Salmon are leaping.
Pacific wrens are visiting.
The harvest has been gathered,
roasted and blended with goat cheese.
Flames are dancing in the belly of the wood stove
to the rhythm the rain is drumming.
~ Crystal Scheer, 2015
Chuckanut Transition's November 2015 Newsletter"Yes!"vemberTransition is about living by what we do want, not by what we don't. It is about moving on, being change, and embracing change. It is about living in the now, while preparing for the future.
It is about saying yes to our season and place to celebrate what it is. Bring on dark days and long nights, a perfect time to reevaluate, hibernate and create. Try Leon Bridges tune "Coming Home" if you'd like to have a soundtrack for the new times, but sounds like the old times. Give us some of that "yes" energy!
~ Sarai Stevens
Yes, Give Me Skagit Food For Skagit People!
By Sarai Stevens
Yesvember started of with a loud, resounding “Yes!” when a dynamic group of caring, intelligent minds gathered to put dreams on paper regarding Skagit Food For Skagit Community Food Project and apply for federal grant money to set the project in motion.
This project, co-led by WSU Extension and Community Action, is the idealization of all the things my fellow Transitioners and I have been working on for the last five years in regards to creating an inclusive localized food system and greater food security and self-sufficiency in Skagit County. The overarching goal of this project is to create replicable hubs of community food activity that equitably increase Skagitonian’s food security, community resiliency, and health by providing opportunities and training for food self-sufficiency. Flexible and community-specific, these hubs will be both physical and conceptual. A communications/technology professional is working with needs/parameters of the project to help develop a county-wide online communication platforms to aid in food sharing/barter/sale economy.
On the ground, Skagit Food For Skagit People Community Food Project will be initiated at two different sites. The first at La Casita Azul (on school grounds of LaVenture Middle School) and the Kulshan Community Garden in the largely Hispanic Kulshan Neighborhood in East Mount Vernon. The second project will be centered around downtown Concrete and the Concrete Community Garden in the rural, food desert of Eastern Skagit County. At each of these locations, a free, week-end long Transition Training will be hosted in order for community members to gain the skills and confidence to create collaborative groups working towards community resiliency. Also, at each location, a volunteer coordinator will be hired to initiate and coordinate the following activities. At each of these hubs, a mobile, pop-up bulk buying and fresh produce market site will be initiated. Bulk buying will allow folks to cooperatively and conveniently buy bulk staples like beans, flour, and rice at a discounted price. The mobile market site concept should enable small scale farmers, backyard gardeners, and home scale food processors to share, trade and sell food. These mobile market sites will also be places where EBT (foodstamp) cards can be used. To help with education around food self-sufficiency, classes on cooking, food preservation and growing will be taught. Finney Farms, located Up-River, will expand its seed distribution project (in which, every year they give away thousands of seeds and plant starts to people who use local area food banks, as well as community and school gardens) by creating the Finney Backyard Gardens County-wide Program, which will provide free garden site planning and creation for those who qualify. Finally, at the root of every productive landscape and commmunity there must be a healthy ecosystem to support it. The Skagit Conservation District will be initiating community native habitat/edible landscape projects, free classes on being stewards of the land, and co-sponsoring other events that will further the resiliency and sustainability of these emerging community food hubs.
Because of Skagit Food For Skagit People’s success during the planning grant stage, we are in good position to receive this highly competitive grant. However, if the grant gods are crazy, and we do not receive funding, it has been discussed that project implementation will still go forth, just at perhaps a simpler and slower level. During this four year project, those involved will learn how to best nurture and evolve these hubs of community food activity into adaptive plans that can be replicated. Imagine these little community food hubs of learning, sharing, growing peppered every 10 miles or so around our abundant county. Yes!
Coastal Volunteer Partnership will be co-hosting movies at the Alger Community Hall later this winter...stay tuned!
Catherine Buchalski, program coordinator of Coastal Volunteer Partnership at Padilla Bay and May of Beach Watchers came to our last November meeting to discuss partnering our efforts. In late winter we will begin co-hosting movies at the Alger Community Hall. Stay tuned for movies offered.
By Chuck Nafziger
I love the autumn! We do not get all the vivid colors that appear in the East and Midwest, but
they do not have the lovely evergreen background we have. Even the gray skies seem to
accentuate the colors we do get. Our season of color also lasts longer than other places I have
The bugs have become scarce, but I have not put my camera away. I get occasional bird photos,
even seeing an Anna's hummingbird on my kiwi trellis, framed by yellow kiwi leaves. Today,
one of the gorgeous little red "Autumn Meadowhawk" dragonflies landed near us on the porch. I
did not get a photo, but I am including one I took a couple weeks ago. I would not trade our
green, mild autumns for weather anywhere else in the country.
Training to become Skagit Storm Surge Monitoring Network Volunteer - Saturday, November 21, 10:00-12:30 a.m. Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Skagit Storm Surge Monitoring Network Volunteer Training
Are you interested in helping monitor and assess storm surge and sea-level rise impacts to our coastlines? Attend this training and adopt your favorite beach/shoreline to monitor storm surge overwash, inundation and shoreline impacts during the winter of 2015-2016.
This workshop will provide instruction and field supplies for teams of volunteers to gather important data on storm surge and waves to help validate USGS models that predict coastal change. Monitoring will continue across Skagit, Fidalgo and Padilla Bays and in Whatcom County at sites of community interest.
For more information about the training, or to let us know you're coming, please contact Catherine Buchalski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Secret of Change - Chuckanut Transition is included in this six part documentary on the Transition Movement in the US.
Farming Opportunity in the Upper Skagit Valley
I am looking for someone to live and farm on my 23 acre piece of property in the Upper Skagit River Valley in Washington State. It is a beautiful location with 900 feet of river-front, views of Sauk Mountain, and flat, sandy loam soil. Three and a half acres bordering the Skagit River are in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and planted in native trees and shrubs. Approximately seven acres are wooded and two other acres are covered in buildings and roadways. That leaves about ten acres available for farming. Fruit and nut trees were planted in the spring of 2009 and there are a few older, producing fruit trees.
This is an opportunity for someone who has some organic farming experience and who knows they want their own farm business. In exchange for the use of the house, land, and farm equipment I expect the maintenance of the property and food for me.
~ Michelle Coda
For more detailed information please call or email:
360-853-8549 or email@example.com
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.