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Country Life A7 • • Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Riverhaven: ‘The more you mimic nature, the better you can be’ Continued from A1    “I discovered the value of food being medicine and the phrase ‘you are what you eat,’” Kauffman said.   One of Kauffman’s roles during his CDC tenure was region director for the Pacific Northwest. The assignment allowed him to become familiar with Whatcom County, which felt like home, he said.    After retiring from the CDC, Kauffman started Riverhaven Farm in 2010.    “On even the worst of days, I’m here by choice. I left a high-paying government job and I’m happy and better because of it,” Kauffman said.   Despite his lifelong accumulation of health and food knowledge, and a healthy lifestyle complete with activities such as cycling and skiing, Kauffman was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that causes blood clotting. The diagnosis resulted in Kauffman having to take Coumadin, a blood thinner that is also known as rat poison.   Kauffman could no longer cycle or ski due to the medicine’s side effects, so he did what he knew best: he ate healthy. A follow-up appointment revealed Kauffman no longer had the disease.    “I cured my disease by eating right,” Kauffman said. “More and more scientific evidence shows genes will be good if you eat healthy. You end up being the kind of person God made you to be by eating the food God made for you to eat.”

Richard Kauffman holds a young chicken at Riverhaven Farm, which he started in 2010. (Alyssa Evans//Lynden Tribune) The farm    The production that makes up Riverhaven Farm is no accident.    “Everything that happens is my fault — all the good and bad,” Kauffman said. “What’s been enjoyable is seeing a muddy field turn into a little paradise.”    Every aspect of the farm, from the nutrients that make up the soil to the selling of food produced on the land, is facilitated by Kauffman with intent.

   The farm emphasizes the practice of management-intensive rotational grazing, which consists of moving animals to a new area each day. This type of grazing stimulates root and plant growth, is good for the pasture, and results in healthier soils and animals, Kauffman said.    Another major emphasis of the farm is mimicking nature. All animals live outside. Farm workers consist of family, friends and students, many of

whom live on site. Only natural food, such as grains and honey, is fed to animals. Wool from sheep is used as mulch. Soil is homegrown and includes no fertilizers. Fruit trees are planted throughout the property. Recycled materials are used for structures such as greenhouses.    “The more you mimic nature, the better you can be,” Kauffman said. “The work is labor-intensive and nature-dependent. That’s the way I think it

should be.”    Once an animal arrives at Riverhaven Farm, it will live the rest of its life there. The farm is a WSDAcertified on-site poultry and livestock processing facility. Animals are raised to become the healthiest food possible and are processed in ways to minimize their experience of fear and pain, Kauffman said.    “It’s not just one farm. It’s a community of people trying to do it right,” Kauff-

man said.   Riverhaven Farm products will be available at the Bellingham and Lynden farmers markets in 2018. (Bellingham has started for the season and Lynden begins on June 16. The farm also has an onsite store open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays. Product delivery is available through the Barn2Door app.    Riverhaven also had a booth at the Small Farm Expo in Lynden on Feb. 24.

The barn is open for food sales on Fridays and Sundays. Sheep and alpaca are also part of the farm operation. (Alyssa Evans/Lynden Tribune)

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A8 • Wednesday, April 11, 2018 •

$1,000 Farm Credit grant Milk price helped launch Fisher garden MIELKE MARKET

needs long rise to profitability

Those involved in helping make the Fisher Elementary School garden a reality this spring were, from left, PTA president Diane Zediker, PTA volunteer Monica Bedlington, school dean of students Megan Herwerden, Common Threads Americorps representative Alyssa Stewart and Northwest FSC Credit representatives Corrine Reynolds and Trevor Faucett. (Courtesy photo)    SPOKANE — Northwest Farm Credit Services contributed a $1,000 Northwest FCS Rural Community Grant to the Fisher Elementary School PTA in Lynden to get a new school garden started.    Local PTA President Diane Zediker said the support of Northwest Farm Credit Services is

greatly appreciated.    “The grant will help fund the building of our new school garden. The garden will benefit our students and their families, provide a connection to our farming community in Lynden and teach the students the many benefits of growing and tending to a garden.”

  Northwest FCS is committed to helping rural communities succeed. In 2017, Northwest Farm Credit Services committed over $250,000 in grants to 171 projects in rural communities across Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Since the program’s inception in 2007, 805 rural grants

totaling more than $1.46 million have been awarded.    The next grant deadline is June 1, 2018. If you think your rural project may be eligible for a grant, visit Stewardship/Rural-Communities for more information and the application form.

Farm organizations headquarters move eastward

The new Ag Central headquarters are at 204 Hawley St., Lynden. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

   LYNDEN — ­ The office headquarters of several local farming-related groups are at a new spot in town.    The switch happened approximately the turn of the month, although much is still being sorted out to get settled in, said administrator Henry Bierlink.    After many years in the back portion of the Umpqua Bank building at 1794 Front St., the new place is a building of their own at 204 Hawley St., off East Grover just north of Vander Giessen Nursery.   This is now home

for: the six Watershed Improvement Districts in Whatcom County, their joint Ag Water Board, the Washington Red Raspberry Commission and the National Processed Raspberry Council for its frequent Lynden meetings.    Altogether, it is called Ag Central. And the Whatcom Family Farmers advocacy group is expected to join the mix this summer.   Umpqua announced months ago it will not be having a physical presence in Lynden any longer, as banking goes more and more to digital transacting.

By Lee Mielke

  The March Federal Order Class III benchmark milk price started climbing out of its hole, but it has a long way to go to cover production costs for most dairy farms.    The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the March price at $14.22 per hundredweight, up 82 cents from February. But that is $1.59 below March 2017.    The price equates to $1.22 per gallon, comparing to $1.15 in February and $1.36 a year ago. The first-quarter average is at $13.87, down from $16.49 at this time a year ago although up from $13.75 in 2016.    The Class IV price is $13.04, up 17 cents from February but $1.28 below a year ago.   California’s comparable March 4b cheese milk price is $13.96, up 58 cents from February.    USDA published its long-awaited final decision to establish a Federal Milk Marketing Order for California and is conducting a referendum of producers from April 2 through May 5, 2018. Many in the state believe federal pricing will result in higher milk prices for farmers.

   Dairy product prices were mostly higher the first week of April. Cheddar block cheese closed that Friday at $1.6025 per pound, up 7.25 cents on the week and 14.25 cents above a year ago. The barrels finished at $1.45, up a penny on the week and 1.5 cents above a year ago, but an unsustainable 15.25 cents below the blocks.   Market signals are somewhat mixed. Some contacts expect prices to steadily increase near term, while others point to recent slips and question the market’s direction.   Cash butter closed at $2.2875, up 7.25 cents on the week and 19 cents above a year ago.    Cream headed for the churns is not where some butter producers were expecting following the Easter holiday and butter demand is not slowing.    Cash Grade A nonfat dry milk closed April 6 at 72.75 cents per pound, up 3.75 cents on the week but 8.25 cents below a year ago. The new dry whey price finished at 32 cents per pound, up 3.5 cents on the week.    The Northwest Dairy Association made these price projections for the Class III price and Pacific Northwest blend price: Month Class PNW III Blend March $14.22 $13.70 (current) April $14.45 $14.60 May $14.85 $15.00 June $15.20 $15.30 July $15.65 $15.35 Aug. $15.90 $15.70 Sept. $16.10 $15.90 Oct. $16.15 $15.80 Nov. $16.10 $15.70    Lee Mielke, of Lynden, is editor of the Mielke Market Weekly. Whatcom County has about 100 dairy farms.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018 • • A9

4H Reports PAWS ON THE RUN Marlene Cain, reporter    Members of Paws on the Run 4H Club met on April 3 at the home of club leader Marlene Noteboom. The meeting was led by president Danaya Snavelly.    We discussed our current fundraiser, which is selling Van Wingerden hanging baskets of flowers.   Danaya explained what they are learning in the My Financial Future class. This is a 4H-sponsored class held once every other month dealing with setting financial goals, tracking expenses and buying pretend stocks to understand how the stock market works. She also volunteered at the Bernice Vossbeck school family fun night and was able to engage with many kids about the benefits of joining 4H.    Some of us are interested in having a craft night to do some self-determined projects that we can exhibit at the fair.    Then Danaya gave her public presentation on “Human Foods that Dogs Can or Cannot Have,” followed by a question and answer period. A few other topics were then raised, such as the effect of xylitol on insulin production and how that would affect the glucose level. It was noted that xylitol is used in sugar-free peanut butter and is not good for dogs at all.    The meeting was adjourned until May. Training will happen depending on the weather.    A Paws on the Run 4H meeting was also held on Tuesday, March 13. It was started at 5:45 p.m. by vice-president Daniel Hersman. The last newspaper article was read as part of the secretary’s minutes.    We also talked about what the people in our group got on their public presentations. Daniel Hersman got a 99/100 and Danaya Snavelly got a 94/98.    Then we talked about fundraising and flower baskets. It was decided to vote on a fair poster theme when more members of the group were present. So far, the ideas are for first responders, like the police or firefighters, or the branches of the military. Our weekly training sessions will be held on Tuesdays at 5:30.   With no new business, Lainie Spinelli made a motion to close the meeting, Ashley Reamer seconded it. The meeting was closed by Daniel at 6:26 p.m. He then gave his public presentation about dogs from other countries including the Komondorok, the Kooikerhondje, the Swedish Lapphund and the Norwegian Lundehund.    More presentations will be given next meeting. BARN BUDDIES Tabitha Revak, reporter    On March 24, Barn Bud-


dies had the opportunity to visit and tour the Kirk family’s sheep farm. Only half of our club members were able to attend, but we were joined by several parents and siblings for the tour.    We began by learning about the pros and cons of sheep milk (sheep give less milk than cows, but the milk is higher in total milk solids, protein and many vitamins) and how the Kirk family began raising sheep.    As they told us their story, they also shared much about raising sheep in general. We learned that the average gestation period for a sheep is 146 days, and that lambs generally weigh around 8 pounds at birth. We also learned about rotating pasture and trimming hooves, and a bit about the different breeds of sheep.    After being inundated with all of this new (and interesting!) information, we headed to the barn. There we all had the opportunity to hold a lamb — which seemed to be the favorite part of the tour for many. All who wanted to then had the opportunity to learn to milk a sheep by hand, though no one was nearly as successful at doing it as our hosts.    We saw some of the equipment used in cheesemaking, and learned of the different processes and cultures that result in different types of cheeses (for cow’s milk as well as sheep’s milk).    We are very thankful to our hosts for sharing their knowledge, home, farm and time with us so that our club could have this exceptional learning experience! COUNTRY PARTNERS Sarah Klem, reporter   Happy spring. everyone! These are some updates from the Country Partners 4-H Club.   The Amazing Race was held on March 10, a fun activity we do once a year. The kids go around town on an scavenger hunt. They are divided into teams. It was a fun time.    We have been working on our record books and that is going well.    We also had a craft day on March 31, doing fun little duct tape crafts. Our club had a 4-H home on March 17, a nice hike.    The Youth Fair was on April 6-7 and we had a great time! It was the 30th anniversary of the Youth Fair. Many Country Partners kids were involved this year. I (Sarah) was the Teen Leader for the llama/alpaca division. There were about 600 kids at the fair, and around 60 teen leaders — pretty amazing! The Youth Fair always puts on a great experience for all involved. Our club made two raffle baskets that had coffee and chocolate things in them.    I can’t wait to see what else is in store for our club.

It’s time to get back to great gardening    As a lawn and garden enthusiast, I find spring particularly invigorating. New life is bursting forth throughout the garden, shrubs and trees are in bloom, and the lawn is waking up from a winter’s sleep. As you start to tend the yard and work up your flower beds again this spring, here are some tips to keep things looking their best as well as a few of my favorite new plants for your yard and patio.    First, April is the best time to apply pre-emergent weed control to your lawn. While moss control — which I wrote about last month — can be applied anytime, controlling grassy weeds like poa annua (or annual bluegrass) and crabgrass is best done before the end of April to ensure a lawn free of grassy weeds through the summer months.    Broadleaf weeds like dandelions are relatively easy to kill, but grassy weeds can be tougher. Their genetic traits make them difficult to kill without also damaging the good grass in your lawn. Poa, identified by its light green blade and small

Dairy Farmers group offers scholarship     LYNNWOOD — Dairy Farmers of Washington is accepting applications for its 2018 Dairy Community Scholarship.   The scholarships of $750 and $1,000 are available to four candidates, two juniors and two seniors,

By David Vos

white seed head, is particularly tough to control, but thankfully a good pre-emergent like Bonide Crabgrass Plus will do the trick.    As an added benefit over other pre-emergent weed killers, Crabgrass Plus also kills existing grassy weeds. So if you already have poa in your lawn, you’ll be able to kill what’s already there and prevent it from coming back. I’ve also found this product to be helpful in killing and preventing a wide variety of other weeds in my lawn, so I highly recommend finding some time this month for an ounce of prevention!    Second, April is the perfect time to discover some exciting new plants in garden centers. One of

who are involved in 4-H or FFA dairy programs and show excellence in academics, and leadership and passion for community service and the dairy community.    To apply, go to http:// With questions on the application process, contact the Dairy Farmers of Washington at Completed applications are due in by July 15, 2018.    The Dairy Farmers of Washington organization leads statewide advertising

my must-haves this spring is Wine & Roses rhododendron. Two of the most common complaints I hear about rhododendrons are that they get too big and only look nice a few weeks out of the year. Wine & Roses solves both of those problems.   Compared to most of its predecessors, Wine & Roses is a much betterbehaved plant for the garden. Growing to just three to four feet tall and wide, it’s a good fit for just about any garden space. Its best quality, though, is not its size but rather its leaf color. The underside of each dark green leaf is a gorgeous shade of merlot red, adding stunning color to the garden year-round. In the spring, rose-colored blooms compliment the two-tone foliage, making this a true showstopper.    Another category of plant I’m excited about this spring is decorative plants that also taste good! Raspberry Shortcake dwarf raspberry and Babycakes dwarf thornless blackberry are both great miniature berry plants perfect for growing in a pot on the deck or patio.

With no need for staking or support, they’ll each grow three to four feet tall and about two feet wide and produce an abundance of large, tasty fruit.   Blueberries are another great plant to grow for both landscape interest and fruit production, but you may not have the space for a full-sized variety. Jelly Bean is one great miniature variety wellsuited for small spaces or container growing, topping out at just two feet tall. Blueberry Glaze is another dwarf variety with glossy, boxwood-like leaves and colorful fruit that starts out yellow and red before maturing to dark blue. Lastly, Pink Icing blueberry grows to just three to four feet, with pink-tinged new growth in the spring — and it keeps some leaves yearround, adding further foliage interest even in winter.    Although the weather is still less than ideal, spring is here, so make the most of it and add some fun new plants to your garden that you can enjoy for years to come!    David Vos is the general manager of Vander Giessen Nursery Inc. of Lynden.

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Country Life April 2018  
Country Life April 2018