Washington State University

Small Farms Team

Farm Walks 2008

Monday April 14 – Nicholson Orchards, Peshastin

Orchard Production, Marketing and Grafting Dennis and Nancy Nicholson’s orchard is a third generation pear, apple, cherry, and peach enterprise. Walk through their early spring organic orchard and participate in a grafting demonstration! The Nicholsons will share their expertise in multiple marketing endeavors, including direct marketing and running an on-site seasonal community fruit stand, where they feature their own fruit (including raspberries and grapes) and preserves along with neighboring farms’ fruit. Dennis’ grandfather helped found a co-operative called Peshastin Fruit Growers Association, which has since merged with other grower-owned co-operatives and become Blue Bird, Inc. Mike Hampel, a professional grafter from Grouse Mountain Farm, will lead a workshop on orchard grafting and budding. Participants will have the opportunity to top work a few organic apple trees to try fruit tree grafting themselves. (Organic/Conventional) WSU BIOAg Site.

Monday April 28 – Sweet Grass Beef Farm, Lopez Island

Innovative Management for Positive Returns Scott Meyers and Brigit Waring have been producing and marketing grass finished Wagyu beef on the rocky, wet plains of Lopez Island since 2002. They focus on creating a balance between the cattle, the pasture, and the financial and personal aspects of the farm. Scott has learned how to use the diversity of his land to create bedding for the winter and high quality finish forage for steers from mid-summer to fall. Scott will demonstrate the invaluable nature of inventiveness by showcasing his own ‘home-made’ sensitive fencing and water systems, which minimize labour requirements and stress. During the Farm Walk, Scott & Brigit will demonstrate in-field livestock sorting. They will share their management protocols and other zero-stress management techniques that are critical to producing quality grass finished beef. (100% Grass-fed and Finished)

Monday, May 5 – Stokesberry Sustainable Farms, Tenino/Olympia

Organic Pastured Poultry and Beef Come walk through Jerry and Janelle Stokesberry’s intensively-managed pasture rotation system, which starts with cattle then poultry and back to cattle. In 2008, Jerry will raise 900 hens and 10,000 broilers in home-built chicken tractors and greenhouse winter shelters. Three hundred white and heritage turkeysalso play into the rotation. Tour the on-farm certified WSDA processing facility and discuss keys to successful direct marketing and growth. Visitors will also see the greenhouse crop system in production. Join us for a barbeque chicken potluck at noon; other dishes are welcome. (Organic)

Monday May 19 – Willie Green’s Organic Farm, Monroe

Season Extension- Capturing the Market Jeff Miller will share his innovative ideas for getting a jump on early mixed vegetable production. We will tour greenhouses and propagation houses, as well as direct-seeded and transplanted row crops. Willie Green’s sells at year-round farmers markets, and offers a winter CSA share. Now farming 55 acres, he has been perfecting his production systems for over 22 years. Our discussions will include a wide range of detailed growing, season extension, harvesting, and marketing techniques, as well as equipment and facility innovations. (Organic)

Monday June 2 – Zakarison Partnership, Pullman

Diversified Wheat, Grain, and Livestock - This innovative family-run crop and livestock farm produces wheat, feed grains, locker lambs and pastured poultry. With ten acres in transition to organic, Eric Zakarison is experimenting with ‘solar tractors,’ using draft mule, horse and oxen teams (fueled on-farm), with manure to complete the power/nutrient cycle by enhancing soil fertility. Cover crops are incorporated in rotation, and sheep and chickens help with their harvest and incorporation. The Zakarisons future plans include producing organic small grains to market locally and minimizing tillage and petroleum consumption. WSU researchers will present their plans for on-site research on minimizing soil disturbance. (Transitioning to Organic)

Monday July 28 - Alm Hill Gardens, Everson

Diversified Production, Transitioning to Cooperative Ownership (in Spanish and English)
During the tour of this 35-year old diversified, fresh-market farm, the Alm Hill Garden team will cover season extension (using greenhouses and high tunnels), crop diversity (annuals and perennials), berry production, and direct marketing strategies. Research taking place on the farm in coordination with WSU will be highlighted, including integrated pest management and field trials of several varieties of fruits and vegetables. A new cooperative agreement being forged between the owners, the farmers, and a new generation of farmers will be discussed. This Farm Walk will be offered in both English and Spanish. (Sustainable)

Monday August 18 – 21 Acres, Woodinville

Agricultural and Environmental Learning Center The Farm at 21 Acres is used for research, experimentation and education, while producing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for sale through local direct marketing avenues. Visitors will tour the farm and future site of the multi-purpose Agriculture Center, with a focus on urban farming, green technology, and building community support in urban areas for a traditionally rural enterprise. Participants will learn about the construction of the permanent farmers market, integration of animal husbandry into an urban setting and the community gardens on site. (Sustainable) WSU BIOAg site

Monday September 1 –Methow Creamery, Twisp

Raw Milk Cow Dairy, On-Farm Feed Production Methow Creamery is a small scale sustainable organic dairy operation featuring twenty dairy cows and 800 acres of grain and hay production for the cows and off-farm sales. Owners Ron and Elise Vander Yacht sell Grade-A organic, non-pasteurized milk and cream at all the Methow Valley grocery stores and markets, as well as in Spokane, Chelan and Federal Way. Having been raised on a dairy, Ron will share a lifetime of well-earned expertise on raising alfalfa. Their organic hay sales have always been very popular, and when they decided to start a dairy, they already had the feed lined up! In addition to discussing the many facets of running a dairy, Ron and Elise will explain how they negotiated creative funding of their organic creamery through ShoreBank Pacific. (Organic)

Monday September – Nash’s Organic Produce, Squim

Integrating Seed Into a Diversified Organic Farm - Growing seed on-farm is a viable diversification strategy that can build farm financial and environmental sustainability. Micaela Colley from Organic Seed Alliance will join Nash and the farm crew to lead a Farm Walk demonstrating the benefits of on-farm seed production. Nash Huber came to the seed business as a produce farmer recognizing the need for variety security. The farm started maintaining their signature carrot variety “Nash’s Best” 10 years ago. Since then seed has filled many niches in their diversified 400-acre produce and livestock farm. Today they produce seed for on-farm use, variety security, livestock feed, and as a contracted crop. They are also involved in several on-farm breeding projects, including WSU wheat variety trials. Following the Farm Walk, a classroom and hands-on seed saving workshop will be taught by Nash Huber and Scott Chichester of Nash’s Organic Produce, and Micaela Colley of Organic Seed Alliance. (Organic)

Farm Walk 9:30 to 12:00. Cost $10 Tilth members, $15 non-members. Lunch 12:00 to 1:00.
Seed Saving Workshop from 1:00 to 4:00. Cost $10 Tilth members, $15 non-members
A joint effort of Tilth Producers of WA, WSU Small Farms Team, and The Organic Seed Alliance

Monday October 6- Styger Family Diary Farm, Chehalis

Intensified Grazing for Award Winning Milk Andy and Linda Styger have been farming for 28 years on their family-operated farm in the Chehalis Valley, where for the past 18 years, they have run a dairy farm using intensive grazing practices. The Stygers have been shipping organic milk since 2004, and recently became members of Organic Valley Family of Farms cooperative. The Styger Family Diary Farm includes an 80 cow Holstein milking herd, in addition to 60 young stock. The Styger Farm consistently produces award winning quality milk while making ecologically-conscientious decisions. They have been recognized for both acheivements by their cooperative and the Washington State Department of Ecology. (Organic)

  • All Farm Walks are from noon-3:30pm; lunch from 12- 12:30
  • Beverages provided –please bring a brown bag lunch
  • Driving directions available at www.tilthproducers.org

Cost: $10 for Tilth Producers members; $15 for non-members.
On-farm registration or pre-register by mailing a check with your farm walk choice(s) to
Tilth Producers, PO Box 85056, Seattle, WA 98145.
Membership ($45 regular or $30 low-income) also accepted.
For more information: (206) 442-7620 or nancy@tilthproducers.org

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