Washington State University

Small Farms Team

Let Us Farm Walk, July 13, 2009

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Steve Hallstrom and Cecelia Boulais, together with the intern team of Andrew, Arwen, Arneka, and Teisha, hosted a farmwalk at Let Us Farm on Monday July 13, 2009 in Gray’s Harbor County.  There were a total of 43 attendees. 

The farmwalk began with a rousing speech from Mary Embleton, executive director of Cascade Harvest Coalition and coordinator of Washington FarmLink.  Growing future farmers and transitioning farmland were a theme for the farmwalk.  Following Mary’s discussion of the FarmLink program, including local successes and challenges involved with land transitions, Kathryn Gardow, executive director of PCC Farmland Trust, spoke about recent land transfers facilitated by the Trust. 

Steve and Cecelia then led the group on a tour of the farm.  Let Us Farm makes extensive use of cover crops to promote soil health and provide fertility.  Whole fields are rotated each year between cover crop and vegetables.  During a cover crop rotation the fields are planted to a summer cover crop of buckwheat and Sudan grass and followed by a winter cover crop of annual rye and Austrian pea.  Many varieties of lettuce were on display in the fields.  Cecelia chooses a “lettuce of the week” each week to bring to the farmers markets and over the years they have found some gems, including Bronze Arrow, Bullet Romaine, Black Seeded Simpson, Merlot, Red Bijou, Gallice, and others.  Steve also spent considerable time discussing the equipment he uses to incorporate cover crops and prepare a seed bed, including a reverse rotation tiller.  Let Us Farm has an active wildlife habitat improvement program and some of the hundreds of trees that they plant each year were on display in the tree nursery.  The interns live in unique housing that harkens to the farm’s past life as a dairy; one set of living quarters is in the old milk tank room while the other is a converted grain silo.  The former milk parlor serves a s a kitchen and lounge room.

farm walk attendees listen to Mary Embleton, Washingtn FarmLink Coordinator

Ann Vanderman, Left Foot Organics, examines pole bean trellis at Let Us Farm

Cecelia Boulais, Let Us Farm, discussing hoop houses with farm walk attendees

Steve Hallstrom, Let Us Farm

farm walk attendees moving through the lettuce and cover crops

Let Us Farm intern housing in converted grain silo

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