Tag Archives: farms

BridgeCare Finance wins Edg3 Fund prize

The Smithshyre farm in Poulsbo
The Smithshyre farm in Poulsbo

Mount Vernon-based BridgeCare Finance won Kitsap Bank’s $20,000 Edg3 Fund small business prize Thursday, according to a news release.

BridgeCare offers short-term loans to help working families afford childcare.

The Smithshyre farm in Poulsbo earned the $5,000 Community Edg3 Award, recognizing the entrant that “best embodies the spirit of community.”

The farm specializes in rearing organic, pasture-raised poultry.

Edg3 Fund winners were selected by a panel of judges during a live event at Kitsap Conference Center.

Local food market adding Kingston location

kitsapfreshlogoKitsap Fresh is adding a Kingston location, just in time for the fall harvest.

The local food co-op, which allows members to order online from local farms and pickup produce from a central distribution hub, will celebrate the launch of a new pickup site at Downpour Brewing in Kingston from 4-7 p.m. on Sept. 28.

Prospective members can learn more about Kitsap Fresh at the event, which will also feature live music and specials on beer growlers.

Kingston is the third location for Kitsap Fresh, which also has pickup spots in Poulsbo and Bremerton. More are planned. 

Downpour is located at 10991 NE State Hwy 104, next to The Cup & Muffin.

Farm Kitchen is phasing out its popular First Saturday breakfasts

farmkitchen04_21695950_ver1.0_640_480Farm Kitchen’s First Saturday Breakfast is a monthly tradition for many North Kitsap residents. This spring, that tradition will come to a close.

Farm Kitchen announced this week it will discontinue its popular monthly breakfasts after May.

Co-owner Anne Thatcher said Farm Kitchen’s other ventures are blossoming and they no longer have the energy and resources to keep the breakfasts going.

“It’s just time to close that chapter in our business,” Thatcher said.

Thatcher and co-owner Hollis Fay began offering breakfasts at the Port Gamble Road farmyard 17 years ago. These days the event draws as many as 400 guests each month.

farmkitchen06_21695952_ver1.0_640_480“The hard part is how very much we’ll miss seeing all our regulars on a regular basis,” Thatcher said. “That’s the sad thing to us.”

The final two breakfasts will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, April 2 and May 7. No reservations needed.

Breakfast regulars can still find Farm Kitchen fare at coffee shops and cafés in the area (there’s a listing here). The farm also rents out a commercial kitchen, and hosts weddings and other events.

Thatcher said its possible Farm Kitchen will offer occasional breakfasts in the future. You can check the the business’s page on Facebook for updates.

Read our feature on the Farm Kitchen breakfasts here.  Photos by Meegan Reid / Kitsap Sun.


Poultry and pork classes offered for small producers


Want to propagate poultry or profit from pigs?

The Washington State University Extension is offering a good place to start. The extension will host day-long classes on chicken and pig rearing July 11 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.

0528_KSLO_PoulsboBeer28538_t607The classes, titled Pork 100 and Poultry 100, are intended as primers for farmers interested in expanding into livestock production or refreshers for experienced producers. Each intensive class is eight hours.

WSU instructors will also teach a Youth Livestock Quality Assurance course at the fairgrounds July 11. The class for young producers and 4-H participants covers all aspects of livestock production with an emphasis on meeting quality assurance standards.

Topics addressed in the classes include nutrition, management on pasture, breed selection, genetics and reproduction basics, production and marketing and health.

Courses are taught by WSU Extension meat and livestock specialists. Each course will also feature a panel of local producers discussing livestock in Washington.

Click here for information.

Meegan M. Reid photos

Kitsap Tours seeking new owners

blog.kitsaptoursThe owners of sightseeing company Kitsap Tours have set their sights on retirement.

Founders Jean and Jim Boyle plan to step away after their tour season ends in November. They hope to sell the company before then.

“I’d like to see someone take the business and do a lot more with it, rather than shutting the doors and selling the bus,” Jean said. “There are so many more opportunities.”

Kitsap Tours picks up passengers from the Bainbridge Island ferry and shuttles them to popular West Sound destinations. A video monitor in the bus plays interpretive footage along the way.

The company’s three main tour packages include a visit to Bloedel Reserve, an excursion around Bainbridge Island, and a foray from the island into Poulsbo, Port Gamble and Suquamish.Trips to the Olympic Peninsula and local farms are offered periodically. The business operates four days a week.

Jean sees potential for a new owner to expand Kitsap Tours with more vehicles (it currently has one bus) and a broader offering of tours and shuttle services. She said the company grown steadily since launching in 2010 and drew more than 1,000 tourists to Kitsap last year. It’s well reviewed on sites like TripAdvisor.

The Boyles are looking forward to spending more time in their garden, but they’ll also miss life as tour guides.

“It’s just fun,” Jean said. “It’s a fun business.”

Read our 2010 story on the launch of Kitsap Tours here. For more on the sale of Kitsap Tours, click here.

How many people work on Kitsap farms?

blog.farmersSmall farms are a big part of the community fabric of Kitsap County. But agriculture, as you might imagine, doesn’t play a major role in local employment.

An average of about 390 people were employed in agricultural pursuits in the county in 2012, according to a workforce report just released by the state Employment Security Department.

Jefferson County’s monthly average was 150. Mason’s was 430.

Agricultural employment numbers fluctuate seasonally. In Kitsap there were 460 jobs in June 2012, but only 310 in January.

You can view the full agricultural employment report as a PDF file here.