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With this week’s temps edging toward 80 degrees I was dreaming of ice cream—and I bet I’m not alone. My family took a jaunt to Maltby, home of Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream, where owners Barry and Shahnaz Bettinger have furthered their sustainable mission with the addition of a 1.5 acre mini-farm.

Now when you come for a cone (make mine Mukilteo Mudd with a Salted Caramel topper) you can amble through the flourishing flora. Look for lavender and other herbs, many kinds of berries, black currants, quince, peaches, apples, cherries, grapes, figs, watermelon, sweet corn, squash, beans, and cucumbers.

When the Maltby manufacturing plant and café opened in 2005, it was the first environmentally-sustainable commercial building in SnohomishCounty.

“When you go down that sustainable path you never reach an end point,” Barry said. “There always seems like there is more to do. We have a kitchen where we make all of our own inclusions for the ice cream so the mini-farm was a natural step.”

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The farm is also home to 400 chickens. Why chickens?

“We planned the mini farm first,” he said. “Then we added chickens when we learned that a lot of laying hens aren’t eaten once they finish laying. They are killed and composted. We just didn’t want to be part of that process.”

All of Snoqualmie’s custards are now made with their own eggs. The produce will end up in the various custom flavors they make for restaurants. Snoqualmie also sells ice cream bases to Molly Moon, Husky Deli, Full Tilt and Peaks Frozen Custard.

Snoqualmie ice cream is also available by the pint at QFC, PCC, Whole Foods, Haggen/Top Foods, Town & Country Markets, Plaid Pantry, Thriftway and other stores.

In an interview that aired last weekend on the KIRO FM program, “Let’s Eat,” Barry announced the company will introduce single-serving cups this summer.

New single-serving cups will be in stores this summer.
New single-serving cups will be in stores this summer.

The individual 4.69 ounce containers hold “what a single serving should be,” he notes wryly. They’ll retail for $1.39- $1.59. Look for them in five flavors—Danish vanilla bean, Mukilteo Mudd, Island Coconut, Mint Chocolate Chip and Cascade Mountain Blackberry—at The Bite of Seattle, Taste of Tacoma and in your favorite grocer’s freezer case soon.

That will be convenient, but not as much fun as chilling with the chickens, cone in hand.

Listen to the complete interview with Barry Bettinger on KIRO FM’s “Let’s Eat” here: