Page 1

Supplement to the Wednesday, May 5, 2010 edition of The Leader

Contents Community gardens: Growing food, building community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4

Feed, Seed & Plant the Organic Way! Whitney Farms products give you the beautiful garden, lawn and vegetables you’ve always wanted, using the finest natural ingredients.

Buses, ferries and trains: The simple, cheap and green way to get to Sea-Tac . . . . . . Page 6 Closer to the sun: Raised beds make it easier for gardeners to grow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 8

901 Nesses Corner Road, Port Hadlock 360-385-1771 • 360-344-3443 1-800-750-1771

A guide to green resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 9 Jefferson County growers guide . . . . . . . . Page 10-11 Green lawn care. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 12 Solar can pay in Port Townsend . . . . . . . . . . . Page 14

One of the Greenest Printshops on Earth

Smell that freshly dry-cleaned shirt . . . . . . . Page 16

Lots of printshops have jumped on the green bandwagon lately and claim to be green. But at SOS we have been an EnviroStar for seven years, and are now top rated, five star as well. We are Forest Stewardship Council Certified (SCS-COC-001645). But we also use non-ablative printing plates that generate no silver halides, non-alcohol fountain solution thanks to our newer generation Heidelberg presses.

EnviroStars certified businesses. . . . . . . . . . . Page 17 4-H and county team up to reduce waste . . . Page 19

ON THE COVER Jo and George Yount of Port Townsend share the rays with their latest solar addition. Their water-heating panels are on the roof just out of sight on the left. Photo by Steve Patch


What can we print for you?

We’ve always used vegetable oil based inks and recycle every scrap of unused paper. We stock 100% recycled, FSC Certified paper for all our everyday printing. If you know a greener printer anywhere in the world, if there are any strategies we’ve missed, please let us know.

Come on down to the beach

Special Section Editor: James Robinson Production Lead: Chris Hawley


226 Adams Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 • Published continuously since October 2, 1889 Port Townsend Publishing Company Scott Wilson, Publisher • Copyright 2010


Living Green • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

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360732-7070 Wednesday, May 5, 2010 • Living Green


Community gardens Growing food, building community By James Robinson of the Leader With many area residents’ strong commitment to local agriculture, it’s hardly surprising that community gardens are flourishing in Port Townsend. In fact, the number of community gardens has surged, going from three to 25 during the last two years. “Twenty-five gardens in two years, that’s a lot,” said Judy Alexander, chair of the Food Resiliency Action Group through Local 20/20. “It’s taken a lot of networking; it’s a real collaborative effort,” and the results, she added, are worthwhile. At their simplest, community gardens allow individuals with limited garden space to grow their own food. In addition, they enable neighborhoods to create a secure food source in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. At their most complex, however, they can grow into dynamic social experiments, where participants become empowered by learning to grow their own food

“It’s the social, community-building aspect that turns me on the most.” Judy Alexander community garden organizer

and through the exchange of knowledge and ideas that comes with it. In short, they often evolve beyond mere garden plots and into community anchors, where sun, sweat, water, earth – and food – forge deep bonds between neighbors. “Emergency officials love the fact there is a food supply on the ground. They love the neighborhood model,” Alexander said. “The other part that is sort of hidden is the social resiliency that has been formed. It’s the social, community-building aspect that turns me on the most.” As an example, Alexander told the story of an 80-year-old community garden member who, when faced with medical chal-

A mother and daughter harvest produce and pull weeds at the Dundee Hill community garden. The Dundee Hill site is just one of 25 community gardens that have sprung up in the Port Townsend area in recent years. Photo courtesy Craig Wester


Living Green • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The North Beach community garden is one of the oldest and most well-established community gardens in the Port Townsend area. The garden, a gathering place for many in the North Beach neighborhood, produces a bountiful corn harvest which is shared each year during a neighborhood picnic. Photo by James Robinson lenges, saw his fellow gardeners come to his aid. “Five people from the community garden stepped up,” Alexander said. “It builds that kind of community goodwill.” For those that don’t have the space, aren’t ready to dig up their yard or do crave connecting with their neighbors, joining a community garden may be the perfect fix. Local 20/20 and the Food Resiliency Action Group – located on the Web at – can help link potential gardeners with community gardens. In addition, the site offers tips and links for those already involved

and for those interested in starting their own. The emphasis on community gardening in Port Townsend and East Jefferson County is already working its magic in supporting collaboration between groups that might not otherwise have come together. For example, the county solid waste program and the Washington State University Master Gardeners Program have teamed up to offer free compost building workshops at various community garden sites. Four composting workshops are scheduled for this summer. Other collaborative projects will likely unfold as additional local

food initiatives begin to surface. For example, one member of the Food Resiliency Action Group is interested in food preservation. By promoting local workshops in canning, drying, and freezing food, community gardens can greatly increase access to emergency food supplies year round. Many community gardens also contribute a portion of their harvest to local food banks. Local 20/20 is a citizenbased organization dedicated to exploring opportunities in the community to promote economic self-reliance, environmental stewardship, and community well-being. ❚ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 • Living Green


Buses, ferries and trains The simple, cheap and green way to get to Sea-Tac By Fred Obee of the Leader I tossed my overnight bag and briefcase onto the bench at Port Townsend’s Haines Place Park-and-Ride, turned my collar against the cool winter day and wandered up and down, reading the signs that indicated where each bus stopped to make sure I was in the right place. It was my first attempt at taking public transportation to SeaTac Airport from my home near Fort Worden, and I was thinking I was bound to make a rookie mistake. But, as it turned out, getting from Port Townsend to SeaTac by public transportation is incredibly easy and inexpensive. There’s no drama or toll at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, no slogging through Tacoma traffic, or if you go by way of the ferry, no long waits or expensive fares. Best of all, you don’t have to pay to leave a car parked near the airport. My big mistake right out of the box was getting to the parkand-ride too early. I wanted to make sure I was there in plenty of

time, but I was a bit too cautious. Lesson No. 1: Buses leave on time or occasionally late, but never early. After about a half an hour, there it was, right on schedule, the No. 7 bus to Poulsbo. The cost: $1.50. I clambered aboard and found a comfortable seat about two thirds of the way back and within minutes we were out on the road. I plugged in my iPod, turned on some tunes, uncorked my book and settled back as Jefferson County rolled by outside my window. I had a small moment of panic at the old Courtesy Ford intersection of Highways 19 and 20. The bus turned right and headed toward Discovery Bay. Am I on the bus to Sequim? How could I have done that? Before too long I had my answer. We turned left at Four Corners and headed south once more. Yes, I was on the right bus. No worries. Somewhere close to the Hood Canal Bridge I came to the end of a chapter and decided to emerge from my sonic and literary cocoon to re-engage with the real world. I glanced across the

The train leaves Sea-Tac and outside the window planes on runways give way to neighborhoods, stadiums and finally, downtown skyscrapers.


Living Green • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Sound Transit train pulls up in the Pioneer Square Station in downtown Seattle. Less than a 10-minute walk from the ferry landing downtown, the train station makes it possible to get from Jefferson County to Sea-Tac Airport quickly and for a bargain fare. Photos by Fred Obee aisle and a friendly looking traveler made eye contact. Making friends “Have you ever been on this bus before?” I asked. “Oh yes, I always take public transportation,” he said. “Where are you from?” “The Bay Area – Half Moon Bay. I have a small cabin-slashhouse near Port Angeles and I make it up here about twice a year.” He said his name was Jim and he confided he bought the little house years ago when he was considering moving to the Olympic Peninsula. Plans to move didn’t work out, though, and since then the little house has been a vacation escape. He said he was heading home now and going all the way to Sea-Tac. I grinned. A Sherpa guide for my ascent of the Sea-Tac summit. “My friends all think I’m crazy,” he said. “I take public transportation everywhere. It’s always such an adventure.” We settled back in our seats and shared the basic stories of our lives, as travelers sometimes do in random encounters on the road. Jim told me he works in a kind of nature preserve that protects San Francisco’s watershed. “I’m like a park ranger in a park that has no people,” he said, and

It was my first attempt at taking public transportation to Sea-Tac Airport from my home near Fort Worden, and I was thinking I was bound to make a rookie mistake. a big grin spread across his face. The pleasant conversation made a quick trip of the run to Poulsbo. We climbed out onto the sidewalk and a few sprinkles fell from the overcast sky. The only shelter was a small covering over a bench, good for about six friendly people. In really inclement weather, this stop could be a little miserable, I thought. We were there just five minutes when the bus to the Bainbridge Island ferry showed up. Soon we were back aboard, warm and dry, heading for Agate Pass and the ferry beyond. This fare was $2. At the ferry, we pulled up right beside the terminal. No ferry fare is collected traveling to Seattle so we headed down the long pedestrian walkway to the waiting ferry. Within minutes we

were pulling away, enjoying the view and continuing our conversation. For a few moments, I guarded the bags so my new friend could take a walk on the deck outside. The best part of the whole trip was just ahead. In January this year, Sound Transit completed its light rail service to Sea-Tac. I was looking forward to taking the new train. When Jim returned, I asked, “Is it far to the train station from the ferry?” “Just a couple blocks,” he replied. Pioneer Square Station True to his word, in Seattle we left the main ferry terminal at Coleman Dock, headed one block south to Yesler Street and hiked about two blocks up a short hill to the Pioneer Square Station. Truly, it is only a few blocks, but this whole trip is made much easier if you are traveling light, and that’s especially true of this connection. If you are strong and healthy, it’s not too far to carry several heavy bags, but for some, heavy luggage might make for a struggle up the hill to the station, and it is always a bother lifting lots of bags on and off buses. See more on Page 18 The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

Jefferson County Public Health would like to extend a special

Thank You to the following businesses:

Please support your local Green Businesses

Annapurna Center for Self Healing Auto Works Blue Heron Middle School Charles Kanieski, CPA Circle and Square Computer .Fix The Food Co-op Jefferson County Public Health Department Lehani’s Matthew Berberich Professional Gardening Service Monroe Street Clinic Monsoon Naturally Green Cleaning Pan d’Amore Printery Communications PT Computers Quilcene Schools Silverwater Café Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church SOS Printing Wandering Wardrobe Wholistic Skin Therapy Center Wild Sage World Teas, Tonics & Herbs

For additional information on becoming an EnviroStars or Green Business, please contact Lori Clark at Jefferson County Public Health: 360-385-9444.




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Wednesday, May 5, 2010 • Living Green


Closer to the sun

Raised beds make it easier for gardeners to grow By Scott Wilson of the Leader Any fool can tell you that raised garden beds are better for vegetables. But why? Because the plants are that much closer to the sun. And, they are that much closer to the rain. The rain hits them a millisecond before the rain gets to the flat ground below. Those milliseconds really add up. Oddly, neither of these facts came up when I talked to Roger McPherson, a master gardener in Port Townsend, who has five raised beds himself, and who actually knows what he’s talking about. Instead, McPherson focused on other attributes of raised-bed gardening. In brief, a raised-bed garden is one planted inside a low wooden box, raised from the surrounding yard by as little as six inches or as much three feet. Most gardeners

avoid treated wood due to possible leaching of chemicals into the soil. Cedar is the perfect wood as it is naturally rot-resistant. McPherson’s raised beds are made with recovered cedar boards, on average about six inches high, three and a half feet wide and 8-10 feet long. But McPherson digs in and loosens the soil to a minimum of 12 inches, preferably more. Isolated from invaders Advantages? First, he said, the raised bed isolates the garden from many invaders that surround gardens that are simply part of the yard. “With raised beds you have something preventing grass from growing into the bed,” McPherson said. Less grass invasion. Check. Second, the soil of the garden can be better controlled and easily augmented, he said. A raised bed is the perfect place to mix in

McPherson’s raised beds are only a few inches tall, but he has dug compost down at least a foot to provide great soil for plants.


Living Green • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Roger McPherson’s raised beds allow him better control over the soil used for his vegetable garden, and ensure the soil remains rich and loose for ideal growing conditions. Photos by Scott Wilson compost and nutrients into the gardening soil. It’s a much more deliberate process than simply digging up the yard. “Many of us have awful top soil, very thin,” he said. “By raising the bed I have dug down some but augmented the soil with compost, both the original city stuff and later with my stuff.” Better stuff. Check. And then there’s the plain fact that a raised bed is, well, raised. “It’s certainly easier in general on the back,” he said. Easier on the back. Check. Because a raised-bed garden sits out of the surrounding dirt, the sun (when it shows) tends to warm the entire box more quickly and more thoroughly than it does the soil in general. Warm soil leads to happy vegetables, and happy vegetables make happy gardeners. Raised beds can also drain waterlogged soil more quickly. “It’s warmer, especially if you place the long axis (of the box) facing south,” said McPherson. Warmer garden. Check. A raised-bed garden makes it more likely that the garden will be orderly, he said. It makes it simple to keep nice neat rows, and likewise to rotate crops year by year to ensure that the soil is not depleted of key nutrients by overdoing it over the years. Neatness. Order. Fecundity. Check. A raised bed makes it easy to

plant a cover crop in the off-season, something like winter rye or white clover. They are planted in early October and grow through the winter. Before spring these crops are cut down and everything is dug into the soil. It’s an easy way to add nutrients, especially nitrogen, to the soil. Natural nutrients. Check. Lesson in size McPherson has been gardening long enough that he learned to build his own raised beds only about three and a half feet wide. That makes it a simple task to reach into the middle without much bending. A raised bed also means you’re not walking around the garden, compressing the soil and squashing roots.

When I built my raised bed it was almost six feet wide. I was really going to pack a lot of meals in there. As a result of my ambitions, I have been known to topple over trying to snatch weeds or harvest crops in the middle. I always look around to see if any neighbors were watching. Next time I want to be more like Roger. Of course my beds are two feet high. His are only six inches high. He said he’d probably like to see them a little higher. In that regard, he wants to be more like me. But make no mistake whatsoever. Any gardener would be profoundly foolish to choose me See more on Page 18

Some raised beds are three feet tall or taller. It’s easier on the back and the loose soil and compost can be that much deeper. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

Learn more about living green

Visit our Showroom to see the latest styles in our Environmental Home Collection

For more information on living green, here are some helpful web resources: Port Townsend action group advocating economic self-reliance and environmental stewardship, with information on climate protection and action, emergency preparedness, community gardens, local investing, local transportation and energy issues. City of Seattle’s site on changes to make to live greener, including how to calculate your carbon footprint. Buy carbon offsets through this national group, based in Vermont, to make up for the CO2 emissions you can’t avoid, and help finance tribal, farmer-owned, community projects for clean and renewable power. Consumer Reports buying information. Must subscribe to get details on testing and product rating.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010 • Living Green


Fresh & Green: A Guide to Local Growers ALL ONE FAMILY FARM



B | DS | FL | V

Rob Story Available at self-serve stand farm 14595 Eaglemount Road, Chimacum 643-0306 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

Robert, Darby & Aleta Greenway Vegetables, flowers, berries Direct sales, but email first for details 1611 Corona St., Port Townsend 385-4911 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

ANANDA HILLS FARM E | DS | FM | M | V Jennie Watkins Eggs, mixed vegetables, berries, lamb by special order Goods available at the Port Ludlow Friday Market 553 Embody Road, Port Ludlow 732-0111 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

BISHOP DAIRY D Gerald & Delores Bishop Certified organic milk sold through Organic Valley 2691 Egg & I Road, Chimacum 732-4863 Visitors welcome

COLINWOOD FARM B | DS | FC | FM | V Jesse Hopkins Certified organic vegetables, berries, rhubarb 24-hour farm stand on-site, Food Co-op, PT Farmers Market 1210 F St., Port Townsend 379-9610 Visitors welcome

COMPASS ROSE FARMS DS | FL | FM | M | V Kateen Fenter Lamb, wool, mixed vegetables, flowers, herbs Available on farm, u-pick 1463 W. Uncas Road, Port Townsend 379-1443 Visitors welcome

DHARMA RIDGE FARM CSA | FC | FM | V Zach & Haley Wailand Mixed vegetables PT Farmers Market, Food Co-op, local restaurants Beaver Valley, Chimacum 732-0178

DRAGONFLY FLOWERS DS | FC | FL | FM Jenny Grout Flowers for all occasions Food Co-op, on-site sales by appointment P.O. Box 505, Port Townsend 379-9927

DUCKABUSH FARM B | DS | E | V Andrea Mitchell Vegetables, raspberries, rhubarb, eggs Available on farm Brinnon 796-2060 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

EAGLEMOUNT LIMOUSINE CATTLE DS | M Mark Ross Beef by the quarter Available on farm 861 Old Eaglemount Road, Port Townsend 598-2511 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

This East Jefferson County Food Growers Guide was compiled in April 2010. To keep the list fresh, the guide will be updated at To request changes for the 2010 web version or for the 2011 edition, contact the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader copy editor at or 385-5100, ext. 103.


Living Green • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

EAGLEMOUNT WINE AND CIDER C | DS | FC | FM | W Jim & Trudy Davis Wine & fruit ciders Available on farm, farmers markets, Food Co-op 2350 Eaglemount Road, Port Townsend 732-4084 Visitors welcome on weekends

FAIRWINDS WINERY DS | FM | V | WC Mike Cavett Vegetables, varietal wines Available on farm, PT Farmers Market, Wine Seller 1984 Hastings Ave. West, Port Townsend 385-6899 Visitors welcome

FINNRIVER FARM B | C | CSA | DS | FC | FM | FT | V |W Keith & Crystie Kisler Certified organic u-pick berries, vegetables, apples, cider, fruit wines, grain Food Co-op, PT Farmers Market 62 Barn Swallow Road, Chimacum 732-6822 Visitors welcome if they call ahead







B | FC | FM | V

F | FM | H | V

DS | E | FC | FT | M | V

DS | FC | FM | M

D | E | FC | FM | M

John Gunning Certified organic mixed vegetables, berries, rhubarb Farmers markets, Aldrich’s, Food Co-op, Colinwood farm stand 5270 West Valley Road, Chimacum 379-9610 Visitors welcome

Dana Nixon Certified organic mixed vegetables, herbs PT Farmers Market, Chimacum Farmers’ Market, Quilcene Farmers’ Market 781 Old Tarboo Road, Quilcene 732-0965 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

Linda Davis & Jim Rueff Mixed vegetables, fruit, eggs, lamb Available on farm, Food Co-op, World Peace fruit stand 6503 Beaver Valley Road, Chimacum 732-0174 Visitors welcome

Roger Short Compost, topsoil, grass hay, grass-fed beef Available on farm, Chimacum Farmers’ Market 1594 Center Valley Road, Chimacum 301-3521 Visitors welcome

Mike & Suzanne Tyler Goat & sheep dairy, duck eggs, geese, turkeys Farmers markets, Sunny Farms, Food Co-op 734 Windridge Road, Chimacum 732-0771 Visitors welcome if they call ahead




B | CSA | FL | FT | V

B | DS | E | FT

Terri Miller, Jim Salter, Becca Bloom Vegetables, apples, berries, flowers Work-trade CSA or full subscription Port Townsend 385-7572, Visitors welcome if they call ahead

John G. Bellow Certified organic fruits, berries Available on farm 9492 Rhody Drive, Chimacum 732-0127 Visitors welcome

DS | FC | FM | V Klaus & Jan Hintermayr Vegetables (artichokes to zucchini) PT Farmers Market, Food Co-op 94 Schoolhouse Road, Gardiner 797-7173 Visitors welcome

MIDORI FARM CSA | FC | FM | V Marko Colby & Hanako Myers Seasonal produce, plant starts, sauerkraut, kimchi PT Farmers Market, Food Co-op, Hadlock Building Supply 3320 Elm St., Port Townsend 385-5579 Visitors welcome if they call ahead


Carmen Tracer Berries, vegetables, flowers PT Farmers Market Marrowstone Island 385-9712

Rachael Van Laanen Goat cheese PT Farmers Market, Food Co-op, Mt. Townsend Creamery retail shop, Nordland General Store P.O. Box 285, Nordland 385-3309 Visitors by appointment



DS | FL | FM | V

FC | FM | FT Dennis Schultz Direct sales of Jacob sheep, kiwi vineyard PT Farmers Market, Food Co-op, Aldrich’s 250 N. Jacob Miller Road, Port Townsend 379-0338 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

RED DOG FARM B | CSA | DS | FL | FM | V Karyn Williams Certified organic mixed vegetables, strawberries, cut flowers, plant starts, hay Farmers markets, all-year CSA, farm stand 406 Center Road, Chimacum 732-0223 Visitors welcome at farm stand

SERENDIPITY FARM CSA | DS | E | FL | FM | FT | V Chris Llewellyn Vegetables, fruit, flowers, eggs CSA, PT Farmers Market, farm stand 141 Cemetery Road, Quilcene 765-0263 Visitors welcome

DS | F | FC | FM | V Steven Habersetzer Vegetables (peppers, basil, garlic, tomatoes, etc.), tree fruit, seeds Food Co-op, PT Farmers Market, direct sales from farm if you call ahead 6131 Cape George Road, Port Townsend 385-2135 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

SUNFIELD FARM CSA | FC | FL | FM | H | V Willy Reid Vegetables, herbs CSA, PT Farmers Market, Food Co-op 10903 Rhody Drive, Port Hadlock 385-3658 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

THREE SISTERS FARM E | M |V Jean Ball Eggs, produce, poultry, lamb, mushrooms Call to make purchases Chimacum 301-4415

VALLEY ROCK FARM DS | E | FC | M Mark & Tami Pokorny Duck eggs, lamb, pork Available on farm, Food Co-op 1340 Dabob Road, Quilcene 316-9870 Visitors welcome if they call ahead



DS | FM | M Chuck & Julie Boggs Beef, breeding stock Available on farm, Chimacum Farmers’ Market 1311 West Valley Road, Chimacum 732-4335 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

B | FL | FM | M | V Peter & Mary Brakney Berries, vegetables, flowers, custom meats Farmers markets 121 Wildwood Road, Quilcene 765-3181 Visitors welcome if they call ahead

WHISKEY HILL GOAT DAIRY D | FC | FM Diana Dyer Goat milk & cheese, breeding stock Available on farm, Food Co-op, PT Farmers Market 2333 Cape George Road, Port Townsend 385-3407, diana@ Visitors welcome if they call or email ahead

WILDFIRE CIDER C | DS | FM Bear & Nancy Bishop Hard cider, barrel-aged vinegar Available on farm, PT Farmers Market, local grocers 379-8915


B - berries C - cider CSA - community supported agriculture* D - dairy DS - direct sales E - eggs FC - The Food Co-op FL - flowers FM - Farmers Market FT - fruit H - herbs M - meat V - vegetables W - wine *Community Supported Agriculture, or farm shares. Subscribers get weekly boxes of seasonal produce.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 • Living Green


Alternative lawn-care products reduce pollution About one-third of Washington’s waters are too polluted to meet state water quality standards, reports Jefferson County Health Department’s environmental health specialist Lori Clark. “Fertilizers and pesticides applied for lawn and garden enhancements leach into storm drains and ditches where they end up in freshwater streams, rivers and lakes, and tidal waters contributing significantly to water pollution,” she said. “These chemicals are also very toxic to aquatic life.” She noted that the best way to keep weeds out of your lawn is to grow a thick, healthy turf without toxic chemicals. “In our region, April to mid-May is the best time to renovate your lawn,” Clark said. Also, local garden and hardware shops in Jefferson County carry alternative lawn and garden care products with environmentally safe contents, stated Clark. Information is available at the Washington Toxics Coalition webpage at, or the Department of Ecology at ecy. ❚

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Living Green • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

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reuse the Leader 1

When packing away camping coolers for the Winter, stuff them with the newspapers so they won’t stink in the Spring.

2 2

Pack unripened fruit with newspaper to help them ripen quicker.


Line the bottom of a cat litter tray before adding cat litter; makes cleanup easier.


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360-385-1000 Wednesday, May 5, 2010 • Living Green


Solar can pay in Port Townsend By Steve Patch of the Leader You want green? George Yount and his wife, Jo, can make you green, all right – with envy. It wouldn’t take much – casual mention of the $8,000 tax credit they got up front, perhaps, or a peek at the yearly checks the power company makes out to them. The 30-year Port Townsend residents didn’t become solar-energy pioneers to get into promotion, though. Theirs was a more personal incentive – and one that has only grown with time. “It’s our connectivity with how Mother Nature works,” said George. “And it feels good.” The feeling is evident almost immediately upon entering the Yountses’ 5-yearold abode, a two-story, 2,500-square-foot affair with steeply pitched rooflines and a cathedral ceiling. The first thing you notice is the sunshine bathing virtually every square inch of the living room. And then it hits you: Though it’s bare concrete, of all things, the floor is warm. “It’s got tubes running all through it – about a foot apart, as I recall,” said Jo – who was on her third solar house when she helped design the place, smack dab between the two cemeteries on Discovery Road. Inside the tubes? Hot water from a boiler fed by four solar-heated collector panels built into the roof. “See, what the solar collector does,” said George, taking you outside for a look-see, “is it augments – preheats the water that goes into the boiler – which means you save a whole bunch of energy that way.” ‘Thermo-siphoning’ The whole process, from outside water source to propane boiler, is entirely passive, added the retired port director. The water rises of its own accord through the “thermo-siphoning” capillary system as the sun warms it, so absolutely no energy is expended until the boiler comes on and the pump activates. The system’s so-called radiant-floor heat is subtle but effective, said Jo. “It’s slow,” she said. “You don’t turn it down at night very much, because you’d have to turn it on at 2 o’clock in the morning to be warm when you got up. So it’s steady and even.” Back in ’76, when George and Jo pioneered the industry by building their first of now three solar homes, their collector,


as it were, wasn’t in-roof at all. It was a two-story greenhouse. “The idea was it would heat the air,” said George, “and the air would be ducted down into a heat sink, and that then would moderate the heat in the house.” Their heat sink, as it happens, was “a bunch of washed gravel put down in the foundation,” added George. Solar house No. 2, barely a stone’s throw from the Younts’ current place, found them employing the greenhouse method once again. But by the time they were ready for No.3, the radiant-floor technology had come far enough to stand on its own. “And when the room gets warm because of this heat,” said Jo, lifting her gaze to the sunlight blaring in, “the floor isn’t going on. It has a thermostat, and it’s smart enough to know.” She laughed. The radiant-floor system has been terrific on its own, added Jo. Surprisingly so, in fact. “Even the guys at Sunshine, who are the experts in design and stuff,” she said, referring to the local propane company from which she herself retired not long ago, “said they weren’t sure you could just do hot water in your first-floor cement and have your second floor comfortable. And we put gas pipes up there in case we needed to add gas heaters. “But we’ve never even thought about it, because we’re just fine,” she said. ‘They give us money!’ Not content to sit on their slowly heated laurels, though, the Younts decided last year to install something else, on the roof just adjacent to the one with the water collectors in it: 15 solar panels of the electricity-generating type. “It was just too good of a roof to be wasting and losing that sunshine,” quipped George. The upshot? “I penciled it out,” said the youthful 72-year-old, who’s just a few months younger than his perpetualmotion machine of a wife. “I said it would take us about nine years to pay for this thing. But it’s actually significantly less than that. From an economic standpoint it was a very smart move.” He trotted around to the front entrance, where the power company’s meters are installed. “I’ll show you something. The business end of all that,” he said, referring to the solar-electric panels. “It’s all right here. It converts it from DC to AC, and there’s a meter to show how much it’s generating.” He paused, shaking his head in amazement. “And they give us money!” he said. “Money!”

Living Green • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tudi Haasl and Deb Wiese stand before their recently-installed solar array on the roof of their home in Port Townsend. Solar arrays pay dividends, not just in savings on utility costs, but in decreasing the homeowner’s carbon footprint.

Washington State-made solar panels, such as these from Silicon Energy, can boost the production incentive for homeowners from 15 cents per kilowatt hour to 36 cents per kilowatt hour. Photo courtesy Power Trip Energy Indeed, said George, every month the power company sends out two bills, “One if we didn’t have the meter and then a yellow sheet that says, ‘This is what you’re really gonna pay.’ You see? And it’s anywhere from $10 to $20 a month less. Well, that adds up!

“And then at the end of the year they also send us a check for what we have generated. Not only just what we’ve saved but what we have generated for them.” He laughed. “It’s really fun. I like seeing that.” And the other feel-good benefit? The one concerning Mother? “People sometimes lose sight of it,” reminded George. “A lot of people can get caught up in the concept of private property – the idea that ‘I own a piece of property, therefore I can do anything I want with it.’ “Well, you probably can, but in the process you lose how Mother Nature works. And so, to make a ‘wonderful development,’ they’ll take a bulldozer and tear out all the natural stuff, and then they’ll build it back up and say, ‘Oh, well, let’s put some of this stuff back.’ You see? “Why waste all the time and energy to do that? What we’ve learned is that the more you work with Mother Nature the easier it is.” ❚ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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Kenny Schordine - owner WSCL#SOLARHW9260S Wednesday, May 5, 2010 • Living Green


Renée Harpe, a 2008 Mrs. Clallam County, enjoys posing with her sign promoting her new green dry cleaning machine at Dockside Cleaners. Photos by Allison Arthur

Smell that freshly dry-cleaned shirt

hydrocarbon solvents, which also are recycled and used again, are not, said Harpe. “I can put my hand it in. It’s healthier,” she said of the new cleaner. “With PERC, Martin had to put a gas mask on when he cleaned the drums.” Some customers also could smell the residue of PERC on their dry-cleaned clothes and would have to air their freshly cleaned clothes before wearing them, she said. Born in Seattle, the 41-yearold businesswoman and 2008 Mrs. Clallam County said she is customer-service oriented and she sees more and more people caring about the environment. “I’m from Seattle so I come from the Nordstrom perspective of doing business,” she said. A former daycare provider, Harpe has taken online classes and fabric care courses with a goal toward knowing her new business inside and out. “Are you amazed?” Harpe asked after shining a flashlight in on the colorless cleaning fluid that goes from one drum to the next and then is recycled. “So am I.” I’m proud that I’m being earth-friendly as much as I can,” she said. To emphasize her “green” intentions, Harpe installed a green carpet runner down the center of the shop and she also bought a new computer system that tracks orders better. And like MacGillonie, she

recycles hangers. Her paper hangers advertise Aveeno skin products. Harpe also is keen on the nylon recyclable garment bags that MacGillonie started using several years go. Some customers have used their bags, which cost $6.25, for several years. Creating a healthy environment for employees is also a priority for Harpe. Valerie Isley, who presses clothes, and Teresa Keelty, who is a seamstress and beader, both matter to Harpe. Keelty’s beadwork is featured in one window and is for sale. “We call her our upgrade,” Keelty said of Harpe. “We do whatever it takes to make it right,” she said of Harpe’s customer-service attitude. Keelty’s dog Saphiri is an unofficial customer greeter. It’s not uncommon for dogs to come in with customers to get a treat. Dogs get dog biscuits and people can pick either taffy or Harpe’s favorite, chocolate. Harpe is bringing in her daughters to learn the business. Rachel, 14, and Sydney, 12, weren’t too excited about the idea at first, Harpe reflected. “Now they come and help me and they love it. They know laundry very well now. They have ownership in this.” It’s a business Harpe hopes her daughters will inherit – one that will stay focused on caring for customers and the environment. ❚

Green carpet leads to Kermit at Dockside Cleaners By Allison Arthur of the Leader Renée Harpe pulled a load of freshly dry-cleaned clothes out of a giant machine, sniffed them and then put her head inside the machine she’s nicknamed Kermit to make a point. No smell. No odor. “If it were PERC, I couldn’t put my head in there,” said Harpe, the new owner of Dockside Cleaners in Port Townsend. Kermit is a gently used dry cleaning machine named after the famous Muppet frog, a symbol of “green living.” And Kermit – the machine


– doesn’t use a drop of perchloroethylene, better known as PERC, a colorless clear liquid that smells like gasoline that an estimated 95 percent of dry cleaners in the United States use to get clothes clean. Former Dockside Cleaners owner Martin MacGillonie had talked of switching to an ecofriendly machine and had already started some environmentalfriendly services. When Harpe bought the business on the last day of 2009, buying a machine that uses hydrocarbon solvents made sense. “Jefferson County is a very health-conscious county,” said Harpe. “And I’m thinking about

Living Green • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

my own health risks, too. PERC is toxic.” “To me, putting gasoline on your clothes is like putting gas on your body,” said Harpe. Harpe was able to buy a gently used Columbia-brand machine from a Vancouver company that was going under. New machines cost $60,000. She was able to buy one for $30,000. The new machine can hold 30-40 pounds of clothes while the old machine held only 20 pounds. So, Harpe said she is also using less energy to do more clothes. Typically, she does one light-colored and one dark-colored load a day. While PERC is toxic, the

Renée Harpe sniffs laundry fresh out of a new dry cleaning machine that doesn’t use toxic perchloroethylene. It uses hydrocarbon solvents instead. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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360-385-2909 Wednesday, May 5, 2010 • Living Green


Community garden locator Brinnon Community Garden

Eco Village CSA

Castle Hill Community Garden

Fran’s Field

Contact: Peggy Myers 316-9589 or 8th and Grant streets Contact: Pat Teal 385-1790

Christian Science Church Garden

Oak Street Community Garden

Contact: Ruth Baldwin 379-9197 or

On Oak Street just north of F Street Contact: Cathie Wier at 385-3581 or

OlyCAP P-Patch

Gise and 29th streets Contact: Richard Dandridge 390-4695 or

Behind the OlyCAP thrift store on State Route 19, Port Hadlock Contact: Cali Keck at 360-302-1221 or

275 Umatilla, Port Townsend Contact: Jo Yount 385-0456 or

Frog Hill Farm

Dry Land Farm Project

Jackman Community Garden

Patch 22

New Song Community Garden

Quimper Grange Youth Garden

At Collinwood Farm between F and Tremont streets Contact: Tinker Cavallaro 379-2882 or tinker.cavallaro@

Dundee Hill Community Garden Hastings Avenue and Sheridan Street Contact: Judith Alexander 385-5794 or

Contact: Sebastian or Kelly at 385-9452

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Located behind the New Song Worship Center on San Juan Avenue Contact: Sarah Young at 379-1771

North Beach Community Garden

Rosewind Community Garden

Located on 58th Street uphill from North Beach County Park Contact: Marla Streator at 385-6924 or

More about: Raised gardens from Page 8 over McPherson when it comes to gardening in raised beds. I’m still a novice. I go out every day to see if any of my pea or bean seeds have sprouted tiny leaves above the soil, which they never do, except for the day they do. And then I panic. McPherson doesn’t panic. He just grows lots of fresh vegetables by the bushel. “We go to the Farmers Market during the summer but we hardly ever wind up buying anything,” he said. “Our stuff is coming along the same time theirs is. Even now, we’re doing

Contact: Holly Mayshark at

Contact: Lisa Hoffman at

In the Rosewind co-housing community Contact: Dan Post at 554-0417 or

Tibbals Lake Community Orchard

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most of our veggies from the yard.” One of McPherson’s beds is for blueberries; another is devoted to artichokes and rhubarb. There’s a bed with shallots and garlic. There are a variety of lettuces. Last year beans were in one bed; this year those are moved to another bed to enrich the soil. Some vegetables, like cabbage, kale and turnips can grow through the winter. It’s all thanks to raised beds. And don’t forget: They’re closer to the sun, and they get the earliest, freshest raindrops. ❚

More about: Buses, ferries & trains from Page 6 At the Pioneer Way station, we bought tickets from the machine. I used a debit card, Jim had cash. Either one works. Fare to Sea-Tac? $2.50. My miserly side, the one that likes a really good deal, was pleased. All the way to Sea-Tac for $6? I’m loving this. Next, you choose the southbound side of the station and descend to the platform. The train, which arrives every 10 minutes or so, is a marvel. It is clean, quiet and comfortable. It whizzed along and the sta-


tions flew past: Chinatown, the stadiums, SODO, Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello, Rainier Beach, Tukwila, and, after half-an-hour, we pulled into Sea-Tac. The biggest criticism of the new Sea-Tac line is the train lets off passengers at the back end of the Sea-Tac parking garage, and it is a bit of a hike from there to the main air terminal. It is flat and it’s all concrete, so roller bags are an easy tow, but once again I was happy to be traveling light for the final trek to the terminal.

Living Green • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The total time elapsed from the park-and-ride in Port Townsend was just about three hours and 15 minutes. Pretty quick, really, with easy connections and no long waits. That is a little over an hour longer than it would have taken me to drive. Considerations There are limitations to consider. Weekdays provide the most options. On weekdays, about the earliest you can get to Sea-Tac is a little after 9 a.m., so it wouldn’t be advisable to try to make a flight that leaves any earlier than

11 a.m. The train in Seattle starts running at 5:20 a.m. and the earliest ferry from Bainbridge is 4:45, so one way to get there earlier is to talk your good buddy into dropping you at the ferry. If you can manage that, you might be able make it to Sea-Tac for an 8 a.m. flight. The last train to leave Sea-Tac at night is 12:50 a.m., but if you are hoping to take transit all the way home, you’ll need to leave the airport by about 4:30 p.m. The last Jefferson County bus leaves Poulsbo at 6:35 p.m. On Saturdays, there are fewer

connections to Poulsbo and on Sundays there’s no Port Townsend to Bainbridge bus service. Jefferson Transit has a nice downloadable brochure on its website that tells you all you need to know at and Sound Transit schedules and information are at soundtransit. org. Don’t get overwhelmed by the details. It’s really easy to get to Sea-Tac Airport on public transportation and the train makes the trip quick and easy. So give the carbon burner a rest. It’s $6 oneway and the adventure is free. ❚ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

4-H and county team up to reduce waste

County and WSU staff unveiled 2Good2Toss. Showing off the site are (from left) Al Cairns, Public Works; Dennis Bates, Public Works; Jack Reid, Public Works; Natalie Hobart, 4-H; Connie Templin, Public Works; Darrel Erfle, Public Works; Luke Turner, 4-H; and Pam Roberts, WSU. Photo courtesy of Pamela Roberts

By James Robinson of the Leader Got compost? An old but still serviceable washer or dryer, windows salvaged from a building project or remodel? Do you have items you’d like to get rid of, but that aren’t ready for the landfill? If the answer is yes, you’re in luck. Through a partnership between Jefferson County 4-H teens, Washington State University (WSU) and staff with the county Public Works Department, county residents can buy, sell, give away or trade a variety of items deemed “too good to toss” using a website funded in part by the Washington State Department of Ecology and Jefferson County. “The site is deceivingly simple, but there’s a lot happening behind the scenes,” said Al Cairns, solid waste coordinator for the Jefferson County Department of Public Works. “This site has more features than other sites of a similar vein, and it might prove to be a good way to create commodities out of what most would consider waste. Networking between gardeners, farmers, school and other institutional cafeterias could easily happen on this site to trade waste streams such as food scraps, unwanted yard debris, unusable straw, livestock bedding material, manure – all essential materials for creating healthy soil.” The site is currently configured to limit sales to $200 or less, and this, along with other site features, can be modified based on customer feedback. The 2Good2Toss website address is jefferson. ❚ The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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Living Green 2010  

2010 Living Green magazine, as published by the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader.