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April 2010 Saving local organic farmland forever

Pigs, Peeps & Predators

On a gorgeous morning in mid-March, PCC Farmland Trust staff headed out to our newest farm, Orting Valley Farms, with three carloads of supporters to show off the land and talk to the farmers.  Lots of activity was occurring, especially as several of the farmers had only been on the property for a few months and were doing much needed work on infrastructure.  Dan Hulse of Tahoma Farms (who's been on the land for about a year) was into his 2nd growing season and showed us his newly-planted chard, as well as garlic and kale.  He's been adding fruit trees and figuring out which soil on the 40 acres is best for which crop.  Meanwhile, he told a story of the elk herd that wander through occasionally and eat the tops right off the veggies, then lay down in the kale to sleep!

 Ken (and Carrie) Little, of Little Eorthe Farm, let us visit their alpaca and 200 baby chicks, and told about the hops and honey being readied to produce varieties of mead and beer - from ginger to blackberry to pumpkin flavored.  The elk pass through his property also, and he's working with Pierce County on fencing to enable the elk to have a corridor and enable the farm to produce fully-formed food.

 Joel Blais, of Crying Rock Farms, is raising his 3rd litter of pastured pigs - the first taken by predators (coyotes or hawks?), the second litter is three weeks old, and the third is 5 days old.  He also has a registered Mulefoot boar named "Kid Pig" - a rare heritage breed that has been added to the Slow Foods - Ark of Taste.  Recent efforts are creating a market demand for this breed to save it from extinction, as it recently placed #1 in a blind taste test against commercial pigs and seven other heritage breeds.  Joel also has several Chinese landrace pigs which have recently been introduced to Kid Pig.  Unfortunately, the commercial sows (who weigh 250 pounds by six months) keep breaking down the fence to get at Kid Pig.  Luckily Joel has built strong reinforcement to keep them away from the (much smaller) heritage pigs.   Stay tuned for more  farmer stories from Orting Valley Farms! 

Farmer Joel Salatin comes to Seattle

PCC Farmland Trust is proud to sponsor Joel Salatin's lecture entitled ‘Can you feed the world? Answering elitism, production, and choice' on Tuesday, April 20 at 8:00pm at UW's Kane Hall, Room 120.  In partnership with the University of Washington's Program on the Environment and event coordinators FRESH the movie, Salatin will address two commonly asked questions:  How can we afford local artisanal heritage-based food? And:  Is it realistic to think we can really feed the world with a non-industrial food system? Because the local clean food movement, for all its allure, is still only some 2 percent of all food sales, envisioning it as a credible, viable alternative to industrial  genetically-modified food seems like pie-in-the-sky dreaming. Using his own Polyface Farm principles as a foundation, Joel builds this vision one piece at a time by blending theory and practice. You will never think about the food system the same way again.

Tickets are $25 and include a movie voucher to see FRESH  at Central Cinema April 30-May 6.  The first 100 Crop of News readers to use discount code: FRESHpromo will receive 20% of the ticket price. Purchase your tickets today! 


Local Chefs for Local Farms 

A magical evening of culinary deliciousness was celebrated at Tilth Restaurant on March 16th with the first 'Local Chefs for Local Farms'  event.  Forty guests engaged in a 5-course dinner with wine pairing, with proceeds from the event benefiting our Future Farm Fund.  A short program outlined the work of the Trust and featured Tilth Executive Chef  Maria Hines, Andrew Stout of Full Circle Farm, donor Kat Taylor, and Executive Director Kathryn Gardow.  The next Local Chefs for Local Farms will be hosted at emmer & rye with Chef Seth Caswell on June 22nd.


Earth Month new donor Challenge Pledge

An anonymous donor will donate $5 for each new donor to the Trust until April 30th, 2010. In honor of Earth Day's 40th anniversary this year, we have set a goal of adding an additional 400 new donors by the deadline. Since the challenge began, 600 donors have stepped up to the plate to show their support for local, organic food. Help us meet our goal today!


Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook

The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook (Revised edition) by Debra Daniels Zeller will be released in May 2010.  It features 200 recipes that celebrate the flavors of Oregon and Washington, and the author has generously donated 20 signed copies for Farmland Trust donors!  Anyone who donates between April 1st and May 31st will be put into a lottery to be selected at random.  Thank you Debra!


Putting a value on nature could set scene for truly green economy

by Pavan Sukhdev,, 2/10/10

The living fabric of this planet - its ecosystems and biodiversity - are in rapid decline worldwide. This is visible and palpable and is variously due to commercial over-exploitation, or population pressures, or a raft of unhelpful policies, or some combination. At a very fundamental human level, however, it is due to the lack of awareness that there is a problem with human society being disconnected from nature.

Economics is blamed for much of our woes these days and credited with little so two questions need to be asked: is economics part of the problem of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss? And is it part of the solution? Read on...

Why a Big Mac costs less than a salad

by Catherine Rampell,  The New York Times Economix blog, 3/9/10

The Consumerist recently linked to this remarkable chart:


The chart was put together by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, but its figures still, alas, look quite relevant. Thanks to lobbying, Congress chooses to subsidize foods that we're supposed to eat less of.  Read on...


The Great Grocery Smackdown

by Corby Kummer, The Atlantic Magazine, March 2010  

Buy my food at Walmart? No thanks. Until recently, I had been to exactly one Walmart in my life, at the insistence of a friend I was visiting in Natchez, Mississippi, about 10 years ago. It was one of the sights, she said. Up and down the aisles we went, properly impressed by the endless rows and endless abundance. Not the produce section. I saw rows of prepackaged, plastic-trapped fruits and vegetables. I would never think of shopping there.  Read on...


Farmland Trust monthly beer & wine specials

The newest blends of Powers' Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon  ($2 of each bottle is donated to the  Farmland Trust) will be in PCC Natural Markets on April 1st.  Thank you Powers Winery for your ongoing support of farmland preservation!

For a complete list of our April  beer and wine special at PCC Natural Markets, visit our website


   Ever black about the face and hands, pungent, abidingly crumby with dirt no matter how much they scrubbed, their bodies over time because so embedded with earth -- and most of them lived long -- that their skin evolved, adapted, developing a subdermal stratum composed of equal parts skin and soil.  For the farmers, the transition to being dead and buried was hardly noticeable.

--from Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos


Saving local organic farmland forever

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