Washington State University

Small Farms Team

Farm Walks 2011

Tilth Producers of Washington & WSU Small Farms Team Present Spring, Summer & Fall Farm Walks 2011 - All Are Welcome!

Monday May 16, Inaba Farms, Wapato

Windrow Composting, Fresh Market Vegetables & Farm Worker Housing 12:30pm-4pm

Download the farm walk booklet (5MB)
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."  Paid pre-registration is required for this farm walk and will be limited to 40 registrants, first- come, first-served.

Monday, May 23, Red Dog Farm, Chimacum

Diverse Market Farm & Farm Partnerships     12:30pm-4pm   

Download the farm walk booklet
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 - 12:30pm-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 Mount Vernon & Optional Tour of Viva Farm Incubator, Mount Vernon.

Biodegradable mulches, high tunnels, organic grains, grafting vegetables  -1-3:30
Viva Farms beginning farmer incubator - 3:30 - 4:30                  

Download the farmwalk booklet (3MB)

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 top-dressing 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 - 12:30pm-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, Royal City        

Diverse Organic Vegetable Operation Meets Community & Biodiversity - 12:30pm-4pm                       
Optional dinner buffet, price TBD, pre-registration required for dinner

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 producer 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 soil-building, 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

Apple and Cherry Orchard, Latino Landowner Challenges and Opportunities - 12:30-4:00pm
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.

Tuesday, August 9 - Storytree Farm Walk

Diversified CSA in the Urban Fringe - 12:30-4:00pm
Storytree Farm is a family-operated CSA farm in the Pleasant Highlands neighborhood of Vancouver, Washington.  Farming on less than 4 acres, Nelson and Anne Lawrence supply vegetables and herbs to their CSA member families at the peak of freshness.  They will discuss the unique benefits and challenges of farming within the urban growth boundary, general operation of a diversified CSA and how persistent attention to weed control with hand tools has lessened weed pressure over time.  Farmers will discuss their participation in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which facilitated the recent purchase of two high tunnels to extend their growing season and improve production.



Monday, August 29 - Twinbrook Creamery Farm Walk

On-Farm Glass Bottling, Low Temp Pasteurization, Jersey Cow Dairy - 12:30-4:00pm
Five generations of the Stap family have farmed the land that is Twin Brook Dairy.  We will explore their unique on-farm glass bottling system and low temperature vat pasteurization that preserves all the rich flavor of their Jersey milk.  Milk from Jersey cows is higher in protein and fat content than Holstein milk, and their unique process yields the delicious Cream Top milk that has become the Stap family legacy.  The dairy is GMO free and Kosher certified.



Monday, September 12 - Oxbow Center Farm Walk

The Journey from Farm to Education Center  - 12:30-4:00pm    Limit 70 pre-paid registrants, first come-first served
There are many ways to make farms work in a changing marketplace and climate. Come see how Oxbow has built around the original Oxbow Farm, utilizing all the farmers' various skills and aspirations to create a resilient farm and outreach model. Participants will have an in-depth tour of the farming operations and infrastructure, from seed starting to marketing for farmers markets, restaurants and CSA. Farmers Luke, Sarah and Adam will describe the transition of their farm into a new non-profit farm and education center. Since 2003, Oxbow has been partnering with Wild Fish Conservancy to offer environmental classes to school kids. The farm now offers  farm programs for children and is partnering with Wilderness Awareness School of Duvall for week-long, summer day camps.  Explore the learning garden and talk about the curriculum on organic agriculture and environmental conservation. Hear about the pivotal lessons learned in growing this new non-profit.


Monday, October 10 - Cedarville Farm Walk

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Workshop                Limit 40 pre-paid registrants, first come-first served

Good Agricultural Practices are a voluntary set of food-safety guidelines designed to help farmers handle food safety from the farm to the market. These practices include: developing a food safety plan for the farm; training farm employees about this plan and farm food safety practices; and documenting farm practices to reduce the risk of microbial food safety hazards on farm products. Join us on-site as Cedarville Farms gets started with the GAPs process with a walk-through of their farm to start their food safety assessment and planning. We will discuss possible first steps for a farm to take, things to consider, see practices that are already in place, and talk about which practices make sense to integrate, based on your particular farm practices. Offered in partnership with the WSDA Farm-to-School Program, Tilth Producers and WSU Small Farms Team as part of the 2011 Tilth Producers Farm Walk Series.


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.  Pre-register online or 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

    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!

    More about the Farm Walk Program and previous years' Farm Walks

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