Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On a Lighter Note...Save the Pigs!!

Seems that the government of Egypt wants to slaughter all of the country's porcine citizens in an effort to stop the spread of the Swine Flu.

News Article

Now I'm no disease control expert, but from what I'm reading about the transmission of this disease, it seems to me a more appropriate response should be to slaughter all of the humans, right?

I'm just sayin'....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You....

Happy Birthday Uuuuuurbaaaaaaan Faaaarm Schooooool! Haaaaaaaappy Biiiiiiirthdaaaaaaay Tooooooooooooo Youuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!

I want to express my sincere thanks to Kendra & Toree for spreading the gospel of dirt digging, urban farming, sustainability, and home economics to our community. We all live in a better place because of you and your work here. Best wishes for many, many more years of the Urban Farm School doing it's thing here in Clark County.

A Very Happy Birthday to You Indeed!!

Urban Farm School’s One Year Anniversary Party
Sunday, May 3, Noon to 4pm
Toree’s Urban Farm, 1113 NE 122nd Ave. Vancouver, 98684

Join us in celebrating our one year anniversary with a plant and garden doodad sale, plant exchange (please, mark your starts), and of course there will be goodies! Rain or shine. Thank you for your continued support.

Carbonated Drinks & Homemade Buttermilk Workshop @ Dee Creek Farm - 5.4.2009

Another very cool and economically appropriate workshop hosted by the good folks at Dee Creek Farm. Here's the word from Summer @ DCF:

Please Join Us at Dee Creek Farm for-

"Carbonated Drinks & Homemade Buttermilk"

by Julie F.
May 4th, 2008, 6pm
$30 per person
To register for the class, email me your interest, and confirm with your admission fees (at deliveries or by mail).

***Class space is limited***

Carbonated Drinks & Homemade Buttermilk will be a hands-on experience of making your own soda's out of water kefir "grains" (a culture that just keeps giving). You will go home with your own 'grains' so that you can make this yummy fruitful and naturally sweetened (evap. cane sugar, sucanat, rapadura, anything!) soda at your own home - and can pass this on to your children and beyond!

Where we will taste and talk water kefir primarily, Julie will share a demonstration on how to culture your own buttermilk at home, using quality dairy. She will also instruct on several other "old fashioned" ferments that will save you money & time, tho' we will keep this class mainly focused on the above.

Julie will have several cultures available for sale at this workshop. For more information on cultures that she carries, please check out her website at: Julie was an instructor at a university before becoming a Mom. She now shares her education with us!

Below is a list of several:

Yogurt Starters, Buttermilk Starter, Water Kefir Grains, Milk Kefir Grains, Kombucha, Sourdough Starter

Bring snacks just in case class heads on into evening!
(we're shooting for 2 hours)

Come, and let's learn together!

I think there is no better time than now, when the economy is struggling, to learn old-fashioned ways of living!

Farm Phone: 360-225-9711
Cell Phone: 360-903-6956 (no service at the Farm)

Monday, April 27, 2009

78th Street/WSU/Old Poor Farm Property Concept Plan Survey...Again...

For some reason I'm experiencing deja vu while writing this post...

Clark County has just posted the much anticipated 78th Street/WSU/Old Poor Farm Concept Plan Survey on their web site. You can (and should) participate in the survey by clicking the link below:

Survey Link

Here's your opportunity to weigh in on the future development of this unique and very special place. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and pass the word along to all of your friends and neighbors.

Not sure what all of the fuss about 78th Street is? Follow the links below to get up to speed:

Wait...Wait...It's coming to me now...I've got it!!

The reason this seems so familiar is that I already let you folks know about this survey
10 DAYS AGO!! So why am I posting this again? Because I just received my official e-mail from Jeanne Lawson & Associates (JLA) officially notifying the public that the survey was online and active....and, by the way, it closes on May 8th. And I'm pretty darn certain that something(s) have changed about the survey content since I took the survey...

Yep, just your friendly neighborhood blogger gettin' the job done for the County, gettin' it done
10 DAYS quicker than the "professionals" are, and I'm not even gettin' paid.

I wonder how much they're paying the folks at JLA for their first class obfuscation and all-around half-assed job handling the public involvement process for our beloved Old Poor Farm? Maybe Clark County General Services Director Mark McCauley forgot to send JLA the memo that it was time to tell us all about the survey? And just how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.

Anyways, despite others' attempts to keep my fellow Clark County taxpayers in the dark and out of the public involvement process, you can count on me to shine the light in the dark places for you. Please go to the County's web site and take their survey. Use the comment section to remind them that the TACER is still not included in the information that would help you make informed decisions about the development of the 78th Street site. Let them know that you're not sure why you're taking a survey that is meaningless due to the fact that they have concealed information from the public and altered data.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chicken Butchering Class - 07.12.2009

Too cool! We've recently had a sheep butchering class, now here's a chicken butchering class! I'm still holding out for a pig class like the ones Tom the Butcher holds at his place in NYC. You should really get in on this chicken butchering class if you've never done poultry yourself before. It's easy and can save you a ton of money, even if you just use what you learn to cut up whole birds from the meat market. Here's the scoop on the class from Rois @ Hrafinstaad.

Class: Butchering Chickens
When: Sun, July 12, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Where: Urban Farm Store (map)
Description: Learn how to slaughter and process your own birds. Techniques will be demonstrated and hands-on participation is required. Bring your own birds if at all possible. $10 fee.

Urban Farm Store - (SE Morrison/20th Ave in Portland)

Wear grubby clothes, not hugely messy, but there is some mess. This does stink so those with sensitive noses watch out. Bring a sharp knife for various reasons.

If the class goes well we will be teaching it again or Chance and I are willing to teach something away from the store too.

Questions? Contact us at hrafinstaad at aol dot com

Thanks for the support.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sweet Deal for CCF&F Readers From Rosemattel's CSA Farm

As a supporter of Clark County Food & Farm, Rosemattel's CSA farm would like to make the following offer to our fellow Clark County Food and Farm fans. For anyone who purchases and pays in full a full share from Rosemattel's and mentions the code CCFF09, Rosemattel's will give the purchaser a discount of 50.00 for a full share and 25.00 for half shares.

You can read all about Rosemattel's CSA Farm by visiting our web site, and blog Rosemattel's Blog.

Please contact Brenda for more info and a copy of the Rosemattel's 2009 CSA Shareholder Contract Form.

Brenda Millar-Stanton
Rosemattel's CSA Farms

It's a Garden Party With the Urban Farm School! 4.28.2009

What could be better than gettin' hands on and dirty in the garden? Gettin' hands on and dirty in the garden with the Urban Farm School and a bunch of fellow garden enthusiasts! Spend a fun and informative evening learning about "The basics of backyard gardening – from getting started to harvesting successfully." on April 28th. Read more below from the Urban Farm School:

Good morning, everyone!

Hope your gardens are growing well and you have been enjoying the sunshine!

We have a wonderful opportunity for you to get your hands dirty while learning a little gardening and meeting new people.

One of our GardenforLife Party hostesses has opened her party, the topic is: "The basics of backyard gardening – from getting started to harvesting successfully" taking place Tuesday, April 28, 6pm. The party will be held in SE Vancouver. This will be a hands-on GardenforLife Party, spent primarily in the garden so bring your gloves and your questions. The fee varies depending on how many people come but is typically no more than $15.
Please, contact us regarding your interest in this special event and remember that it is limited in registration.

See you soon!


Kendra Pearce
Urban Farm School
PO Box 393
Ridgefield, WA 98642

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Food Security in Clark County, Part 3 - Deston Denniston

Once again, I am pleased to bring you the latest installment in Deston Denniston's series of articles on Food Security in Clark County. Here's a teaser and a click on the link at the bottom of this post will take you to Deston's blog and the entire article.

Food Security in Clark County, Part 3

“The history of every nation is eventually written in the way in which it cares for its soil.”
-Franklin Roosevelt

Every farmer knows that the health of the soil is the key to productivity in the long run. Most are aware that industrial practices such as tilling, fertilizing, and bio-cide spraying, lead to the decline of soil health. However, lack of funds and free time to experiment with holistic methods keeps them trapped in negative feedback practices: in order to produce marketable goods, farms must provide volumes which are demanded by produce distributors and market collectives. If the farmer's volume is low, or the price high, these buyers will pass the farmer, and so force his or her hand to commit to practices which are known to be undesirable, even degenerative. The cumulative effects of this trend show up in our riparian zones and fisheries as silt, in our forests and fields as erosion, and in our production units as lower profit margins and losses. It shows up in our children as weak immune systems, and in our elders as cancer. It shows up in our air as pollution from the fossil fuel consumption and in our pocketbooks as a gouge.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Long Overdue Thank You

About a month ago I was exchanging e-mails with a gentleman named Justin who had questions about purchasing meat. We discussed the ins and outs of the process and I related to him a number of the mistakes & errors I had made when I was first starting to buy meat direct from the farm. As usual, I'm sure that I went way overboard with some of my answers and lengthy explanations. But at least I felt like I gave Justin honest and thorough answers to his questions.

Buying whole animals and dealing with a butcher can be a bit daunting the first few times you go through the process. Communicating with the butcher about meat cuts and what you want and/or don't want to keep from your animal is difficult when you don't have much experience or knowledge with butchering technique and types of cuts. You can always throw caution to the wind and hope that the butcher will cut up your animal pretty much the way you'd like it done, but if you're the least bit particular, it's unlikely that you'll get much satisfaction going that route. A good example would be the first time I bought a pig. I let the butcher handle everything and gave very minimal input on my wants & needs. The end result was the entire loin portion was made into chops, I didn't get any of the offal (despite my asking for it), the ribs were trimmed down to "baby backs" and I have no idea where the rest went. No leaf lard, no tail, no ears, no jowls, no feet (I had requested all of these as well). I basically lost a fair portion of the animal I had paid for and had no way of retrieving it. A number of things I had carefully planned to use my pig for were not going to happen. I was crushed, but much smarter for the experience.

Anyways, back to Justin. A couple of weeks ago I was yakking it up with Summer & Anita from Dee Creek Farm at their stand at the Vancouver Farmer's Market and a young couple was standing nearby. The young man overheard our conversation and asked if I was the guy who had the blog. It was a bit of an ambiguous question, but I hesitantly told him I did have a blog, but so did many other guys. We quickly figured out that he was indeed talking about Clark County Food & Farm and that he was the fella who had communicated with me via e-mail about buying meat. He thanked me for my time and told me that he had already gone in on a beef with a friend and was going to get a pig from Dee Creek this year too. Those words were like music to my ears.

One of the main reasons I continue to rant and ramble here is with the hope that folks will realize that there are significant opportunities to purchase locally produced food that is, in the words of Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini, "Good, Clean, and Fair". Supporting our local agricultural families and businesses is one of the best ways we can support our local economy and ensure a secure food system for our community. Although I never expect to hear that what I do is actually making much of a difference, when I it feels good.

So thank you, Justin. You really made my day when we spoke at the VFM. I'm happy to hear that you're purchasing locally raised meat, even happier that you're patronizing one of our finest farm families at Dee Ceek Farm, and I hope your experience is a good one.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dee Creek Farm CSA Openings!

Just in case you've been procrastinating with your commitment to a CSA subscription this year, I just got word from Summer @ Dee Creek Farm that they have a few spots left for their CSA this year. They also run a poultry CSA as a separate offering that still has a few spots open as well. Here's the scoop from Summer:

Produce CSA

If anyone is interested in a Produce CSA subscription with Dee Creek Farm, please email, as we have a few openings. Our season goes from July 1st - October 31st, and is $400, half due up front. With limited space, let me know as soon as possible!

Poultry CSA

Well folks, I've been promising this long enough, and usually have it out by January, but alas, here is the Poultry Order Form for 2009! Please let me know if you have any trouble opening it, or if you'd rather a print out. You can also order via email, and I can fill it out for you. Your order is not final until I confirm your order directly, and then receive your deposit.

To learn more about how we handle our poultry, check out our website, where you can find descriptive information about how we raise our chickens. We take pride in growing quality-pastured chickens that are healthy, tender, juicy, and tasty!

What Makes Our Poultry Unique

- I (Summer) am a board member with the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association

-Our pastures have been chemical-free for over 35 years

-We use fresh grains from a local mill to supplement foraging,

using custom recipes, and working with animal nutritionists

-This summer we will mix and mill on the farm for quality assurance

-We are the only licensed facility in SW Washington, legally able to offer

our poultry with options (cut up, delivery, farmers market, etc)

- On-farm processing promotes humane, healthy, and sustainable practices

- We offer a diverse array of products produced at the farm, supporting a more

full "shopping" experience, as well as promoting healthy, well-rounded land,

based on permaculture practices

For various reasons, this year there are several local poultry farmers that are cutting back in a big way, or not raising poultry at all. Because of this, and since often we're already sold out many months in advance, I'd suggest you place your order sooner rather than later.

Also because we raise our poultry for 7-24 weeks, it is imperative that you place your order sooner than later. Please prepare for the "off season" (November-April) when putting in your order as well.

Below I've attached the Poultry Order Form (*NOTE: You'll have to e-mail Summer for a copy of the order form because I can't post a Word document here @ Blogger*) . Please read through it, fill it out, and email me your order or me to confirm before you send/give payment. We can arrange for you to mail a check, or pay at deliveries.

How it works, in a Nutshell

We generally get our baby chicks in March, and finish in October. That way our chickens are raised during the most nutritious seasons for foraging. This means that we have chicken available May through October. Our turkeys will be ready early this year, near late-September.

This season our meat chickens are Cornish Cross. Our stewing hens are various breeds of layers: Sexlinks, Black Austrolorps, Aracauana, and others (and only available when I put it in a Thursday Locavore Delivery email, not by pre-ordering). Our heirloom turkeys are all bronze - no white broad breasted this year!

We offer a Seasonal Chicken CSA, or one-time purchases. For either, we need your order as early as 8 weeks in advance of pick up. For our Seasonal CSA offering, you will need to commit to a minimum of 4 chickens per month, for at least 3 consecutive months. This will ensure that your order will be filled, and at an excellent rate of $13.00 per 3.5-4 pound bird (approximately 10%-15% discount from our retail price). If you choose to make an order for one-time pick up, our price per pound is $3.85 for chickens & turkeys. We expect our turkeys to be 15-23 pounds each.

A deposit of $5 per chicken, and $25 per turkey, is due with y
is due with your order, and will be applied to your total. The remaining balance is due when you retrieve your meat.

Generally your meat pick up should coincide with our weekly deliveries. If not, you will get a heads up so that you can make arrangements!

Please understand that the weather plays a big role in things. We will only have what is available in season. This keeps in tune with nature, and promotes quality rather than quantity - on various levels (soil, animal health, etc). As a reminder: be sure to plan ahead for the winter months, when there will be no chicken or turkey available.

Summer & Spark
Farm Phone: 360-225-9711
Cell Phone: 360-903-6956 (no service at the Farm)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Food Security in Clark County, Part 2 - Deston Denniston

I'm pleased to present to you the second part in Deston Denniston's report, Food Security in Clark County. You can read an excerpt here and a link at the bottom of the post will take you to Deston's blog and the entire article.

Food Security in Clark County, Part 2

How will Clark County Feed itself in 20 years?

What employment sector/s will be established to support the population, and how will development be managed so that current trends do not unfold into disaster?

The Clark County Comprehensive Plan 2003-2023, Draft 2004 [1], Chapter 9, lists employment sectors and population of workers in each sector. Curiously, the absence of Agriculture from the plan is complete; 'food' is only mentioned in relation to a few business names, and neither terms are included in any discussion of the counties economic stability and long term vision. The NASS, on the other hand, notes that Clark County was home to over 1500 farms in 2002, and that nearly 3000 people were employed on these farms. If these small farms were a single company, that company would be among the top five employers in the County. 2007 economic data shows that these farms generated $54M in gross product. That this kind of income and employment is written out of the Counties Economic Development plan demonstrates a sad lack of oversite. Those were different Comissioners, so given the current climate, I'll suggest that this matter be immediately addressed and trust the farm community to voice a concern over past patterns, and change them. I'd be happy to act as a point of contact and an advocate.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Farm Connect/Locavore Delivery 4.17.2009

Here's the latest Farm Connect/Locavore Delivery list from the folks at Dee Creek Farm. Also, in case you hadn't heard, our friends at Dee Creek are featured in the recently released Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest. Congratulations Dee Creek! I have been fortunate enough to sample the vast majority of their offerings to date and they are fantastic. You can read about the cheese and see some pictures here. If you haven't tried any of their cheese yet, you owe it to yourself to pick some up ASAP. I have a feeling that demand may very well outweigh supply in the near future.

If you've never ordered from the list before, give it a shot. It's a great way to put some of the freshest, best tasting food on your table and you'll be supporting our local farmers and producers too. The list is still a bit small this time of year, but as the growing season progresses, the list will increase exponentially and you'll be able to darn near stop visting the supermarket. What are you waiting for?

I almost forgot to send out an email tonight (so sorry!) as we've a house guest - and we forget that it's not vacation, tho' it feels like it!

We had a great weekend at the Vancouver Farmers Market, with the Easter bunny and all! I hope your holiday weekend was warm and lovely! We hear more sunny weather is on it's way *fingers crossed*

A service for Clarence (Honey House Farms) will be held Wednesday morning, 10am, at Sacred Heart Church in Battle Ground. If you cannot make it in person, please keep Marge & her family in your thoughts during the day!

I'm going to try to get some new soaps packaged and ready for Thursday nights deliveries ~S



All of the milk produced for our cheeses are from goats raised at Dee Creek Farm. The cheeses are handmade by Spark, too! From start to finish!
Aged Feta, $5.00/container retail, - block or crumble
Creamy block or crumbles of unpasteurized aged feta. Try in scrambled eggs, ravioli stuffing or pasta addition, wild greens & berry salad, beans.
Fresh Chevre, $5.00/4-oz.
Apricot & Honey - fruit from a spray-free farm in Eastern WA (frozen from last summer), raw honey from Honey House Farm in Brush Prairie
Heirloom Tomato & Herbs - tomatoes from Red Basket Farm, herbs from Garden Delights
Garlic & Chive - Garlic from Storytree Farm in Vancouver, chives from DCF
These soft goat cheeses are made with pasteurized milk. They are a soft, spreadable cheese. Excellent on bagels, filling for crepes, or in an omelet.


$5/dozen, ($4.50 per dozen for egg CSA'ers)
$2.50/half-dozen (limited)
We'll have lots of Dee Creek Farm eggs, as well as eggs from Creative Outlet & Nature's Choice! These are (likes ours) are fed only natural feeds and lots of pasture. Be sure to recycle egg cartons that you pick up at our deliveries with us!

Dried Herbs, $4/packet

From Garden DElights in Brush Prairie, these herbs were hand prepared from chemical-free herbs. There are several mixes available, including: Grilling Blend, Poultry Blend, Dilly Dip, Mexican Blend, and Veggies & Soups.

Canned "Preserves"

Strawberry Jelly, low sugar, $5/8-oz
Raspberry, low sugar, $5/8-oz
White Grape, low sugar, $5/8-oz
The above also come from Garden DElights, in Brush Prairie. A multi generational farm, this Mom and daughter team work hard on creating healthful, local, and delicious foods. Generally known for their herb packets & natural doggy treats, they are also a produce CSA farm!

Wild & Naturally Preserved Eats,

Mushrooms, Fresh (1/4# bags)
Maitake $4.00
Shiitake $3.00
Frozen or Dried Rosehips, $2.00
Dried Wild Elderberries $2.00
Wild Huckleberry Jam, $5.00/6oz.
Wild Huckleberry Syrup, $6.00/7oz.
Fresh Stinging Nettles (tops), $6.00/bag (approx. 1/2#)
Fresh Wild Watercress, $3.00/bunch (approx. 1/4#)
The above comes from Nature's Choice, a Vancouver business, operated by a couple who collects & sells wild eats, and prepares naturally preserved foods.


Remember that in an effort to be more efficient, and less wasteful, we do not write individual receipts, but instead keep a book. If you specifically want a receipt, please let us know when you place your order, if possible.

Anyone and everyone can order from our deliveries, not just "subscribers"! To any newcomers on the e-list, welcome! Also rest assured that all farms contributing to our deliveries all meet several standards: chemical-free, sustainable, natural, family farming... If you have questions about any of them, don't hesitate to ask, or check them out yourself!

To order, click here
and specify what you would like.
All checks go to "Dee Creek Farm", or bring cash.
We fill pre-orders first, then it’s first come, first served!
We do mostly pre-orders at deliveries, rather than Farmers Market style.
Please help us in this by pre-ordering what you can!

Summer & Spark
Farm Phone: 360-225-9711
Cell Phone: 360-903-6956 (no service at the Farm)

WSU CSNAR Profile of Organic Agriculture in Washington State

A few months ago I posted some information regarding the recent release of the latest USDA Agricultural Census data. Well now I want to present you with some cool and interesting data from the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources 2008 profile of organic crops in Washington state report. Here's a link to the actual report:

2008 Profile of Organic Crops in Washington State

As I mentioned in my previous post on the USDA Census, one of the most significant pieces of data is related to the number of organic acres under cultivation in Washington state relative to total organic product farmgate sales. Washington State ranked 18th in total acres (64,830) managed for organic production nationally. However, the state was second in the nation for organic product farmgate sales value ($159.8 million) behind California ($656.8 million). Now if you look at the WSU report you'll see some individual county data. Although Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania are grouped together, you'll notice that the total famgate sales went from about $226k in 2004 to about $1.2 million in 2007! WOW!! And this census only takes into account the farms that are certified organic. There are many, many farms that have not paid for the organic label privilege, but still maintain organic standards or better. A number of them are CSAs right in our own back yard.

I said it before and I'll say it again. Agriculture is dead in Clark County? Really? Are you sure?

Food Security in Clark County - Deston Denniston

Deston Denniston has just started posting a series of reports on food security in Clark County over on his blog, Gardens in the Forest. This is some serious writing on a serious subject here folks. If you are someone who cares about food security, local agriculture, Clark County, the health of our community, or the safety of your family this is a must read. It's only too bad that our mainstream journalists have not been so outspoken about these issues. However, to give some credit to our local fishwrapper, the number of pro-local ag articles they've published over the last couple of years has substantially increased. Let's hope that one or two of them read Deston's food security series, pick up the ball, and run with it. This is a subject that we as a community cannot afford to ignore any longer.

Here's a little teaser from Deston's report for you:

Food Security in Clark County
an essay in parts, this being the first, the others above....


The report "Exploring the Clark County Food System" (1) clarifies in the exhaustive detail the situation and trends of Clark County food systems. They are, in many cases, failing to meet basic nutrition needs. As the recession escalates, these systems are prepared to deliver products which decrease the health of county residents, compound environmental degradation, and ship $700M out of the local economy annually. In other words, these systems will continue, barring some drastic and immediate changes, result in an overall and potentially catastrophic decline in quality of life. The good news is that these trends have leverage points and can be addressed and reversed; jobs can be created, our relative economy can prosper and ecology can be invigorated. The following essay, delivered in multiple installations, will look at current and key Clark county indicators, policy and practices, and follow up with input on strategies and key potentials which will provide opportunity for a halt and reversal of these disturbing trends.

Read the rest of the report by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dee Creek Farm in the Press!

Just received my freshly printed copy of Tami Parr's Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest (thank you and guess who's featured on page 61? Yep, my friends at Dee Creek Farm up in the village of Woodland, WA.

Besides the local celebrities, this is a very cool book featuring information about the lion's share of the wonderful fromagieres of the Pacific Northwest, recipes, where to buy locations, and a glossary of cheese terms.

Tami also maintains a very cool blog you can check out here:

Pacific Northwest Cheese Project

Monday, April 13, 2009

Battle Ground Farmer's Market Opening Day & Earthday Events - 4.18.2009

Here's a press release for the Battleground Farmer's Market just in from market master and local CSA farmer (Rosemattel CSA) Brenda Millar-Stanton:

Battle Ground Farmers Market 2009 Grand Season Opening April 18th, 2009.

Hours are 9-3 every Saturday through October 17th.
Check out our website for 2009 events, sponsorship opportunities and more!
(360) 576-9767

Earth Day Celebration April 18th, 2009
Earth day celebration will be our season opening event for 2009!

Here is what the Battle Ground Farmers Market has in store for the community-

Seed/Plant Exchange
For earth day we are encouraging visitors of the market to participate in a plant/ seed exchange. Bring your tree seedling or some really neat seeds to exchange with a different item on the table!

Pledge to our Mother Earth
Sign a leaf pledge with your promise to our earth about how or what you plan to do in your daily activities that is friendly to our planet. Place the leaf on the tree and watch it grow!

Children's Project
The market will have an earth day activity area with fun easy to do projects that revolve around earth day

Market Wireless Technology Project Begins!
Use your EBT/Credit/Debit Card to the Market Manager/Wireless Booth so that you may swipe your card for wooden market tokens that you will be able to use for market purchases!

Token Pouch Giveaway
The wooden tokens that the market will be handing out as market money this season is made from a renewable resource-trees! Get your token pouch from the wireless token booth when you use your credit/debit/ebt card to buy tokens! Supplies are limited.

Plant a Row For the Hungry Campaign Begins!

The PAR Campaign kicks off at the market! Free seeds and markers for all who would like to take part in this hunger relief project. All you will need to do is fill out a grow card, and grow a row of veggies to donate to your local food bank or shelter.

The market will have a harvest party at the end of the season with all PAR growers invited!

Deston Denniston's New Conceptual Drawing for 78th Street

Our very own 78th Street Aggies Steward of Abundance, Deston Denniston was hard at work this weekend while the rest of us were eating the ears off of our chocolate bunnies. Check out his latest conceptual plan for the development of the 78th Street/Old Poor Farm site at the Abundance Permaculture web site or scroll down to see it right here.
Nice work Deston!

April 9 Integrated Concept Plan

~This integrated conceptual plan is intended to illustrate elements discussed by the 78th St. Sounding Board (SB), its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and other suggestions which fulfill the Sounding Board Principles. This illustration suggests possible 15 year goals for the site. Community workshops offered over the next year to develop integrated design, and culminating in a public charrette, will offer better education opportunities to the citizens of Clark County, increased and collaborative community participation, and lower costs to taxpayers than a conventional RFP. Cultivating a diverse set of stakeholders will produce design details deeply reflective of our community. Sweat equity leading to a sense of community ownership will provide social capital for the project a conventional RFP process for design and build cant compete with.

This site design methodology, suggested in the TAC Executive Report fulfills the following Sounding Board principles:

1.Celebrate our agricultural heritage.

2.Interpret Clark County and WSU’s presence at the site.

3.Showcase and promote sustainable and commercial agricultural practices. ~Secure, local, seasonal, organic, biodynamic farming, and permaculture.

4.Support agricultural research that supports sustainable farming practices.

5.Enhance community wellness and inspire life-long learning.

6.Promote community volunteerism.

7.Integrate a variety of activities and resources that provide community access.

8.Reflect sound fiscal policy in decision-making matters.

Key Notes:

* Throughout the integrated concept map, in association with some element numbers, will be CAPITAL letters clarifying management goals.

A: Natives species only area, habitat & conservation, bordering much of north half of the site interior.

B: Native and cultivar plantings for habitat and wildcrafting.

Recommendations for materials and methods used in the construction of the following elements can be found in the TAC Executive Report (PDF).

1. Farmers Market/Auxiliary Parking:About 40 stalls; Local, fresh produce and value added products sold by onsite and offsite producers. Auxiliary parking for 120-150 during events. Landmark placement of Old Silo.

2.County Offices: Farmbudsman, forester, and other ag/forestry operations; cultural, historic, and other sustainability offices, libraries, public resources. Taking full advantage of space as living museum. Also meeting space /classroom, and workshop space. Carriage houses used for onsite electric shuttle & other public services; Historic Preservation.

3.Local Grinds: Restaurant featuring fresh food from local farms, organic when possible. Features Cafe/Deli Lunch Counter and sit down Fine Dining with biodynamic/organic wines and beers. A service oriented non profit in association with a local schools, revenue is held in a scholarship fund for high school students. College interns earn credit and income through food service and produce production.

4.Police Substation: Neighborhood patrols and primary site access point and control for events. 4a) Entry Kiosk for events. Note kiosk near 22, Hazel Dell Community Center, as well.

5.Food Bank/WSU: Oregon Food Bank (OFB) Warehouse, WSU Extension Offices, commercial certified kitchen. OFB Operations, WSU Professional Continuing Education, food and farm workshops. Adult continuing education, rental of certified kitchen space. 5a) Picnic side yard 5b) Food Bank Gardens.

6.The Irrigation Ditch: This feature should qualify for Prior Cropland Conservation (PCC) with Department of Ecology, meaning that it can be used for food production. Contoured to maximize habitat niches and production, one side will be held in conservation, the other used for wildcrafting and aquaculture demos. Picnic table niches.

7.Aquaculture Greenhouse: Hydroponic greenhouse with multiple 4' deep tanks, each with food stock fish (tilapia, catfish, crayfish, etc). Size limited by available water; outflow will fertilize the hydroponics; polished outflow can be used for irrigation. Demo for $40k+/acre per year from organic farmed fish.

8.Working Farm: The 8a) working farm is set in the middle of the 8b) CSA lease lots, integrating animal husbandry into the farm landscape. Working farm 'rents' animals for onsite tractoring, mowing and other functions. Sheep, Goats and Cattle produce milk and cheese. In partnership with 4-H, FFA and the WSU Small Farms team, etc., education and other services are delivered. Children's petting farm, Animal Husbandry Education. Quarters for farm manager, caretaker, college interns and potentially leaseholders rental units. Meeting space for CSA, 4-H and FFA activities is located here. CSA lots divided by production hedgerows. Kapus Farmhouse?

9.Community Gardens/Pea Patches: Annual lease organic 9a) pea patches. Agreement comes with best organic practices orientation. Composting and integrated pest control units throughout. Additional lease price pays for tool locker. 9b) Located centrally, the children's play scape gives a central all-eyes can see location for kids to play safely while their parents garden. The playground is all natural, with a living woven willow fortress, see-saw logs, and a cob (adobe) playhouse, etc. Same with #21.

10.Conservation Wetlands: After invasive species removal and replanting with select natives the area associated with the Conservation Wetlands will be a highlight on the walking path; Interpretive signs, wildlife viewing and ecological systems observation will occur along the path and boardwalk. Soil, water, habitat conservation in core and borders, with margins providing additional benefits of wildcrafting of food and fiber products.

11.Master Gardeners Demonstration Gardens: A variety of demonstration gardens, from produce to native to ornamental, all showcased with the creative touch of the Master Gardeners educational staff and volunteers. Area also includes multiple education and work spaces, reflection pond, greenhouses, and “living machines”.

12.Food Forest Gardens: Specific plantings depend on the micro-climate of a given spot. To include five or more nuts, a dozen+ species of fruiting trees, and dozens of berry varieties, both native and cultivars, as well as perennial vegetables, herbs, etc. Organized according to ecological principals of a natural forest, fruit producers are supported by allied nitrogen fixers, mulchers and insectories for integrated pest and fertilization management. Ohio State University has shown that such practices can produce $80k and acre/annually. This demo can be available for “u-pick” purchases though much of the year.

13.Earthen Amphitheater: Terraced amphitheater with capacity for 300-400. Bring your camp chairs or a blanket and stretch out on the espalier lined terraces. Musical, theater and dance performance, a covered stage. Summer festival fundraisers, Lease option for large events, weddings, etc.

14.The Great Lodge: Auxiliary to the Community Center, #22. Indoor stage, practice and performance space downstairs, leased for events. Leased offices for licensed 'alternative' health care practitioners, such as acupuncturists, LMP's, herbalists and ND's. Great Lodge also houses all Media Services for Amphitheater. Next to the Great Lodge is a world class medicinal garden for temperate maritime climates.

15.Forestry Demos: All Forest management practices include habitat, soil, and water conservation demonstrations 15a) Existing stands 15b) 'Field to Forest' conversion project, demonstrating how to develop and plant the edges of small lot forests for habitat, conservation, foods, and control of wind and fire among other considerations. Production and marketing of secondary products (edible mushroom cultivation, floral greens, etc), fire prevention, harvest and sawyering edcuation. 15c) Heritage Savannah: The endangered Oak, Camas and Saxifrage ecosystem of SW Washington was a 'staple' food ecology for many PNW tribes. This demo provides heritage and ecology education, camas, root crops and acorns- in addition to recreation open space and tables for picnics under the sun.

16.Three Volcanoes Viewing Tower: View Loowit (St. Helens), Wy'East (Adams) and Pahtoe (Hood). Picnic areas.

17.The Upper Tool Shed: Site managers and staff's 'Upper" tool shed/workshop and guest rooms for short term visiting professionals, researchers, teachers.

18.Heirloom Heritage Monument: The graves of 200+ previous tenants of the Old Poor Farm lie here. A robust yet elegant stone monument commemorates their lives and memories, and a garden of heirloom fruits adorn this heritage site and resting place.

19.Vinyard Garden Terraces: Vineyard production area, provides u-pick opportunities. Grapes, kiwi, fig, hops, raspberries and a wide variety of other vineyard produce are all situated here in vineyard near the orchard terraces. Includes sculpture garden elements.

20.County Nursery: WSU and county Forester/ street trees programs production nursery and green house space Starting, grafting, heeling in, etc, of stock for projects both on and offsite. Direct work with volunteer organization such as Friends of trees, Street Trees USA, etc.

21.Community Center: Youth, adult and senior programing through VCPR, co-coordinates non=professional continuing education for the site. Occidental Health Services Clinic (on call nurse in conjunction with Peace Health, or Kaiser etc.) weight loss, nutrition, cardio & aerobic classes and spa rooms, youth and senior recreation rooms 21a) outdoor BB halfcourt and 9b) natural children's play scape. Connection to HAZEL DELL PARK.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Real Homeland Security

Coolest poster ever. You can download a copy from the NY Farm Bureau here.

Clark County Earth Day Event @ Hazel Dell Elementary School Garden

Clark County Earth Day event
4/18/09 (9:30 a.m.-Noon)

Planting, weeding and composting. Take the time out to grow and "dig the difference" you can make in your own backyard! The Hazel Dell Elementary School/Community Garden is blooming. You can be part of this growing community. Planting, weeding and composting are just a few of the skills you can contribute. Make a difference this Earth Day, April the 18th, and get outside to feel the green!

Hazel Dell Elementary School
511 NE Anderson Rd
Vancouver, WA 98685

Friday, April 10, 2009

Earth Day Party! with the Vancouver Food Co-op Hosted by Mint Tea - 4.22.2009

Agriculture is Dead in Clark County? Really? Are you sure?

So I went to the 78th Street workshop last night and all I can say is WOW. What a turnout and what an awesome, intelligent, thoughtful, and community-conscious group of folks who participated. Looks like the TAC report got some heavy support thrown behind it by participants of the workshop (God bless you Deston) and people had all sorts of excellent ideas about how the property could be developed as a catalyst for the future of agriculture in Clark County and yet stay true to the historical, agricultural use of the site. Seems like we've come a long way from the relatively recent comments and reports that agriculture was dead in Clark County. Looks like it's time for a few folks to pull their chair up to the table and eat some crow...

I want to express my most sincere thanks to Commissioner Marc Boldt, the county planning staff, and the many volunteers who helped facilitate last night's workshop. Great job everyone!

And I'd like to let the members of the 78th Street Aggies how much I love you folks for all you did last night and for everything you do for our community every day. I know that many, many of the folks were there last night because of you. You are the lifeblood of the sustainable agriculture revolution taking place in our community. Here's to making the 78th Street site the heart of the revolution!

It was so cool to see folks from the Farm Bureau Clark County agriculture's "Old Guard", earthy young folks, CSA farmers, Master Gardeners, Vancouver Food Co-op members, Tom Wagner of Tater-Mater Seeds (independent plant breeder and educator extraordinaire) and the 2009 Tom Wagner Great Tater Mater Grow Out, the WSU Extension, folks who are just plain passionate about local agriculture and farming, young professionals, folks from the Clark County Food Bank Coalition, permaculture enthusiasts, Clark County's very own cowboy poet Boyd Johnson and ag geeks like yours truly all together and all working towards a common goal.

I am positively stoked about the energy that filled the Gaiser Middle School cafeteria. And at the end of the night, as we all strolled around the room and stuck our dots on the uses for 78th Street that we were in favor of, it was rapidly apparent that we have given our county government and WSU a mandate to develop the site as a center for agriculturally focused sustainability, education, research, community programs, and agriculture/food related recreation & business. development. Woo-Hoo!

We are on the verge of raising the national bar for what community supported sustainability and agriculture means. The 78th Street site has a long way to go before it represents the dreams of the participants in last night's workshop, but we're off to a strong start. Let's keep the momentum going!

If you missed the workshop or if you have never heard of the 78th Street/former WSU Extension/Old Poor Farm site, click on the links below and you can get up speed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 - A Declaration for Healthy Food & Agriculture

We, the undersigned, believe that a healthy food system is necessary to meet the urgent challenges of our time. Behind us stands a half-century of industrial food production, underwritten by cheap fossil fuels, abundant land and water resources, and a drive to maximize the global harvest of cheap calories. Ahead lie rising energy and food costs, a changing climate, declining water supplies, a growing population, and the paradox of widespread hunger and obesity.

These realities call for a radically different approach to food and agriculture. We believe that the food system must be reorganized on a foundation of health: for our communities, for people, for animals, and for the natural world. The quality of food, and not just its quantity, ought to guide our agriculture. The ways we grow, distribute, and prepare food should celebrate our various cultures and our shared humanity, providing not only sustenance, but justice, beauty and pleasure.

Governments have a duty to protect people from malnutrition, unsafe food, and exploitation, and to protect the land and water on which we depend from degradation. Individuals, producers, and organizations have a duty to create regional systems that can provide healthy food for their communities. We all have a duty to respect and honor the laborers of the land without whom we could not survive. The changes we call for here have begun, but the time has come to accelerate the transformation of our food and agriculture and make its benefits available to all.

We believe that the following twelve principles should frame food and agriculture policy, to ensure that it will contribute to the health and wealth of the nation and the world. A healthy food and agriculture policy:

  1. Forms the foundation of secure and prosperous societies, healthy communities, and healthy people.

  2. Provides access to affordable, nutritious food to everyone.

  3. Prevents the exploitation of farmers, workers, and natural resources; the domination of genomes and markets; and the cruel treatment of animals, by any nation, corporation or individual.

  4. Upholds the dignity, safety, and quality of life for all who work to feed us.

  5. Commits resources to teach children the skills and knowledge essential to food production, preparation, nutrition, and enjoyment.

  6. Protects the finite resources of productive soils, fresh water, and biological diversity.

  7. Strives to remove fossil fuel from every link in the food chain and replace it with renewable resources and energy.

  8. Originates from a biological rather than an industrial framework.

  9. Fosters diversity in all its relevant forms: diversity of domestic and wild species; diversity of foods, flavors and traditions; diversity of ownership.

  10. Requires a national dialog concerning technologies used in production, and allows regions to adopt their own respective guidelines on such matters.

  11. Enforces transparency so that citizens know how their food is produced, where it comes from, and what it contains.

  12. Promotes economic structures and supports programs to nurture the development of just and sustainable regional farm and food networks.

Our pursuit of healthy food and agriculture unites us as people and as communities, across geographic boundaries, and social and economic lines. We pledge our votes, our purchases, our creativity, and our energies to this urgent cause.

Why did this declaration emerge?

The movement to create a healthier food and agriculture policy in the US has been slowly and steadily gaining ground for well over a decade. Those all around the nation who began the work are encouraged by the progress and simultaneously concerned by the pace of change given the disproportionate impact of food and agriculture on personal and planetary health.

The public’s increasing interest and the media’s deepening coverage of climate change, energy, agriculture, rural poverty, labor issues, food costs, food quality and obesity may finally illuminate the interrelationship of these crises and provide a context for urgently needed changes, which are clearly possible.

The Declaration is meant to provide

  1. A clear statement of what kind of policy is needed now, endorsed by a broad base of organizations and individuals with a long-established commitment to a healthier food and agriculture.
  2. An invitation to all Americans to join in the improvement effort by taking action in their own lives and communities and by offering them a way to call on policymakers to support comprehensive change.
  3. A set of principles from which policy makers can craft policy that will lead to a healthier system.

Click here to endorse and/or comment on the Draft Declaration.

Urban Farm School - Garden Essentials Class - 4.14.2009

The busy gals over at the Urban Farm School have a great food producing garden class coming up next Tuesday for all of you dirt diggers out there. Here's the scoop from Kendra & Toree:

Good afternoon, everyone!
We are happy to be partnering with Ecolution NW again to provide a fabulous and intimate space to hold our next class, "Just One Thing: Essentials for the Year-round Garden." We will be focusing on the three or four tips and tricks that should be done in the garden each season to make it a healthier and more productive food producer for you and your family. This is a "conversation" class. Have questions about your garden that you need answers to? Bring them along! We are excited to build a community of gardeners while focusing on your particular needs during this busy time of year.
We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday night!
Just One Thing: Essentials for the Year-round Garden
Tuesday, April 14, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Ecolution NW, 1709 Broadway, Vancouver 98663
Please, call 360-907-5814 or E-mail us to register
Fee: $15/person


Toree Hiebert & Kendra Pearce, Owners
Urban Farm School
PO Box 393
Ridgefield, WA 98642
360-907-5814 or 360-852-3728