2017 Fall Farm Newsletter

Feast of Fish

The salmon are easy picking for these guys with the high waters in the Skokomish River.  The salmon get washed into the fields with the rising river and make for a tasty snack for the eagles.  I counted 15 bald eagles on my walk this afternoon.  They are so magnificent to watch as they soar and play.

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There are fewer planting and harvesting activities going on now with the start of the rainy season - but we are still managing to keep busy. We have two new high tunnels in the fields where we will be planting our hot season crops in the spring. The laying hens are spending the winter in the hoop houses with access to pasture during the day. This provides the soil with some high-nutrient chicken manure and the chickens with a dry space to hang out in. So a win-win for all!
We have several trials started in the fields. First, we received eight types of winter wheat seeds from the WSU Bread Lab to trial in our fields. We hope to find a variety that grows well here in Mason County. We are also partnering with Amy Rosen of the Mason Conservation District in a biochar trial to determine if it is a viable soil enhancer for this area.
We are also increasing and improving our composting operations with mushroom substrate from a local grower, Skokomish Ridge Mushrooms.  The mushrooms are grown on sterilized alder chips and when composted they help enrich the soil with trace minerals and also aid in water retention. Skokomish Ridge Mushrooms grow delicious mushrooms - if you haven't tried them yet you can find them locally at Jay's Farmstand on Old Olympic Hwy.
Another great local source we have found for compost is from our neighborhood commercial fish hatchery. They have a need to get rid of the waste from their operation and we are happy to take it.  Composted fish manure is an excellent source of nutrients for our vegetable growing. We are thankful to have local sources for such great compost!


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Winter Farmers Markets

We'll be at the Shelton Farmers' Market at the Transit Center this Saturday from 9-2, and then at the Harstine Island Farmers' Market from 10-12 on the second Saturday of every month. We will have fresh eggs, kale, collards, winter squash, and field-held carrots (so sweet - like a bite of sunshine!). 

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Upcoming CSA Season

Planning is in full swing for next season's CSA, Farmers Markets, and Restaurants.  We'll have the website ready for CSA signups soon - planning another 20 week season with similar share options as last year.  

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Christmas Turkeys and Duck

Our Blue Slate heritage breed turkeys will be processed along with several Cayuga ducks in mid-December.  They will be available for on-farm pick-up the weekend of December 16-17.  Send us an email if you would like to reserve one for your Christmas dinner!

 This group of young bull elk have been enjoying the kale from my home garden. They are amazing to watch as they meander their way through the fields. Here they seem to be play fighting - preparing for a future when they are big enough challenge the older bulls in the main herd.

This group of young bull elk have been enjoying the kale from my home garden. They are amazing to watch as they meander their way through the fields. Here they seem to be play fighting - preparing for a future when they are big enough challenge the older bulls in the main herd.

 Red rose-hips add a bit of bright color along the forest edge as we head into winter.

Red rose-hips add a bit of bright color along the forest edge as we head into winter.