Saturday, November 6, 2010

Go to our Abundantly Green website

All of our postings are on our farm website. Click above and you will be taken there.
Keeping up a thoughtful blog takes more time than farming allows, so this becomes yet another abandoned website.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Local Food & Local Economy

GUEST COLUMNIST JIM FREEMAN | Local Food's Role in Economic Recovery

My Friend Jim Freeman's column appears in today's (october 21, 2009) Kitsap Sun. Read it in the Kitsap Sun. Below is the full text.

The Kitsap Economic Development Alliance last week released a report that 3,000 fewer people are employed in Kitsap County than just a year ago last August. The unemployment rate was 5.1 percent then and now it is 7.4 percent.

That’s not good news. If the statistics are accurate, that means that about 9,000 people are looking for work in Kitsap.

What has this got to do with the local food network?


In 2006, the people in Kitsap County spent $470 million on retail food and beverage purchases. That number could grow significantly if you throw in wholesale and institutional purchases by the military, PSNS, Harrison Medical Center, school districts and nursing homes. It may reach as much as $1 billion.

Less than 2 percent of that went into the pockets of local farmers and value added producers. This means that every one percent shift to local producers in “market share” has the potential to add $10 million of new, wealth-creating income to our community.

Stated in overly simple terms, capturing this benefit requires small shifts in our buying behavior. Changing our behavior one percent at a time. This is what futurists like George Gilder might call a “shifting paradigm.”

Most people think of economic development in terms of job creation. That is a desired benefit, but it is not the mechanism. The engine of economic development is the creation of new wealth through innovation and application of new ideas that people work on. Even in times such as these, new jobs are being created and old jobs eliminated, through changes in how people produce the goods and services we want and need. Most economists agree that the primary engine of job growth comes from the small business sector. That’s right, businesses with under 500 employees will create the majority of new jobs now and in the future, when our local and national economy begins to create jobs rather than lose them to obsolescence.

So how do entrepreneurs and farmers create new wealth? We do it by the efficient application of savings and investment. In building a local food network it is critical to get as many people as possible involved in the market side of the question by buying local. It is just as important to get as many people combining their buy-local behavior with an invest-local behavior.

The Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance hosts presentations and discussions on shifting paradigms at its monthly meetings and special events. At our October meeting, Cynthia Mora of the Kitsap Food Co-op, Jean Schanen of the proposed Freshlocal Store in Bremerton and two teachers, Heidi Bell and David St. Clair of Naval Avenue Elementary School, drew pictures for us of how they are creating new wealth in Kitsap by enticing consumers to make small shifts in behavior.

We also inaugurated what we call our “100 From 500” campaign. It is designed to encourage 500 people to invest at least $100 in worthy local food enterprises, like the Puget Sound Meat Producers Cooperative. Most of the money raised will be used to build production capacity by acquiring a locally-built, WSDA-certified, mobile poultry processing unit, enabling local farmers to sell packaged poultry under a WSDA label directly to consumers or through local stores and restaurants. Western Washington residents consume birds numbering in the low tens of millions per year. Why shouldn’t Kitsap-based small farm producers have a chance to supply this demand from their neighbors?

Buying locally creates new wealth. Investing locally helps to keep it and grow it.

Buying and investing locally does more than return cash on investment.

Farmers taking care of the land using best practices provide environmental benefits for rural and urban landscapes alike. Water quality and wildlife habitat improve at virtually no marginal cost.

Relationships built on trust provide fertile ground for developing a unique local culture. Parents working closer to home have more time for their families and community organizations. Local people working together have all we need to make big dents in that pool of 9,000 Kitsap residents looking for work and reverse the trend.

Port Orchard resident Jim Freeman is a volunteer member of the Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance, an organization dedicated to the construction of a local food network in Kitsap County and the surrounding counties. For more information, visit

Read more:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Poulsbo Farmers Marke Ranked in the Top 20 Medium-sized Markets

The Poulsbo Farmers Market placed in the top 20 for medium-sized farmers markets in the nation. Thank you for voting.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

SOLD OUT A few split sides of beef available

We have some beef available. Comment here and I'll contact you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Don’t leave anyone in your car: human or animal.
Elderly, children and pets are extremely vulnerable to heat stroke, which can result in death.
Drink plenty of liquids, especially water.
Provide clean water for both pets and wild birds and animals all the time.

If your pet becomes over heated, cool it down with cool water. Soaking a dog or cat can save its life.

Cool overheated children
and quickly get them medical care. That's why we have emergency rooms.

Killing Heat 1: CROPS

Today the temperature went to 107° F on the farm. The US Weather Service predicts that heat wave may continue on for two more weeks, despite earlier forecasts that temperatures would drop to the 70s and 80s.

Heat as we have had in this last week in July causes high temperature stress. This is not only for us, but also for our animals, the wild animals, and our crops. Brad waters overtime not only to give the crops water, but also to cool the soil. When the soil is over 90° F, plants begin to suffer at 90° F and 98° F plants begin to die. The leaves of more mature plants are adversely affected at 95° F, but if cooled or not left at that temperature for more than a few hours, the plants, while damaged, should survive and fruit. High temperatures on young plants results in stunted growth. This means that we have to postpone transplanting, which we do all season long, because the plants would have a slim chance of surviving. In specific terms, we have not transplanted the pumpkins because it has been too hot for three weeks.

Because we cool our plants with water, some varieties will bolt. Leafy greens are at the greatest risk of bolting. When plants bolt, they are developing the flowers that would eventually develop into seeds if we let them. Bolting is caused by stress, such as these high temperatures, because the plants are in danger of dying before reproducing themselves. While we deal with some bolting during the season, high temperatures trigger bolting in about every plant grown for its leaves, including basil, bok choy, cabbage, chard, cilantro, kale, lettuce, spinach, and many other vegetables we grow.

Plants such as beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, kohlrabi, radishes, the squash, and many others may not produce as much as they would have otherwise.
Right now we are praying for rain and cooler summer temperatures.

Vote for your Favorite Farmers Market

Farmers markets across the country are in full swing and market tables are laden with the beautiful fruits of summer. Since June 1st, thousands of people have cast their vote through the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest and told use about their favorite market! Have you voted for your favorite? Cast your vote today!.
Courtesy of
Gretchen Hoffman
Communications Coordinator
American Farmland Trust

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Paying the price of bad behavior

The toxic effects of 60 years of bad agricultural and ecological management appears to be taking its pay back. Worldwide starvation is likely to be the result.

Crops face toxic timebomb in warmer world: study
Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:45am EDT The article begins: "Staples such as cassava on which millions of people depend become more toxic and produce much smaller yields in a world with higher carbon dioxide levels and more drought, Australian scientists say.

The findings, presented on Monday at a conference in Glasgow, Scotland, underscored the need to develop climate-change-resistant cultivars to feed rapidly growing human populations, said Ros Gleadow of the Monash University in Melbourne."

Food Inc: Michael Pollan and Friends Reveal the Food Industry's Darkest Secrets reviews the the new Robert Kenner film explores the timebomb as reported by Michael Pollan: Food Inc. (this link goes to the movie's official website). The article begins: "It turns out that figuring out the most simple thing - like what's on your dinner plate, and where it came from - is actually a pretty subversive act.

That's what director Robert Kenner found out while spending six years putting together the amazing new documentary, "Food Inc.," which features prominent food writers Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation). "

The American Farmland Trust sent out a release about the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, saying that it was a significant step forward for U.S. agriculture's role in combating climate change and for the protection of the environment. The vote broke fairly predictably on party lines with eight (8) Republicans voting against it. The Republican argument against it was one of the best against a progressive bill that they have mounted all year.

All that I can say is that I hope that this does benefit the American Farmer, local food supplies, and other farming concerns. Frankly, there is no reason to believe that this will turn out as supporters predict unless people -- you -- make sure that this is part of the budget, the stimulus package, and is honestly administered. No matter how you feel about President Obama's administration, we all know by now that the government is made up of individuals who may or may not "get it." It is up to folks like us to make sure that the promise is kept on the lower administrative level.

We have been working to get our new walk-in cooler installed. Torrential rainfalls, and hours of lovely (yet wet) misty rain have slowed the project and thus my entries on Amicus Agrarai. If you would like to post here, please leave a comment, or contact me to be a guest blogger.