By Ashley Lodato
A surprising number of people from the first wave of visitors to drive into Winthrop over the North Cascades Highway last Friday found themselves at Farmers State Bank, enjoying Arrowleaf Bistro’s “earth cake” and organic Lariat coffee, in honor of Farmers’ seventh annual Earth Day celebration. Bank staff wore green T-shirts with images of the planet printed on them, which matched the cake that featured the North and South American continents.
A bank is not usually on a visitor’s list of places to check out in a new town, unless they’re looking for an ATM. Which is why it’s not surprising that some visitors were startled to learn that Farmers is indeed a “real” bank — not simply a false storefront constructed to lend authenticity to Winthrop’s western décor.
Many locals, however, have a tradition of joining Farmers on Earth Day; they showed up to partake of free cake and coffee, yes, but mostly to honor Farmers’ commitment to recycling, environmentally friendly cleaning products, energy-reducing LED office lighting, and highly recyclable Apple Macintosh computers, which are made mostly of aluminum and glass (and which are also low-energy and contain some other environmentally-conscious features). Farmers State Bank also sponsors a recycling barrel on the boardwalk in Winthrop to reduce waste from downtown foot traffic.
It’s not just the money that’s green at Farmers State Bank — it’s their whole approach!
If you missed out on Farmers’ free cake last week, you can get some at Little Star Montessori School on Wednesday (April 27) at the alumni reunion from 5–7:30 p.m. Little Star alumni who are seventh-grade and older are invited to come to the school to reconnect with former classmates and teachers, see the physical changes that the school has made out in the yard and inside the school (thanks to community support), participate in artsy-craftsy projects, and try to remember how to use the Montessori materials in a Montessori Olympics event. Alumni will also be invited to help paint a mural on the outside of the building — a permanent art piece that will brighten up the play yard and commemorate 34 years of Little Star providing early childhood education to the children of the Methow Valley.