2011 21.2 2011 Early Season Farm Walks

Windrow Composting, Fresh Market Vegetables & Farmworker Housing 12-12:30pm Registration; Farm Walk 12:30-4pm
Limit 40 pre-paid registrants; first come-first served
Bilingual: Spanish/English

In an area dominated by apple and hops production, the 300-acre Inaba Farm grows fresh market vegetables such as asparagus, bell peppers, sweet corn, onions, green beans, watermelons and grapes. They pack and ship directly to retailers. Lon Inaba manages
the farm with the help of many family members and migrant workers. Participants will have the opportunity to see the farm’s model worker housing. The Inabas work to reduce weed seeds and build the soil through composting, just as Lon’s grandfather did when he came from Japan in 1907. The Inabas recycle all of their packing plant vegetative waste, and accept thousands of tons of waste per year from the school district, local dairy farms and area mint growers. Visitors will see the large composting operation, including a turner and miles of windrows. As Lon says, this soil building helps them “grow a good crop and put a quality product in the box.”

Monday, May 23 – Red Dog Farm, Chimacum
Diverse Market Farm & Farm Partnerships
12-12:30pm Registration; Farm Walk 12:30-4pm
Limit 60 pre-paid registrants; first come-first served

Located in the fertile Center Valley of Chimacum, Karyn Williams’ Red Dog Farm produces 23 acres of organic mixed vegetables, berries, cut flowers, plant starts and hay. Diverse marketing methods include CSA, farmers markets, strawberry u-pick, self-serve farm stand, value-added products and a unique produce prepayment plan called Dog Bones. In addition to hearing about diverse marketing strategies and crops, participants will learn about partnerships with the Jefferson Land Trust, a WSU strawberry researcher, and the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), a voluntary land retirement program designed to protect environmentally sensitive areas.

Monday, June 6 – Welcome Table Farm, Walla Walla
Integrating Animal and Vegetable Systems & Horse Power
12-12:30pm Registration; Farm Walk 12:30-4pm

Emily and Andy Asmus are in their fifth season at Welcome Table Farm in Walla Walla. On thirteen acres of leased ground they are growing mixed vegetables, berries, herbs, and flowers for CSA, farmers market and restaurant sales. They also raise animals and sell pasture raised broiler chickens, eggs, and lamb. The farm is tractor free and employs the draft power of Avi and Dandy, American Belgian horses. Come visit a scrappy, thriving young farm that is striving to integrate its animal and vegetable systems, as well as the generations.

Monday June 13 – Current Research in Organic Farming,
WSU Research and Extension Unit, Mount Vernon
Registration 12:30-1pm; Farm Walk 1-3:30pm
Optional Tour of Viva Farm Incubator, Mount Vernon, 3:30-4:30pm
Bilingual: Spanish/English

Alternatives to black plastic mulch for organic vegetable production are being evaluated by a national team of plant, soil, and material scientists at WSU Mt. Vernon. See biodegradable mulches and learn which head lettuce, tomato and strawberry varieties are suited to organic production under high tunnels. Discuss opportunities for incorporating grains into western Washington farms and barley varieties under organic production for their suitability for food, malt, and feed and the effects of topdressing winter wheat with organic fertilizers. Grafting is an innovative disease management strategy for Verticillium Wilt in tomato, eggplant and watermelon; observe how grafted heirloom tomato performs in a high tunnel and open field and attend a grafting demonstration. Take an optional tour to nearby farm incubator Viva Farms, a joint venture of WSU Extension and GrowFood.org which provides land and support for beginning and Latino farmers.

Monday, June 27 – Templeton Farm, Chewelah
Small Scale Poultry & Marketing Operation
12-12:30pm Registration; Farm Walk 12:30-4pm

Steve and Sheryl Templeton will showcase their small commercial poultry operation near Chewelah, Washington. The Templetons rent the Stevens County mobile poultry processing unit to harvest their brood, and during this farm walk, visitors will have an opportunity to see the poultry raising setup, discuss feed and licensing, see the processing unit in operation and talk about other issues related to running a small scale commercial poultry operation. Steve and Sheryl market to restaurants and are investigating selling to the local public school system.

Monday, July 11 – Cloudview EcoFarms
Diverse Vegetable Operation Meets Community & Biodiversity
12-12:30pm Registration; Farm Walk 12:30-4pm
Optional dinner buffet

Cloudview Ecofarms is a certified organic, 15-acre diversified vegetable farm co-created five years ago by Jim Baird and family. Young farmers and interns assist with production, nearby organic orchards and circle irrigated crops. They sell produce through a CSA, farmers markets and to institutions, restaurants, and schools, demonstrating that small-scale organic production can be viable in the Columbia Basin. Participants will learn about soilbuilding, seed production, growing forage, cut flower gardening and integrating chickens, pigs, meat and milking goats. Visitors will hear about plans to develop an insectary program and see an organic Gala block, organic alfalfa circle, and plantings of hard fescue and clover. An optional dinner buffet and tour of a second location will follow the Farm Walk.

Monday, July 18 – Middleton Organic Orchard, Eltopia
Organic Apples, Cherries, Blueberries & Value-Added Products
12-12:30pm Registration; Farm Walk 12:30-4pm

Middleton Organic Orchard located near Eltopia grows apples, cherries, and blueberries. Gary, Lori and family have been farming for 36 years, the last twelve as certified organic. Gary will discuss the benefits and challenges of raising fruit in an arid environment, and the family’s value-added “Savoring the Harvest” product line, featuring a collection of organic apple butters, including apple citrus, apple blueberry and the unique apple cherry. These products are processed in a rented commercial kitchen. The Middletons also dehydrate organic apple tidbits and dried cherries, which they package in recycled glass jars. See how an orchard can diversify its end products.

Cost: $10 for Tilth Producers members, students and interns. $15 for
non-members. Paid pre-registration is recommended for all
farm walks, and is required for Inaba Farms Farm Walk on
May 16 and Red Dog Farm Walk on May 23.
Beverages are provided.

For directions, visit tilthproducers.org or http://smallfarms.wsu.edu
To pre-register, mail a check with your farm walk choices to:
Tilth Producers
4649 Sunnyside Avenue N #305
Seattle, WA 98103

Tags: Cloudview EcoFarms, Inaba, Middleton, Red Dog, Templeton, Welcome Table, WSU Mount Vernon