Washington State University

Small Farms Team

Farm Walks 2010

Tilth Producers of Washington & WSU Small Farms Team Present Spring, Summer & Fall Farm Walks 2010 - All Are Welcome!

Monday April 26 – Black Sheep Creamery, Chehalis

Sheep Dairy, Farm Emergency Plans and Agencies - 12:30pm-4pm;Paid pre-registration required
Brad and Meg Gregory milk 70 ewes and make hand crafted sheep cheese on their farm in Adna. They raise several milking breeds, mostly East Freisian, Rideau-Arcott, and Lacuane. The Gregorys pasture their animals as much as the weather permits. The sheep eat a small amount of grain in the milking parlor but do not receive hormones or routine antibiotics. When Adna experienced severe flooding in December 2007, Brad and Meg lost 75% of their flock and had major damage to their farm. Come hear what they have learned from this harrowing experience. They will discuss developing an emergency livestock evacuation plan and working with emergency disaster agencies. Paid pre-registration is required for this farm walk and will be limited to 60 registrants, first- come, first-served.
Download the Farm Walk booklet

Monday, May 10th – Hedlin Family Farm, La Conner

Row Crop Production, High Tunnel and Greenhouse Cropping, Succession Planning - 12:30pm-4pm   
Tour Hedlin Family Farms' 50-acre organic fresh market garden with Farmer Dave and the next generation. See trellised tomatoes ripening in the heated greenhouses and high tunnels, along with eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, basil and a diverse bounty of high tunnel and outdoor row crops. Highlights will include discussion of crop and farm succession planning, greenhouse insect and disease control, high tunnel structure management and crop variety selections. Learn how this farm is adapting to the changing economic and agricultural climate and increasing demand for local and organic produce through a diversified marketing strategy. Organic

Download the Farm Walk booklet

Monday, May 24 – Lazy R Ranch, Cheney 

Planned Grazing & Holistic Management of Cattle - 12:30pm-4pm
Maurice Robinette, a third generation rancher in southwest Spokane County and certified Holistic Management Educator, has employed the principles of Holistic Management on his ranch since 1996.  This system balances the needs of the animal, the producer and the environment. The goal is to match the nutritional requirements of animals to the forage availability of the land, which means calving in late spring and early summer. Using a process called planned grazing, animals are put at the right place, at the right time. Planned grazing systems can be very complex, but with twelve years of practice, it has become natural at Lazy R Ranch. Come learn about rotational, planned grazing and how to evaluate and optimize your pasture resources for this sustainable approach.  Maurice will also discuss his experience direct marketing beef.
Download the Farm Walk booklet

Monday, June 7 – Tonnemaker Hill Farm, Royal City 

Orchard Diversification and Organic Transition, Fresh Market Vegetables - 12:30pm-4pm
A multi-generational business, the Tonnemaker family is committed to producing the tastiest, most healthful organic fruits and vegetables possible, to building the soil and caring for all aspects of the farm environment, and to serving local communities of consumers. Brothers Kurt and Kole Tonnemaker began working on the farm when it was their grandparents’ homestead and have transitioned it from conventional tree fruit production to organic fruits and vegetables. Learn about organic management techniques for growing a diverse variety of heirloom tomatoes, the most flavorful varieties of melons, as well as apples, cherries, and stone fruits. Direct marketing strategies, from an on-farm store to farmers markets in Western and Eastern Washington, will also be discussed.  Organic

Wednesday, June 16 – WSU Field Day and Organic Farm, Pullman

Wheat Variety Trials & Organic Diversified CSA Farm - 9am-3pm                  Farm Walk is free; pre-registration required for lunch
Research plots at WSU’s Boyd’s Farm site have been certified organic since 2006, following the standard three-year transition, and are now in year five as certified organic. View cropping systems research plots with alfalfa, wheat, triticale,  winter peas, and their associated weed and fertility management. Discuss conservation tillage implements and practices used in organic dryland weed management, current research on mycorrhizae, soil microbiology, and the integration of goat grazing for managing bindweed and other weeds in an organic system.  An optional $5.00 lunch and one hour tour of the WSU organic CSA farm at Tukey Orchard will follow.  Pre-register by Friday, June 11 to order a lunch (food provided by the Moscow Co-op); pay when you arrive.  Organic
download the Farm Walk booklet

Monday, July 26 – WSU Field Day and Organic Farm, Puyallup

On-Farm Mock GAP Certification Process - 12:30pm -4pm; Farm Walk is free
What is a GAPs audit and do I want one?  What are the differences and similarities between Organic Certification and GAP certification?   Join WSDA GAP auditor Chuck Dragoo on a “mock audit” at the WSU Puyallup Organic Farm, as well as WSU soil scientists Craig Cogger and Andy Bary and WSU food safety specialist Karen Killinger. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) offers a Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) audit to fruit and vegetable producers, leading to the USDA GAP certification. This voluntary program verifies that operating procedures are in place to minimize risk for microbial product contamination.  The audit covers manure management, harvest, worker sanitation, packing house operation, storage, transportation, traceback, and other food safety topics.  A successful GAPs audit can open new markets for producers as institutional buyers are starting to require them. Come see how an audit works and ask questions of a WSDA GAPs inspector. More info:  www.agr.wa.gov/Inspection/FVInspection/GAPGHP.aspx.   Organic


Monday, September 6 – Manuel Mendoza Orchard, Quincy  

Apple and Cherry Orchard, Latino Landowner Challenges and Opportunities - 12:30-4:00pm
Manuel has made the transition from farm worker to farm owner, having worked 25 years as orchard foreman before being given the opportunity to purchase the orchard. Manuel now operates a 60-acre organic apple and cherry orchard.  Varieties of apples include Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Fuji and Rome, and he also has a young cherry orchard that was planted in 2007. Manuel sells his produce through warehouses. He will discuss the process of marketing tree fruit and working with various warehouses. Attendees will walk the orchard and observe his weed and pest management practices. We also talk about transitioning ownership of an organic orchard and how to keep certification in order during the process.  This will be a bilingual farm walk. Organic

Monday, September 27 – Filaree Farm, Omak

Biodiversity, Cooperative Marketing Model, Seed Saving - 12:30pm-4pm
Filaree Farm, nationally renowned for its garlic, has an extensive heirloom fruit orchard and an acre of row crops that are sold in farmers markets and through the Okanogan Producers’ Marketing Association Cooperative in Wenatchee, Puget Sound and Spokane. Come tour the farm in Okanogan and learn how they are integrating plant growth characteristics and animal products into their cultivation practices.  Founding farmer, Watershine, is transitioning the orchard and row crops to new farmers through an innovative model. Mariah Cornwoman, owner and operator of Heart of the Highlands Farm and Forest Products in Tonasket, will offer a seed saving workshop at this Filaree Farm Walk. Topics will include variety selection, pollination, plant selection, processing, curing, storing and germination testing. Mariah direct markets herbal products and open pollinated garden seeds, and has many years of experience to share. Organic


Monday, October 11 – Boistfort Valley Farm, Curtis

Low Input Season Extension, Organic Row Crop Production - 12:30pm-4pm
Paid pre-registration required
Learn about Mike and Heidi Peroni’s adventures with season extension at Boistfort Valley Farm. Observe their late fall, winter and overwintering crops in the ground, and stored crops that extend their sales season and keep their year-round CSA boxes stocked. We will discuss the realistic worth and costs of different types of season extension, appropriate crops and low cost ideas. Learn how Boistfort Valley Farms has adapted their growing and marketing practices to accommodate the soil management and farm planning that growing during the shoulder seasons requires. Bring your own experiences and we will continue to compile the season extension toolbox.      Paid pre-registration is required for this farm walk and will be limited to 60 registrants, first- come, first-served. Organic


Thursday, November 11 – Pre-Conference Farm Walk
Stay tuned for details.

Tilth Producers Annual Conference, Fort Worden, Port Townsend, November 12-14, 2010


Farm Walk Logistics

  • Paid pre-registration is recommended for all Farm Walks, and required for high-volume farms indicated above. For information contact Tilth Producers: 206-442-7620 or nancy@tilthproducers.org.  To pre-register, mail a check with your farm walk choice(s) to:    Tilth Producers, PO Box 85056, Seattle, WA  98145.

    Cost is $10 for Tilth Producers members; $15 for non-members;  for student group rate, inquire at (206) 442-7620.

    Beverages are provided.

    Driving directions: www.tilthproducers.org

    Tilth Producers Membership is encouraged to help support the Farm Walk Program.  ($45 farm/individual, $75 non-farm business or $30 low-income) Member benefits include a subscription to Tilth Producers Quarterly, a Directory of organic growers & resources, 2-person discounts for farm walks and the annual conference, free listing in Tilth Intern Placement Service, Directory and email news.

    Join now and pay the discounted rate for farm walks!

    Previous Year's Farm Walks



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Small Farms Team, 2606 W. Pioneer, Washington State University, Puyallup, WA 98371-4998, Contact Us