Rep. Mike Chapman Visits PT Gardens

On June 13, 2019, both The Leader and Peninsula Daily News sent people to cover Representative Michael Chapman’s visit. The PDN covered the Grange in the June 14, 2019 edition and The Leader covered the High School Garden for publication in the next week’s edition.

At the Grange Garden, discussion focused on practices we have been implementing in order to build the soil and conserve water: a recent volunteer has donated and is  installing an upgraded irrigation system that will measure water use and adjust for varying water pressure needs in the green houses and beds. Water is also collected from roof runoff. Other volunteers have donated time and expertise by building additional raised beds, new worm bins, the addition of biochar to the compost, crop rotation, cover cropping. A food bank volunteer, a previous food bank patron, “gave back” by building deer fencing and is currently managing tomato growing in the green houses.

It was fun and from our viewpoint, went very well indeed. We were able to discuss ALL the Jefferson County foodbank gardens with Rep. Chapman, as well as the Seed Library, ongoing food storage needs in addition to other food issues and concerns.

Those in attendance were, George Yount (Quimper Grange), Kathy Ryan (President FBFG), Francisco Tortorici and his wife Joan (donators of biochar to the Grange and all school gardens), Mado Most (Birchyville / Sunfield/ Seed Library), Stacey Larsen (School Food Service Manager), Sasha Kaplan (PT Foodbank and Farmers Market Board who works with us on storage/freeze drier and made a wonderful tart). Sue Cross was packing 300 food backpacks for kids at the Tri Area Foodbank and was unable to attend.

At the High School both Superintendent Polm and Assistant Superintendent Gessner came out to the garden and met with Rep. Chapman.  Energy was high and positive. Zach Gayne, who teaches all aspects of the gardening program at the high school, spoke with Rep. Chapman about his program and plans for expansion throughout the school system.  He explained the newly installed “insectory”, the new food washing and prep area the roof of which was donated and installed by Hope Roofing. The recently acquired large scale composter which is one of three scheduled to be installed at each of the Port Townsend schools, has been in service for a short time but is working to expectations. Those will transform all school compostable waste into healthy, usable soil.

Zach also wanted to let folks know that The High School Garden will be part of the Farm Tour this year and that they are looking for volunteers to help this summer.

Rep. Chapman was very positive about our submitting a legislative grant request for two freeze driers. He now wants to meet with Foodbank folks because there is currently no budgetary line item for state support of foodbanks. He was chagrined to hear the use was up despite the economy being “good”. It isn’t for everyone.

He mentioned having gotten support for the Foodbank in Port Angeles, his efforts in Gray’s Harbor and with the Tribes as well.

We were able to provide Representative Chapman the census summary sheet from the newly released 2017 Agriculture Census by the USDA. This was made available through the WSU Extension at the June 12thChimacum Grange meeting. We were also able to support the efforts of WSU and note that Jefferson County leads the state in Women reporting as farmers as well as Veterans entering Agriculture. Port of Port Townsend Commissioner, Bill Putney’s efforts to provide support for an agricultural incubator for small farmers to utilize and a mobile slaughterhouse on airport land were brought up by PDN, so it was good to be able to support that and the efforts of the Jefferson County Local Food Systems Council, a part of Local 20/20.

Rep. Chapman, Kathy and Francisco

Rep. Chapman and Zach

Kathy, Stacey and Rep. Chapman

 

Volunteers Needed at the High School

Hello to everyone and a hearty THANK YOU, because you’ve already helped so much in growing and improving the PT High School Garden!
The time has come for me to welcome you back and humbly ask for your help in continuing our effort to produce lots of healthy veggies for the school district and PT Food Bank.  This is my fourth year managing our garden here at the school, and the progress that we’ve made has been truly inspiring.  This school year we’ve added a pollinator garden and a covered wash station.  Most importantly, our soil continues to improve and become more alive and productive.  Additionally, we’ve gotten fairly ambitious and we will be on this fall’s Jefferson County Farm Tour!
We will begin our regular volunteer session on Friday, June 21 from 10AM-2PM.  We’ll meet each summer Friday at that time, and will also have opportunities to help out at other times as well.  This message is meant to just get the word out, so please pass it along to others who may be interested.  Volunteers are always welcome to take vegetables home.
That’s all for now.  Please feel free to contact me directly with questions
Thanks much,
Zach
360-821-8450

CONGRATULATIONS —–Zach and Family!!!

Zach, his wife and the rest of the family are celebrating the birth of a third son, Oliver.

Born on May 8th Oliver weighed in at 7 lbs., 7oz.  As you can imagine, they all are feeling happy and busy and somewhat tired. We wish them all the best of health and happiness in the upcoming years!

For those who don’t know Zach, he and his family are integral parts of the Port Townsend community. He has dedicated innumerable hours to the students of Port Townsend’s educational institutions. His work on the garden at the high school, his involvement with other gardens and groups speaks volumes regarding his dedication to sustainability and the importance of education. Both he and his wife are part of what makes Port Townsend the unique and special place that it is.

Please follow the Port Townsend High School link under “Garden Locations” for more information regarding Zach’s work as well as what is happening in our other locations. Thank you.

Quimper Grange – May 2019

 

Quimper Grange May Garden Report J

June 6, 2019

Crops Harvested May 2019:  127.75

Volunteer hours May 2019: 70.25 logged

 

Water has been turned on in the greenhouses and garden, but the irrigation project is not complete. We continue to use rainwater runoff as much as possible, but would need to refer to last year’s figures as a best guesstimate for water use. Jo Y.  is working on this around the availability of the volunteer who is donating and installing the system.

Highlights: The Food Coop had designated the Foodbank Farm and Gardens for a second year, as a recipient of donations from their beans for bags project for May and June.

Sam is working to complete the sheet mulching beyond the lettuces. Next year, this task may be a good one for a work party.

Stephen has planted Jo’s tomatoes and interplanted carrots in Hoop House 2; Hoop House 1 is ready for cukes. The new sturdier irrigation hose is in place here.

We have added Anika as a new volunteer from Peninsula College. Her interest grew from her experience at the Grant Street garden in elementary school and from the High School garden.

Also, Martha has joined the team, having had her own organic farm in Toronto and is currently helping all around, with a strong interest in planning the seeding and planting cycles, that continue to challenge us.

 

Birchyville – Spring 2019

Work party of 6 planted the garden, with the owner Birch, handling the Kubota

giving the rows one more tilling in of cover crop.

Several varieties of kales and chards, lettuces, and collards were planted.


Thanks to Birch, Lys, Mado, Kathy, Jo, Emily (and Tara who will water!)

The position of manager to oversee is still open—wonderful opportunity to volunteer!

Grants Available – May Deadline

Local 2020 Announcement: JCMGF Grant Applications due soon

 
Grant Applications are being accepted by the  Jefferson County Master Gardener Foundation for gardening related projects.  All non-profit groups located in Jefferson County are eligible to apply.  Grant Application forms are available at  JCMGF.org under resources: forms.  The Foundation is committed to funding research-based horticultural practices that will benefit our community in an environmentally safe way.  Applications must be received by May 15, 2019.

Presentation – School Based Gardens – 3.11.19

 

Cultivating Kids and School Based Edible Gardens: Cary Peterson

 When: Monday, March 11, 2019 @ 5:30 to 7:00 pm

Where : Salish Coast Elementary School

1637 Grant Street

Port Townsend, Wa 98368

Who: All community members; students, parents, staff, who are interested in learning about School Gardens and the next steps for moving forward with a Salish Coast Elementary School Garden.

More Information Here