Tag Archives: farming

What is at the Farmers Markets this week!

I have been on a(n) embarrassingly long hiatus from blogging – had to take care of my Moms (shout out to Trudy!) after she had a stroke and moved off the farm and up to Bremerton.  She is settled in, doing well and we are all adjusting to the new normal.  Hopefully now all of the mentally composed but unwritten blog posts can come to fruition!

Farmers markets represent a visible and tangible evidence of farming activity in Kitsap.  I was talking to a couple friends the other day about the changes I have seen in the last five years – we have 14 farms offering CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, there is USDA-inspected meats in almost all of the markets in the county, there are five Grade-A dairies licensed by the WSDA (with at least three more in the process!), we have a county strategic plan for agriculture to help guide policy for farming and farmland preservation, and we have a new agriculture signage ordinance.  We are making progress – but we need your help!  You need to buy local farm products, and a great place to start is at one of Kitsap County’s seven Farmers Markets!  We have seen them blossom and grow over the last few years!  The Kitsap Sun has covered openingschickens, new products and other news!


Photo by Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun.

Fresh in the markets this week are strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, lettuce and greens, carrots, beets, garlic, radishes, eggs, beef, chicken, pork and lamb, dairy products and value-added baked goods, jams and jellies, and much more!  Take the kids, make friends with a farmer or two, and buy dinner!




Market Dates



Bainbridge Island Summer Farmers Market


9 am –  1 pm

4/13 to 10/26

Bainbridge Island

Town Square at City Hall Park, 280 Madison Avenue

Map It!

Tim O’Brien


Bainbridge Island Winter Farmers Market


9 am –  1 pm

11/2 to 12/21

Bainbridge Island

Town Square at City Hall Park, 280 Madison Avenue

Town Square at City Hall Park

Map It!

Tim O’Brien

Bremerton Sunday Farmers Market


10:30 am – 2:30 pm

5/5 to  10/13


2nd & Washington Street

Map It!

Julia Zander

Bremerton Thursday Farmers Market


4 pm –  7 pm

5/2 to  10/17


1400 Park Avenue

This may be an approximate address
Map It!

Julia Zander


Kingston Farmers Market


9 am –  2 pm

5/4 to  10/12


Corner of Central Avenue & Washington Boulevard

Map It!

Clinton V. Dudley


Port Orchard Farmers Market


9 am –  3 pm

4/6 to  10/12

Port Orchard

Waterfront parking lot near Bay Street & Harrison Avenue

This may be an approximate address
Map It!

KC Pearson


Poulsbo Farmers Market


9 am –  2 pm

4/6 to  12/7


Corner of 7th Avenue NE & NE Iverson Street

Map It!

Brian Simmons


Silverdale Farmers Market


10 am – 4 pm

5/3 to 9/24


In Old Town Silverdale
Between the Boat Launch & Waterfront Park

 Map It!

Monica Phillips


Suquamish Farmers Market


3 pm – 7 pm

5/24 to 10/16


Across Suquamish Way from Suquamish Village Shell and the Suquamish Tribal Government Center

 Map It!

Alan Trunkey




Happy Father’s Day

We are three days away from the first day of summer and my father the farmer never missed noting the longest day of the year.   We would be walking across the yard and he would casually comment, “Well, today is the longest day of the year.”  No big deal.  Just wanted to make sure that I knew.  As it is Father’s Day it seems appropriate to share a bit about my dad and his connection to the passing of the seasons.

As a farmer there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done.  My life right now is a testament to this true principle.  My garden is sad, they lawn is long and there are untidy little piles of stuff all over the place needing to be picked up.  Tonight as I was doing chores in the fading light I was grateful for the long day and the extra time to put chickens to bed and milk the girls.  Dad was in much the same boat much of the time.  Robbing time where he could get it to accomplish the many tasks needing attention.  Hay making, tractor repair, cattle chores, fence building, cutting firewood for winter…and so on.  As spring turned to summer the lengthening days provided precious minutes to get a few more things done in daylight.

As a child my summer days were unconstrained by the responsibilities of adulthood and my chores were quickly accomplished leaving endless hours to play with friends, ride horseback, swim in the river, and all of the other ways farm kids find to spend long summer days.  Summer nights were the best … we picked beans and peas in the cool of the mornings and spent warm summer nights snapping and shelling around the big round kitchen table watching reruns on TV and drinking lemonade.   When we were making hay we would haul bales into late into the evening, picking them up by the truck headlights.   At the end of a long hot day the cool of the evening was welcome respite.  Mom would bring dessert out at end of the day and we would sit on the tailgate of the pick-up eating pie and ice cream by the light of the moon.

I can remember Dad calling me while I was in college.  I had a summer research position and wasn’t home for haying or to help work the cattle or get them ready for fair.  My days were far away from farming, spending hours in the library, hanging out with the other grad students.  He and I chatted for a few minutes and then he said, “Longest day of the year today!” and brought me back to warm summer nights on the farm.

The Road to the Farm starts here!

Do you dream about farming? Do you have a patch of land you want to do something with?  Do you love chickens and ducks and goats?  Is your green thumb getting itchy with spring just around the corner?  Do want to hoe a row (or two) this summer?  Wondering how to start a pantry?  Does composting warm your heart?  Looking for information on rural living skills?  Then the Small Farms Expo is for you!

The West Sound Small Farms Expo takes place on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at the Olympic College Campus, Bremerton, WA.  Cost for the Expo is $55 (Youth FREE) and includes lunch. Check-in begins at 8:00am and workshops run until 4:00pm. Online registration and workshop information is available on the WSU Kitsap Extension website at http://kitsap.wsu.edu/.   For the Farmer in all of us!

Can you feel it? I CAN!

Late doing chores tonight because I didn’t get done with work – but guess what???  I didn’t need my headlamp! Yep!  At 6:00pm tonight I was able to do chores WITHOUT extra lights.  Now, it was getting pretty dim by the time I finished but it was no longer as dark as the inside of a black cow!  Another thing I noticed was how WARM it was.  I know this is the incoming weather front, but (dare I say it) I think that the worst days of winter just might be in the rear view mirror!  Of course, now my mind immediately turned to farming!  I have my seed catalogs open and have been sort of thinking about warm summer days, juicy tomatoes and crispy green beans, but it is time to get serious about getting my ordering done.  My fav? Territorial !  Family owned, non-gmo seeds that are tested for the west coast climate.  This year I am planting all the tried and true varieties – but I might try something new.

How about you?  What are you planting this year?

If you are wanting to learn more about growing your own food or get your farm geek on WSU Kitsap Extension has a couple things you might be interested in!

Growing Groceries – Organically!

Class #4 — Saturday, February 19th

Integrated Pest Management — how to control pests/diseases the organic way.
Harvesting and Seed Saving
Preservation of the harvest

The West Sound Small Farms Expo – March 3rd!

The West Sound Small Farms Expo takes place on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at the Olympic College Campus, Bremerton, WA. Cost for the Expo is $55 ($25 youth) and includes lunch. Check-in begins at 8:00am and workshops run until 4:00pm. Online registration and workshop information is available on the WSU Kitsap Extension website at http://kitsap.wsu.edu/. Sponsor and vendor information is also available.

West Sound Small Farms Expo!

Shannon and I have been burning the midnight oil on a little something!  Pass the word! and hope to see you there!

West Sound Small Farms Expo

Expo targets small farm owners with marketing, horticulture, livestock and agritourism classes.

 BREMERTON – Local farmers and value-added food processors can learn about marketing, horticulture, livestock and agritourism at the West Sound Small Farms Expo on Saturday, March 5, 2011 on the Olympic College Campus. 

Prior to this event, small farm owners eager for conference or education travelled off the Peninsula.  Taking time off from the farm to learning new skills and gather information can be challenging and expensive.  The West Sound Small Farms Expo brings education to local farmers with classes, vendors, and a keynote address by Amy Pennington, Seattle-based food writer, and owner of GoGo Green Garden.

“Local farmers keep telling us about the need for learning opportunities close to home,” says Arno Bergstrom, Director of WSU Kitsap Extension. “The Expo offers farmers from Kitsap and surrounding counties in the west sound a one-day-one-stop educational event.  No hopping on the ferry or hiring someone to take care of the farm!  Our Small Farms Team tailored this event to the needs of local farmers and we hope this even continues the coming years.”

The West Sound Small Farms Expo takes place on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at the Olympic College Campus, Bremerton, WA.  Cost for the Expo is $55 and includes lunch. Check-in begins at 8:00am and runs until 4:00pm. Online registration and information is available on the WSU Kitsap website at http://kitsap.wsu.edu/.   Sponsor and vendor information is also available.

About WSU Kitsap Extension Small Farms Team:

The Small Farms Team helps farmers adopt practices that are sustainable – economically, socially and environmentally – unifying farmers and consumers in developing local markets and increasing community food access.  Learn more at: http://kitsap.wsu.edu/.  WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office.


Scenes from the farm in winter

Found the camera!  As my mother would say, “It was right where I left it!’  Of course, I used to hate it when she said that because it meant that I was still unable to find what I was looking for….

The hens were unimpressed with the snow.  They spent most of their time fussing about in the new straw and didn’t even leave the coop.  When they did come out they went right back inside because the snow was so cold on their feet.  I have a mixed flock of 19 Delawares, Golden Comets, Rhode Island Reds and Cross-breds. Most days I get 14-16 eggs and we sell them to friends and neighbors.  I have the chickens under lights to keep them laying during the winter and they will molt next fall.  The coop is a livestock panel stapled to a wooden frame with wire fencing for the front and back of the coop.  The door was $5 at the St. Vincent de Paul and the nest boxes were made out of scraps of OSB left over from building the house.  Total cost was about $50.  During the summer it is moved daily to give them access to fresh grass but from now until spring it will be parked on the garden and they will be bedded on straw.   

The snow did a good job of insulating the veggies that are still in the garden – about all that is left is broccoli and carrots.  The broccoli was pretty much done but there were some side shoots still coming on.  The carrots were fine under the snow and we had some for dinner on Thanksgiving.  I need to get them pulled and put in the basement before we have another cold snap but like many other chores this fall, it didn’t happen because I was busy with something else!  

The Princess Cow (aka Alexis) was unimpressed with the white stuff.  She spent most of the day in the cow palace munching on hay.  She came out for some grain but wasn’t thrilled about how cold the water in the trough was.  I had to pack water for her and the calf on Wednesday because the hoses were frozen.  Typically I fill a 100 gallon trough and use it to water the animals during cold snaps.  I also make sure all of the hoses are drained and ready to roll out for watering in cold weather.  We have frost free hose bibs on the house and frost free hydrants in the yard.  When the bathtub/trough gets low I roll out the hoses, fill it up and then drain them all.  Tiresome but better than packing 5 gallon buckets. But, this time I got caught with my hoses full and they froze solid.  I loaded up the utility cart with buckets and hauled it out to her.  She drank 10 gallons and since milk is 95% water and she is giving about 4 gallons of milk a day that accounts for some of it but she was also grooving on the warm water!  

The kiddo was doing laundry when the power went out.  I convinced her that frozen pants were better than having them sour in the washing machine waiting for the power to come back on.  However, she REFUSED to believe that they would dry in the cold weather.  They were on the clothes line all day and came in stiff as a board (which was very amusing for everyone) but when it started to thaw out in the house the clothes were only slightly damp.  By this time the power was back on so we tossed them in the dryer.  We had to bend the pants and stack them in the dryer but the only had to tumble for a few minutes until they were done.  Kiddo was impressed (briefly) and since she is 14 and seldom impressed by anything her mother has to say right now, I made a note of it! 

The final pix is of my Better Half plowing the driveway.  The chains were bought after we had so much snow two years ago. The tractor kept spinning out so we wrapped logging chains around the tires and through the spokes on the wheels.  It worked but we didn’t have enough chains to completely cover the tires.  We didn’t get to try the chains out last year (thank heavens!) but they worked a treat this year.  Tirechains.com! 

Since I am making product endorsements – check out the boots hubby has on.  They are kind of hard to see but they are “Muck” boots.  I have a pair of the boots and some Daily Shoes in pink!  They are awesome!  If you have ever worn regular barn boots you know that there is nothing more bone-chilling than slipping your foot into a pair of boots that have been sitting on the porch all night.  Even with felt insoles they are still cold and stiff.  Mucks are a foam lined rubber boot that are warm and waterproof.  If you have to be on your feet for long periods of time they have enough cushion to stay comfortable and they come in cool colors!  They aren’t cheap but I wear mine every day and they are built to last!  Pair them with a Peet Boot Dryer and you almost look forward to going outside on cold mornings!

It’s Fair Time!

I missed a week of the Kitsap Farm Calendar last week because things on the farm have been pretty busy. Butchered 15 roosters last week so things are quiet again and the other good news is that the cow calved and she and her bouncing baby boy bovine are doing well.  Time to make cheese!

Last night as I stepped out on the porch I was surprised to feel a nip in the air – so enjoy the last golden days of summer.  Soon the kids will be back in school and it will be time for cider pressing, pumpkin patches and fall festivals AND Tomato Taste-Offs.  Most of the local markets will be offering them in the coming month.  Take time to visit your local farmer’s market and taste what it is all about!

Kitsap Farm Calendar 8-27-10

Kitsap County Fair and Rodeo – August 25-29

Agricultural exhibits, events, and the Kitsap Junior Livestock Association Market Animal Auction (Saturday) at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. Be sure and pick up your passport at the Kitsap WSU Extension booth (in the Cat Barn) and take a tour of Kitsap Agriculture

Bainbridge Island Farmer’s Market Tomato Taste-Off ~ September 4, 9:00am – 1:00pm

Home growers can enter the best of their home-growns in 3 categories: Cherry Tomatoes (bring 6 for judging), Salad Tomatoes (bring 3) and Slicing Tomatoes (bring 1). There’s a prestigious panel of judges and prizes for all first place winners. And, Buy Local Radio will be broadcasting live from the event!

Poulsbo Farmers Market 7th Annual Tomato Taste-Off ~ September 11, 9:00-10:30.

The Tomato Taste-Off (TTO) is open to backyard and professional growers – Cooking/Canning, Cherry, Slicing. The winners will be announced at 12:00 noon the same day. Prizes will be awarded.  Thanks to Valley Nursery for their sponsorship! Information at http://www.poulsbofarmersmarket.org/info/events/tomato-taste-off-2010.html

Bainbridge Island Farmer’s Market Busy Buzy Bees ~ September 11, 9:00am – 1:00pm

Charles Schaffer is back by popular demand to share his know-how, entertain with bee lore, and help local hives thrive.

NEW!! Port Orchard Farmers Market Great Tomato Taste-Off ~ September 11,  9:00 –  10:30 am

Three classes: slicing, paste/roma, and cherry.  Free, no limit to the number of entries.  Prizes will be awarded for each class winner with a grand prize (and bragging rights) to the overall champion.  For more information see the market website at www.pofarmersmarket.org or call 360-710-9085.

NEW!! WSU Kitsap Extension Sustainable Small Acreage Farming & Ranching Overview Course
September 15 – December 16
WSU Kitsap Extension is offering the Sustainable Small Acreage Farming & Ranching Overview Course.  Two locations: Norm Dicks Government Center – Wednesdays, Sept 15-Dec 15, 2010 OR Fairgrounds Complex, Training Center – Thursdays, Sept 16-Dec 16, 2010.   The Registration Form online at: http://kitsap.wsu.edu/ag/sustainable_ag_class.htm .  This course is for anyone interested in developing a small acreage farm or ranch using sustainable practices.
  • Learn what it takes to have a sustainable small acreage farm or ranch and take a realistic look at goals, resources needed and opportunities available.
  • Guest farmers speak to the class and field trips are taken to local farms.
  • Open to academic students and community members for continuing education units.

Course fee: $250.00 per individual, family or farm – includes textbooks and materials. For more information contact:  Arno Bergstrom, 360-337-7225 or awbergstrom@wsu.edu

NEW!! Farm Hands Fall Afterschool Programs ~ September 14 – November 4

A Locally Grown Farm & Food Experience hosted at historic Suyematsu-Bentryn and Morales Farms on Bainbridge Island.  For more info: http://www.globalsourcenetwork.org/FFCE-farmhandsfall2010.htm.

NEW!! Preserve the Harvest: Under Pressure! ~ August 14 & 17

Conquer your fear! Learn how to safely pressure can low acid foods such as vegetables, seafood, and meats. We will be canning low-acid vegetables. The Saturday class will run from 2:00-5:00 p.m. The Tuesday class will run from 6:00-9:00 p.m. $30. Registration info: http://kitsap.wsu.edu  or shannon.harkness@wsu.edu or (360) 337-7157 

Bainbridge Island Farmer’s Market Poultry Pageant ~ September 24, 9:00am – 1:00pm

Don’t chicken out! This is pure Island fun with fowl bingo, prizes for the best-dressed chicken (we’re talking tiaras, not chestnut stuffing!), and other hi-jinks.

Kitsap Community Food Co-op Fall Fair ~ October 2, 10:00am – 4:00pm

An event for the entire family! Pumpkin carving, cider press demonstrations, live music in The Orchard, arts & crafts vendors, pony rides, eco-art for children provided by Kids LEAP, and enter to win 2 airline tickets and many other items donated by local artists and businesses! In Southworth at Rodstol Lane Farm.  http://rlf1916.com/events/KitsapCommunityFoodCoopFallFair

Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinner/Bainbridge Wine Weekend ~ October, 2, 3:00 – 8:00pm

As part of the Bainbridge Wine Weekend, the acclaimed “restaurant without walls”, with Hitchcock’s Chef Brendan McGill, will benefit the Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance.  $200.  Wine, five courses, and live music at Tani Creek Farm.  www.islandwineweekend.com

Rural Outreach Notes

Rural Outreach Meetings

The Kitsap County Department of Community Development hosts a series of Rural Outreach meetings to collect public comments on upcoming proposed rural programs and regulations.

  • March 24, Seabeck Conference Center
  • March 30, Port Gamble Pavilion

Meet the Food and Farm Policy Council and County Planners involved with Rural Code Development, the Rural Wooded Incentive Program, Limited Areas of More Intensive Rural Development (LAMIRD) creation, and amendments to the Rural Chapter of the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan, and Olympic Property Group staff. For info: Katrina N. Knutson, at (360) 337-5777 or kknutson@co.kitsap.wa.us.

 This was in the Kitsap Farm Calendar and there have been other articles and lots of discussion around the Sun article about this – but this is coming up THIS week!   Please mark these on your calendar, put them on your Blackberry or make yourself a note about attending one of these rural outreach meetings.

What is really at issue here is the need for the county to understand the importance of the following:

  • Farmers need access to certain kinds of things (tractor repair, veterinarians, cold storage, on-farm slaughter, seed, feed and hay distributors) and these businesses are appropriate activities for rural areas under the Growth Management Act. Our county currently makes it difficult to operate these types of activities in rural areas so they have to be located in much more expensive commercial or industrial zones.  The comprehensive plan and county zoning must support these kinds of activities. 
  • Agricultural buildings are essential for farming operations – and while they need to be built appropriately so they don’t fall down and kill a cow they don’t need sprinkler systems, expensive permits or unreasonable setbacks.  The county planners need to work with local farmers on this.
  • Certain kinds of activities represent legitimate rural businesses and support the family farm like on-farm educational events and other agritourism activities; secondary businesses associated with the farm like farm stores, machinery repair, farm stands, or value-added food production; farm-based restaurants using home grown and locally sourced foods; bed and breakfasts; on-farm processing, packaging and storage of farm grown products.
  • Livestock stocking densities should not be “one-size-fits-all” for rural areas.  Help in determining stocking densities and husbandry practices should be the job of agencies like WSU Kitsap Extension Small Farms Program or Kitsap Conservation District – not the county planning department.
  • Farming as an activity needs to be protected and encouraged – so Right to Farm for Kitsap County is important.  Farming best practices include operation at odd hours, use of devices to deter predators (like bird cannons in orchards), agricultural burning and may result in odors, animal noises, and cattle breeding in the field next to where your children play.  Farmers attempt to mitigate the impact of these things with careful planning, attention to weather patterns and good husbandry practices but they need to be protected from the costs of spending time, effort and money hiring an attorney to justify these activities as appropriate, usual or customary!
  • Dairying, cheese making, value-added food production, poultry slaughter and other farm activities may generate waste water.  The state DOE and WSDA adequately regulates these activities at the present time so county planning and health departments shouldn’t impose additional, burdensome regulation. 
  • Farmland preservation is important.  Even if the land in question is attractively placed for urban growth or commercial development that zoning may not be the “best” use for the land and preservation for agriculture is a reasonable use for this land.  Growth management was designed to concentrate growth in urban areas – do that instead of just expanding the urban areas to facilitate sprawl.
  • Permitting and planning services for farms and agriculture-related businesses should be streamlined “one-stop-shopping” supported by county planners knowledgeable about good agricultural practices and farming activities.
  • For farming and other natural resource activities to be a viable and vital part of economic activity in Kitsap County they should be seen as desirable rather than suspect.  Preserving the rural character of the county does not mean creating or maintaining large vistas, open space or quaint rural features (like split rail fences and old barns) merely for the viewing pleasure of the residents of the nearby large lot development or as a scenic place for urban residents to walk their dogs.  Working landscapes need to work!