My neighbor Theresa shared this recipe on facebook and I just needed to try it. I have weeds in areas that are very hard to dig out and I will not use commercial herbicides. You need to do this on sunny days, which is a bit difficult at this time of year, but its doable.
4 cups vinegar
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons dish soap
Mix, dissolve salt
Ready to use on sunny days.
I mixed a small batch to try it out. Next time I am mixing a large batch and putting it into my sprayer!
~ Anette Witter
A few weeks ago Patty and I, visited Mount Vernon High to talk about the Bow Little Market, eating locally, the power of community and cooperative efforts, and seed saving. I asked Linda and Deven, the co-math teachers and spear headers behind the school garden to share information on their project.
Here is what Linda Longfellow wrote:
Deven and I got together at the beginning of this year and talked about needs our students had and how we could meet those needs. Deven came up with the idea of creating a garden with students to help not only with math skills but independent living skills, vocational skills, and social skills. We decided to start combining our first period math classes, her math class consisting of students from the life skills program here on campus and my math class consisting of upper classman getting ready to transition from high school to “real life.” We saw a need to help my students with tolerance and working with students with moderate to severe disabilities and providing Deven’s kids with an opportunity to work on social skills with my higher kids. So our project in this class has been to design a garden. We have had guest speakers in from Skagit County and are trying to get someone from Hedlin Farms in to talk about jobs available in the farming industry. Students talked about the different types of things they would like to grow and then were grouped by common growing tastes so that each student is part of a team that is growing plants based on a theme (we have a fruit group, a salsa group, a pizza group, a salad group, a flower group and a random group). As a class we measured the area we had to work with, determined the square footage and then divided the area by the number groups giving each group the same amount of space to work with. Each group then had to work together to design their garden: raised bed or in the ground, shape, walkways between beds/rows, etc. During this whole process we started plants students wanted to grow in the greenhouse with seeds we received from the Seed Swap at the Co-Op. We tried to stay true to their designs and built the beds and students are currently planting and transplanting plants they started. We are photographing each phase of the garden and students are documenting the process in their journals. We hope to have each group make a stepping stone for the garden at the end of the year and then continue this process in subsequent school years because there is still so much to do! ~ Linda Longfellow
Dan Sweaney of Chuckanut Transition Initiating Group retro fitted this sign in "downtown" Alger so we may better get the word out in our rural community. Once the wood dries out, Anette Witter and Kathi Marlowe have volunteered to paint it. Thank you sign team!
The sign has clear plastic doors that open up so we may display events and info for the community. We will be sharing the sign with the Alger Improvement Club, a strong partner in creating resilient community in the Alger area.
Small Farms Fight Back: Food and Community Self-Governance http://www.nationofchange.org/small-farms-fight-back-food-and-community-self-governance-1366215990 Heather Retberg stood on the steps of the Blue Hill, Maine, town hall surrounded by 200 people. "We are farmers," she told the crowd, "who are supported by our friends and our neighbors who know us and trust us, and want to ensure that they maintain access to their chosen food supply." Blue Hill is one of a handful of small Maine towns that have been taking bold steps to protect their local food system. In 2011, they passed an ordinance exempting their local farmers and food producers from federal and state licensure requirements when these farmers sell directly to customers. The federal government has stiffened national food-safety regulations in order to address the health risks associated with industrial-scale farming. Recent widespread recalls of contaminated ground turkey, cantaloupe, eggs, and a host of other foods illustrate the serious problems at hand. These outbreaks have been linked to industrial farms with overcrowded animals and unbalanced ecosystems. The significant distance between industrial farms and consumers creates a lack of accountability and difficulty tracing problems when they arise.
From wild birds to beet seeds, the Skagit Valley's riches are being kept safe
Competing interests collaborate to save what's best for all.
By Ron Judd
Pacific NW staff writer
THE WAYWARD elk could not have known. A solitary bull, he struck out from the upper Skagit Valley during last fall's rut, heading west, downstream, along the Skagit River — and just kept right on going.
Marching across the Skagit Flats, the elk clearly did not intend to make a point about smart land use, creative coalitions between tractor drivers and policy wonks, or any other trappings of the fight to save the Puget Sound region's last, best fertile valley from death by pavement.
To read more go to the following article link below:
For over 100 years, Washington State University has been connecting with you, your neighbors, and your community through our Extension programs. Every day, Skagit County Extension works to extend the university’s knowledge—addressing real-world issues to help find new opportunities for our farmers, natural resource managers, families, young people and business leaders to become successful.
I am so proud of the work we do here in Skagit County, and we hope you are too. Thank you for considering a gift to WSU Skagit County Extension and for your investment in our Extension programs. To make a donation go here.
Skagit County Director
"Don't Drip and Drive" campaign comes to Mount Vernon & Burlington
Free inspections and discounted solutions encourage drivers to “Fix That Leak” in April. Vehicle leaks can cause havoc for drivers and the environment, but a new program called “Don’t Drip and Drive” puts Western Washington residents in the driver’s seat for finding an affordable fix, including drivers right here in Skagit County. During the month of April, drivers can take their vehicle to a participating repair shop for a free and easy visual inspection (a diagnostic service valued at up to $80). The free inspection is especially recommended for vehicles that are 2005 models or earlier.
If there is a problem, the driver will receive a coupon for 10 percent off service (up to $50) to fix the problem, for a total savings of up to $130 between inspection and service. All participating technicians can be found at http://www.fixcarleaks.org/ and are members of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) to ensure they meet ASA’s standards of quality.
Hope you had a chance to watch this video (see below) along with the the two articles on "waste" we just completed for GoodFood World. My take is, we're just getting back where we belong (with some resistance from some)--but I think we need to return much more back to our cropping systems all along the line (in natural environments, biomass is accumulating throughout the seasons and although the nutrient exchange is more rapid during the warmer (wet) months, bio-activity is constant. The whole idea as we agree in industrial systems is to get more for less).
We currently create tremendous waste in our food systems--there shouldn't be any! But of course, we must discover how to deal with all the toxic elements we introduce; some can be broken down through natural processes.
It is hard for me to tell vegetable growers in Puget Sound that I think they could be adding many, many time more compost strategically (but consistently). I've seen farmers in places like in the Baltic Countries spread manure inches thick; the vegetable growers around Paris used 6 inches of horse manure (?). Who are we kidding with our teaspoon full here and there?
Most of our "modern" farming operations have been highly exploitive. That's been the trend. Ware out the land, turn it to some kind of development and be done with it.
Another idea--our current land use policy is predicated on maximum "use-up and move along to new pastures"--nothing we do is sustainable really. To be sustainable, land and people must remain in place, and soil must grow in value, not be depleted.
Erick! [Erick and Wendy Haakenson are owners of Jubilee Farm, here is their blog, the Growing Revolution: http://www.jubileefarm.org/index.cfm] You can speak up; people listen to you. And you know we agree. We need a new land use policy that says, noting free, you pay for "everything." And the place to start to see what is of real value is at the soil (and water) base in the local community, back at "home."
If people continue to make money destroying land and people, they are operating in an evil way, if they begin to put things back, they are acting to do good--it is really simple isn't it. As Aldo Leopold said, everything is connected, and Pogo told us, "No Free Lunch."
Privately, I've never understood how the local real estate magnet always fills the first pew (?). perhaps, in your wisdom, you'll explain it to me someday. About how bad becomes good and good is treated so poorly these days in the US. But then, we're farmers so should probably stick to trying to grow healthy plants and animals and let the preachers deal with the developers.
PS: About the development planned for our area; if farmers have to deal with it, they should have something to say about how it is designed and permitted. Enough of "fast buck Harry's Condos for Everywhere!"
Happy Spring Planting,
Ken KailingGoodFood World
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgURL: www.goodfoodworld.com
Good food is everybody's business!
Blanchard Community Club will be hosting their annual Edward R. Murrow Festival, April 28th from 1-5:30pm. In honor of this yearly event centered around our areas unique history we have posted a few articles on Equality Colony and the Edison Area in the late 1800's. Go to our events blog to learn more about the event.
If you want to read more on the History of Equality Colony refer to the book: Puget Sound Utopias which gives the Equality colony a lot of print.
Below is an article by Anna Ferdinand:
By Anna Ferdinand
Things haven't changed too much here in Edison in the last hundred years or so. There's still a couple of bars and a liquor store and probably always will be. It’s a quiet jewel - a town for two's, with two bakeries and two art galleries adding to the twin bars and two hundred people. The biggest difference since the turn of the 19th century is that Edison is no longer the socialist Utopian destination that brought a steady migration this way.
Named after Thomas Edison, the town on the northwestern corner of Skagit County was established in 1869. It was the same year the Samish tribe was omitted from a Federal list of recognized tribes. They had officially disappeared into thin air. Their own utopia based on the fish of the sea and the fruit of the land was wiped out, first by sickness, then homesteaders.
By the 1850's the steady stream began to arrive. There wasn't enough gold for everybody out on the west coast, but there were tree's a plenty. By 1879 Edison had a post office. Settlers built dikes to hold the waters back. Timber was flushed from the mountains down the Samish River. Edison became a center for commerce in Skagit County. Boats docked at the Mercantile, which now houses the Edison Eye, a well established art gallery.
Every household should have a garden. Growing your own food means bringing the highest quality of food to your table without the GMOs, high food prices, or pesticides. Nothing compares to the beauty and joy of having a garden at your home. The special design reduces weeds, keeps animals out, and yields healthy food. Evolve your home and lifestyle with self-sufficient living.
Evolution Gardens plant it for you with the seeds and plants of your choice. Their designs are customizable to each yard with your environment and home in mind. Set up a sustainable garden that is protected and hassle free for years to come.
Call them for a free estimate and get your garden started today! Forbes Hansen at 360.507.5175 or email@example.com James Wood at 530.306.8023 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuckanut Transition Community
We're all rural, independent and capable people learning to live cooperatively with one another and with our natural surroundings while recreating our lost village economic network.