Friday, March 27, 2009
I was the VERY fortunate and grateful recipient of a special gift last night. A basket containing a full compliment of the cheeses made by our local fromagier extraordinares @ Dee Creek Farm. They raise the animals, milk 'em, and then make the cheese. Doesn't get much more local than that. I've had a few of these cheeses before and they were wonderful. I've been craving the chevre since I first heard about it last year, so I'm really looking forward to schmearing some on a bagel this weekend. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM....bagel & chevre......
Visit Dee Creek Farm's stand at the Vancouver Farmer's Market or sign up for their farm delivery list and get some Dee Creek fromage for your next soiree. And the next time you are at your favorite bistro or cafe, ask your server why there is no Dee Creek cheese on their local cheese plate. I know I'd like to see some Dee Creek Logan on the menu next time I visit Lapellah...
As if farming is not hard enough, now WA State legislators are trying to sneak the B&O tax onto farmers. This really is a tax on food, which is not taxed in Washington State.
The Capital Press published this story last week, Ag legislator sends out alert about proposed B&O tax. Kudos to Rep. Mark Schoesler, R- Ritzville, ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and also a member of the Ways & Means Committee.
The B&O tax taxes Washington State businesses selling within Washington State on the GROSS income not the NET income. It is probably the one tax in Washington that hurts businesses the most. However, if you sell your product outside of the state, you do not pay it on that income, and if you import product into the state, you do not pay it on that income, either. This tax has the potential to cripple or even destroy the locally grown food movement in Washington State.
Link to entire post @ Amicus Agraria
How about a tariff on agricultural products NOT grown in Washington State instead? Just a random thought...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Free Lecture @ the Old Poor Farm/78th Street Site with Deston Denniston of Abundance Consulting - 4.6.2009
Island Ecology: Food Security for a Small Planet
Monday, April 6th, 6:00pm-8:30pm
1919 NE 78th St, Vancouver
the Old Poor Farm/WSU Extension Reasearch Unit
Deston Denniston of Abundance Consulting LLC will present on his recent trip to Kauai, outlining how this small island (@522 sq. mi.) is a microcosm of our own regional and global Food Security Challenges. From production and processing to distribution and availability, the coming years will pose titanic challenges to those who would assure us of healthy and sustaining food systems. Beginning with Kauai, and traveling through another island, Cuba, we will look at how energy descent may affect food production and distribution. We will also consider climate change, pollution and GMO's in relation to food security. We will explore how balancing Food Security within the context of Eco-Systems is, possibly counter intuitively, far more productive and enduring than conventionally engineered solutions. Finally we will consider these implications to our own place here in Clark County, and ultimately all of Turtle Island. We will look not only at the challenges, but solutions which are rooted firmly in culture and place. Finally we will tie this to a discussion of opportunities in Clark County and SW Washington. This is a free presentation.
What follows is an excerpt and you can click the link at the bottom of this post for the entire article:
... (3) include with respect to growing, harvesting, sorting,and storage operations, minimum standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment... and water;
Ah, such a little paragraph, and so much evil packed in it. Notice they mention harvesting, sorting and storage operations? Notice they never mention seeds but they are precisely what those words cover.
Now, watch how they will be able to easily criminalize seed banking and all holding of seeds. First, to follow how this will be done, you must understand that:
1.there is a small list inside the FDA called "sources of seed contamination" and
2.the FDA has now defined "seed" as food,
3.so seeds can now be controlled through "food safety."
Those seeds (so far) include:
seeds eaten raw such as flax, poppy sesame, etc.;
sprouting seeds such as wheat, beans, alfalfa, most greens, etc.;
seeds pressed into oils such as corn, sunflower, canola, etc.;
seeds used as animal feed such as soy ....
That is most seeds. It may even be all seeds, given how they are skilled at new definitions.
And what are the "sources of seed contamination" inside the FDA? They include only six little items:
manure (but not chemical pesticides or fertilizers)
harvesting, transporting and seed cleaning (sorting) equipment
seed storage (storing) facilities
Did you know that seed cleaning equipment is THE single most critical piece of equipment for sustainable agriculture? It is how we collect organic seed. It is the machinery used after the season, when plants "go to seed," to separate out (sort) the seeds from the plant material so the farmer can collect (harvest) and then save (put in storage) seed for the next year at little cost. With his own seed, the farmer also stays free of patented, genetically engineered, corporately privatized seeds.
This year, 2009, one item on the "sources of seed contamination" list is suddenly illegal in some parts of this country - seed cleaning equipment.
To get the drift, perhaps you need to know that the people who clean seed are being wiped out, as well.
How can they make such vital equipment illegal? Quietly, first of all, so as not to alert organic farmers who have a lot of political ties. And by saying it contaminates food. And by applying their innocent and reasonable sounding "minimum standards."
"Contaminate" is their favorite word since the public fears the deadly contamination that industry itself - not farmers - has caused. That fear is valuable. Scare the public and it is easy to get "food safety standards" set without anyone reading them. 39 progressive co-sponsors leap on, thinking this is about "food safety." But it is only about the use of "food safety," not the reality of it
For to eliminate seed cleaning equipment, the FDA simple set minimum "food safety" standards for seed cleaning (the simple separation of seed from plant) such that a farmer would need a million to a million and a half dollar building and/or equipment to meet the new requirements ... per line of seed.
On the ground, where reality lives, a farmer in the Midwest who has been seed cleaning flax for 40 years with his hand made seed cleaner now can't sell his flax on the market anymore. Never mind there are NO instances of anyone ever having gotten sick from seed cleaning equipment. And a farmer in another part of the Midwest who has been cleaning wheat, corn and soy for years with one single perfectly fine piece of equipment would now need three to four and half million dollars for three separate pieces of equipment, in order to satisfy the "food safety" standards.
Seeds - How to Criminalize Them, by Linn Cohen-Cole
VFM was fantastic! We brought a few kinds of Chevre (below, available for Thursdays delivery, minus the garlic & chive, which is sold out until this Saturday). They were a smashing hit - As was the beef, which is SOLD OUT - Here's to hoping for more soon!
I am working on putting together a few locally-written articles about food, nutrition, etc... If you're a naturopath, please email me if you'd be interested in participating and we'll chat more about this!
Try to get your order in by late Wednesday night, if possible! Also remember to bring back any egg cartons that you pick up at our deliveries if you can! We do have room for a few more egg CSA'ers, if you're interested. See you on Thursday! ~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, $5.50/container retail, $5.00/container CSA - 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, $6.00/5-oz.
Huckleberry - berries from Nature's Choice, raw honey from Honey House Farm
Tomatoes & Herbs - organic heirloom tomatoes from NW Organics, herb mix from Garden Delights
These soft goat cheeses are made with pasteurized milk. They are a soft, spreadable cheese. Excellent on bagels, filling for crepes, or on a spoon (my favorite!).
$5/dozen, ($4.50 per dozen for egg CSA'ers)
We'll have lots of Dee Creek Farm eggs this week! Our hens are pastured - check out our website for details! Be sure to recycle egg cartons that you pick up at our deliveries with us!
Raw honey in glass jars form Honey House Farm in Brush Prairie - super local!
Dried Herbs, $4/packet
From Garden DElights in Brush Prairie, these herbs were hand prepared from chemical-free herbs.
Poultry Blend and Herb Butter are all we have this week!
Strawberry Jelly, low sugar, $5/8-oz
Raspberry Jelly, low sugar, $5/8-oz
Grape Jelly, 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.
Wild Huckleberry Syrup, $6.00/8oz. - Nature's Choice
Wild Huckleberry Jam, $5/7oz. - NEW from Nature's Choice
Both of these from Nature's Choice. Made with white grape concentrate, they are low calorie, and almost sugar-free.
Pumpkin Butter, $5/half-pint
Apricot Syrup, $6/12-oz.
Both of the above were made by us, at Dee Creek Farm. Both delish!
Wild & Naturally Preserved Eats,
Mushrooms, Vacuum packed Frozen – ¼ lb packs
Dried Snack and Meal Helpers -
(Already chopped, diced, sliced, portioned, and packaged just right for 1-2 meals)
Org Red Onions (great for stir-fry, burgers, sandwiches, macaroni & potato salads...) $1.25
Org. Heirloom Tomatoes (snacks, great for pasta or rice dishes, saute` w/vegs...) $2.00
Frozen or Dried Rose hips, $2.00
Wild Elderberries, $2.00
Fresh Watercress, $3/bunch
Fresh Stinging Nettles (tops), $6 for a 1/2# bag, approximately ("long tradition of use in treating arthritis or kidney problems. High in nutrients, rich in calcium and iron. Good for folks who don't eat much meat or fruit. Used as extract, cooked like spinach or dried to make tea" - Laura at N.C.)
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.
**BRING YOUR OWN BAG**
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)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
How to start a successful small acreage Organic vegetable farm or large garden.
Saturdays from 9 am -1 pm
March 28-May 30, 2009 Contact: 360-263-3826 or e-mail David for registration form
...with a groovy new t-shirt from the Urban Farm School!
You can get yours for a reasonable $18 by contacting Kendra or Toree at the Urban Farm School.
Did I mention the shirts are made with 100% organic cotton? Sweeeeeet...
A rancher was herding his flock of sheep in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud toward him. The driver, a young man in a Brooks Bros. suit, Gucci shoes, YSL tie and Ray Ban sunglasses leans out of the window and asks the rancher, "If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?"
The rancher looks at the man who is obviously an Ivy League grad, then looks at his grazing flock and calmly answers, "Sure, why not?"
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Sony notebook computer, connects to his AT&T cell phone, surfs to a NASA page on the Internet where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location. He feeds that data to another NASA satellite which scans the area in an ultra-high resolution photo.
The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility located in Hamburg, Germany.
Within seconds, he receives an e-mail on his "Palm Pilot" that the image has been processed and the data stored.
He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of this data via an e-mail on his "Blackberry" and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP Laser jet printer and turns to the rancher and states, "You have exactly 1,586 sheep."
"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my sheep," says the rancher.
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on, amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
Then the rancher says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my sheep?"
The young man thinks about it for a second and replies, "Okay, why not?"
"You're a politician," says the rancher.
"Wow! That's correct," answers the yuppie. "But how did you guess that?"
"No guessing required. You showed up here even though nobody called you... you want to get paid for an answer I already knew to a question I never asked... and... you don't know shit about my business.
"Now Give Me Back My Dog!"
Monday, March 23, 2009
A brief presentation will be provided at 6:30 pm to participants, explaining community supported agriculture, how to determine if a CSA is right for you, and questions to ask farmers to find the CSA that fits you and your family.
There will also be a killer raffle, with various items collected from each farmer, including: Dee Creek Farm gift cert & book, Battle Ground Farmers Market bucks, Yard 'n' Garden Land gift certificate, DripWorks irrigation kit, Red Basket 1/2 flower share, and lots more! Join us for a fun evening! We've put together a slide show that will play all night as well - so you can 'visit' each farm during the eve.
Meet Your CSA Farmers
Monday, March 30th, 2009
6:30p.m. to 9:00p.m.
Map to the CASEE Center
11104 NE 149th Street
Brush Prairie, WA
Here's a little note I received from the folks at the VFC about the annual members' meeting this coming Sunday:
Vancouver Food Co-op Annual Member Meeting
The Co-op's annual member meeting will take place on Sunday March 29th - 6:00 - 8:00 pm at St. Lukes Episcopal Church at 426 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.
This event will be a Potluck of snacks, hors d'oeuvres, and finger foods. So, please bring a healthy snack or refreshment for everyone to enjoy!
This is a member meeting. Guests are welcome, although not able to vote, unless of course they join at the meeting.
PLEASE ATTEND THIS IMPORTANT MEETING. The Co-op continues to make progress towards opening a store. The Board wants and needs your input. Being a Co-op member means having a voice in setting Co-op policies, participating in important decisions, and helping make the Co-op successful. The Annual Meeting is one of many forums for you to play a role, meet people, and stay informed on our activities in the past year. We will also highlight the work of our Action Committees and their goals for the coming year.
AGENDA: Reports from the Board of Directors; Reports from Action Committees; Financial Reports; Voting on amendments to the Bylaws; Meet the Board candidates and a discussion about a potential site option.
Additionally, VFC was very recently presented with an interesting site option to consider and we would like to let you know a bit more about it at the meeting. We want to find out how you would like to be involved in the consideration of this potentially exciting option.
At this point, the board and some additional committee members are moving forward by evaluating what the new concept for the space could be, its likelihood of success, and how it aligns with our goals. Your support and involvement is key!
We welcome any comments or questions. Please email email@example.com or call 694-8094 and a board member will get back to you.
We sent out a letter to all members with more detailed information as well as the restated bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, if you do not receive the letter by Monday please let us know and we can email you the info.
We look forward to seeing you on March 29th at 6:00 PM at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church, 426 east Fourth Plain Boulevard, Vancouver--and remember to bring a snack or non-alcoholic beverage to share.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Just got this from Jessica Swanson over at Northbank Magazine. Thanks, Jessica!
This is a great opportunity for those who care about local food systems:
The Clark County Food System Council, a citizen advisory council whose mission is to increase and preserve access to safe, local and healthy food for Clark County residents, currently has membership openings. Council members share common interests and beliefs related to creating and maintaining a sustainable community food system. Members represent public health, nutrition and education, food security, waste management, resource conservation, agriculture, food distribution and community leaders.
The council meets monthly on the fourth Thursday of each month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the CASEE Center, 11104 N.E. 149th St. in Brush Prairie.
Applications will be accepted through April 15. For more information and to receive an application, please contact Tricia Mortell at 360-397-8000 ext. 7211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Oh yeah. Pack a lunch if you're planning on attending both classes.
I'll be out of town this weekend, so I can't make it...dang. But I hope some of you folks can get out to the farm and get some hands on time with Jon and his sheep. If you go, please post a comment here and let me know how it went.
Contact Jon @ Greener Pastures to get signed up for the classes.
(360)833-1917 or greenerpasturesfarm at gmail dot com
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
You see, Tom is an independent plant breeder who has been working primarily with tomatoes and potatoes for the last FIFTY years. You may already be familiar with Tom's work and may even be growing some of his creations in your garden or on your farm. He developed tomatoes such as the Green Zebra, Bloody Butcher, Green Grape, and a host of others. His work is driven by the quest to produce astounding amounts of genetic variety that can then be carefully selected for the traits of flavor, disease resistance, cold temperature tolerance, and nutritional value...although after speaking to him more thoroughly about this I think he has enough diversity in his collection to select for just about anything you could imagine. His personal germplasm collection is so extensive it boggles the mind. The rainbow of colors and nutritional value of the potatoes is like nothing you have ever seen or heard of before. His work is literally decades ahead of the seed companies, academic institutions, and government research facilities.
Despite Tom's insistence that he's not good talking to an audience and has a fear that people won't "get" him, I have to say that his genius in plant breeding is nearly eclipsed by his ability to communicate. He is what Malcolm Gladwell would refer to as a "Maven" and an "Outlier". I am still repeatedly kicking myself for not capturing our Saturday meeting on video. I guarantee it would have provided a much better explanation of Tom Wagner and his work than I am doing here. Someone would do well by making a documentary about Tom. It is of vital importance that information about his work is presented to the masses and the story of Tom's family history and his life would present a filmmaker with a very compelling subject.
So this past Saturday evening, a group of Clark County farmers and a few other folks involved with various facets of local horticulture and agriculture gathered at a farm in Ridgefield and spent over three hours listening to Tom talk about his work, his life, potatoes, and tomatoes. I think we could have easily listened to him talk until the sun came up. And now our little cabal has been entrusted with a small group of Tom's children, a fantastic assortment of potato tubers, potato seeds, and tomato seeds in an effort to expand Tom's breeding program. At some point we hope to recruit students from local schools to help Tom with his work. They'll be getting a priceless education in plant breeding, horticulture, plant biology, history, and genetics from a man who is one of the most foremost experts in what he does. Maybe we'll even perk the interest of the folks at the 78th Street project. Clark County was a potato production powerhouse for our nation some time ago. We could very well become the epicenter for new potato varieties for the future.
There really isn't enough space or time at this blog to begin to scratch the surface of Tom and his work. But suffice it to say, the work he is doing and the decision he has made to enlist our small group here in Clark County to assist him further develop his breeding program is the greatest agricultural endeavor to ever occur in Clark County. This work is of paramount importance to food crop production, food preparation, and local food system security and, in the near future, the results of his efforts will be of global importance. Today Clark County, tomorrow the world.
And here are a few pictures of Tom's potatoes I'll be planting for my garden this year:
You can also read a little more about Tom and his work at his web site or at his online bulletin board.
Friday, March 13, 2009
SB 5006 - An Act relating to genetically engineered plants; and adding a new chapter to Title 15 RCW.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I've been slowly picking my way through H.R.875, H.R.814, H.R.759 and S.425 this past week to try to get a grasp on these proposed pieces of legislation and all of the ruckus they are causing. Go ahead. Do a Google search on either one. I also recommend doing a Google Blog Search since the mainstream media is unlikely to pick this story up anytime soon. The amount of outrage and cries for action are increasing by the day. Farmers are fearing for their future. I'm not going to try to summarize that for you here and now. You need to spend a few minutes searching for that on your own and reading what folks who are much smarter and better educated than I am have to say about the subject of food safety (check out this interview with Dr. Marion Nestle @ the Expatriate's Kitchen Blog). You also need to at least try, as I have, to read some of the proposed legislation yourself and decide if you see what I saw when I read it.
Let me tell you folks, if these bills are allowed to hit the Capitol floor as they are currently written, we are in for a world of hurt. We'll be feeding our children soylent green before the end of the next decade. Our nation's food security will have been compromised beyond the point of any hope of rescue. It is your duty as an American citizen to start writing, calling, e-mailing, tweeting, blogging and anything else you think of to get every man, woman, and child of this great nation to express their unilateral and absolute refusal to acknowledge this sort of draconian law as being even remotely acceptable. We must then contact our congressional representatives en mass and make sure that they have no doubt that we will ride their asses right out of town if they sell our personal freedoms, our states' rights, and our national sovereignty to the multinational, petrochemical agribusiness entities who are backing these two bills with every bit of political capitol they've got. This is a blatant and aggressive attempt to bring the future of good, ethical food policy and the opportunity for any further effort to create a strong, independent, localized system of food security to an end forever. The gloves are off and they are preparing to strike a death blow to our small farmers, CSAs, independent plant breeders, independent seedsmen, farmers' markets, artisan cheese makers, heritage livestock preservationists, Slow Foodies, local food reliant restaurateurs and added value producers, urban farms, SPIN farmers, community gardens, school gardens, farm to school food programs, low-income food garden programs, food co-ops...the list is so long and if you are still reading this you are probably on the list.
If I lived in Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, or Connecticut I'd be demanding information regarding campaign contributions, business association, and familial ties to large agribusiness entities to, DeGette, Dingell, Brown, and DeLauro (actually here's some info on DeLauro Monsanto is husband's client and agribusiness campaign contributions). I'd also work my tail off to make sure they were never elected again to be so much as the secretary for the PTA. Representative Dingell, Representative DeGette, Senator Sherrod Brown-OH and Representative Rosa DeLauro-CT are nothing but the same corporate kowtowing, self-centered, ignorant pigs that have spoiled and stunk up the government of our nation for far too long. I sure as heck hope that our newly elected president is able to see that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes if any of these bills hit his desk. If not, there is little hope left for this country other than to continue our rapid devolution into an Orwellian nightmare of despair, fear, and corporate controlled authoritarianism. At least at this chilly midnight hour I still find inspiration the words of the great Thomas Jefferson and I hope you do as well...
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.
The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.
We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
COMMUNITY GROWN-A Community Forum About Creating Successful Food Garden Programs In Clark County
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
First Presbyterian Church
4300 Main St., Vancouver, WA
Join other leaders from neighborhoods, churches, schools and community groups to participate in...
Panel discussions and Table Top discussion
“Community Grown—What Clark County is doing”
“What’s Fresh—new ideas”
“Growing Successful Clark County Programs”
PLEASE RSVP TO:
Kathy LaFon 397- 8000 Ext 7318
By April 3rd
For more information:
Tricia Mortell 397- 8000 Ext 7211
Clark County Public Health
Clark County Sustainability
Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation
WSU Clark County Extension
Clark County Solid Waste
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I received a nice e-mail from a gal named Hillary Ann today asking if I would mind tooting my horn about the new Woodland Farmer's Market. It would positively be my pleasure, Hillary Ann! You can read a bit about the market in Hillary Ann's e-mail below, then click on the link to the web site at the bottom of this post for more details:
I'm a member of the Woodland Farmers Market Committee and 2009 will be the first season of the Woodland Farmers Market. There are seven of us (as well as many others who are also volunteering their time) who've been working together since January to make the WFM a reality for our community.
The Woodland Farmers Market will take place every Friday from 3 - 7 PM in Hoffman Plaza, in downtown Woodland. It was important to us that we choose a day that didn't conflict with other area markets in the hopes that we could work as a team instead of trying to compete with or take away from the other markets. The Market is set to run for 15 Fridays with October 2nd being the last Market day of the 2009 season.
We're going to be having a Woodland Farmers Market Community Meeting on Wednesday, March 18th at 6:30 PM at the Woodland Grange Hall to share with the community the progress we've made and also receive any feedback and get more folks signed up as Vendors as well as Volunteers.
Woodland Farmer's Market Web Page
Best of luck with your new farmer's market Woodlandites!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Life in the tune of Anna
While you're visiting her blog, consider her idea of planting a row for the hungry. Imagine what we could do if everyone planted a portion of their garden this year and donated the produce to a local hunger relief effort or gave it to a family you know who could use the help...
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
WSU 78th Street Master Plan
This proposed plan has had and will have opportunities for public comment. If you want to give your input on what this site will be used for, please check the web site above for upcoming meetings. I imagine you could also contact Clark County sustainability coordinator, Pete Dubois, for more info.
Pete Dubois (360)397-6118 ext. 4961 or email him at pete.dubois at clark dot wa dot gov
Current proposed uses include:
* 6 acres hosting several hundred community garden plots and a community certified kitchen
* 15 acres of organic Community Supported Agriculture 'incubators', and a working farm
* 25+ acres of wetland conservation, watershed stewardship and forest conservation & habitat demonstrations, including research opportunities and demonstration agroforestry projects
* education opportunities for public schools and colleges in ecology, agriculture, and sustainable forestry as well as sustainable business management
* continuing education, research and demonstration of sustainable systems, including construction, farm scale land use practices, and 'cradle to cradle' food systems
* community open space and recreational opportunities, heritage education
* a clear vision that honors our past while embracing a future that gives our children a knowledge and vision of how to thrive
Sounds great? Right? I think so too. I hope things move along out there. I really like the idea of hundreds of additional community garden plots and a certified community kitchen. With the way the economy is moving, having a facility like this could go a long way towards helping the families of our community feed themselves.
There is one proposed use that isn't mentioned on the county's web site that I have some issues with....the establishment of another farmer's market. I'm not saying the idea doesn't have merit, but don't we have several farmer's markets in the county that already suffer from a severe lack of participating farmers? I'm not counting the large farms from out of state that set up shop at the Vancouver "Farmer's" Market. I'm talking about farmers who are living and working here in Clark County or at least in SW Washington. I also think the folks that operate the existing farmer's markets might have some valuable input on the concept of creating yet another competing market that could possibly be subsidized by county funding. I've always felt that farmer's markets best serve their community when they are located in areas that are well suited for pedestrian traffic and convenient to neighborhoods. I wonder how the idea of a market on the commercially oriented, heavily trafficked 78th Street, which would essentially require folks to drive there, fits in with a model of sustainability?
Another thing that troubles me is the shared use of the land by community gardeners and CSA Farmers. I would think there would need to be a rather strict set of guidelines in place to deal with disease control to prevent community gardeners from potentially transmitting pathogens to the CSA plots. Maybe I'm just thinking about this too hard though...
Despite my musings, this is shaping up to be one of the greatest projects Clark County has undertaken in recent memory in my humble opinion. I look forward to see how things develop out there.
If you're looking for an opportunity to check out the site first hand, don't forget about the FREE permaculture workshop & work party taking place at the 78th Street site on March 21st.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Free Educational Workparty- Please Forward!
Facilitated by Deston Denniston,
March 21, 2009
clickable link to map:
WSU EXTENSION / Old Poor Farm
1919 NE 78th Ave
Please join us for a day of polycrop orchard establishment! These systems have shown to the potential to be cornucopia strategy for food production, ecological balance, and economic return. By first addressing local food security, then developing food and craft commerce, many small farms are finding potentials for 20-80K in production per acre/year without need for industrial fertilizers and bio-cides. We will be planting about 10,000 sf (1/4 acre) of terraces with companion guilds of fruit trees, including nitrogen fixers, insectories, beneficial predator habitat, an herbaceous layer, and desirable fungi at the Old Poor Farm. This planting will be established on the terraces which Sepp Holzer led us in constructing March 7-8.
We will discuss irrigation, animal systems, maturation and other aspects of the whole system at a separate volunteer seminar, time and date TBA. Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering for this event, and well have a special training and potluck dinner for those attending the training.
Please plan for inclement weather and hope for sun; please bring warm water proof clothes, gloves, boots, etc.
Deston Denniston will offer an overview of the polyculture planting method early, sharing theory and application from 10am-11am, with planting proceeding through the early afternoon.
Refreshments will be available.
We intend to get the planting done by 3pm, and convene over food at a local eatery afterwards.
Please contact abundancepc at gmail dot com if you have any questions.
Deston Denniston, M.S., C.P.I.
Steward, Abundance Consulting LLC