The new cider tradition Trio produces ciders from Jefferson County apples
Sharing the plentiful bounty County gleaning program means food for all
Oysters make a big comeback Tribe revitalizes Sequim Bay beds Supplement to Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader
Port Angeles • Sequim Port Townsend • Discovery Bay Kingston • Edmonds • Greyhound Amtrak • Downtown Seattle Sea Tac Airport • Seattle Hospitals Olympic Bus Lines is an independent agent of Greyhound. You can now purchase your Greyhound tickets locally at your only nationwide reservation location on the Olympic Peninsula. board • Providing complimentary home-made chocolate chip cookies from “Cockadoodle Doughnuts” in Port Angeles.
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Fall 2016 LOP 3
In Focus 30
Departments 10 | FOOD & SPIRITS A blue-ribbon plum sauce is a recipe for sharing 24 | LOCAL RECREATION The annual Fish N Brew in Forks boasts tradition 33 | CALENDAR OF EVENTS Upcoming local September and October events
34 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT First Friday Art Walk in Sequim unites community
37 | NOW & THEN Taylor Street is still the center of downtown PT
38 | LIVING END Cultivating and relishing in life’s blessings
Vol. 12, Number 4 • Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication.
30 | One local tribe is revitalizing oyster beds in Sequim Bay
147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 © 2016 Sequim Gazette Terry R. Ward, Publisher Steve Perry, General Manager
7 | FARMHOUSE TO FARM OFFICES In Chimacum, dozens of farming interests share space, equipment and resources
Editorial: Patricia Morrison Coate, Editor email@example.com
15 | NEW CIDER TRADITION Jefferson County’s cideries are growing more than just apples these days 19 | WASTE NOT, WANT NOT Clallam County gleaning program aims to provide food for all 28 | LIVING OFF THE GRID Forks family ditches modern-day appliances for a chance to live off the land 4 LOP Fall 2016
On the cover: Apples grow at Finnriver Orchard in Chimacum, part of Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo by Nicholas Johnson
Production: Brenda Hanrahan, Page Designer Laura Lofgren, Page Designer Advertising Sales (360) 683-3311 • (360) 452-2345 226 Adams St. Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Patrick Sullivan: firstname.lastname@example.org © 2016 Port Townsend Leader
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In Clallam County, call 452-2345 or 683-3311
The new cider tradition
Better Hearing Means Better Overall Wellness
Trio produces ciders from Jefferson County apples
Sharing the plentiful bounty
In Jeffferson County, call 385-2900
County gleaning program means food for all
Oysters make a big comeback Tribe revitalizes Sequim Bay beds Supplement to Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader
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6 LOP Fall 2016
Members of the Organic Seed Alliance take a lunch break at the Farmhouse CoLab in Chimacum. From left, Forrest Gillies, Katy Davis, Laurie McKenzie and Micaela Colley chat while eating salads adorned, in part, with produce from local farms, such as cucumbers from the OSAâ€™s trial fields at Finnriver Farm and Cidery.
FARMHOUSE CONVERTED INTO FARM OFFICES
The Farmhouse CoLab is equipped with all the modern necessities of life, including Wi-Fi, but remnants of the past have been preserved, including items such as work boots and ribbons won at the Jefferson County Fair during the last century. Courtesy photo by Jen Lee Chapman
Where two families once farmed in Chimacum, dozens of farming interests now share space, equipment and resources Story by Allison Arthur Photos by Nick Johnson In a classic white 1890s farmhouse in the Chimacum Valley, where the Bishop and Brown families gathered to eat and discuss their dairy enterprises, people from throughout the Olympic Peninsula now gather to share ideas about life and farming. The Farmhouse at Finnriver Orchard in Chimacum is a sister to the CoLab in Port Townsend. Both offer work spaces on an hourly, daily or month-to-month basis, where people can work independently while sharing the use of various offices and conferences rooms. The CoLab in Port Townsend is set in a historical building downtown. The Farmhouse CoLab is located in, as its name implies, a farmhouse.
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This farmhouse in Chimacum dates to the 1890s, when dairy operations still were fairly new. In the 1950s, Jefferson County was the top dairy-producing county in Washington State. No longer a dairy, the farmhouse still is key to agriculture in Chimacum Valley. At the Farmhouse CoLab, the conversations of users range from how the organic apples from Skagit Valley are growing on the new Finnriver Orchard outside to how cabbage trials are going on an acre set aside for the Organic Seed Alliance, to upcoming workshops the North Olympic Salmon Coalition hopes to have with farmers about saving salmon in nearby Chimacum Creek. Those farmers, grant writers, leaders and locals come together to talk about the usual: weather, politics, food, music and the future of farming. And if they need to hop onto the Internet to file a trials report on buckwheat or arrange for space for a convergence, that’s no problem, because the historical farmhouse, like its sister CoLab, is equipped with Wi-Fi.
GLORIA’S ROOM, THE FIRST
The Bishop family ran the farm for decades, followed by the Brown family, which continued to operate the dairy for another half century. Heidi Eisenhour says she stops what she’s doing every so often to wonder what the matriarch of the Brown family, Gloria Brown, would think of all the people who now call the farmhouse their office. She died in 2013, before the building’s conversion. Eisenhour, who knew her, never stops remembering Brown. “Sometimes I talk to Gloria because I know she has a lot more wisdom than I do and she had twice the life. When I see traffic, I wonder, ‘What would Gloria think?’ This is a change, you know, but it’s a good change,” says Eisenhour. A longtime Chimacum resident who serves as the Northwest director for the American Farmland Trust and who is becoming a local force for land conservation, Eisenhour was the first person to sign up for office space in the Farmhouse Offices and CoLab. Not surprisingly, she picked Gloria’s bedroom for her office and painted it a sunshine yellow. She shares it with Betsy Davis, executive director of the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in nearby Port Hadlock, who
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retreats to the space to plan her capital fundraising projects. Not that long ago, Eisenhour really did talk to Gloria Brown, in person, when the subject of putting a conservation easement on the 50-acre farm first surfaced. “She was enthusiastic about it,” recalls Eisenhour, reflecting on how the farmhouse came to be purchased. There was the conundrum of what to do after the land was saved by a conservation easement and purchase. For a while, there was hope of the dairy being resurrected to provide milk to a cheese factory in Port Townsend. But that didn‘t pencil out. Instead, Finnriver Farm & Cidery stepped up, wanting to be closer to the Chimacum crossroads. It still has a farm 2.5 miles down Center Road, but now has its cider tasting room outside the Farmhouse. Turning the farmhouse into office space, says Eisenhour, has helped the past and future connect. “It is where the past and the future are converging,” says Eisenhour, reflecting that, not long ago, people were invited to a Jefferson County Historical Society event where there were old-timers and newcomers in the same room. Typically, she says, one group comes to meetings and the other group stays home. And it wasn’t all that long ago that Davis invited someone into her office for a conversation. He told her that the last time he’d been in the house was when he was in high school and had come to milk cows. Eisenhour credits Crystie Kisler, one of three owners of Finnriver Orchard, for the vision and the intention of the farmhouse space. Kisler deflects that credit and points to husband Keith Kisler and co-owner Eric Jorgensen for what she sees as a collaborative project, one that’s getting awards for saving history and engaging in a conversation about the future. Crystie Kisler also says the use of the farmhouse and orchard, which opened in 2015, still is a work in progress.
LEFT: Kathryn Lamka serves as the house manager at the Farmhouse CoLab at Finnriver Orchard in Chimacum. Lamka, a retired systems engineer, ensures there is plenty of organic coffee to serve to tenants at the Farmhouse, including Lauri McKenzie of the Organic Seed Alliance (above), doing dishes. Photo by Allison Arthur
“We hope to continue making this historic house available for groups wanting to meet or celebrate important occasions,” Kisler says. “We’re still learning about what the community wants and needs.”
Kathryn Lamka, a retired IBM systems engineer from Port Ludlow who tutors students in math at Chimacum Elementary School, is the “hausmutti” of the Farmhouse. She also was a German teacher for years and so hausmutti, German for “housemother,” is an endearing term for her position as volunteer house manager for the Farmhouse. “People come in here a lot and say, “I’ve been driving by that farmhouse for years and I always wanted to come in.’ Now it’s accessible to everyone,” says Lamka. Lamka keeps the Farmhouse running. She makes sure people are doing their fair share of the dishes, that there’s a good supply of organic coffee available and that communication lines between tenants and landlords and the CoLab in Port Townsend are all clear. People can go online — farmhouse.colabnw.com — to rent space at either the CoLab in Port Townsend or the Farmhouse in Chimacum. Space can be rented by the month, week or day. Those who do rent space receive a code to open the doors. It’s possible to rent space on the spur of the moment, as one person did when he needed a connection to upload a project not long ago. “He came in and needed an Internet connection. He paid $20 and did his work and he was happy,” Lamka said.
FARMS AND FISH
Upstairs at the Farmhouse, in other bedrooms where the Brown and Bishop families slept and no doubt dreamed of their futures, the Organic Seed Alliance and Washington State University Extension share space and information. Sarah Doyle, stewardship coordinator for the North Olympic Salmon Coalition, also has an office in the Farmhouse. “Fish and farms have always had a contentious relationship,” says Doyle, sitting at a table in the parlor. Today, it features desks, all connected with Wi-Fi. “What we are learning is that farmers are busy, so having a place that’s right here, where they can meet to come together and share stories, is important,” says Doyle. “The farmers want to hear what we are researching and finding, so this is looking to be the ideal space to host our four-hour workshop for landlords,” said Doyle, who still is working on grants for her project. Lauri McKenzie of Organic Seed Alliance walks into the conversation as Eisenhour retreats back to “Gloria’s Room,” as she calls it. Fresh from the field, her clothes showing signs of working in dirt, McKenzie says the space is important because it provides a venue for the field crew to meet and talk and eat.
“For our organization and the work we’re doing in the field, it’s been so helpful to have an office here that’s on the land to enter data, print off maps,” says McKenzie. “Our executive director (Micaela Colley) likes to come out here. It’s a home away from home.” McKenzie jokes that the farmers running trials often say they have “banker’s hours” because they work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., far different hours than the Bishops and Browns no doubt kept. It’s not uncommon for tenants of the Farmhouse, like McKenzie, to finish their work and then go outside to have a cider at the Finnriver tasting room. Indeed, people from the Port Townsend CoLab offices often come to the Farmhouse simply to sit in the kitchen nook and look out over the orchard, where Finnriver is growing apples and where the Bishop and Brown families once watched a herd of dairy cows, and where then Jefferson County Commissioner B.G. “Brownie” Brown no doubt held many conversations about how to improve the lives of people on the Olympic Peninsula. Allison Arthur is the assistant editor of the Port Townsend-Jefferson County Leader. She enjoys covering agriculture, housing, food and social issues and especially loves farmers markets. Nick Johnson is a reporter and photographer with the Leader.
Books from the Bishop and Brown families still are in the study at the Farmhouse and include the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Health Knowledge,” “Agriculture Yearbook” from the 1900s and “Laws of Washington.” Courtesy photo by Jen Lee Chapman
FOOD & SPIRITS
ASIAN PLUM SAUCE Story and photos by Allison Arthur The plum tree in the backyard summoned me one day last summer when I was looking for something delicious to can. First and foremost, the plums were free. And there were plenty of them. Even the deer had had their fill and were passing on. But what to do with all those fat juicy plums? Well, there was a recipe in my favorite “Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving” that looked somewhat promising. So I tried it. “Amazing, 2015” I wrote in red marker next to the recipe. Actually, the taste of the sauce was incredible, reminiscent of a sample of something you’d find at a specialty food store for some exorbitant price. Over the course of the past year, I’ve made several batches and have given away quite a few pints. One friend called me right after his plums were ready and said, “Come get them.” I’m making plum sauce for him in exchange for tomatoes. This recipe truly is a great sharing sauce. The consistency of the first batch, however, left something to be desired. It seemed a bit runny. So I’ve modified the recipe in an attempt to make it thicker. And I’ve tried different kinds of plums. Feel free to play around with the recipe and make it yours. I’ve also seen recipes with sweet chili sauce and ones that use other fruit, such as dried apricots, to thicken it. I did give up and use cornstarch on one batch that seemed way too runny. Pour this delicious sauce over pork loin and rice or vegetables. Use it as a dipping sauce for Chinese egg rolls or slather it on your morning toast. The following recipe makes enough to can about four pints, but you can halve it as well. Allison Arthur’s plum sauce earned a blue ribbon and took “Best in Class” in the Jefferson County Fair in 2016.
Fresh plums are in many back yards on the Olympic Peninsula and are delicious off the tree or canned as Asian sauce. ASIAN PLUM SAUCE 4 pounds of plums 2 cups of brown sugar, slightly packed 1 cup of granulated sugar ¾ cup chopped white onion 2 tablespoons of mustard seed 2 tablespoons of green chili peppers 1 small chuck of fresh ginger, finely cut 1 tablespoon of salt 1 glove of minced garlic 1 cup cider vinegar 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water Wash, pit and chop the plums and set aside. Combine all of the other ingredients (except cornstarch and tablespoon of water) in a large pot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and add the plums. Cook until thick. If it won’t thicken, mix the cornstarch and water and add. Consistency depends on how ripe the plums are. At this point, if you’ve planned ahead and have your canning supplies ready, you can ladle the sauce into pint jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace, and processing at 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Or you can pour into half-pint containers, refrigerate and give away to friends who will love you.
FAR LEFT: Plum sauce makes a great gift for Christmas.
LEFT: Plums are easy to pick and it doesn’t take many of them for an Asian sauce that you won’t forget.
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Films About Farming + 90 More
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In Port Townsendâ€™s Walkable National Historic District Sept. 23-25, 2016 Chicken People Youâ€™ve never seen such glorious chickens. Follow three breeders as they prepare for competition in the Ohio National Poultry Show. Winner of the 2016 Sundance Grand Jury Prize.
Call of the Ice A filmmaker tries to subsistence hunt for five weeks on a Greenland ice floe, and understands why indigenous Inuits may give up hunting for farming.
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Seed: The Untold Story Seeds have been worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. Celebrating the miracle of seeds and passionate seed keepers worldwide who protect our 12,000 year-old food legacy. Learning to See: The World of Insects An ex-pat buys a farm in Colombia, takes up photography. Breathtaking macrophotography of previously undiscovered bugs.
Keeping It Wild: Seven short films include To Scale: The Solar System; Elk River; Pronghorn Revival; Property; Selah Water from Stone and 26 Years and Counting. By Us Small farms, artisan foods, and small business are the backbone of the US economy. Meet local entrepreneurs and community collaborators in this locally filmed documentary.
Buy Your Pass Today!
save energy appliances Jefferson PUD is currently offering rebates on Energy Star certified home appliances; specifically clothes washers, refrigerators, freezers and now clothes driers. Please see the form online for details on how to apply including how to determine if your appliance is Energy Star compliant.
heating We also offer rebates on ducted and ductless heat pump upgrades, lighting, weatherization for residential and commercial properties. Eligibility for projects are dependent upon criteria determined by Bonneville Power Administration and the PUD.
windows To qualify for a Jefferson PUD energy efficiency rebate: 1) You must be a Jefferson PUD electricity customer. 2) For home heating-related upgrades such as insulation, heat pumps, windows and the like, the primary source of heat for your home must be electric. Other restrictions may apply.
Go to jeffpud.org/energy-efficiency for details and rebate forms.
Fall 2016 LOP 11
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The Nehou, a French bittersweet apple full of tannins, has been used for decades in French cider making. Finnriver Farm and Cidery grows 18 varieties of French and English cider apples.
The new cider tradition ALPENFIRE, EAGLEMOUNT & FINNRIVER PRODUCE UNIQUE CIDERS FROM APPLES GROWN IN JEFFERSON COUNTY Story and photos by Jacqueline Allison JEFFERSON COUNTY’S CIDERIES ARE GROWING MORE THAN JUST APPLES. They’re growing a new industry, rooted in respect for land and community. Three different cideries offer classic and contemporary flavors, all contributing their own flair to the Cider Route.
Bite of bittersharp You’ll spit, just think: press the juice Let sit, take a sip Nancy and Steve “Bear” Bishop of Alpenfire Cider in Port Townsend are the new players in traditional cider-making. They grow classic English and French varieties — perfect for cider, but not for eating. From about 15 apple varieties — mostly bittersharps and bittersweets — Alpenfire makes eight blends of cider, seven kinds of vinegar and two champagne-style ciders. Their tasting room is open noon-5 p.m., FridaySunday, from March through the end of December. A two-month cider tour of Europe turned the Bishops’ hobby into a cider business. They grew up drinking cider in North America, but found that the drier English and French styles were unlike ciders they had ever tasted before; they knew they wanted to make a similar product. Their organic Pirate’s Plank “Bone Dry” cider lives up to its name. After planting 900 English and French cider trees in 2003, they harvested their first apples in 2008 and sold their first bottle in 2009. Located west of Port Townsend near Discovery Bay, the Alpenfire orchards enjoy the North Olympic Peninsula’s sunshine and mild temperatures. “Traditional cider apples are grown in maritime climates, like northern France and Great Britain,” Nancy Bishop says. “They’re very happy here.” All the farming, processing and bottling take place on Alpenfire’s 2-acre
farm. It is USDA-certified organic as both a farm and processor, the first organic cidery in Washington and second in the country. The Bishops follow the pace of a traditional cider-maker, harvesting the apples from the end of July until the start of November, following early, mid- and late pollinations. They then grind and press the apples, ferment the juice and bottle the cider one year later. They do the harvesting and production themselves with the help of a few employees. “Our approach is very slow,” Nancy says. “Most of the bigger cider makers make (cider) every two to three weeks, like beer.”
Steve “Bear” Bishop of Alpenfire Cider in Port Townsend examines a French pear variety in the Alpenfire orchards. Fall 2016 LOP 15
LEFT: An heirloom apple tree towers over a cider barrel at Eaglemount. Some of the trees on the 35-acre farm are 133 years old.
BELOW: Fallen and moldy apples in a bin at Finnriver.
People are just waking up to (cider). I still get people in the tasting room who have never tasted cider.
— Trudy Davis Eaglemount Wine & Cider Their slowness enhances flavor development and lessens their dependence on additives or filters, Nancy says. Instead, they “rack for clarity,” moving the juice off the yeast sediment to stop fermentation and transferring the liquid from barrel to barrel until it’s clear — “a winemaker’s approach,” she says. “We get up really early and monitor what we’ve done every day for a year,” Bear Bishop says. The vinegar they make from cider-batch dregs helps save liquid; they calculate that they waste fewer than 5 gallons a year. Europeans introduced cider apples to North America in the 1600s and the colonists drank the fermented beverage in place of water for sanitation reasons. Three categories of apples — culinary apples, cider apples and heirloom apples — have different flavors and purposes, the Bishops say. Cider apples are higher in fiber and less watery than “obese” culinary apples, Bear says. The couple notes that many cideries around the country are using culinary apples like galas and Fujis to make cider, but the English and French varieties have high levels of tannins and acids that create a flavorful drink. Alpenfire Cider is based at 220 Pocket Lane. Its products are available at rotating restaurants and stores on the Olympic Peninsula and in Western Washington.
EAGLEMOUNT WINE & CIDER
At Eaglemount, cider has a 133-year-old history. Jim and Trudy Davis of Port Townsend’s Eaglemount Wine and Cider own 35 acres of cider orchards that were originally part of a 350-acre homestead dating to 1883. A tasting room and additional orchards are located at the former Arcadia estate, featuring a historical barn that was converted to an event space known as the Palindrome, right off State Route 20 just outside the Port Townsend city limits. Eaglemount makes eight varieties of apple, raspberry, pear, ginger and quince ciders; several meads; and five red wine blends. The Davises began making cider and wine when they bought the homestead in 1980 and began selling it in 2006. Before they purchased the homestead, the orchards had been left wild for more than 40 years. The trees were gigantic, apples were piled in mounds and black bears had been feasting, Trudy Davis says.
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“When I moved here and saw the apples on the ground, (I knew) we had to do something with them,” Trudy says. “I saw potential there.” Approximately 20 of their trees are as old as the farm, heirloom varieties with deep cider roots. “(Heirloom apples) weren’t bred for sitting on the store shelf for months,” Trudy says. “A lot of these, as soon as you pick them, they bruise, but they make delicious juice.” They also have 200 trees in an English and French cider orchard, and 600 more at a nursery at Arcadia, the original name of the Palindrome property. They produce 6,000 gallons of cider each year, partly because of cider’s quicker turn-around, but also to keep up with the rising cider demand. They make 1,000 gallons of wine annually. In 2007, the Davises sold their product to many first-time cider drinkers at the Port Townsend Farmers Market. “People are just waking up to (cider),” Trudy says. “I still get people in the tasting room who have never tasted cider.”
An employee at Alpenfire Cider ties an apple branch.
Their farm and production are organic but they haven’t been certified as organic yet. The certification process is lengthy and they haven’t had time with the business’s recent expansion, they say. “I’ve never used an herbicide on the property,” Jim says. “I tell people in the spring, ‘Look at these flowers out here, these are the same flowers that appeared when the glaciers receded.’” In 2014, the Davises bought the iconic 12-acre Palindrome property to expand their production and make their tasting room more visible. The Palindrome features a tasting room, a 1908 Craftsman-style home and a restored dance hall in a historical barn, which serves as a community performance venue. The Eaglemount tasting room is at the Palindrome at 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road in Port Townsend.
FINNRIVER FARM & CIDERY
A glass of cider at Finnriver Orchard and Cider Garden is a chance to connect with the land. A certified-organic farm and orchard, Finnriver operates with the goal to serve the land, community and local economy through cider. Owners Eric Jorgensen and Keith and Crystie Kisler hope to share that message through a complete farm experience. Visitors can take self-guided tours on the “Soil and Salmon Trail,” enjoying apple orchards, vegetable and flowers gardens, chickens and sheep (watch out for the electric fence). “It’s about making a place where people can come and experience the reconnection,” Crystie Kisler says, “standing on the land and drinking it in.” Located on Center Road just south of the Chimacum crossroads intersection, the Finnriver Orchard and Cider Garden is open for extended hours this summer: noon-6 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, and noon-9 p.m., FridaySaturday. Finnriver’s orchards are located on a historical dairy farm, agricultural land now protected forever through the Jefferson Land Trust. The orchards contain 6 acres of apples, including 18 traditional cider varieties, and 1 acre of pears. Finnriver makes more than 20 traditional, contemporary, sparkling and seasonal botanical ciders, dessert wines, port-style spirited wines and more. It produces 60,000 gallons of cider a year, with only 5 percent of its cider coming from its own orchards. Finnriver partners with orchards in western and eastern Washington to support local agriculture and take advantage of the state’s beautiful fruit, Crystie says. Before the business opened in 2008, cider was unknown to Finnriver’s
owners. A neighbor brought over a “dry and complex” cider one day and they were hooked, she says. They like to be adventurous with their cider-making, Crystie says. The current lineup includes a habañero cider and seasonal lavender and black currant cider. This summer, Finnriver offers live music on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons in the cider garden; Hama Hama oysters on Sunday afternoons; and local wood-fired pizza on the weekends. The Finnriver Orchard and Cider Garden is at 124 Center Road in Chimacum. Finnriver products are available in restaurants and stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Jacqueline Allison is an intern with the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader.
A sheep enjoys a sunny day next to the orchards at Finnriver. Fall 2016 LOP 17
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Enhancing Lives One Moment at a Time
ABOVE: Volunteer gleaner Hal Force loads up the truck with produce from River Run Farm ready for a trip to the food bank. Photo courtesy of WSU Clallam County Extension Office LEFT: A tree full of cherries are ready to pick at Robert Roon’s property between Sequim and Port Angeles. Roon doesn’t want to see the fruit wasted, so he works with the WSU Clallam County Extension Office gleaning program allowing gleaners to pick and share with local feeding programs.
SHARING THE PLENTIFUL BOUNTY County gleaning program means food for all Story and photos by Mary Powell The Sequim Food Bank was buzzing with activity on a bright, sunny Monday in early August. Before its 1 p.m. opening time, volunteers were busy setting out produce just harvested from River Run Farm, a pickup of bagged vegetables from Costco and QFC and those bringing sacks of tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans from their own overflowing gardens. There was enough locally grown lettuce, Swiss chard, radishes and other products to go around, however Andra Smith, the food bank’s executive director, declared it would be gone by closing time. This, however, is not a story about the food bank. Well, it is in a roundabout way, just as it is about food recovery, food waste, landfills, gleaners, farms, big and small, grocery stores and local bakeries, food agencies, the Washington State University Clallam County Extension and of course, the people who make all these entities work as well as they do. Because when it comes to food and all that’s related to it, the circle is large and interdependent on one another. So let’s get started. Considering the miles of dense forests and the mountainous terrain that define the North Olympic Peninsula, visitors and new residents might wonder at the promise of an agricultural core. It doesn’t take long, however, to discover there are dozens of farms growing everything from fruits and vegetables to flowers to raising cattle producing quality meat, dotting the Dungeness Valley and beyond. For those lucky enough to live in Sequim, Port Townsend or Port Angeles, it’s no secret that there is an abundance of locally grown food, most of it organic, to go around and then some. That includes the larger wholesale farms to the smaller hobby farms and gardens. “For me, this area is unique with so much fresh food,” said Smith, a transplant from Texas. “There are a lot of fresh options and we are working to get more to offer here at the food bank.” She’s right in saying there is often an overabundance of food to sell and eat. If farmers aren’t able to sell their produce, it gets composted back into
the ground, or worse, ends up in a landfill. While too much food doesn’t sound like a particularly huge problem, it can be. And it’s why Dan Littlefield and his network of eager gleaners do what they do. “We feed people in need and reduce food waste at the same time,” said Littlefield, food recovery coordinator for the Washington State University Clallam County Extension Office. Littlefield, who moved from Portland, Maine, a year ago, has an effervescent personality and is both enthusiastic and emphatic about feeding people, food waste and the gleaning program in Clallam and Jefferson counties, which he oversees. After earning a master’s degree in community planning and development from the University of Southern Maine, Littlefield and his partner, whom he met while they were both in graduate school, began the job search. Because she is from Marysville, moving to Port Angeles seemed a natural move. “We explored the area and I fell in love with Port Angeles,” Littlefield affirmed. Because he worked extensively with food banks while in college, the food recovery coordinator position was a perfect fit. The job is through the AmeriCorps VISTA program, whereby each member makes a year-long, fulltime commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. In Littlefield’s case, it is for the WSU Extension program.
THE GLEANING CONNECTION
Monday mornings usually are busy for Karen Coles, gleaning coordinator at River Run Farms in Sequim. It’s the first day of the working week and the Sequim and Port Angeles food banks are open for business. That means shelves emptied on Friday and Saturday must be replenished, which in turn means Coles and her group of eight gleaning volunteers are at the ready to gather spinach, lettuce, kale and any other produce available for transport to the food bank. “We can deliver to other food programs if the food bank happens to have excess,” Coles explained. Littlefield maintains a list of about 300 gleaning volunteers who offer to go to farms or private property owners who have a surplus of fruits or vegetables.
Fall 2016 LOP 19
BENEFITS OF GLEANING
• Prevents unnecessary wasting of quality food. • Provides access to fresh, nutritious foods for low-income populations who often are unable to buy healthy, local foods because of cost or availability. • Provides resources to nonprofit agencies so that they might better serve those in need. • Builds good relationships among community members, local gardeners and farmers. — Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
GOING TO WASTE It was a good day for Karen Coles, gleaning coordinator at River Run Farm. This food will be transported to Sequim, Port Angeles and possibly the Forks food banks. Photo courtesy of WSU Clallam County Extension Office Every week, Littlefield, who acts as middleman, sends out a newsletter to the gleaners and farm coordinators listing the gleaning opportunities. Gleaners then call either Littlefield or the farm or property owner to make arrangements to pick the excess product. “We’ve had 35 cherry gleaning events so far,” Littlefield said, which was in mid-July. Case in point: Robert Roon’s property, located up Blue Mountain Road halfway between Sequim and Port Angeles, is strewn with apple and cherry trees. The cherries — again in mid-July — were ready to be picked, so Roon put a call in to Littlefield who put the word out there were cherries to be gleaned. Nancy Billings, a 5-year volunteer, and Georgina Batson, a firsttimer, answered the call to pick the cherries. Within an hour or so, boxes
• An estimated 25-40 percent of food grown, processed and transported in the United States will never be consumed. • Up to 40 percent of the good, safe food produced in America never makes it to people’s plates. Instead, 70 million tons goes to waste. • When food is disposed of in a landfill, it rots and becomes a significant source of methane — a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. • More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste. — Source: Feeding America
of fresh-picked cherries were ready to have Charles Bouchard, a food bank volunteer, shuttle them off to the food bank. History shows gleaning is certainly not a new concept. In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Hebrew farmers were commanded to leave a portion of their crops unharvested and allow poor neighbors and strangers to come onto their land to pick what was left for themselves and their families (Leviticus).
Vegetables from River Run Farm are ready to go to local food banks. Photo courtesy of WSU Clallam County Extension Office 20 LOP Fall 2016
LEFT: Nancy Billings isn’t afraid to climb a tree for the sake of gleaning cherries. Billings has been a volunteer gleaner, working with Dan Littlefield through the WSU Clallam County Extension Office, for five years. “It’s wonderful to be able to help others,” she said. Monday during growing season. The food mostly goes to food banks and church programs, he added. In addition, what doesn’t sell at local farmers markets is available to the food banks. “We hate to see good food go to waste,” said Maroney, speaking for Huber and his employees. “It may not be as pretty, but has just as much nutritional value and tastes good.” There are several other farms that participate in the gleaning program, including potatoes from Lazy J Tree Farm, The Farm, Chi’s Farm and Weaver Farm, to name a few. As of mid-July, the weekly take from River Run Farm alone garnered 1,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables, and there were 35 cherry gleaning events resulting in who knows how many boxes of perfectly good cherries. “When we get into apples, the number skyrockets because they are heavier,” Littlefield said. Last year 23,000 pounds of food were gleaned and that was just what went to the food bank and doesn’t count what went to other food programs in the area, Littlefield added. The WSU Clallam County Extension food recovery program supplies food to all food agencies in the county, including the Sequim, Port Angeles, Forks and Jamestown food banks, the Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Clubs and school summer feeding programs.
In England and France, the government actually protected the rights of the rural poor to glean leftover crops from nearby farms. Picking leftover crops for the local community was an essential part of farm life and the harvest process for hundreds of years, until new private property laws and farming technology began to limit gleaners’ rights. In 1987, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Hunger held a hearing to raise awareness of and support for gleaning organizations throughout the United States. Nine years later President Bill Clinton signed the Good Samaritan Act, which encourages individuals and organizations to donate excess food instead of throwing it away by protecting donors from liability on any food donation made in good faith. Gleaning organizations today remove food from farms, restaurants, grocery stores, wholesale markets, farmers markets and backyards. Fortunately, Clallam County is gleaning-friendly, with at least a dozen farms sharing the spoils, as well as grocery stores, restaurants and individuals, to name a few other food resources. Over at Nash’s Organic Produce Farm, sales manager Sid Maroney stresses the importance of gleaning. “Nash’s supports gleaning programs and tries to make sure we make the most of the food before making compost out of it,” Maroney said. Nash’s, owned by Nash Huber and Patty McManus-Huber, is one of more well-known farms located on the fertile delta of the Dungeness River, home of the really, really good carrots, and of course, plenty more organically grown vegetables. The gleaners, Maroney indicated, come to the farm every
These delicious cherries were picked by volunteer gleaners at Robert Roon’s property near Sequim. Fall 2016 LOP 21
We have miles and miles to go in reducing (food) waste.
— Dan Littlefield, food recovery coordinator, WSU Clallam County Extension WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
Food is a biological need, Littlefield asserts, and it’s important to see to it that everyone eats. However, getting food to food banks and food programs is only half of the equation in food recovery. The other half — reducing food waste. “Feeding people in need and reducing food waste work together,” Littlefield proposed. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 30-40 percent of food in the United States goes to waste each year. This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste where it accounts for a large portion of methane emissions. Rotting food decomposes and releases methane, a form of climate pollution that is up to 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Reducing food losses by just 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables. There are barriers to reducing food waste, two of which are storage constraints and excessive market standards. “Storage is an issue on the peninsula,” Littlefield said. “It’s geography and transportation issues, too.” For example, if lettuce is ready to be picked and donated from several farms, too much is a problem, since lettuce has a relatively short shelf life. As the coordinator of the Peninsula Food Coalition, a group of organizations that helps feed the hungry on the Olympic Peninsula, Littlefield is able to coordinate with the individual organizations as to which entities have or don’t have cold storage units. And, even in that scenario, some cold storage units at say a food bank, don’t operate more than a day or two per week, meaning a bunch of lettuce — or other vegetables requiring refrigeration — spoils. If the food isn’t harvested by volunteer gleaners, it then goes into the ground as compost, so it’s important to glean foodstuffs that have a short shelf or field life as soon as calls come in, Littlefield said. When it comes to stocking supermarket shelves, all fruits and vegetables are held to incredibly high aesthetic standards. Admit it — most of us pick up five or six tomatoes before choosing the perfectly round, robust red, not too hard, not too soft tomato. For supermarkets and consumers alike, it does’t matter if vegetables and fruits are organic or conventional, nutritious or flavorful or bland, if they don’t meet the criteria established by the government and the supermarkets, they won’t and can’t be sold to American consumers. If they can’t be sold, they will not be eaten and will go to waste. According to a report from the USDA, 25 billion pounds of produce from supermarkets are wasted each year. “The only thing a customer can know about a piece of produce bought from the supermarket is what they can see,” explained Leonard Pallara, a farming consultant with Organic Sage Consulting in New Jersey. Plenty of produce doesn’t even make it out of the field, Pallara added. Because supermarkets require fruits and vegetables to be uniform size, many farmers don’t bother harvesting too-small or too-big produce. What happens to produce that’s rejected before it hits the shelves? Most of it lands in Dumpsters and landfills. In an effort to spread awareness about the importance of reducing food waste, the National Resource Defense Council has partnered with the Ad Council to create a new public service announcement inspiring Americans
22 LOP Fall 2016
Daniel Littlefield, food recovery coordinator for the WSU Clallam County Extension Office, explains the ins and outs of the gleaning program that provides good food for local food banks.
to “Save the Food” by showcasing the loss of resources when food goes unconsumed.
FARM TO FOOD BANK
Although we have a long way to go in reducing food waste, as Littlefield reminds us, Clallam County is doing its part. A program called the Farm to Food Bank Purchasing Program recently received funds from the Washington State Department of Agriculture which assures fresh vegetables and fruit from a half-dozen local farms are headed to food banks in Sequim and Port Angeles. Littlefield wrote contracts for the six farms that are either new or some of the smaller farms on the peninsula. He said the program, which started with $2,000 from WSDA and local entities and individuals matching that funding, has encouraged the farms to donate extra produce for free. James Burtle with River Run Farm said the Farm to Food Bank program is helping complement sales at River Run’s farm stand and sales at the Port Angeles and Port Townsend markets. Like other farm owners in the area, Burtle says it’s really important to help one another. And the best part of the program? Food bank clients get fresh and free produce. Nick Hoffman, co-owner of the The Farm off of Sequim-Dungeness Way calls The Farm to Food Bank program important and a way to perhaps reduce obesity and diabetes.
But Littlefield was particularly excited the excess food would not end up in a landfill. Meanwhile, back at the Sequim Food Bank, the excitement was building as more and more pallets were unloaded and a couple of donated boxes of cucumbers set out for clients. Steven Rosales, a volunteer for the past 11 years and president of the food bank board, directed all donations to their proper spots. He proudly pointed out a large produce stand donated by the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club and partially funded by the Sequim Seventhday Adventist church members. “Rotary has put in years of time and funding for the food bank,” Rosales said. For Smith, seeing the array of fresh foods is thrilling as one of her longterm goals is to provide healthier options for those who use the food bank. “There are a lot of fresh options now and we are working to get more,” Smith said. “It takes baby steps to get from chips to grapes, to reduce sodium and sugary foods.” Another piece of exciting news came from Huber, who plans to set up a farm stand at the Sequim Food Bank, which will be available to anyone who happens to walk by, as well as those who use the food bank. “The more I can do to help, the better,” Smith said of the prospect of more fresh fruit and vegetables. And so the circle is complete. Gleaners, farmers, food coalitions, backyard gardeners, farmers markets, grocery stores, nonprofit organizations all play a part in connecting abundance with need, in reducing food waste and finding new ways to see to it that everyone eats. A most worthy, love-thy-neighbor goal, to be sure. Mary Powell is a freelance writer and community volunteer in Sequim. Sequim Gazette editor Michael Dashiell contributed to this story.
Sunset and the day is nearing an end at River Run Farm in Sequim. Gleaners Karen Coles, left, and Diana Mullins haul their cart full of produce for transport to the area food banks. Photo courtesy of River Run Farm
Sequim Sunrise Rotary and the Sequim Seventh-day Adventist Church members teamed up to build this produce stand at the Sequim Food Bank. “Rotary has been very supportive of the food bank over the years,” said Steven Rosales, president of the Sequim Food Bank board. Fall 2016 LOP 23
The Whittier Hop House once stood in what is now downtown Forks.
Brewing up a good time at the annual Fish N Brew Story and photos by Christi Baron Fins down, it is probably the best little event that you have never heard of. It is the annual Fish N Brew, sponsored by the West End Business and Professional Association, and 2016 marks the 20th year this event has been around. It all started in 1996, the annual Hickory Shirt Days celebration, held each fall in Forks, had been renamed Hickory Shirt/Heritage Days. The heritage addition added in the agricultural aspect to the celebration and that was the real reason most early pioneers ventured to the West End of Clallam County. A few friends formed a faux organization called the Forks Hops Commission, paying respect to the hops growing and harvesting operations that once occupied the Forks Prairie. Local beer and wine makers were invited and what goes with beer and wine? Well, everything, but most people that live in this area have their own secret, special smoked fish recipe(s), so the first Fish N Brew was planned.
24 LOP Fall 2016
The bluegrass group Loose Gravel is the official house band of the annual Fish N Brew.
If you have never partaken in the annual Fish N Brew, either as a participant or a spectator, you are missing out on a chance to enjoy some of the many traditions handed down from generation to generation in the West End. Every year, local fish smokers and home brew folks get together for a celebration of their heritage and individual talents. This event first took place at the Huckleberry Lodge Barn. It outgrew that location and was moved to the 110 Business Park Roundhouse. Last year the event moved uptown … literally, well, actually smack-dab in the center of town at the Rainforest Arts Center, 35 N. Forks Ave., and for 2016 the event will be there again Saturday, Oct. 8. Past fish entries have included smoked fish chowder, standard smoked fish recipes and one year one creative contestant served up smoked fish ice cream with corn chips. Before you turn up your nose, it was delicious! The fish entries also are judged on presentation and many contestants have clever names for their entries, one favorite and a past first-place winner is “Cause for Divorce” smoked fish. Other catchy names for fish entries have been Caught-but-not-Forgotten, Smokin’ Chowder and a smoked salmon dip named Dippity-doo-dah. The contestants take the smoked fish contest very seriously and many start planning months ahead — and don’t ask for their recipe! The sampling by the general public of the contestants’ wares will take place from 1-4 p.m. and toe-tapping musical entertainment will be provided by local bluegrass group Loose Gravel. Those over 21 also will have a variety of local brews to sample and for non-alcoholic beverages, there will be homemade root beer. The WEB or West End Brewers will offer up samples of their creations. WEB member Gordon Gibbs even grows his own white grapes and loganberries for the wines he makes. Gibbs has many different types of beers (including root), ranging in color and weight. One of his favorites is his raspberry light ale.
Mona Alfarra directs smoked fish samplers to the different entries at last year’s Fish N Brew.
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But you can be the judge of that. The brewers mostly brew for fun and don’t get caught up in the contest aspect, but usually a Peoples Choice prize is awarded. All fish smokers should be making plans now for the Oct. 8 contest. All fish entries should arrive by 11:30 a.m. for set-up and display for the official judging that will begin at noon. All brewers should get brewing their favorite batch or two and arrive prior to 1 p.m. The general public also will have the opportunity to cast their vote in the “Peoples Choice” contest for the best fish. Another addition to the festivities is original artwork by artist Jack Datisman who has created faux beer labels set to the theme of each Hickory Shirt/Heritage Days celebration. In addition to the current year’s label, Datisman also will have labels from the past for sale. Make this Heritage Days event part of your family experience. Come enjoy good music, good food and drink and good times with friends and neighbors, come rediscover the West End community. This is a casual event for the entire family. If you think you have smoking or brewing talents or just want to share with friends and neighbors, come join the fun. Those with entries or questions regarding smoked fish should contact Christi Baron at 360-374-3311. Those with entries or questions for home-brew and non-alcoholic beverages should contact Gordon Gibbs at 360-374-3346. The hops growing business didn’t work out for the early farmers. Hops needed to be dried and it is sometimes hard to get anything dry on the West End plus it was just too far to get them to market. But each spring a few of those original hops still force their way out of the ground on the Forks Prairie. The Forks Hops Commission and the annual Fish N Brew will continue to keep that history alive. Christi Baron is the editor of the Forks Forum.
ABOVE: Gordon Gibbs serves up a sample of one of his brew creations as his wife, Sue, looks on.
RIGHT: Last year’s faux label created by Jack Datisman, brewed by Civet Cat Brewers, never skunky.
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Going off the grid — — one family’s experience Story and photos by Christi Baron
The Goetze family all got aprons for the first step in off-the-grid baking. From left are Ed, holding Daphne, Phil, Jaymi, Riyan and Harper.
In December 2015, the Forks Forum began following the Goetze family as they sold all their modern day appliances and home and headed off the grid. Jaymi, her husband Phil and their three young daughters Riyan, Harper and Daphne, and their Great Dane left the comforts of running water, electricity at the flip of a switch and other things we all take for granted. The real journey started for Jaymi when she met Ed Ansorg, a teacher at Peninsula College in Forks. Jaymi described him as a “hippy” that used the same bottle everyday. But Ed got Jaymi looking at how she was living and how she impacted the Earth. After the class with Ed was over, a seed had
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been planted and after a short time with Phil’s family in Michigan where they operated a real farm, Jaymi’s mind began to ponder a different lifestyle. She admitted she couldn’t bake a loaf of bread but she figured her first step would be to buy an apron. After the class, Ed had become a good friend and he had 20 acres south of Forks. There was a house and some outbuildings that needed work, so the decision was made to go off the grid. Jaymi said, “We are a very modern family switching up our entire way of life. If Phil and I can teach our girls anything, it’s to be self-reliant. We are ready to live, get our hands dirty and be as self-sustain-
able as possible. Wish us luck! We are going to need it!”
WINTER IN THE WILD The Goetze family started their off-the-grid experience at probably the worst time of the year — December. Decembers in the West End are dark and wet anyway. As the second week of the adventure got underway, Jaymi was professing her love of electricity and having every light in the house on, but with solar power, that was a luxury that was not to be had. Jaymi had found aprons at a local store and everyone got one.
LEFT: Phil attacks the briers that covered most of everything. BELOW: Some early warm spring weather meant no shoes for the kids.
As the end of April came and things were growing in the greenhouse, work on a treehouse was begun, and Chompers had kidnapped a baby duck. Luckily, when chased, the dog dropped it unharmed. Honeybees were ordered so work was started on the bee houses that the bear had torn apart. “Once you change your lifestyle, a whole new world opens up to you with people you’ve never spoken to and things you’d never thought you’d do,” said Jaymi in mid-May. The Goetzes were getting to know other people on the West End with similar interests and knowledge that they shared. The new lifestyle also meant healthier eating habits for all.
Along with the girls in their aprons, they began to bake and make everything from scratch. “I know it’s not a big deal, but it is!” Jaymi said. Week three started rough. “As long as you don’t count the generator giving out, the deep cycle batteries being over charged to the point of almost killing them, the water pressure dropping and the system freezing completely solid, the pile of dishes that looked like a middle school science project, the two chords of wet firewood we purchased for whatever reason and the 24-volt chest fridge that crapped out on us, we are totally, 100 percent fine. Everything is going just as planned,” Jaymi said in her column. But not deterred, plans continued to be made for springtime and the fruit trees and gardens. As the end of January rolled around, Jaymi was dealing with sick children, no water pump, and plans for the girls’ bunk beds. She also began to take stock in what was on the property. She said, “We have eight apple trees, six cherry trees, six plum trees and six pear trees. The raspberry bushes have gone crazy and have decided to grow wherever they wanted. The red currant bushes need a little love as well. We sadly only have three blueberry bushes [we need more] and unfortunately have about four acres of Himalayan blackberries [There is so much wine to be made and I guess jam].” Jaymi and Phil did get away and go to “the city” for a hotel, television and some meals out. Back home, Jaymi had a mini-meltdown with a crying fit, saying she just wanted a flush toilet. But in the next moment … “This is what I have fallen in love with out here: 1. The rain on the roof: It’s so loud and soothing. 2. The wind: You can hear it come down the mountain, across the field and under the house. I can’t explain how incredible it is. 3. The view: There are only mountains and trees to look at. 4. Family time: #winning
The middle of February found the off-the-gridders dealing with mice, spiders, coyotes and the neighbors’ dog, Chompers. A bear that had been in the area was gone, and it had been raining a lot.
SPRING FORTH The beginning of March marked 10 weeks off the grid and some nice early spring weather. Things had gotten a bit more routine, Jaymi said, “Turning on and off the pump for water, making sure there is at least 26 pounds of pressure so someone can shower, emptying the toilets, saving ladybugs, killing spiders, sweeping the floor six different times a day, splitting kindling and firewood and recycling. Oh, the recycling is a pain! The only thing I cannot do because I’m terrified my face will blow up is lighting the propane oven.” In the middle of March, chickens were acquired, as well as strawberry, rosemary and mint starts. The water pressure tank was holding at 28.
With end of school year activities and field trips, Jaymi took a break from writing in early June. The end of June, she reported, “The garden is producing red and black currants and raspberries right now. But I see cherries, blueberries, figs, tomatoes, squash and a couple other things ripening.” July found Jaymi battling hornets and briars, but the elk had had their calves and everyone enjoyed watching them. Phil and Ed plumbed in the 1,100-gallon rain water tank to the house with a one micron water filter for the whole house, which helped with showering and washing dishes. The first of August, it was full on harvest for the off-the-gridders and Jaymi shared, “Over the past seven months, I have really discovered that I don’t care that much for off-grid living. Now don’t get me wrong, it definitely has its ups but it’s harder than most people realize.” As summer turns to fall, the Goetzes will soon approach a year off the grid. Will they make it? To read the full versions of Jaymi Goetze’s column, go to the Forks Forum website at www. forksforum.com. Christi Baron is the editor of the Forks Forum.
The chicken coop needed a lot of work before it was ready for chickens.
Fall 2016 LOP 29
Oysters make big comeback Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe revitalizes Sequim Bay beds Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate
“When the tide is out, the table will be set. This means that the S’Klallam peoples always had food when the tide was out. We could go out and gather foods such as crab, oysters, clams, mussels, sea urchin or seaweed.” — Kurt Grinnell, president of Jamestown Seafood
Beto Cornejo pulls a silo or sieve of 6-month-old Sequim Jade oysters and sets them on a barge for beach seeding the same day. Each silo weighs about 300 pounds.
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On a mild overcast August morning at John signed in 1985 by the University of Washington Wayne Marina, the cool, pristine waters of to flush daily. It is one of the cleanest places we We plant weekly — when Sequim Bay are bathing hundreds of thoucan grow these little guys,” Grinnell said. sands of seed oysters from a FLUPSY — a “At the Sequim Bay tidelands, we can have the seed is ready and we have a floating nursery that constantly circulates year-round harvesting, day and night,” Grinnell low tide, we plant. nutrients through its 24 silos or sieves. said of the 37.5 acres he leases from the tribe, At a half-inch in width, these Pacific triploid which also includes geoducks, butter clams, — Kurt Grinnell and diploid oysters will hit the beach, be strewn little neck clams and cockles. by hand and benefit from the rich tidelands In the hatcheries, clones of adult oysters, no president, Jamestown Seafood near the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s campus bigger than a grain of sand, are raised to a large in Blyn. By March, they will have grown to 2-3 enough size to join the FLUPSY, where they inches as marketable size and be ready for the grow larger while it is docked at the marina. wholesale market nationwide, according to Kurt Grinnell, president of JamesOn this day, Grinnell said the FLUPSY, connected to a barge, will transport town Seafood, a burgeoning enterprise since 2011 based in the Sequim Bay about 200,000 thumbnail-size oysters across the bay for beach seeding. tidelands privately owned by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. “We plant weekly — when the seed is ready and we have a low tide, we From tiny Blyn, Jamestown Seafood has spread its reach from seed plant. During the maintenance tide, the oysters are scattered by hand — hatcheries in Kona, Hawaii, to Point Whitney at Brinnon, partnering with when the tide goes back out, the oysters feed better — maintaining the Troutlodge in Sumner, the world’s leading producer of eyed salmonid eggs beaches is what grows a good oyster, protected by nets and with enough and live rainbow trout for stocking, and a company involved in aquaculture space for food. Adult oysters eat algae and each one filters up to 50 gallons since 1945. of water a day,” Grinnell explained. The venture is overseen by Grinnell for the tribe as its seafood and geoApproximately 50,000 seeds are under each 15 foot by 50 foot net to preduck manager. vent them from washing away and to keep them safe from predators. Some “Like the lagoons at Point Whitney which allow us to use some of the seed also is grown in bags that tumble with the tides from buoys. cleanest water in Puget Sound, Sequim’s marina is unique in that it was deOn this day, José Betos is one of three Jamestown Seafood employees seeding the beach, a handful at a time. José Hernandez is the farm manager and of him, Grinnell said, “He has 21 years of experience from shucking, to driving, to planting — all phases — so we are lucky to have José here and he José Betos produces a good oyster.” The 5-gallon buckets the men use to scoop from contain 8,000-10,000 scatters seed seed oysters each, Grinnell guessed. A more exact measurement is 750 halfoysters on the inch oysters per liter. tidelands of Jamestown Seafood also sells to other farms as seed. Sequim Bay “This year,” Grinnell said, “we predict 30 million seed oysters in the hatchacross from eries with a goal in 2017 of 60 million. The program is a lot more consistent the Jamestown than it used to be because of the hatchery programs.” S’Klallam Tribe’s The company’s strong suit is wholesaling smaller oysters: the Sequim Bay campus in Blyn. Jades and the Sequim Bay Blue Opals — Grinnell said the goal for 2017 is to sell 5 million petites and smalls. The jades are grown directly on the rich black sandy floor of the bay and are described by the company as “silky smooth, displaying tantalizing mineral notes coupled with unmistakable brine, subtle sweetness and a fresh cucumber finish. They are clean, bright and provoke fond memories of the beach.” The blue opals are placed in mesh bags attached to buoys and when the tide comes in, it flips the bags where the oysters tumble back and forth, Grinnell explained. “Tumbling makes the oysters grow really deep cups and they’re really sought after as a raw, shooter oyster, but they’re a lot more expensive to raise and there’s more labor,” Grinnell said. Come harvest time, the blue opals are about 3 inches from hinge to lip.
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When the tide is out, the table will be set.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Matt Henderson, stands on the FLUPSY, a floating oyster nursery, supervising operations prior to transporting some 200,000 half-inchers to the beach to be seeded. Henderson is a hatchery technician at Jamestown Seafoods’ Point Whitney hatchery in Brinnon who makes sure the microscopic seeds survive. This 5-gallon bucket contains 8,00010,000 seed oysters. These thumbnail-size oysters will be ready for sale in March 2017. Kurt Grinnell, president of Jamestown Seafood, cradles a handful of Sequim Jade oysters that will be planted. The company says the blue opals “have a distinctive, bowl-shaped shell. They are plump, juicy and succulent, display a clean ocean flavor accompanied by subtle sweetness and buttery texture. On the finish, there are hints of melon that make this oyster truly memorable and thoroughly enjoyable.” At harvest, the oysters are cleaned, sized and processed in Brinnon and boxed for shipment. Depending where the customers are, they are either trucked or flown to their destinations. Locally, diners can enjoy them at the Next Door Gastro Pub in Port Angeles and Dockside Grill at John Wayne Marina. As Jamestown Seafood expands its market base, expect to find the Sequim jades and blue opals in other nearby restaurants. “We are marketing quite aggressively right now,” Grinnell said. “We went to the Boston Seafood Show last year with our marketing team and
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— Kurt Grinnell president, Jamestown Seafood
we hope to present on sustainable aquaculture at the next show, but we have yet to be chosen.” Profits from Jamestown Seafood go into the tribe’s general fund which pays for education, social services, health care, elder care, children’s programs and savings. There are 568 tribal members. “The Jamestown tribe looks at our aquaculture as rebuilding what the tribe had at one time which is what our people and our culture ate,” Grinnell said, “rebuilding our way of life with our native foods so our future generations will be able to eat the same food our ancestors lived on.” For more information on Jamestown Seafood, call 360-452-8370 or visit www.jamestownseafood.com. Patricia Morrison Coate is the editor of Living on the Peninsula and a reporter with the Sequim Gazette.
FALL 2016 CALENDAR OF EVENTS SEPTEMBER
• American Sprint Boat Racing, Extreme Sports Park, Sept. 10.
PORT TOWNSEND & JEFFERSON COUNTY • Chimacum Farmers Market, Chimacum Corner Farmstand, every Sunday, mid-May through October. • Port Townsend Farmers Market, Lawrence and Tyler streets, Saturdays, May to December; Wednesdays, June to September. • Port Townsend Gallery Walk, first Saturday of every month. • Quilcene First Saturday Art Walk. • Annual Wooden Boat Festival, Point Hudson in Port Townsend, Sept. 9-11. • Port Townsend Arts Guild Crafts by the Dock, Madison Street and Civic Plaza, Sept. 9-11. • Quilcene Fair and Parade and Classic Car Show, Quilcene/Brinnon, Sept. 17. • Jefferson County Farm Tour, map of participating farms at Chimacum Corner Farmstand, Sept. 17-18. • Port Townsend Film Festival, Sept. 23-25. • Quilcene Oyster Half Marathon, Sept. 24. • Port Townsend Ukulele Fest, Sept. 28-Oct. 2.
• Olympic Music Festival, Wheeler Theater, Fort Worden State Park, Sept. 10-11. • National Park Free Admission Day, Sept. 24.
Blake Park, Sept. 18. • Dungeness River Festival, Railroad Bridge Park, Sept. 23-24. • National Park Free Admission Day, Sept. 24.
SEQUIM & DUNGENESS VALLEY • First Friday Art Walk and Reception, multiple venues. • Sequim Farmers Market, Centennial Place, every Saturday through October. • Sequim City Band, James Center for the Performing Arts at Carrie
PORT ANGELES • Port Angeles Farmers Market, The Gateway, 125 E. Front St., Saturday mornings. • Concerts on the Pier, each Wednesday evening. • National Park Free Admission Day, Sept. 24.
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OCTOBER PORT TOWNSEND & JEFFERSON COUNTY • Chimacum Corner Farmstand, open Mondays through Saturdays. • Chimacum Farmers Market, every Sunday, May through October. • Port Townsend Farmers Market, 650 Tyler St., April through October. • Port Townsend Gallery Walk, first Saturday each month. • Quilcene First Saturday Art Walk. • Kinetic Skulpture Race, Port Townsend, Oct. 1-2. • Protection Island Fall Bird Migration Cruises, 360-385-5582, ext. 104, Oct. 1 and Oct. 8. • Port Townsend Ukulele Fest, downtown, Sept. 28-Oct. 2. SEQUIM & DUNGENESS VALLEY • Sequim Farmers Market, Centennial Place, every Saturday through October. • First Friday Art Walk and Reception, multiple venues. • North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival, Oct. 1-2. • Clallam County Farm Tour, Oct. 1. • Sequim City Band Concert, Sequim High School, TBA. PORT ANGELES • Port Angeles Farmers Market, The Gateway, 125 E. Front St., Saturday mornings. • Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival, at City Pier, Oct. 7-9.
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FORKS/WEST END • Forks Open Aire Market, 1421 S. Forks Ave., Saturdays. • Forks Logging and Mill Tour, Wednesdays through mid-September, www.forkswa.com. • West End Invitational Co-ed Softball Tournament, Tillicum Park, Sept. 10-11. • Forever Twilight in Forks, Sept. 8-11, Forks. • West End Thunder, Forks Airport, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17-18. • National Park Free Admission Day, Sept. 24.
FORKS/WEST END • Forks Open Aire Market, 1421 S. Forks Ave., Saturdays. • Hickory Shirt/Heritage Days, Forks, Oct. 5-9. • Fish ’n Brew, 110 Industrial Park, Forks, Oct. 8.
Fall 2016 LOP 33
Celebrating artists First Friday Art Walk Sequim unites community
Story and photos by Mary Powell
here’s a party going on in Sequim and it happens on the first Friday of every month. It’s not a party per se, such as a cocktail party, although you could certainly enjoy a glass of wine or two at Wind Rose Cellars in downtown Sequim. And it isn’t a dinner party or one with lots of snacks and whatnot, although you could grab a bite at Alder Wood Bistro over on Alder Street or at the Sunshine Café right next door to the wine shop. Convenient. And then there’s dessert at That Takes The Cake, serving up yummy cupcakes. Nonetheless, the party is entertaining, a celebration and even a bit educational. Don’t worry, no quizzes. Called First Friday Art Walk Sequim, this party has everything to do with art and what it encompasses. Sound a bit la-di-da, a tad arrogant, a touch pretentious? Believe me, it’s not. Everyone is invited, which can mean a crowd upwards of 200 people perusing downtown art venues and business that remain open on the first Friday. Since it is an art walk, the art galleries take top billing, especially the Blue Whole Gallery on Washington Street. A new show is hung in the gallery at the beginning of every month. Then, on the first Friday of the month, a reception is held from 5-8 p.m. for the public to view the new showing of artworks for that month. In August, the featured artists at Blue Whole were Mary Franchini, a mixed media artist, and Carl Baker, who creates wood sculpture and something called turning, which involves a lathe. Yes, I said lathe. A must see. Many other shops and restaurants in downtown Sequim are open on First Fridays as well, so there is plenty to see and do. In all there are between 25 and 30 galleries and businesses open late on First Friday. “We do well on First Friday,” said Barb Boerigter, a member of the Blue Whole Gallery. “It’s not just local people, but visitors. We are the anchor of the art walk.” Boerigter, a mixed media and contemporary artist, is one of the pioneers of the First Friday Art Walk Sequim. As she tells it, in June of 1997, the Blue Whole Gallery became an official gallery in downtown Sequim. Those involved in procuring the space, including Boerigter, decided to have a party to celebrate the Blue Whole opening, which just happened to be on a Friday evening. Thus the name, First Friday Art Walk. “And we’ve had one each and every month since,” Boerigter stated, then backpedaled a bit, saying only one was postponed “because of snow.” Shows you how little it snows here in Sequim!
34 LOP Fall 2016
Mixed media artist Mary Franchini talks with a visitor at the Blue Whole Gallery in Sequim. Franchini was a featured artist at the gallery during the August First Friday Art Walk. As an aside, ever wonder about that name, Blue Whole? The gallery is named after the “blue hole,” a term pilots use to describe the atmosphere above sunny Sequim. The “hole” in the clouds was changed to “whole” to convey the concept of “wholeness” in terms of the overall diversity of media and styles represented in the gallery. The Blue Whole is a cooperative gallery,
Boerigter explains, which means all members contribute to the operating expenses of the gallery and participate in the day-to-day operation of the gallery, such as preparing for the monthly First Friday celebration. Thirteen years ago one Renne Emiko Brock moved from Monterey, Calif., to our lovely little corner of the planet, that being Sequim.
To buy or not to buy, seems to be the dilemma for a visitor at the Blue Whole Gallery during the August First Friday Art Walk Sequim.
“I moved here because of the art in the city and it’s warmer and sunnier than Monterey,” Brock said with a half smile. A very colorful, expressive woman, Brock is a mixed media artist, has a master’s of fine arts degree and teaches art at Peninsula College in Port Angeles. She also is the director of the North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival which takes place on Oct. 1-2 at the Museum and Arts Center in Sequim. It didn’t take long for Brock to immerse herself in the local art scene. Ten years ago, she got to thinking about the First Friday Art Walk and decided to jump in with both feet.
FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK COLOR THEMES: January is silver, February is red, March is green, April is pink, May is aqua, June is white, July is purple, August is yellow, September is blue, October is orange, November is brown and December is gold.
Victoria Julian-Gray opened her shop, The Bag Ladies of Sequim, WA the day before the August First Friday Art Walk, but was well ready with a display of hand-dyed wearable fiber slippers, bags, purses and more. The shop is in the alley behind Washington Street in downtown Sequim, between Sequim and Second avenues. Fall 2016 LOP 35
“I recognized the Blue Whole had a reception on the first Friday of the month and there were other venues who were open on different evenings of the week,” Brock relates. “I wanted to see if they were willing to shift to Friday,” she said, which is apparently what happened. Sequim, of course, isn’t the only city with an art walk. Every month, local artists and merchants around the country join to support a city’s art scene with community events known as Art Walks. These art walks offer a free and easy opportunity to enjoy the arts in neighborhoods across the city and by bringing the community together, they support both talented artists and small businesses. According to the Office Arts & Culture, Seattle, the First Thursday Art Walk in the Pioneer Square neighborhood in Seattle — started in 1981 — was in fact the first in the nation and set the stage for more than a dozen Art Walks now held regularly throughout the city of Seattle. Some cities hold Gallery Hops and Art Walks in which a number of the town’s art galleries or artists’ studios open their doors on a Friday evening. The idea is that galleries will attract people to the downtown core, as well as enriching the art community by pooling their openings together into one monthly evening. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Back in Sequim, the party continues. Olympic Theatre Arts, on North Sequim Avenue, is a regular participant in the First Friday Art Walk. OTA, which will produce eight stage performances during its 2016-2017 season, also hosts many a talented singer, actor or entertainer during its monthly Open Mic event or the First Friday shows. In August, two local singing groups performed for First Friday attendees. First on stage was Pistachio Moon, a trio consisting of Penny Pemberton, Michael Bunnell (creators of Open Mic) and John Winters. The three presented an eclectic mix of songs which they categorized as “Songs You’ll Remember.” The Aug. 5 First Friday event
First Friday gives us the opportunity to showcase the performing arts as an art form.
— Carol Willis executive director, Olympic Theatre Arts
FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK • Every first Friday of every month in Sequim • 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. • Downtown Sequim: Washington Street and neighboring streets • Contact: Renne Brock, www. firstname.lastname@example.org; Blue Whole Gallery, www.bluewholegallery.com, 360-683-6197 was the group’s debut as a performing trio. Next on the stage was a group called Buttercup Lane, which includes Diane Johnson and her husband Mike Johnson, and Rodger Bigelow. Diane Johnson called the group’s music “borderline swing,” and a bit of rock and roll. The name? The street where the Johnsons live. “First Friday is important to this theater,” said Carol Willis, OTA’s executive director. “It give us a chance to showcase performing arts as an art form, brings new people into the theater.” She added the event has been very successful for OTA. “We’ve done everything, music, dance, comedy, a radio show, readings, poetry, you name it,” Willis added. Brock refers to herself as the producer and (unpaid) sponsor of the First Friday Art Walk. “This (art walk) is a gift to the community that fosters connections between artists and businesses,” she said.
LEFT: Artist Renne Brock played a significant part in organizing the First Friday Art Walk in Sequim. She calls herself the producer and sponsor of the monthly event. RIGHT: A collection of teapots decorates the Sequim Spice & Tea Shop in downtown Sequim.
36 LOP Fall 2016
To create “inclusion” between venues, artists and audience, Brock came up with the idea of a color theme for each month and encourages all participants to wear the color of the month. For instance, August was yellow, for the bright summer sunshine, July is purple, marking the Lavender Festival Weekend, May is aqua, honoring the ongoing Irrigation Festival, and so on. From Brock’s perspective, the mission of the First Friday Art Walk is to create approachable and accessible art and cultural venues that encourage the community to connect and celebrate expression and diversity. One more fun event in the yellow month of August was the end to the month-long Keying Around art program which featured donated pianos scattered around the newly built Civic Center and other parts of Sequim. Two of the pianos went to silent auction during First Friday and sold for $500 and $600 each. The funding will support the City of Sequim Arts Commission’s projects and the Sequim School District’s art and music programs. A third piano will be moved around the city to promote future events. If you are so inclined, take a seat and tickle the ivories. Back in the early years when the First Friday Art Walk still was in the planning phase, Boerigter and a few other artists, including Judy Priest and Sharon DelaBarre sent out a query as to who would be interested, not only in the art walk, but in opening the Blue Whole Gallery. “There were those who said no, but quite a few who were interested,” Boerigter remembers. “We met and look at what would be required and here we are today.” Mark your calendars artists, art lovers, art wannabes, art watchers — and make sure to include the color — for the first Friday of every month. It’s guaranteed you will see some glorious art, meet new people and catch up with a friend or two. Yes, there’s a party going on in Sequim. Be there or be square!
Taylor Street: The Center of Downtown Port Townsend By Patrick J. Sullivan The one-block section of Taylor Street between Water and Washington streets has long been the “center” of downtown Port Townsend. Taylor Street connected directly to vessel traffic on Union Wharf and had a pedestrian staircase to “uptown” Port Townsend, where the Victorian ladies did not have to mix with the riffraff downtown during the city’s bawdy days. It was the first intersection in Port Townsend to gain a traffic light, back when early automobiles and horse-drawn conveyances were the norm. The McCurdy Building (right) was built in 1887 and for its first 80 years housed a drug store, a jewelry shop and The Delmonico restaurant, card room and bar. Another prime corner (left) is occupied by the four-story Mount Baker Block. Initially intended to be a hotel when construction began in 1890, it was made into an office building instead, with commercial space on the street frontage. The national economic crisis of the early 1890s stopped many projects in Port Townsend, including the Baker Block’s upper two floors, the interiors of which were not completed for nearly 100 years. At the other end of the Mount Baker Block’s side of Taylor Street is the Miller-Burkett Building, the spire of which is still there today. Built during the boom period of 1889, the building’s ownership quickly changed when the economy collapsed. It became widely known as the “Elks Building” when it was occupied by Elks Lodge 317 from the early 1900s until 1997 (the Elks took over the Taylor Street level in 1952), when a new Elks Lodge opened just outside of the city limits. In 1925, the intersection of Water and Taylor marked the terminus of the last expansion of the Port Townsend Southern Railroad. The intersection was figured to be an ideal place for people disembarking from a passenger or car ferry to catch the train to Port Angeles or vice versa. The passenger train service downtown lasted only a few years, replaced by the convenience of the automobile going directly onto auto ferries. The Haller Fountain (center, background), at the intersection of Taylor and Washington streets, was installed in 1906. The stairs, leading from downtown to uptown, later were relocated to the slope’s center. The Pontius-Haller Building (1888-1889) is visible to the right of the stairs, at Taylor and Washington streets. The building was torn down in 1958. Beginning in 2012, the City of Port Townsend’s “streetscape” projects brought pedestrian bulb-outs and other features to that one block of Taylor Street, which also by that time had been turned into a one-way street. Today, it’s still known as one of the best downtown locations for a retail business, and with the ever-popular Rose Theatre in the center of the block, it remains the heart of Port Townsend’s commercial core. Patrick J. Sullivan has lived in Port Townsend since 1989, married into a Jefferson County pioneer family and has learned local history thanks to the writings of people like James Hermanson, Dorothy Siebenbaum McLarney and Tom Camfield.
This is a Torka’s Studio postcard view from 1915 of Taylor Street looking toward Haller Fountain (installed in 1906), the path many people walked upon arriving in Port Townsend via Union Wharf. Leader Collection photo
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Fall 2016 LOP 37
A recast version of Haller Fountain still highlights the west end of Taylor Street in downtown Port Townsend. Photo by Patrick J. Sullivan
Cultivating Blessings By the Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith
he Olympic Peninsula teems with rich life in varied wildlife, old-growth forests, ocean-bathed beaches and sky-touching mountains. And tucked in amid this majestic beauty are charming small farms that produce everything from fresh milk to eggs with bright yellow yolks to organic buffalo meat to a smorgasbord of vegetables to fragrant lavender. This place of abundant nature reflects the creative power of the Divine and the co-creative devotion of humanity. In the Hebrew Scripture, the more accurate translation is that humanity has been “entrusted” by the Divine with the world. That devotion to caring is expressed all around our blessed peninsula. To watch the seasons of nature that unfold all around us in the turnings of the year is to watch the seasons of one’s own life. Times of bursting new life with spring … times of nurturing that growth amid summer … times of autumn harvesting what has emerged … and times of unseen rebirth under winter’s chill … and then ever entering the cycle once again. And to live in life energies consciously and communally is to enter the miraculous and hard-earned world of bringing forth bounty from the earth that is farming. For we all farm in one way or another as we create our lives. Like a farmer in the field, the way in which we nurture our intentions is elemental to the ultimate outcomes in life. The spiritual master Jesus reminds us of this in the seed parable. The sower first dropped some upon the path where it was trampled on and eaten by the birds … like when we set a goal and then put no energy into it so it disappears before it even begins. Next, some seed dropped amid the rocks and withered for lack of moisture … just as our dreams do when we give them no depth of commitment. Some were scattered amid the thorns that choked out the growing plants … just as our fears, doubts and resentments can limit our willingness to move forward.
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Finally, some of the seeds fell into good soil where they flourished … just as our possibilities do if we give them the tender loving care they require. “Building Your Field of Dreams” by Mary Manin Morrissey is a metaphysical classic that goes into depth with the analogy of how we build our lives just as a farmer tends the crops and animals entrusted to his/her care. She reminds us that we are the co-creators of our lives working in the creative field of the Divine and that how we encounter this makes all the difference in what unfolds. We are the growers of our lives and are called to remember that … “The Universe can only do for you what it can do through you.” In “Building Your Field of Dreams,” there are four cycles of creation embodied in the outer world of nature and in our inner world of possibility. Through us, these two worlds link and weave together to produce what manifests. Each is essential and part of the process. We’d love to hold a seed and have it instantly turn into a rose, but few are masterful enough at transcending time and space to do that. Most of life in this world is that of process. First comes Clearing the Field. This involves Divine Discontent emerging to call you to create something new amid the existing status quo. That nebulous sense of wanting then begins to take shape until you realize more clearly what is calling you forward. This becomes the deciding of the dream you are seeking. And it can only move forward if you clear the stones of disbelief and unworthiness that block your way to achieving what you desire. After the field has been cleared, there is rich soil available and you come ready for Planting the Seed. This is where your clear intention then must be consciously placed into your mind, heart and world. Fear will arise to call to question if you really want this. Abundance also will arise to provide the faith to continue. Your path will be directed as to where to plant your seed
as you plant with “the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” Next comes the exciting process of Growing the Dream. This involves following guidance as to how to provide tender loving care needed moment to moment. This growth process invites us to find meaning in failure when things don’t go exactly as we hoped … trusting in that assurance and conviction as we engage with what is and adjust as needed. It invites ingenuity and calls for integrity as you reveal what is desired growth and what are unhealthy weeds. Finally, comes the celebratory time of Harvesting the Crop. That which was visioned and grown now comes into full expression through our devoted efforts and continued dedication. We reap the benefits of what we have created and share it with the world. The most powerful realization that can come amid this time of joy is that while we were building our dream … the dream also was building us. We have grown on our Soul Journeys in this process of creation. So “Go forth and prosper” as Spock would say. When you need inspiration, look to the beauty of nature and the bounty created from our local farms. And always remember Mary Manin Morrissey’s conclusion … “Extraordinary people are ordinary people who seek to uncover the extraordinary that already exists within them … We benefit others by choosing to cherish our own dreams.” Go forth into your Field of Dreams for yourself and for all of us. The Rev. Pam DouglasSmith is the minister at the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend who leads international spiritual pilgrimages. Contact her at email@example.com.
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Fall 2016 LOP 39
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