. The staff is attentive to guests’ needs and can fix vegetarian options for most events. Make your plans to ride the ferry and visit Heyday Farm very soon.