Salt Creek Farm

March 2004


Happy Spring! Yes it is that time again, when a person’s fancy turns to.....fresh veggies. We are firing up our engines out here at the farm. The greenhouse is busy place with the first starts of the season underway, tomatoes, peppers, onions, leeks, broccoli and cabbage are amoung the first recruits. They seem very earnest, poking up out of the soil in the flats. They know they have a job to do and they are with the program! Which is good news for us, and you. The promise of fresh food for body and soul.

The North Olympic Peninsula has seen a growth of small farms in the last few years. We were trying to figure out how we could take credit for at least some of this, but I guess we really can’t. Although, your support of Salt Creek Farm in the past has no doubt given encouragment to those budding farms. We went to a meeting a few days ago of vegetable growers on the west side of Port Angeles and there were five farms represented! Eleven years ago we were the only certified organic farm out this way and people thought we were crazy for trying it. This is a real boon for the county. We just need to make sure the base of support for these farms keeps growing, as farming is a tough row to hoe (pun intended). That means having a growing number of people committed to buying food locally whenever possible. Your dollar counts! For those of you who for whatever reason won’t be signing on for the season please pass this brochure on to someone you know who may be interested. We are committed to continuing to provide high quality produce to you at an affordable price and therefore won’t be raising our prices this year, even though cost of production has gone up. We need to increase our membership however to help keep this farm viable so...spread the word! And take heart, you are helping to make this a better place to live!

Last year we had great success with The Homeless Nutrition Education Project which linked the farm up with families from Evergreen Family Village. We had participants come out to the farm to help on a weekly basis in exchange for veggies and nutrition/cooking classes. Susie Blevin worked as the coordinator for this project and the feedback she got from some of the participants was fun to read; "I felt happy to work around an enjoyable group of people", "I learned...`I like to garden! I used to think I didn’t, but I discovered I like it!’", "I learned what Chinese Cabbage looks like." This year we will continue to work with Evergreen Family Village. And thanks to Sandra Ramsey, Holy Trinity Lutheran church is sponsoring two shares which will either go to help support this project or other low income families.

This year we have what appears to be a great group of apprentices coming to learn the ‘craft’ of farming and help grow veggies for your table. They are: Laura Baney who’s coming from Philadephia and should be arriving around the first of April, Jen Munson who’s currently teaching English in South Korea and will be arriving in June, and Melissa Heron who is a student in Bellingham and will also be arriving in June. We are looking forward to them arriving, as this shot of youthful interest and enthusiam is always a boost for us.

For any of you planning on signing up as working members you can see that both Jen and Melissa will be arriving in June which is a little late for us. So, any of you who would like to come out early this spring and put in your hours, it would be a great help to us. We’ll need a lot of help even before the deliveries begin.

As far as changes go this year, we are sorry to report that Gary Streid of Moonhill Mushrooms will not be supplying us with Shittake Mushrooms this year. He is having problems with his crop which he thinks may be due 24D herbicide sprays being used on the timberlands near his property. Fran Sisson as well will not be supplying us with eggs this year, but fortunately Nina Thomas has agreed to take over the job, so there will continue to be local organic eggs available to you at the drop site and the farm. More good news is that we will be able to provide certified organic beef once again from Glendale Farm in Chimacum. The reasons for this are complicated and regulatory. Suffice it to say that thanks to a new USDA inspected mobile meat processing unit out of Island County it is now possible to provide this wonderful, all grass fed, organic beef to you on a self serve basis at the drop site and the farm.

So as you can see we are off to what appears to be a good start this season. If the weather so far this spring is any indication, we should have a great year. Another good thing is we have been experimenting with winter salad production with good success. (We have been eating fresh salad all winter long from the greenhouse.) We had intended to provide winter shares last year but the cold snap (9 F) in October wiped out all of our usual winter veggies, even the kale. So, this year, weather permitting, we hope to at least a limited on-going production of cool weather crops into the winter.

So, onward ho! It’s time to round up the ponies and hitch up the wagons for another great adventure on the Salt Creek Farm vegetable express! Be prepared for intrigue, romance and tales of zucchini rustling... and of course, the best darn grub to be had in these parts!

Your farmers

Doug, Lee, Hanna, etc.....