Page 1



TTaylored Fibers


O Old Tarboo Farm


G Good earth, good stewards


P Planting with Dewey: TTips on gardening in the rainy West End


TTrue Blue to JD Green BBorte restores two-cylinder tractors


Back to basics B

LIVING ON CCouple THE PENINSULA | JUNE 2010 raises beef| SUMMER nature’s way

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OUR CLINIC OFFERS: Surgery Suite with Full Patient Monitoring Capabilities including Blood Pressure, ECG, Oxygen Saturation Comprehensive Pharmacy Radiology Services Fully Supervised Hospitalization On Call Doctor Available 24/7/365 DENTISTRY: Ultrasonic Dental Scaling provides excellent care for your pet’s teeth. Exodontics available on site and endodontic care by referral.



lue Mountain Animal Clinic, a locally-owned, non-corporate practice located between Sequim and Port Angeles, is dedicated to providing the highest quality Veterinary Medical Care in a friendly, relaxed setting. Blue Mountain Animal Clinic consistently offers complete preventative, diagnostic, medical, surgical and dental care in a comfortable client-centered manner. At Blue Mountain Animal Clinic we strive to offer not only sound advice, but also optimal veterinary care, thus allowing you the enjoyment of your companion for a maximum number of years. Our job is not only to treat your pet when he or she isn’t feeling well, but also to help you learn how to keep your best friend happy and healthy. LIVING ON THE PENINSULA | SUMMER | JUNE 2010

16 18

28 39

DEPARTMENTS Summer Recreation 6 Backcountry rides on horseback: Peninsula couple finds joy on four legs and with fellow riders



Good Gardening A shrub for all seasons

& Soul 21 Heart The holy work of bird-watching & Spirits 26 Food Yummy smoked salmon chowder

New Life 47 Your Summertime, the livin’ is easy

50 Events Calendar Living End 52 The 10 reasons to buy from local family farms & Then 54 Now Photographic journal

from T’s in Port Townsend

SPOTLIGHT 13 Taylored Fibers below the hype 18 Flying Fiddler Laurie Lewis does things her own way

23 Old Tarboo Farm 28 Good earth, good stewards with Dewey: 32 Planting Tips on gardening in the rainy West End


Blue to JD Green 36 True Borte restores two-cylinder tractors to Adventure 39 Call Stefanie Gates and Jessica Berry prepare for the trip of a lifetime on the back roads of Clallam County

to basics 44 Back Couple raises beef nature’s way On the cover: Barry Taylor feeds his Border Leicester sheep. See the full story on page 13. Cover photo by Viviann Kuehl


Contributors Patricia Morrison Coate

Chris Cook is the editor and pub-

is the award-winning editor of Living on the Peninsula magazine. She has been a journalist since 1989 and earned degrees inSpanishfromEasternMichiganUniversity and Indiana University. Coate joined the Sequim Gazette in 2004 as its special sections editor and can be reached at

lisher of the Forks Forum and a resident of Forks. He is the author of “The Kauai Movie Book” and other regional bestsellers in Hawaii. His book “Twilight Territory: A Fan’s Guide to Forks and LaPush” was published in May 2009. Cook is a graduate of the University of Hawaii.

Michael Dashiell

is sports editor for the Sequim Gazette. A graduate of Western Washington University’s journalism program, Dashiell has won numerous regional awards for photography and sportswriting. Dashiell can be reached at

Curtis Beus is the director and agriculture and natural resources agent for WSU Extension in Clallam County. He has a bachelor’s in animal xcience; a master’s degree in adult education; and a Ph.D. in rural sociology; all from Washington State University. Much of his time has been spent on developing programs aimed at revitalizing a rapidly declining local farm economy, developing alternative agricultural systems and products, direct marketing of farm products, farmland preservation, and promoting agritourism and other diversification strategies for farms and rural businesses in a rapidly changing economy.

Karen Frank

received her master’s degree in transforming spirituality from Seattle University. She is a writer and spiritual director in Port Townsend. Reach her at or

Beverly Hoffman

writes a gardening column for the Sequim Gazette that appears the first Wednesday of each month. She is an enthusiastic longtime gardener. She can be reached via e-mail at columnists@sequim

Contact us:

Viviann Kuehl has been a landowner and resident of Quilcene since 1982, although her family ties go back to homesteading in Jefferson County in 1905. She has written about the Quilcene community and Jefferson County over the past 20 years.

P.O. Box 1750, Sequim, WA 98382 360-683-3311 Patricia Morrison Coate:

Kelly McKillip always has loved writing and the arts and recently has forayed into combining the two in freelance articles. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Marylhurst College in Marylhurst, Ore., and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Hayward State University in California. She works as a nurse at Olympic Medical Center and volunteers at The Dungeness Valley Health and Wellness Clinic.

226 Adams St., Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Fred Obee: Vol. 6, Number 2 Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication. © 2010 Sequim Gazette 4 © 2010 Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader


Ruth Marcus offers leadership and lifestyle coaching in Sequim. She has earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology, a doctorate degree in religious studies and is a certified professional coach. Her Sequim Gazette column appears the second Wednesday of the month. She is a published author and writes one-line daily inspirations for a national readership. Visit www.DrRuth or blog/dr_ruth_marcus. Fred Obee is a longtime Pacific Northwest journalist. He graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham with a degree in journalism and has edited weekly, twice-weekly and daily newspapers from Puget Sound to Northern California. Currently he is the general manager of the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader and can be reached at

Joan Worley

A native of Ohio, Joan Worley holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature. She is a retired university teacher and administrator, currently at work on a novel. Joan and her husband, Jess McKenzie, live in Sequim.

Design: Melanie Reed is the awardwinning lead designer for Living on the Peninsula. She has been a graphic designer for the Sequim Gazette since May 2004. She earned a bachelor’s degree in drawing from Western Washington University and also enjoys painting. Reed can be reached at production@sequim





Backcountry rides on

horseback Peninsula couple finds joy on four legs and with fellow riders

By Mi chael Dashi el l


Above: Pictured at Stoney Point, Larry and Sherry Baysinger take a break from mule-and-saw work at the Elkhorn Trail. Top: Don Stoneman, aboard Chief, seeks a bit of shelter on a ride to Deer Park. Photos courtesy of Kim Beus

Backcountry Horsemen of Washington, Peninsula chapter


Meets: Fourth Monday of each month Time: 6 p.m. Location: County commissioners meeting room, Clallam County Courthouse, Port Angeles Contact: Kim and Curtis Beus, 683-3306; Marc Reinertson, 452-5518

ike many other trail users, backcountry horse riders have a policy known simply as, “Leave no trace.” That may explain why, for about 15 years, horse riders Kim and Curtis Beus hadn’t known much about Clallam County’s Backcountry Horsemen chapter until last year. For these lifelong riders, joining the group was a revelation. “These trails, I had no idea where they were,” Kim Beus says. “I love the mountains and I’ve always loved horses,” Curtis says. “This combines the two.” The Backcountry Horsemen of Washington’s Peninsula chapter meets once per month (see box). With about 70 dues-paying members and upwards of 40-50 riders attending each meeting, the group — along with the Buckhorn chapter in Jefferson County — is a kind of grassroots club of backcountry riding experts and trail managers. The Beuses have plenty of riding experience Curtis grew up on a farm in Othello and took to riding early, while Kim managed to get her riding in at an early age while living in a subdivision. Until about a year ago, however, the couple rode their horses less and less frequently, down to about two times a year. That’s when they heard about the Peninsula chapter, a group of riders dedicated to saving public lands trails for equestrian use. Now the Beuses ride twice a month or more. For starters, the Beuses say, the group is just plain fun.

They get out with friends and have rides in areas like Miller Peninsula on the east end of the county and Mount Muller headed west just past Port Angeles. Activities include rides on established trails or on someone’s property followed by a group potluck or dinner. Or riders go out to work parties to help clear nearby trails or assist groups (like Olympic National Park, Department of Natural Resources or Washington Trails Association workers) that are doing the maintenance, furthering the theme of “Leave no trace.” “It’s a good, clean group,” Kim Beus says. “It’s noncompetitive and they are from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter how much money you have.”

Honored for their work Backcountry Horsemen members have earned the trust of land managers, who often give backcountry riders keys to gates that help secure local trails such as Camp Creek. The Friends of Olympic National Park honored both Peninsula and Buckhorn chapters with their 2010 President’s Achievement Award for their efforts to keep the backcountry trails open and safe for use. In all, Peninsula horsemen logged 3,120 hours of volunteer hours while the Buckhorn chapter added 680 hours. It was the first time the Friends group had honored a group rather than an individual. In April, the Back Country Horsemen of America — the national chapter — was one of about 200 groups invited to the White House’s Conference on America’s Great Outdoors.


The groups’ goal, Curtis Beus says, is, “to keep the backcountry open, not just for horse people but everyone.”


An all-ages club The group is for all ages, Kim notes. The Backcountry Horsemen has a junior program that encourages young adults to pick up when the more “senior” group members are done riding. Young local rider Logan Johns was busy this May training a rescue horse, Toby, to pack and also riding his 21-year-old gelding Reggie. Despite a persistent rain, Johns was determined to help pack tools and bring his own stock into the backcountry. Meetings include talks from horse experts and veterinarians, discussion about the monthly ride and more. The meetings are open to anyone, Kim Beus says, not just those with horses. The group is a non profit, meaning any funds donated are tax deductible. Some of the Beuses’ favorite trails include Mount Muller, the Upper Dungeness, the Hoh Rain Forest area on Clallam County’s west end, the Dosewallips campground near Brinnon, the Bogachiel and Elwha rivers and Whiskey Bend. Reach Michael Dashiell at


Above: The view near Camp Handy is remarkable as backcountry rider Gary Zink rides Buster toward Buckhorn Pass. Left: Riders enjoy a warm-weather day at Camp Creek. This trail is accessible across U.S. Highway 101 from the Mount Muller trailhead. Photos courtesy of Kim Beus


Summer RECREATION Local Horse Trails Bogachiel Trail Take U.S. Highway 101 south past Forks and watch for the signs for the Bogachiel State Park on your right. Just before the park, take a left on Undie Road. Follow Undie Road to where the pavement ends and keep on going, just drive carefully since the road is rather beaten up here and full of potholes. This road is graveled and there is a steep hill that requires a four-wheel drive truck. The road ends at a little parking lot. There are signs for the trail. It’s a beautiful winding river trail with many river crossings.

Hoh Rain Forest Trail Take U.S. Highway 101 south past Forks and watch for the signs about 15 miles south of town. Take the left turn and follow the Hoh River up into the national park and continue to the end of the road. The road is well paved and everything is nicely marked. Just past the ranger station there are two corrals. The trail to 5 Mile Island is easy and quite lovely.

and 31 miles west of Port Angeles (it’s west of Lake Crescent, near MP 216, on U.S. Highway 101; watch for the little milepost marker signs along the road). Look for the large “Mt. Muller Littleton Loop Trailhead” sign and turn onto FS Road 3071. Follow that for about one-half mile to the trailhead and parking area, with a vault toilet, picnic tables, bulletin board and fire pit. A NW Forest Pass is required.

Sadie Creek This is located in the Lyre River State Forest. Drive five miles west of Joyce on Highway 112, about 18 miles west of Port Angeles). Turn south on logging road 3040; it has been signed as Sadie Creek Recreation Area. The parking lot is one-tenth mile up and on the right. Distance of the short loop is 11 miles. Ride up 3040 Road one-tenth mile to PA 1200, in one-tenth mile will be PA 1000 that you ride up for five miles and take a left on an unmarked road (second left on the entire PA 1000). The road turns into the trail and follows the Lyre River to the power line for 2 miles. This river bottom is beautiful and fun. Follow the power line to the left (west) for four miles. It runs into PA 1200 and brings you back to the trailhead. There is a longer loop for horses. The off-road vehicles have their own trails on the north side of Highway 112.

Salt Creek Recreation Area Mount Muller Trail Take U.S. Highway 101 about 24 miles east of Forks

Take Highway 112 to Camp Hayden Road. Follow 3.5 miles to Salt Creek Recreation Area. Horse parking

is before you enter the park on the right-hand side of the road. No horses are allowed in the campsite/park areas. Horse trails are marked and are on and off logging roads and trails.

Robin Hill Farm County Park This is located between Port Angeles and Sequim off Dryke Road. The landlocked park has 195 acres of forest, meadow and wetland. Ride your horse through stands of tall Douglas-fir and along rolling meadows. Visit one of several ponds that dot the landscape or stretch your legs with a stroll along an irrigation ditch. The Discovery Trail runs through the north end of the park making for an enjoyable ride, great for new riders, too.

Upper Dungeness River Trail, Tubal Cain From Sequim, travel east on U.S. Highway 101 for about two miles. Turn onto Palo Alto Road and continue to the forest boundary, at which point the road becomes FS Road 28. Follow this for 1.1 miles to FS Road 2860. Turn right onto 2860 and go 11 miles to the Upper Dungeness Trailhead. Upper Dungeness Trail makes its way along the picturesque Dungeness River for the first 3.2 miles to Camp Handy, a popular camping area in the Buckhorn Wilderness. The trail then climbs steadily to the intersection with the Home Lake Trail. The trail connects with the Home Lake, Royal Creek, Tubal Cain and Upper big Quilcene trails. The Dungeness Trail ends at Marmot Pass.

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fibers Story and photos by Viviann Kuehl

“I’ve always liked sheep,” says Barry Taylor. Taylor and his wife, Linda, are co-owners of Taylored Fibers, specialists in processing fleece from their own and others’ sheep. He is one of just a few custom wool processors in Washington. Barry grew up playing in woolen mills in Northern England, where the primary industry was wool textiles. His father ran a dye house and his mother was a weaver. After he finished school, Barry went to Australia at the age of 20 to work on a sheep ranch. “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” laughed Barry. “It was a lot of fun, a lot of work and it was really, really hot.” After four years, he had his fill of the ranch and went to Sydney in search of more money. He found a job as a manager in a large wool-processing company, where wool was washed, treated with a weak acid and heat to remove the vegetable matter, such as burrs and leaf bits, that gets stuck in fleece in the course of sheep life, and big expensive machines combed the cleaned


wool fibers to create usable roving for spinning, or sheets of batting for use in quilting. Barry ran a blending department there, combining fibers from different farms and breeds of sheep to produce 100,000 pounds of fiber a week. After about three years, he married and moved to Massachusetts, where he did the same type of work in one of the area’s woolen manufacturing firms. The industry was dwindling there when his wife got a job in Pullman and the couple moved. Eventually they divorced, Barry moved to western Washington and worked for a photographer for close to 20 years. He married Linda and they bought an old place on Dabob Road near Quilcene. Fixing up the farm has occupied his free time for the past 16 or 17 years, but his work shifted. About five years ago, he was talking to his neighbor Ed Cabler, who also always liked sheep. The conversation was about utilizing the land and soon they had decided they wanted to raise lambs for meat. “We bought some local sheep, cheap,” said Barry. “It was a ‘throw them in the pasture and see if it was a viable

idea’ kind of thing.” The sheep survived, a ram and eight ewes, all with twins. “Our fences were good and we hadn’t lost any to predation,” noted Barry. “The sheep were vicious,” said Linda. “They had horns and they were always putting them in you. The breed, Jacob, is wild and hard to herd, and exasperating, and they are not large, but they lamb beautifully. They never needed help. The lambs were dark little things, about 5 pounds at birth, and they would be springing up and running about even before their twin was born. It was a joy to watch them.” After the first year, they switched to Border Leicester sheep, a breed from Barry’s boyhood home region. This breed is bigger, better-natured and more expensive. They are considered dual producers, of both meat and good wool. “Sheep have a lot of illnesses, so you want good strong stock,” explained Barry. At first the couple raised the sheep for meat but later they began to focus more on the wool. Sheep constantly are growing wool fibers, greased with lanolin, and typically get shorn of their fleece every 10 months or so. An average shearing yields six to eight pounds of usable fiber. Around this time, the Taylors saw an ad for a wool carding machine. Left: Barry Taylor’s sheep know the hand that feeds them. Top left: A sampling of the colors produced at Taylored Fibers Top right: Taylor works the picking machine with a sturdy leather glove protecting his fingers from any accidental 13 spike punctures.

“We didn’t know how big it was, but we thought we’d look at it,” said Barry. “It turned out to be a large machine. We just bought it and decided perhaps we could make a business of it.” Barry began to put his knowledge of wool back to work, phasing into his new business as he phased out of his other job. Linda, a spinner and knitter, helped out when she was not working as a checker three days a week at Central Market. “Between the two of us, it was a pretty good arrangement,” said Barry. They found that a surprising number of people in the area keep sheep. Some want their wool processed for use, some want sheep as lawnmowers or pets and are not interested in the wool. Barry began to get wool from owners and from professional shearers. As the wool fleece comes in, from his sheep or others’, Barry weighs it, washes it and begins the mechanical processes when it’s dry. First, he fluffs the wool on a very basic picking machine, a pendulum equipped with very sharp metal spikes that swings over a bed of the same sharp spikes. He works the pendulum back and forth as he feeds the fleece through the two sets of spikes, being careful not to catch his hands or even his T-shirt. He can feed a fleece through in about 10 minutes. Next, he puts the wool through his carding machine, an elaborate contraption with about a dozen rollers and lots of drive belts that produces either roving or 20-inch-wide batting from the fluffed wool at a rate of about 6-8 pounds an hour. The length and the diameter of the fiber, the tightness of its

Barry Taylor shows recently washed bags of fleece ready for processing.

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curls, it’s springiness, and the cleanliness are all factors in quality. Across breeds, there is a variation of 2 to 14 inches in fiber length. Barry prefers working fibers of 4-6 inches, a good length for spinners. “There’s a lot of good wool grown in this area,” said Barry. “Fabulous animals, great fiber, marvelous stuff.” Barry also blends fibers from his llama, Zane Grey, with his wools for specific blends of texture and colors. He also works with alpaca fibers from local growers and is open to processing whatever comes in or what people want. Barry dyes some of the wool in a rainbow of colors and some is left natural. He keeps a supply of roving on hand for sale in his workshop. Now in his fifth year of business, Barry finds it primarily is fiber processing now. “I would love to have more sheep,” he said. “The main problem with livestock is the cost of the land and predation, like from cougars and dogs.” He continues to keep some sheep but no longer breeds them. “There’s so much fiber art around and people always are looking for new things. We meet lots of interesting artists,” said Linda, who retired last fall. “Now I’m working every day,” she laughed. “It’s better than having a real job,” Barry said. His processed rovings also are available at A Dropped Stitch in Sequim.

They are at work at 1671 Dabob Road. Contact them at 360-732-4109 or to make arrangements for a visit.

Barry Taylor and Zane Grey, his multi-colored llama, at Taylored Fibers in Quilcene.

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GOOD Gardening

Story by Beverly Hoffman

hitney Gardens offers visitors a half-mile stroll in nature that highlights an understory of rhododendrons and lacy Japanese maples. Above these plants is a tall canopy of mature trees — Kwanzan cherry, purple beech, Dougfirs — that reach both outward and upward. The setting is a perfect example how rhododendrons thrive beneath a protective canopy rather than struggling as foundation plants around a home orr as specimen plants. At Whitney Gardens, ens, rhododendrons have their basic needs eeds met: good soil, ample water and light, and plenty of nutrition. Whitney Gardens dens is viewer friendly. Each of the plants is labeled abeled with easy-to-read d signs. The paths are wide, covered with sand and gravel, and follow a gentle sloping land. A numberr of benches are on n the pathway, which makes it easy sy to sit and rest, or simply to be in n a quiet setting. as been added with A large gazebo has several tables, a perfect place for a picnic. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are available for a nominal fee. A donation box suggests $1 per person. The garden is open year-round, from 9 a.m. until late afternoon, and pets are not allowed. The garden is located in Brinnon, about 25 miles south of Sequim on U.S. Highway 101, an easy drive with several pastoral scenes. Rhododendrons are in bloom from February through June. Autumn leaf color occurs from mid-October to early November. A treat in late


Photos by David Godfrey

November is to see the spawning chum salmon in the creek. Between Halloween and Christmas, the staff transforms the garden with lights. Most people tend to choose a rhododendron based on the color of its bloom, but strolling through the gardens one can sense that rhododendrons can become a much more interesting presence in the garden if we give the foliage even more consideration than the size si and color of the bloom. ‘Goldflimmer’ has magnificent emerald green variegated leaves l and its new growth is tinged with a deep rose. ‘Superflimmer’ is even m more deeply variegated and needs full Bear’ sun. ‘Cinnamon ‘Cinn has a thick cinnamon nam brown indumentums, ind a felt-like appearance, underneath its deep green leaves gr and has white blooms with bright magenta freck freckling. Some rho rhododendrons add a dimension of fragrance in the garden. garden Probably the most fragrant are ‘Dexter’s Peppermint,’ Loderi ‘King George,’ ‘Heavenly Scent’ and R. luteum. Ellie Sather, owner of Whitney Gardens, is a steward of her land as much as she is a businesswoman. In the past several years, she has begun fertilizing her rhododendrons, the garden specialty, and other plants with organic rather than chemical fertilizers. Organic fertilizer has become much more costly as it’s grown in popularity. Most commercial growers still use chemical fertilizers, which are much cheaper and which

Above: R linearfolium; top: Glory of Littleworth; inset at right: Arnesons Gem



GOOD Gardening All rhododendrons mentioned in the article are hardy to 0 degrees F. The American Rhododendron Society Web site ( has a great deal of information about the 1,400 species and hybrid rhododendrons and azaleas. Click on to “Search ARS Rhododendron Database” and then click on the underlined red “species and hybrid database” with a photograph of each rhododendron and additional information, including 10-year size, bloom color, bloom time, etc., can be found. Also included are ROY (Rhododendron of the Year) awards, with photographs. contain a heavy concentration of nitrogen, the element that produces greener leaves. The public has become used to seeing picture-perfect plants and gauges most plants’ health by their mega-green foliage. By choosing not to use chemical fertilizers that can seep into a nearby stream and Puget Sound, she has chosen a more economically risky business decision. Sather, though, smiles at her decision, knowing there’s a business bottom line, but that there’s an even more important bottom line of stewardship. She and the entire staff have created their Aprons for Scholarships and design and sew their line of aprons, giving $500 scholarships to three Quilcene/Brinnon students each year. Sather understands that the land she owns is t he continuation of her parents’ dream. George and Anne Sather, her father and mother, bought the property in 1970 from Bill and Faye Whitney who had had the property since 1955. Bill, from Camas, became a pioneer hybridizer and grower along with his Portland, Ore., friend Ted Van Veen, who saw the popularity of rhododendrons spread from Europe to the United States. Before World War II, the aristocracy of Europe, especially the Rothschilds, journeyed to the Himalayas and China to collect seeds and specimens of rhododendrons and then planted them at their residences and in surrounding gardens so rhododendrons became the coveted plant. Today the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburg continues to have the world’s largest collection

of rhododendrons species. George Sather learned how to propagate rhododendrons from cuttings from Bill Whitney and soon the gardens were filled with more and more hybrids. ‘George’s Delight’ is named after him and has a yellow bloom with a dark pink border and matte green foliage. ‘Anne’s Delight’, a yellow bloom with red spotting, is named after her mother. ‘Ellie Sather’ is named for herself and has thick cinnamon colored indumentums (hairs) under the leaves. There are a number of rhododendrons named after the Whitney family, probably ‘Ann Rosa Whitney’ the best known and the most endearing to the family since it was named after Whitney’s mother. The garden is both a viewing garden and a viable business where rhododendrons and other plants, such as camellias, clematis, conifers, magnolias, maples and kalmias are sold. I was stunned by the number of maples they have for sale — more than 150, many that can be seen in plantings in the garden. The Whitney Gardens and Nursery catalog is full of information about their plants. Throughout the pages, rhododendrons the staff considers the best are starred. Several pages are committed to the care of rhododendrons. You can order a catalog by writing: info@whitneygardens. com. Their Web site is www.whitneygardens. com and they hope to update the Web page this year and highlight which plants are in bloom or at their peak of color. The Whitney Gardens are well tended by Ellie Sather, who oversees the entire operation with four or five workers who keep the gardens tidy, and by a permanent staff of five. Sather, though, says that the real overseer of the gardens is her mother Anne, 96, who sits in a wheelchair in front of the picture window and whose heart resides in the garden. She was the accountant, doing the books by hand — she had no need of a computer — until several years ago. She has loved the gardens for close to 60 years and still questions her daughter whether she is doing everything correctly. Sather nods her head and hopes that the


Above: Calstoker, Inset at left: Chapeau No 246 and Coral Mist; Below: Cinnamon Bear

stewardship she honors is as lovely as the rhododendrons and other plants she cares for and that it serves as a constant tribute to the Whitneys, as well as to her parents, George and Anne.


F iddler Laurie

Lewis does things her own way By Fre d Obe e


lying below the hype

Above: Laurie Lewis and singing partner Tom Rozum have been performing together for decades. The duo will appear in concert on the Fourth of July weekend at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend as part of Centrum’s summer concert series. Photo by Hali McGrath


aurie Lewis sits her coffee cup on a stool and pulls an acoustic guitar across her lap. She pushes a pair of sunglasses from her eyes to the top of her head and blinks in the early morning light. Arranged in front of her are a couple dozen prospective songwriters and musicians. She picks up her coffee, takes a sip, and searching for a beginning point, she says, “So, what do you want to talk about?” From the classroom in front of her comes a question. “With so many melodies out there, when you write one, how do you know that yours is completely original?” After thinking for a moment, she shrugs and says: “You just have to make it your own.” As much as anything, that statement describes Lewis and the path she has traveled. She is a pioneering musician, a fiddle player, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter who has found her own comfortable niche. She played bluegrass at a time when few women fronted their own bands and she mixed folk, country and old time music into a unique blend. Today she is a Grammy winner, widely respected by the giants of the business but content to fly below the hype of modern popular music. She is a troubadour in the finest sense of that word, traveling from town to town with her fiddle on her back, picking up tunes, laying them down and making them her own. “Bluegrass and folk music is very much interwoven in the day-to-day lives of the people who play it. Playing with other people, that’s what makes it special,” Lewis said. “It’s not a solo music. It’s a community music; it brings people together. The self-expression and the communication that comes from playing music together — I can’t imagine anything better than that.” Olympic Peninsula residents will have two chances over the July 4 weekend to hear Lewis. She performs at 1:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, July 3-4, at McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. Both concerts feature other performers from a broad range of traditional, acoustic American roots music. Lewis appears with Tom Rozum, a mandolinist and long-time harmony partner.

Top: Laurie Lewis and her band take traditional bluegrass in new directions. Lewis pushed the envelope early in her bluegrass career when few women fronted their own bluegrass bands. Photo by Mike Witcher


Lewis tumbled into the world of traditional American music as a teenager during the folk revival of the 1960s and was enthralled by it, but it wasn’t until she was in her early 20s that she pulled her fiddle from under her bed and jumped feet first into the San Francisco area bluegrass scene. Well outside the traditional Southern cradle of bluegrass, Bay Area musicians put their own stamp on the traditional sound. She says she never intended to break down doors, but in the early 1970s she helped found the Good Ol’ Persons, an all-female group, which was a distinctly different idea on the bluegrass circuits. She wrote her own songs, collaborated with others and developed her own sense of melody, harmony and style, all built solidly on that pure traditional sound. What she never did do was move to Nashville, as was common for someone looking to make a career with this kind of music. “I just never could make myself do it,” Lewis says. “I think that my strength of my home being in the Bay Area turned out to be a career weakness for me. I’ve just always been happy and content to live in the backwaters.” After 30 years, however, she’s racked up considerable accomplishments for a “backwater” musician. Her Grammy came in 1997 for “True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Mon-

roe,” and twice she’s been named Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Lewis’ performing companion is mandolinist-singer Tom Rozum. Their 1996 recording, “The Oak and the Laurel,” was nominated for a Grammy. “I love to have a partner to sing with, crave it deep down inside,” Lewis says. “And Tom’s the same way. He’s a very conversational mandolin player, always responding to what’s going on at the moment.” Centrum workshop participants in Voiceworks and Festival of American Fiddle Tunes will have the chance to work closely with Lewis and Rozum, as they are instructors at both workshops. The workshops are conducted at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend and both welcome people at all levels of musical ability. For more information, go to, e-mail or call 360-385-2470. The perpetually youthful Lewis turned 60 last year and she is making noises about slowing down. So far, that plan doesn’t seem to be working out so well. “I have too many songs — what are you going to do with them? If you don’t get them out and put them somewhere, there’s a whole backlog that just builds up, at least inside me.”

Find Your Voice, Feed Your Spirit at Centrum Fort Worden State Park Port Townsend, Washington

2010 Workshop and Festival Schedule Voiceworks: A Workshop for Singers

June 28-July 3 Festival of American Fiddle Tunes

July 3-10 PT Chamber Music Festival

July 15, 16, 17

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By Karen Frank ast weekend I traveled to Cape C Disappointment Di i State Park (not an auspicious name, but it will not disappoint you), because a friend of mine once had raved about the Lewis and Clark museum and the view of ocean and Columbia River together. She was right to rave. The Columbia River doesn’t look like a river where it meets the ocean; it spreads out and is indistinguishable from the whole. Yet the currents created by the river meeting the sea are dangerous ones. I watched container ships halt offshore until high tide to make a sprint past the river bar that makes passage upriver tricky. In order to contain and manage all this water inflow and outflow, several breakwaters were constructed on both the Washington and Oregon sides of the river. After standing on the Cape Disappointment north jetty in a windstorm watching sea lions surf on the waves and a grey whale breach practically beside me, I felt transported, scrubbed clean of the daily minutiae and larger trials, refilled with the lightness of bright air. What could be better? Unbeknownst to me, I’d come at a time when the migratory bird population was at its peak on the Long Beach Peninsula. Birds traveling north sought out Willapa Bay at low tide to feast on oysters and fish, swinging over to the ocean beaches to raft and rest at high tide. To see these winged adventurers better, Dana and I drove north from Cape Disappointment to Ledbetter State Park, hiking on the beach by the bay. Pelted by wind and rain, we nonetheless gazed enraptured as flock after gaggle of geese decided that that Sunday was the day to depart on the next leg of their flight to summer breeding grounds. Thousands of birds passed overhead, most I couldn’t recognize since they were tiny dots in the sky. But I could hear them gabble. I could see them form up, watch the stragglers rise from the water and join the distinctive V of the Canada geese and the brant. My heart opened up. I don’t know any creation story that begins with human beings, from Genesis to evolution. “In the beginning” are waters and light and the earth “in which we live and move and have our being.”


W are embedded b dd d creatures, sunkk ddeep iinto a tangle l We of vegetation and surrounded by creatures much older than we are, with which we cannot communicate. We can only admire and love them. Is our silent rapport a form of speaking? Certainly with our companionable cats and dogs it is, although when they’re sick, sometimes we long for the capacity to ask them questions and get answers in English. Our old cat Eleanor slowly went blind and she yells about it frequently. We wish she could have spoken up sooner and, if the condition still had proved impossible to prevent, that we could help her navigate better by giving instructions like “Turn right now, Eleanor, to get to the hallway.” Still, she adapts to her condition as many animals do, raptors learning to live in high-rise cities, coyotes occupying every niche they can find, deer munching along on our lawns and at the edges of forests and roads. Unfortunately, adaptation only goes so far until extinction or diminishment is reached. In an ironic twist, an oil rig sank in the Gulf of Mexico on Earth Day this year, with oil covering barrier islands off the coastline by early May. This threatens not only the habitat of birds and mammals, but the livelihood of shrimp fishermen and other human creatures. W.S. Merwin wrote a poem about these losses of civilization, implying that losing forests and animals was like losing our capacity to feel. What is it that we respond to with wonder? With joy? Usually it is not a traffic jam on the freeway or another bridge closure. We run outside to see a particularly beautiful sunset or lie on our backs on the prickly summer grass to watch meteor showers. We put up hummingbird feeders to watch those long-beaked tiny blurs of birds drink the sweet nectar. Spring is the time of noticing, a time of big movements. It’s the time when grass and weeds far outpace my ability to contain them and part of me doesn’t even want to. The lushness, the multiple greens of spring, surprise me each time the year rolls around to that season. We’ve even had new visitors this spring, including a

flock of at least 30 turkey vultures, none that I’ve ever seen on the Olympic Peninsula before. I ran outside to take pictures, holding the camera over my head, lying on the ground, anything to get a good shot, but mostly I have birds whose heads I have cut off or pictures with one and a half birds. I do have a few good photos of those spectral presences, with their bald faces that resemble masks of the original Phantom of the Opera. More appealing was the first red-winged blackbird to visit our yard, hanging ungainly off a bird feeder meant for smaller birds. We’re lucky here on the far end of the farthest reaches of the continental United States. Mountains, forests, rivers, ocean — that’s why I’m here and not back in the concrete Midwest. Most of us are nature lovers, whether we garden, set up bird feeders in our backyards or ford glacial streams in Olympic National Park. I’m sad about the spill in the gulf, grateful that we don’t have oil rigs looming off our shores, relieved that I don’t have to head out to the coast to try to wash gunky oil off terrified birds or sea otters. Surprise and wonder are the gifts of creation. Inevitable loss and grief is the price we pay for filling our souls with the fragrance of hyacinth and wisteria, our hearts with a depth of appreciation and love for everything and everyone around us. The least we can do is to reduce any harm from our journey. But, by serving and befriending all of life’s community of the singular grace notes of the sacred, we can do holy work.

Karen Frank is a spiritual director and writer living in Port Townsend. Feel free to contact her at or through her Web site


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Left: Working on a bed of mixed greens at Old Tarboo Farm are, left to right, Laura Lentz, “Squirrel,” and Dana Nixon. Farmer Nixon shares knowledge with her apprentices while getting vegetables to market.

Story and photos by Viviann Kuehl


ld Tarboo Farm takes its name from the road that runs past its site, on a small plateau nudging the western side of Tarboo Valley near Quilcene. Now in its third year of operation, the farm, run by Dana Nixon and apprentices, aims to be a community of growers learning while providing market vegetables. Nixon grew up in Indiana, went to Manchester College to major in biology. After a rainforest class taught her about the importance and vulnerability of rain forests, she became an environmental activist. Then she began to notice the nature of the farming around her, with its fertilizers, pesticides and smell. She became part of the Hoosier Environmental Council and started to learn about agriculture. “There were all these chemicals from monoculture, petroleum-based fertilizers going into the land,” said Nixon. “That’s why everyone’s dying of cancer in the Midwest.” Nixon became a subscriber to an organic Community Supported Agriculture farm, buying a share in whatever the farm grew. “I was happy to see an alternative to what I was


seeing all around me,” Nixon said. She became a farmer. “It’s been something I wanted to do but didn’t know I wanted to,” said Nixon. “I discovered I wanted to be the change I want to see in the world.” She went on to apprentice as a farmer for a couple of years. She started at the CSA farm she subscribed to, then went to the University of California Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems for a six-month course. “It opened my world to how little I knew,” she said. “I want to be as sustainable as possible.” Her grandfather,

who died the month she was born, had farmed strawberries and apples using mules. He became an inspiration, along with her living mentors. Nixon continued her apprentice farming on Bainbridge Island. Soon she was modeling business plans for crops and marketing after her mentors, Betsey Wittick of Laughing Crow Farm, Brian McWhorter of Butler Green Farms and Akio Suyumatsu.

Old Tarboo Farm’s Dana Nixon readies flats of growing baby vegetables for transplant. The farm is growing hundreds of varieties.


Right: A few of the young vegetables growing at Old Tarboo Farm. Below: Farmer apprentice Landon Primrose waters young vegetables at Old Tarboo Farm.

Left: Careful single leaf harvesting brings a look of concentration to the face of apprentice “Squirrel” at Old Tarboo Farm.

“I feel so honored to be a part of that and what’s happening,” she said. Nixon began a search for a farm of her own and soon realized it would be impossible to buy one on her income, which is supplemented with teaching yoga classes. “You can’t pay a mortgage with vegetables,” she said. “I love this area. I’d like to stay here. It’s gorgeous.” When Nixon visited her current farm site, she found a place too good to pass up, with farmland and buildings, greenhouses and some farm equipment all ready to go. She became a farm partner in May 2008 and started with spade-clearing by hand, with the help of some friends. “I got some stuff in late,” she recalled. “I didn’t make money, but I didn’t lose money and that was a success.” The farm’s location contributes to that success. The site is out of Port Townsend’s wind pattern and its plateau location makes for enough heat to grow peppers and tomatoes, explained Nixon. “The clay soil holds nutrients really well, so a lot more vitamins and minerals wind up in your food,” she said. “It’s a sweet soil here. Every soil has a character and you can taste it. Some are bitter or even caustic. This is a sweet farm. We have really hardy sweet vegetables. We have really sweet strawberries,


sweet sugar snap peas, sweet corn, sweet peppers, sweet carrots.” Nixon and her team are planting literally hundreds of varieties of vegetables. “We’ll get five varieties of Swiss chard to see what’s best,” she said. “We have 20 to 25 varieties of garlic.” Still, you won’t find eggplant, cauliflower, cabbage or broccoli on the farm. “There is clubroot disease in the soil. Last year I said I’ll grow them anyway and it’ll be fine, but it wasn’t,” said Nixon. “People can get them other places.” The farm’s produce is sold through farmers markets in Chimacum, Port Townsend and Quilcene, and via very limited shares.

All these plants give apprentices abundant opportunity to learn. One part-time and two full-time apprentices are working this season, along with volunteers. “I crave a community farm and I want to pass on what I’ve learned,” explained Nixon. She pays apprentices while teaching about farming, an unusual approach. “This is a good place,” said apprentice Laura Lentz. “Farming has a lot to do with compassion and attitude. If you’re an angry unhappy person, you won’t grow happy vegetables. Work is done well here. There’s a really good balance with competent farm growing and goofiness.” “Dana is a really good teacher, easy and pleasurable, and she follows up,” said an apprentice known only as “Squirrel.” Apprentice Landon Primrose said the farm definitely is more laid back than others he’s worked and he enjoys the learning. Peas, carrots, beets, beans, herbs, garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers are all started, to be ready later in the season. “Here we go again, another season,” said Nixon. “I definitely want to be a farmer.”


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FOOD Spirits Like Li ke all all d dis dishes, ishe is hess, tthi he this hiss sm hi smok smoked oked ok ed ssal salmon almo al mon n chowder chowd h der is is best b when h prepared prepa p red d with with fresh, ffre resh sh,, local loca lo call ingredients. ingr in gred edie ient nts. s. Photo Phot Ph otoo By By Fred FFre redd Obee Obee


smoked salmon chowder

A favorite of Head Chef Tim Tocatlian is this rich, easy to prepare, smoked salmon chowder. He recommends Port Townsend’s Cape Cleare Smoked Salmon, which is locally prepared. With some crusty Pane D’Amore bread and a bottle of FairWinds wine, you can make this an entirely local Port Townsend feast, but feel free to seek out fresh local ingredients from your neighborhood baker, fisherman or winemaker to enhance your meal.

from T’s in Port Townsend by Fred Obee Restaurant is a Port Townsend original, but people who haven’t visited in the past year or so have a surprise in store. T’s now is located in a spectacular waterfront location at Point Hudson Marina in Port Townsend in a completely remodeled old Coast Guard station building. Diners can watch boats come and go from the marina or enjoy the views from the spacious outside deck, a prime seat that quickly is becoming one of the most popular spots in town when the sun comes out. With the new location, T’s also offers new lunch, bar and dinner menus. Originally opened in 1995, T’s is in the top tier of Olympic Peninsula restaurants. The cuisine at T’s is best described as Continental, but the influences go from Italian to Northwest cuisine. Menu choices range from seafood to steak with vegetarian choices as well. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Monday (closed on Tuesdays) serving lunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The bar is open from 4 p.m. to closing and dinner is from 5 p.m. to closing. The owners are Gary and Nancy Tocatlian. The restaurant is at 141 Hudson St. For reservations call 360385-0700. For more information, you can e-mail info@ So if you are sailing by Port Townsend and you’re getting a little hungry, tie up at Point Hudson and enjoy a fine dinner. Your table is just a few yards from your slip.


Smoked Salmon Chowder Ingredients Olive oil to cover bottom of pan 1 tablespoon small diced onion 1 tablespoon small diced shallot 2 teaspoons diced garlic 1 tablespoon leek diced 1/2 head roasted fennel finely chopped 8 ounces Cape Cleare Smoked Salmon, broken into bite-size pieces 1 quart heavy cream 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/3 cup white wine (chardonnay)

To prepare Sauté sweet onions, shallots and garlic over medium heat. Add leeks, fennel and salmon. Do not brown! Deglaze your pan with wine and then reduce. Add cream and lemon juice, bring to a boil and serve immediately. Serves four


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Dungeness River delta were laid down as silt from that river and its tributaries. Thus, the river continues to replenish the soil. “Before the Dungeness was diked,” Chichester notes, “the river would flood semi-regularly. The Dungeness had several different courses over its lifetime.” The meandering river brought fresh earth to many areas.

Texture and tillage

Left: Troy Smith of Maple View Farm shows the huge chisel tooth implement used to aerate soil and break up hardpan. Below: This “crow’s foot” harrow helps prepare seed beds at Maple View Farm.

Story and photos by Joan Worley Top left: Vegetable production manager Scott Chichester at Nash Huber’s Organic Farms points out the Danish tines on this plow. These till soil without compacting it. Left: Mary Borland sifts through lavender buds from the harvest at Olympic Lavender Farm. Above: Traditional moldboard plows (foreground) have a long history, but disc systems (on tractor) are kinder to soil.


Olympic Peninsula’s special agricultural richness lies in the loamy earth of the Dungeness flood plains. At the Olympic Lavender Farm on Marine Drive, Mary Borland grows lavender where she and her late husband, Steve, found pastureland more than 10 years ago. Not far away, at Maple View Farm, Troy Smith tends fields of hay, corn and barley — feed for the farm’s dairy herd. Troy and his brother Ben are Maple View’s third-generation owners. At Nash Huber’s Organic Farms near the Dungeness River, a reputation for flavorful carrots often is on the mind of Scott Chichester, vegetable production manager. “Most people think it’s the variety of carrots we grow that makes them taste good,” he says. “That’s important, but more important to the flavor is the soil.” Chichester does not hesitate to use that vintner’s term, terroir, the combination of soil and climate that imparts unique character to cultivated plants. “The Dungeness delta is fortunate; the area is silty loam and clay loam, the best soils. There’s a certain geology that gives carrots a particular sweetness.” Meghan Adamire, too, has given much thought to the subject. As conservation planner for the Clallam Conservation District, her clients include all residents — farmers and homeowners — seeking the best land management practices.


To Adamire, a good soil is one that can hold its drink. It drains well, yet retains enough moisture to keep nutrients available. How well a soil provides the crop’s basic needs depends on chemical composition, texture, pH and organic matter content. And those characteristics depend on the slow processes of soil formation.

ciers receded, leaving products of their grinding actions, the so-called glacial till. Glacial meltwater flushed more particles downhill, the glacial outwash. Even contemporary annual snowmelt brings more weathered material down from the mountains to add alluvial deposits. Thus

Time, tectonics and ice The peninsula is not one homogenous lump of dirt; it’s a jigsaw puzzle of many soils. The last soil survey of Clallam County — a 1979 joint project of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and Washington State University’s Agriculture Research Center — identified more than 76 soil varieties. Differences relate in part to the ways they were formed. The Olympic Peninsula once was a fairly homogenous ocean floor. But as one continental plate ducked slowly beneath another, that seabed was thrust up to form the mountains we know as the Olympics. Over thousands of years and beyond, weathering of various geological formations within these mountains began the formation of diverse soil structures. Soon, the alpine glaciers formed by snowfall within the mountains and the massive glacial sheets moving down from the north contributed further to the valley soils. Gla-


As Adamire guides clients in improving their soil, she points first to texture, a measure of soil particles. A gritty feeling soil with relatively large particles — 0.05 millimeter to 2 mm in diameter — indicates the presence of sand. Smaller particles of silt — 0.002 mm to 0.05 mm — give a smooth texture. Tiny clay particles, at less than 0.002 mm, create a sticky texture when moist. The ideal soil — the term is “loamy” — is a perfect balance of those three components. Loam holds water, stays well aerated and is remarkably easy to till. Landowners can’t change the inherent texture of the soil, Adamire says, but they can improve its physical properties through their actions on it. Chichester feels that many home gardeners “beat up” their soil by overuse of machines such as rototillers. These, he says, ”turn the soil into a fine powder. It looks very nice, but it’s the worst thing to do to your soil long-term.” In contrast, he proudly exhibits a handful of earth from one of Huber’s fields — not powder, easily blown away, but a collection of small “friable” soft aggregates. Keeping the soil like that, says Chichester, takes intelligent tilling. As he puts it, the classic moldboard, the plow that broke the plains, digs deep and folds the good topsoil under, “bringing to the top the less biologically active soil.” The moldboard eventually packs down the earth. Using disc plows is a gentler way — they keep active organic matter on the top. Chichester notes another benefit — disking “covers weed sprouts and eliminates (water shedding) crust. The more clay in the soil, the more chance of crust forming to hinder water absorption.” At Olympic Lavender Farm, Mary Borland fights weeds with groundcover planted between lavender plants in a row. Between rows, she keeps well-mown strips of grass. At Maple View Farm, Troy Smith’s concerns are similar. “Our fields,” says Smith, “have every kind of soil — the whole range, from medium clay loam to peat soils to Sequim gravel.” Each takes a different approach. Smith uses conventional plowing, but not exclusively. After two years, he must use the chisel plow to break up hardpan for better drainage. After plowing, the fields are leveled by disking and harrowing. A roller harrow with spikes and “crow’s feet” makes for a good seed bed, Smith says.

It’s a jungle in there soil variety derives from a variety of sources — the native rocks of the Olympic Mountains. The last glacier receded only 13,000 years ago, not a long time in geological schemes. “This is geologically a young area,” Chichester says. “The last ice age was not that long ago.” The fields he tends for Nash’s Organic Farms on the

Any landowner who tests soil through the conservation district receives a laboratory analysis of the levels of nutrients in the soil. In addition to water, Adamire tells clients, good soil needs N, P and K — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium — along with organic matter. Nitrogen drives plant growth; phosphorus aids in


The Clallam Conservation District offers all county landowners no-charge assistance to improve their soils and use their land to its full potential. One program offers a chance to obtain laboratory analysis of soil. There is a small — currently $20 — lab fee. Easy instructions for soil sampling are provided with each sampling bag. Samples returned to the conservation district are processed by a certified lab and the landowner receives a full report, including levels of six major nutrients, acidity, organic matter and Cation Exchange Capacity. In addition, at no charge, Conservation planners like Meghan Adamire help landowners interpret the lab analysis and use it to create a plan. The goal is optimal care and use of the soil, whether on a farm, a lawn or a home garden. For this and other programs and information, get in touch with: Clallam Conservation District Joe Holtrop, district manager 1601 E. Front St., Bldg/Suite A, Port Angeles. 360-452-1912, ext.5. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. strong roots and fruiting; potassium promotes disease resistance. In addition to chemistry, Adamire points out, soil also needs a biological cast of billions: colonies of bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, mites and earthworms. Worms aerate soil as they burrow, digesting dirt into worm castings rich in nutrients. Microorganisms decompose organic matter, making nutrients available. “Without this life, soil loses its ability to support plants,” Adamire warns, “and excessive tilling and overuse of fertilizer can reduce the number of organisms in the soil.” That is one reason Smith is careful about using commercial products at Maple View Farm. He adds a soil amendment and manure to promote biological activity, but he is cautious with the use of herbicides. Smith, who is licensed through the Washington State Department of Agriculture to apply herbicides, attends refresher courses annually. Still, he uses herbicides only during the first year after planting. “After that,” he says, “the grass itself crowds out the weeds.” Smith also is careful in his use of commercial additives. “Besides,” he adds, “those chemicals are very expensive.”

Rotation, groundcover and compost tea Smith would rather rotate his crops to help weed control and minimize spraying. He keeps fields in grass for about four or five years, then plants them in corn for another three or four years, with a year of barley, then plows the barley under before replanting grass. Smith does not dedicate entire fields to alfalfa, but he will seed it along with grass because alfalfa creates nitrogen and has more protein. The Smiths also spread manure from their dairy


The Clallam Conservation District coordinates soil analyses for any Clallam County resident. Conservation planner Meghan Adamire demonstrates the soil analysis kit.

herd, using a tanker truck and, in some fields, a system of underground pipes. The conservation district has provided assistance in obtaining these improvements. At Nash’s operation, Chichester seeks completely organic methods for controlling weeds and pests. He disc plows to cover weed sprouts and for insect pests, he takes an unusual approach — he moves the carrot crop each year, away from the infestation. There are other tricks organic farmers employ. Between crops of vegetables, at Nash’s Organic Farm, Chichester plants cover crops of rye, a cereal, and vetch, a legume. “About half the farm,” he says,” gets overwintered in a cover crop. For vegetables that can be planted late and harvested over winter, we plant a short-season cover crop before the spring or summer growing season.” Cover crops, he points out, protect fields from wind erosion, as well as providing nutrients when tilled under. Like the Smiths, Chichester recommends crop rotation. Nash’s Organic Farms produce “a diverse line of crops,” says Chichester, “possibly 50 different vegetables, not counting the different species of each one, so planning is important.” Chichester begins by deciding where to plant carrots and the many species of brassica, the cabbage family. Through experience, Chichester knows where to plant each crop. The farm does grow grains, including a winter wheat; a field can be kept healthy by rotating a year of grain with a year of brassica, and then a year of another vegetable. As a certified organic lavender operation, Olympic Lavender Farm must limit applications to the soil. Borland may add bone meal to fresh plantings, but no herbicides

— weed control is accomplished through groundcover crops. Additives used at Nash’s Organic Farms also are of the organic kind. Long rows of soft wood chips are mixed with fish waste and water in Nash’s large-scale composting operation. The chips provide carbon; the fish waste adds nitrogen. A mechanized compost turner uses auger and paddles to agitate the compost and add water. As the mixture brews, it creates heat, which is carefully monitored. Temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, Chichester says, destroy many plant and human pathogens, as well as weed seeds. Some of the mature compost is aerated with water, seaweed and more fish waste, creating a special “compost tea.” To some degree, animal manure is used to refresh the soil at Nash’s operation. Some fields, Chichester says, are planted in a cover crop and then used as pasture for pigs that are fed on the farm’s own barley. “One of the staff,” Chichester reports, “is experimenting with a small herd of cattle for similar use. The animals benefit from the pasture; the fields benefit from the manure.” Laboratory science also is important, Chichester notes. The soil in each field is tested every three years. “These tests show us general changes in fertility.” Other tests include using a refractometer to measure sugar content of carrots, providing Chichester with “information as it correlates with location, time of year and weather pattern.”

Rainshadow effect In the rainshadow area of the Olympic Peninsula, water always is an issue. Along with his own experience, Smith uses moisture meters to help him decide when and how much to irrigate his fields. Chichester keeps an eye out for


Plowing the old-fashioned way with Jim and Kris Bower’s Blue Mountain Belgians.

variations within a field. “After a few seasons, you learn a field,” he says, and that helps him identify extra dry or soggy spots. Borland depends on a slow drip system when she needs to water her lavender plants. She learned early on, too, that timing is everything. She started her very first lavender plants in summer, when they would need the most water. Now she plants new starts in the fall, when rains will work with her. The Dungeness River Valley is not the only area on the peninsula with good farmland, of course. Family farms, dairies and orchards flourish in Jefferson County. The 1979 study of Clallam County also singled out “prime farmland” terraces along the Quillayute, Bogachiel, Soleduck and Calawah Rivers. These western sites, however, share the problems of high rainfall and long-term cloud cover. Thus, farmers working the land in the Dungeness Valley consider themselves fortunate to be in a drier, sunnier environment. People of the peninsula are highly aware, moreover, that residential and commercial uses have reduced farmlands dramatically. Moves have been afoot for years to conserve farmland from development. Farmers may be the particular stewards of the land, but no one on the Olympic Peninsula takes the good earth for granted.



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Planting with Dewey:

Tips on gardening in the rainy West End

Story and photos by Chris Cook


ouring the Forks Bible Church community garden with gardening expert Dewey Kelley is like having a celebrity chef leap out from your TV screen and into your kitchen to lend a hand with dinner. Dewey, who is retired following a 20-year stint in the U.S. Army and 18 years as a corrections officer in Washington, a job which brought him to Forks, is avid about showing others how to grow organic produce. He completed horticultural studies at South Puget Sound Community College, adding more scientific and Northwest-specific knowledge to his broad personal gardening data base. He knows his stuff, which he can comment on nonstop, sharper than a baseball sportswriter citing minute details of batting and pitching statistics. Dewey grew up on his family’s farm in Grayson County, Ky., north of Bowling Green, “scraping manure from the barn and chicken coops … using crop rotation” and growing food for the family table much in the way American farmers had done for several hundred years. Today he sees a threat to the nation’s food supply from overreliance on genetically-modified seeds and large scale farming. There’s a chance community gardens may be feeding a lot more people in the near future, he says, pointing to current problems in inland California commercial farms due to tight rationing of irrigation water. His answer is a one-man crusade based at a 100-foot Top left: A variety of seedlings pictured sprout in midMay in preparation for the 2010 summer growing season at the Forks Bible Church community garden. Middle left: This colorful assortment of dahlias are grown in a Hoh River region garden. Left: These oversized blueberries show the potential for gardening in Forks when careful preparation and gardening practices are employed. Inset above: Healthy stalks of rhubarb are among the early risers for the 2010 warm-weather growing season at the Forks Bible Church community garden.



by 60-foot corner of the church’s city block-size property in a residential section of Forks. “Community gardens are starting to take off,” Dewey says. “More and more people are going to be gardening.” Besides putting food on the table, community gardening also is being turned to as a form of exercise and entertainment in a down economy, according to reports from garden supply firms, some of which are seeing booming sales in recent years. Less than a mile away, the one-acre Forks Community Garden is being developed as part of the Forks Community Hospital’s new Bogachiel Medical Clinic complex. The garden grand opening was held Feb. 11. The garden is protected by a 10-foot-high, elk-proof fence installed by local volunteers and a crew from the Olympic Corrections Center. Donations included wood from the Interfor lumber mill in Forks for the planter boxes. Teams from the Forks Ambulance crews, from the clinic and other groups have staked out beds. A portion of the produce will go to the Forks Food Bank. Back at the Forks Bible Church garden, rich black soil fills a neat square of garden beds walled off with donated lumber. Most are still covered in mid-May awaiting warmer planting weather. Along the fenced-off perimeter rhubarb planted in January is showing rich red stalks, lettuce is sprouting and raspberry vines are beginning to crawl up lines strung like miniature clotheslines. Eight local gardeners join him in working the rectangular, carefully-prepared beds. Across the street, Dewey’s yard is a patchwork of plants and fruit-bearing trees, a smaller, but much more intensely cultivated garden full of specialties such as thumb-size blueberries. Dewey’s tour is an education, full of rapid-fire gardening tidbits and tips learned over a lifetime, spoken in a friendly Kentucky twang. Continued on Page 34


By Dewey Kelley Building garden soil from: Bagged material for asparagus, tomatoes, carrots and lettuce and basil A 3-foot by 8-foot raised bed should hold about 16 to 24 roots as you set them about 10-12 inches apart. You’ll really want to “beef ” it up good for the asparagus bed as they don’t get moved for about 15-20 years so it’s all beef and some compost, lime, a little potash and some phosphate. Sometimes The Home Depot has composted beef manure at $1.25 a bag and the mushroom compost is cheap there, too. Use your own wood ashes from your wood-burning stove or perhaps you have a neighbor with a wood-burning stove that you could ask to save the ashes for you. The following recipe is my personal favorite. You are welcome to use it if you wish.

For a 3-foot by 8-foot bed: • Steer manure (composted) = 6 bags (1 cubic foot per bag); • Mushroom compost = 4 bags (1 cubic foot per bag); • Garden compost = 1 heaped wheelbarrow (about 3 cubic feet); • Dolomite lime (magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate) = 3-4 cups; If you live in Western Washington, it is very likely you have acidic soil (best to get a soil tester, or have a lab test it for you); • Wood ashes = (for the potash) about a gallon; • Phosphate = Colloidal phosphate or ground phosphate rock (see below for application of the phosphate)

For asparagus beds, tomatoes, carrots and basil (grows best in pH 6.5-7.5)

Dewey Kelley’s

love of gardening is reflected in the community garden he oversees on the grounds of the Forks Bible Church and in his nearby home garden. Both are organic and flourishing. Kelley, pictured in the community garden, said he uses what’s known as heirloom seeds, rather than any genetically modified seeds. His know-how in what to plant, how to balance insects and all the details needed to cultivate the two flourishing gardens has its roots in a childhood spent on a farm and in horticultural studies at South Puget Sound Community College. He has spent 18 years learning what grows well in Forks and learning how to adapt his gardens to the wet local climate. The friendly gardener gladly shares the fruits of his labor, as well as his wealth of practical gardening knowledge.


Mix all of this together (except phosphate) and add to the bottom of the bed to 5 or 6 inches deep. Heap up the little ridges to about 4 inches high. Sprinkle the phosphate about one cup per 8-foot row. Spread roots out over the ridge then cover with the remainder of your soil mixture to about 9 inches deep. Give the bed a really good drenching with well water or rainwater at this point and ensure that the water reaches all the way to the roots. City water contains either fluoride or chloride that will utterly destroy your friendly bacteria, which plants need to manufacture their food. The bed will be heaped up for about one season, but will settle down. In the late fall when all the tops die back, just cover with about 3 inches of steer manure and mulch with straw, grass clippings, sawdust or other mulches of your choice to keep the ground from heaving during the winter months.


A description of the Washington State University Clallam County Extension Master Gardener Program states that the organization: “Provides up-to-date information on sustainable gardening practices. Master Gardener volunteers also address environmental and social priorities such as water conservation, protection of water quality, reducing the impact of invasive species and healthy living through gardening.” For more information call 565-2679. The organizations free programs include: • The Green Thumbs Garden Tips program is a brown-bag series presented on the second and fourth Tuesdays each month in Port Angeles from noon-1 p.m. at the Clallam County Courthouse. • In Sequim, the organization provides its Class Act at Woodcock gardening series the first Wednesday and third Saturday of each month at 2711 Woodcock Road. • Plant clinics are held to help gardeners identify plants and pests, diagnose problems and recommend solutions. Gardeners are asked to bring samples of plants in plastic bags for identification. Clinics are in Sequim from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 25 at the Co-op Farm and Garden, 216 E. Washington St. In Port Angeles the clinics are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays through Oct. 25, except for the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends at the Clallam County Courthouse. In Forks, the clinics are set for the parking lot of the Forks Library on Saturdays June 12, July 10, Aug. 14 and Sept. 11.

Above: Forks community gardening advocate Dewey Kelley at the Forks Bible Church community garden located in a Forks neighborhood. Top right: The one-acre Forks Community Garden is protected by a 10-foot-high, elk-proof fence and is being developed as part of the new Forks Community Hospital’s new Bogachiel Medical Clinic complex. The garden grand opening was held Feb. 11. Donations include wood from the Interfor lumber mill in Forks for the planter boxes.


What’s remarkable, beyond his wide-ranging and practical gardening knowledge, is how he is able to grow an abundant crop in the challenging rainforest climate of Forks. One example is the garden potato patch. Dewey places the potato plants in trenches, covered with dried out moss. The moss shades the root crop but without holding in too much moisture. He’s growing several varieties of grapes on vines set up to receive maximum southern exposure sun. Though Forks isn’t known as home to vineyards, nor is it likely the Forks Bible Church will start bottling the juice of the vines, the grapes add a flourish to the vegetable garden. “Corn?” Dewey responds when asked about the stalks in the garden. “I was told you can’t grow corn out here. I said, ‘Is there a law against it?’” “The corn is bi-color, Arrowhead from heirloom seed,” Dewey says in an aside. When asked if he’s grown anything else unusual for Forks, the gardener recalls a juicy watermelon and plump cantaloupes from last summer. Spring crops are on the way. Lettuce, endives, cabbage all start up early, he says. Celery, a plant with a high amount of water in its stalks, does well in Forks, he adds. Mixing and matching plants in beds is critical, Dewey points out. “Bush beans go with everything … separate tomatoes and potatoes.” The foundation of a community garden is its beds, he states. “Preparation of the dirt is 95 percent” of the work in creating a successful garden. Build beds with cinder blocks, 2 by 6 or 1 by 8 lumber works.” A combination of landscape mat and hard wire protects the soil from the bottom. Throw saw dust or mulch along the walkways; “Slugs will burn up in it on the way to the garden,” Dewey says. Don’t make the beds wider than 3 feet by 8 feet, he adds, or you’ll be stretching too much when working the beds. He recommends preparing the garden bed soil in the fall; cover it with black plastic and “let it mellow” over the winter and “start with bag stuff ” if soil in your yard isn’t good. And growing marigolds and other flowers that deter plant pests is at the heart of an organic garden, plus they attract pollinating bees. Water quality is critical, too. Here Dewey draws a sharp line. You either put city tap water out in a barrel for three or four days prior to watering or use straight rainwater or water from a well, he stresses. Practicality is another key word for Dewey’s community garden teachings. A small hill of black plastic bags of grass cuttings stands alongside the garden fence. They look like the leftovers from a busy landscaping company but are instead special cuttings, swept up from the oversized church yard and elsewhere. “I help elderly church ladies, I mow their lawns and collect the grass cuttings,” Dewey says, pointing out to

watch out for lawns where weed killer or other chemicals have been used freely. He says the abundant moss found growing in yards in damp Forks leaches nutrients from the soil. He turns this around by drying out the moss in black plastic bags, draining the moisture to create an excellent mulch. Demonstrating specifically what moss can do to a yard and what happens when it’s carefully removed, Dewey points to the nearby front lawn of Pastor George Williams. “Oh, yeah!” he smiles, glancing at the distinctive Kentucky bluegrass look of the lawn that is radiant in the midday sun, a manicured golf green compared to a typical Forks lawn where grass seems to grow a foot every week during warm weather. “I told George, ‘I’m going to make a golf course out of your front yard!’” He said properly preparing a lawn, even in soaking wet Forks, can significantly cut back on how many times you need to mow. “It’s like a carpet instead of weeds,” Dewey says. Dewey’s golf course greenskeeper level of lawn knowledge pays back to the community garden, too. He pulls out a thermometer with a dime-size face and pokes its metal prong into a plastic bag full of moss scraped from a yard. “See how much it’s shrunken down,” he says, bending down to take a reading. “A man stuck his finger in there,” Dewey adds, “and said, ‘That’s hot in there!’” The gauge shows a reading in the 70s on a day when passing hail showers and a chill breeze drive the gardener and a reporter into the warmth of a toasty fiberglass greenhouse. Dewey gathered his troop of community gardeners and drove over to the home of local hardware store owner Bob Stark to pick up the structure, which is well used, full of seedlings soon be transplanted to the waiting 3-foot by 8-foot garden beds. The taste of the cornucopia cultivated in the garden and across the street in his own patches is the proof of Dewey’s gardening skills. Williams, who spent time with Dewey earlier in the day in the garden, is a satisfied customer. “The difference is like night and day,” Williams says. “Potatoes taste like steak,” he says of the garden’s output.


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Borte restores two-cylinder tractors Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate

Top left: Josh Borte enjoys displaying his collection of restored John Deere two-cylinder tractors, spanning from 1939-1959.


op-a-pa-pa. Pop-a-pa-pa. Even though you can’t say they purr, the sound of Josh Borte’s two-cylinder Johnny Poppers put smiles on the young and old — and the broadest grin is his own. The 30-year-old Port Angeles native began his love affair with John Deere tractors as a fifth-grader visiting his grandfather’s Indiana farm. “I had a chance to drive some large John Deere tractors. Oh! As a little kid driving something as large as a house, it was pretty cool! Later I had a friend whose dad said, ‘Drive this tractor,’ a 1958 two-cylinder 820, ‘and you’ll want to start collecting them.’ That was it! I was hooked on antique two-cylinder tractors. It was definitely their sound and that my family on both sides farmed with John Deeres, so they’re part of my heritage.” Deere & Company, headquartered in Moline, Ill., was founded in 1837 by blacksmith John Deere who invented the first commercially successful steel plow. The firm uses “John Deere” as its brand name. Known for its signature green/yellow color combination and “Nothing runs like a Deere” motto, the company is the world’s leading manufacturer of farm equipment.

All JD, all the time Borte salts his conversation with JD facts and figures: “The company made two-cylinder tractors from 19241960 in the U.S. but until 1972 in Argentina.” Or “The pop is the sound of the exhaust. They don’t fire at 360 degrees like four-cylinder engines. What you hear is the ignition of the first one, then the second, like a double-barrel shotgun.” A born mechanic, Borte is articulate and enthusiastic chatting about his 10-tractor collection, nearly all of them restored to showroom condition. However, he said, “Some I like leaving in the rough to show the wounds and damage they earned.”


His first was a 1944 944 Model D he bought ught seven years agoo “in several hundred pieces on the floor” from om a fellow collector. “Lots of people just seee junk. I saw a tractor andd I just j had to have it.” He’s a member er of the Cascade Two Cylinder Club and the onlyy one on its roster of 210 from the Olympic Peninsula. ula. Club members attend about five general meetings a year and attend numerouss functions as a club such as plow days, swap meets, parades, ades, tractor pulls and shows. What Borte terms the “hen’s tooth, the pinnacle” of his collection is a factory yellow 1957 Model 420I Series 3 industrial tractor that was used as a workhorse for decades on a Carlsborg farm. “There were only about nine built with the identical options, so needless to say, I may have the only one in existence.” At least once a week, Borte likes to bring out one of his models — the 1939 Model B, 1939 H, 1944 D, 1944 LA, 1945 BR, 1950 M, 1953 60, 1957 320, 1957 420I or 1959 630 — and drive to breakfast or a convenience store, often receiving thumbs-up as he rides high above the street. Because a tractor is an agricultural vehicle, all it’s required to have to be legal is a “Slow Moving Vehicle” triangle on the back. Borte chuckles when he recounts the time he’d just

Although Borte restored most of his 10 tractors to showroom condition, he likes to leave some, like this mechanically sound 1944 Model D, rough to show their honest wear.

purchased a tractor, driving it onto purcha ferry so he wouldn’t have to pay the fer long vehicle fee of a pickup truck the lon and trailer. tr He gets tips on tractors from friends and fellow collectors, frien sometimes finding the rusted relsom with weeds up to the steering ics w wheel or covered by decades of whe dust in outbuildings. dus “The first thing I do is a proper evaluation because I can pr step into a machine where I can st spend too much on it,” Borte sp ssaid. So far, he’s paid between $$300 and $3,000 for his tracestimates after hundreds of hours tors and estim range from $6,000 to $20,000. of restoration, their values ra “I’m always looking to give one a home,” he said, making it clear that none of his are for sale. He can be reached at

Birthing a beast His mechanical aptitude and gusto for returning a dilapidated tractor into showroom model shape leads Borte to work at a dizzying pace. “For most people, a complete restoration is upwards of a couple of years but I work at a breakneck speed. It’s two or three months after work, late nights and every weekend. It’s a fire that gets going in me. With my mind focused, I see the goal and must complete it.”


Much more than a matter attte ter off metal and mechanics, thee ttracracra ctors imbue in him a feeling in ng off resurrection. “I feel like it’s a living v ngg vi creature, not a machine. h in ine. e.. That’s probably why I like like k restoring — I’m bringing ngg a dead beast back to life and an nd I smile at that moment. It’s Itt’s about creating that life, e,” Borte said. “These machines ness ne symbolize not only my heritage heeri rita taage bbut ut tthat ut h t off oour ha u ur nation and our local community. forget ommuni om niity ty.. People Peeopple le tend tend end to ffor orrget get ge about the past as farmland gets plowed under and developed. Like farmland, these machines get cut apart. People supported their families with a tractor — it wasn’t a toy, it was the most expensive thing they owned. That memory lives on in each one I save.” Restoration is a melding of mechanical and artistic challenges. Dismantling and rebuilding frozen blocks, tracking down replacements for broken or missing parts, figuring out engine idiosyncrasies, doing body work and prepping for paint — Borte has done this nine times, is working on his 10th, and shows no signs of slowing down. He has several sites where he stores his tractors but does most of his restoration work in his home garage. “K & K Tractor of Shelbyville, Ind. — I’ve never met them but they’ve gotten to know me so well just by the

Above: Borte competes in the 2010 Sequim Irrigation Festival tractor pull with his 1945 Model BR because it can pull more than its own weight. He took third place. Submitted photo

Borte poses with his 1959 Model 630.

sound of my voice. Maybe it’s a sign I spend too much money on this hobby,” Borte laughed. Calling himself an “oddity” as a “young old man” because of his passion for two-cylinder JDs, nevertheless, Borte’s made many friends and memories. He’s been the antique equipment superintendent at the Clallam County Fair for the past four years, plans on 20 more, and is proud he took the show from 12 tractors to more than 40 ma-

chines. The tractors are seldom without admirers. “Every year for the past three years, one guy stops by and asks if he can start the fly wheel on my 1939 Model H one more time in his life. With the first turn, it barked to life and I could see tears come to the old man’s eyes. It was a magical moment,” he said, his voice wavering a bit. “Every year I expect to see him. It still brings a sense of pride and happiness to me.”

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Call to Adventure

Stefanie Gates and Jessica Berry prepare for the trip of a lifetime on the back roads of Clallam County Story and photos by Kelly McKillip


remains a mystery why some individuals feel compelled to answer the call of adventure and not only endure, but thrive on the ensuing difficulties. For Stefanie Gates and Jessica Berry, the adventure of a lifetime began as an improbable idea that refused to go away. In 2006, when Gates was attending paramedic school, she made the decision that one day she would ride the Trans-America Trail on a dirt bike. Mapping the coast-tocoast trek had been the dream of another bike enthusiast, Sam Correro, who spent years surveying the mostly offpavement back roads in order to create a great trip for fellow dual-sport riders. The trail is a westbound excursion that currently begins in Tennessee and ends on the

Oregon coast. Gates put the idea on hold, graduated from school and went to work as a firefighter/paramedic for Clallam County Fire District 3 in Sequim. In 2008 she met Berry, a registered nurse working in the emergency department at Olympic Medical Center. Both women had been riding motor bikes at least since the age of 6. When Gates mentioned her dream to ride the TAT, Berry agreed to go along, thinking it couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t possibly happen. Nonetheless, the two began to plan. They did a great deal of research and shopping around for appropriate bikes, ultimately purchasing new Kawasaki KLX 250 dual-purpose motorcycles from a local dealer. The bikes were both dirt trail and street legal, had large frames that were sturdy, yet light enough to pick up when they fell over. Having identical motorcycles would allow them to streamline tools and parts needed for the tour. Also, the 1-year pickup and repair warranty, should a breakdown Left: Jessica Berry (left) and Stefanie Gates on twin Kawasaki motorcycles emerge from a tunnel on Hurricane Ridge Road. Above: Hurricane Ridge Road outlook is a good starting point for nearby trails. Stefanie Gates (left) and Jessica Berry spent months riding together on the back roads of Clallam County to improve their skills in a variety of terrains and conditions.


occur on the road, was a great comfort. Although they fully intended to have fun, personal safety headed the list of considerations. Berry, who says she is cautious enough for both of them, had two additional reasons to be extra careful: her husband, Jeff, and their 3-year-old son Cooper. Both riders had fallen off bikes and taken care of motorcycle crash victims enough times to know that knowledge and proper protective gear could mean the difference between life and death. Beyond requisite helmets, chest and spine protectors, appropriate pants, gloves and boots were critical. Once outfitted, they were ready to ride.

Trail training Clallam County has a multitude of dirt trails, Forest Service and Department of Natural Resources roads. Gates lived on the east side of Sequim and Berry resided with her family on the west end of Port Angeles. Each knew some of the off-road trails in their vicinities, so they took to their bikes to get used to traveling with each other and improve their skills in a variety of terrains and conditions. For the lesser-known treks, maps were picked up at local outdoor stores, the Olympic National Park Visitor Center and ranger stations in Forks and Quilcene. West of Sol Duc Hot Springs Road off U.S. Highway 101, the two discovered a great ride with pretty views on FSR 2918. It was unusually cold during their first trek and hand warmers were a great aid and noted to be a must on the list of things to pack for the TAT trip. Berry also discovered it was a good area to avoid during hunting season. Many of the day trips taken on the West End were off Highway 112. Eight miles west of Joyce, the women gained considerable experience at Sadie Creek. According to the DNR trail systems map, there are 30 miles of trails and


named a century earlier by adventuring boys who used slabs of bark to make shelters while camping.) On an earlier trip, without a map, Gates had become Left: The two women discovered great lost and very cold traveling the roads from Slab Camp rides with pretty views on Forest past Palo Alto and Chicken Coop roads and Mount Zion Service Road 2918 west of Sol Duc to Quilcene. Warm clothing that could be layered and Hot Springs Road. good maps would not Below: South of Fish be left behind again. Hatchery Road in East of Sequim, the Sequim, the two bikers two traversed the Palo gained experience in Alto trails and Woods riding over obstacles in both wet and dry Road from Blyn. conditions.

All in the preparation

roads that include both lowland and rugged mountain riding up to 2,500 feet when snow-free. Clear days allow views as far as Vancouver Island. The two became lost at one point and through a combination of studying maps, praying and eventually following the power lines that run east and west parallel to the highway; they found their way out a little east of the trailhead where they had begun. The area also is home to the annual Sadie Creek (Turkey) Poker Run. The dirt bike duo participated in the October 2008 event. They found an easier-to-navigate ride from Joyce on Crescent Beach Loop, which travels along the scenic coast of Crescent Bay and Salt Creek. Off-road vehicles are allowed on Eden Valley Road, which sits halfway to Port Angeles via the Olympic Discovery Trail and loops around easterly to Dan Kelly Road (also accessible from Highway 112) and its offshoot Karpen Road. They enjoyed the fun and easy ride via the Civilian Conservation Corps road built in the 1930s, emerging a couple of miles east of Lake Sutherland on Highway 101. At the base of the Olympic Mountains, 10 miles south of Port Angeles, is the Foothills Trail System, which is open all year in good weather. The duo took pleasant rides on the less scenic but well-maintained DNR trails. Another


In addition to offpavement roads, riding on freeways would be required during the trip. They had decided to make it a real coast-to-coast adventure by starting in Norfolk, Va., rather than Tennessee. Gates was experienced on freeways, but Berry needed a little more practice. To do so legally required an endorsement on her driver’s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles. She passed the written and skills test and was good to go. For several months the women spent considerable time riding in a variety of conditions. As they trained, their resolve to meet the challenge became unshakable. Motorcycle store clerks remained patronizing, but those who knew them well grew to appreciate the seriousness of their intent. Anxious but supportive friends and family began to help. Gates’ colleagues John Hall loaned his satellite phone and Lee Forderer his GPS. John McIntyre “jetted” the bikes and helped with maintenance. Stefanie’s dad, Curt Gates, wielded his welding torch to make custom luggage racks. Brother Sam Gates and his wife, Elissa, set up a blog so communiqués via computer could be sent along the way. favored nearby loop was Hurricane Ridge Road to Lake Dawn, Little River and Black Diamond roads. Convenient to get to, the dirt trails up Cassidy Creek Road south of Atterberry Road in Sequim proved fun and interesting. Traversing Taylor Cutoff to Fish Hatchery Road gave them experience riding in wet and dry conditions and over obstacles. Somewhere along the way, Berry decided to add to her protective equipment a kidney belt that would support those organs when going over bumps. She also picked up elbow and forearm protectors. From Lost Mountain Road they took a left at Slab Camp onto branching Forest Service roads. (Slab Camp had been

Beginning the trek On July 18, 2009, Gates and Berry took their bikes to Kent and secured them in crates with most of their provisions. They had thought long and hard about what could go wrong and packed accordingly. In addition to their protective gear and a few clothes, “like gold” arm and hand warmers, duct tape and lots of zip ties were onboard. A laptop computer and cameras, phone and chargers, chatter boxes (to communicate with each other), a toy shark from Berry’s son, medicines for minor pains and allergies and snake bite and first aid kits were tucked in. They included tools, nuts and bolts, extra chains, flat tire kits, spare tubes,


extra spark plugs, air filter oil, tire irons, tow straps, quick steel and gasket sealer. Legal weapons were taken for safety along with the all-important roll charts and maps. Brake fluid, oil and tires would be purchased and changed as needed on the road.

Adventure America With little more than knapsacks on their backs, they boarded the plane with one-way tickets for Norfolk. Upon arrival at their East Coast destination, they used GPS (the only time it was useful) to help the taxi driver find their bikes and supplies. They filled Nalgene water bottles en route with gasoline, fueled their tanks and headed to the Virginia coastline to start the first leg of their adventure. (In Colorado they discovered that camping fuel bottles were superior to Nalgene for holding gasoline.) Roll charts were attached to Gates’ tank bag and proved to be a wonderful navigation tool. Berry double checked the routes on her maps for accuracy. They rode over all kinds of rock and gravel roads, sand, dirt, water, washedout bridges and mud. They traveled through woodlands, farmlands, flatlands, deserts, prairies and mountains. They encountered freezing to broiling temperatures, 99-percent humidity, drenched to the skin downpours, snow, fog, thunder and lightening. Unique indigenous wildlife showed up in every state they visited as well as countless cows. On rare side trips as vacationers, they searched


Stefanie Gates (left) and Jessica Berry began the first leg of their coast-to-coast adventure in Norfolk, Va. Photo courtesy of Stefanie Gates

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for Elvis in Tennessee and Doc Holiday in Kansas. Southern hospitality impressed them (once locals overcame the shock that the Darth Vader bikers were genteel young ladies). They found the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma and appreciated the forests of the Pacific Northwest after traveling hundreds of miles through Southwestern deserts. The 14,000-foot elevations and switchbacks of the Colorado Rockies tested their mettle and their equipment. For the most part, the two stayed in motels, often with their bikes in the room. Each evening Gates would chronicle the day’s events with exuberant and often hilarious commentary and photos that were uploaded to a blog managed by Elissa Gates. Friends and family kept track of their progress and cheered them on with return messages. Both women were touched and inspired by the great interest and support they received along the way. Berry’s dad, Bob Cooper, who had been the most worried in the beginning, turned into a great supporter, meeting them on his bike in Oklahoma. Intense training had given them the confidence and skill to make the grade along with the knowGates and Berry arrived in Kansas on day 10 of their adventure. Photo courtesy of Stefanie Gates

how to cope with troubled brakes, broken cables, logs, critters and tumbleweeds in the road. Berry wore a helmet with a face shield, which she said was helpful keeping out bugs and dust. Goggles and a helmet worked fine for Gates. When they fell down, they got back up enumerating their mishaps with fox head and crossbones stickers on their helmets: Gates-2 to Berry-6. They packed well and had just about everything they needed and not much extra. Gates’ one regret, besides accidentally ripping her only long-sleeved shirt, was not having a helmet cam for the numerous photographs and videos she took along the way. The trip and their coast-to-coast excursion ended on day 24 in Port Orford, Ore. On day 26, having clocked 5,695 miles, Gates and Berry arrived in Sequim greeted by a jubilant and relieved throng of admirers holding signs of “Welcome Home” and “Biker chicks rule.” Hard work, good planning, great support and luck had brought them home safely, friendship intact, their dream fulfilled, the restless spirit of adventure appeased … for now. Follow Gates’ and Berry’s extraordinary adventure across America on the Trans-America trail online at Photos and commentary of the trip also have been compiled by Elissa Gates and published in book form by and on video.

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For more information and maps of trails and back roads in Clallam County, check out: • The Olympic National Park Visitor Center, 3002 Mount Angeles Road, Port Angeles, 98362. 360-565-3130 or • Forest Service ranger stations, 295142 Highway 101 S., Quilcene, 360-765-2200 and 551 S. Forks Ave, Forks, 360-374-6522 or • The Department of Natural Resources, Olympic Region, 411 Tillicum Lane, Forks, 360-374-6131. (Maps are not available at this location). • Local history may be discovered at the Museum and Arts Center of the SequimDungeness Valley, 175 W. Cedar St., Sequim, 360-681-2257 • For information about the Trans-America Trail, log onto Gates (left) and Berry completed their 24-day coast-to-coast adventure in Port Orford, Ore. Photo courtesy of Stefanie Gates

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Couple raises beef nature’s way by Patricia Morrison Coate not luxurious living but it feels good and it feels right,” said Holly Clark, as she stands with her husband, Tom, in a pasture of shin-high grass watching their herd of Angus-cross cattle graze and nurse. This pastoral scene is no hobby farm — the cattle pay back the Clarks’ investment in them with their meat — at least that’s the plan. Tom grew up raising grass-fed beef cattle on the family farm that was homesteaded in 1852 near Dungeness, about seven miles northwest of Sequim. Although it’s become a much smaller parcel, it’s still the oldest continuously run family farm in Washington, he notes. He earned an animal science degree in meats management from Washington State University in 1988 and got his first look at commercial processing at Iowa Beef Processors in Wallula. “I only stayed six or eight months because it seemed like there was too much killing — 2,200 head a day — and their practices weren’t good,” Tom said, recalling that on his father’s farm years ago, people would come from Seattle to buy their beef and have it custom butchered on site. While the Clarks had other careers, Tom’s mostly in real estate and as a contractor and Holly’s as a math and science teacher in Port Angeles, he never forgot his animal husbandry roots and talked about raising cattle. “Raising beef? How can I say this? I wasn’t too excited because of the information that beef isn’t the healthiest meat, plus I had digestive issues with it,” Holly said, “but Tom always has had a passion about cattle.” “It’s something I always wanted to do. I wanted to be able to try to make an income on it and at Top: Tom Clark, co-owner of Clark least, if I tried and didn’t succeed, Farms, poses with Thor, his buddy I could move on,” Tom said. “It and sire of the herd. Submitted photo always was something my famSix-week-old pigs gobble up grass. ily did.” After decades of leading what They’ll be ready for harvest at 200 Holly called “pretty disjointed pounds. Photo Patricia Morrison Coate lives relying on eating out,” she Tom and Holly Clark, with purebred developed ulcerative colitis and Angus bull Thor, say their farming philosophy is to mimic natural went on daily medication. The patterns of herbivores. “We want Clarks took a hard look at their fit, happy cows along with healthy, diet and began to eat more natudiverse soils and pastures.” ral and fewer processed foods, Photo Patricia Morrison Coate



which dovetailed into their desire to provide grass-fed, unadulterated beef for consumers like themselves. Holly said with her improved diet, she’s been able to go off her medication. “Our diet now consists of grass-fed beef, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other important nutrients. We feel because our beef is grass-fed, Tom and I no longer have issues with digesting beef,” Holly said. The Clarks are not alone in touting grass-fed beef over grain-fed beef as lower in overall fat and calories, lower in saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids, richer in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Their first big project was to rebuild the health of the pastures by planting a mixture of five types of grasses for the cattle’s nutritional requirements. The Clarks were and are adamant that no chemical fertilizers be used on the land. Between 2008-2009, they purchased a Tarentaise cow and heifer, an Angus bull, Angus breeding cows and calves, gradually increasing the herd to 52 head on 115 acres leased from Tom’s parents, Bob and Glenda Clark. They paid between 45 cents to $1.20 per pound for each animal so it’s been a significant investment. The Clarks strongly stress the differences between their beef operation and other beef producers from birth to slaughter. First, they purchase antibiotic- and hormone-free animals, check on the herd frequently for health maintenance and allow them to put on weight with grass and hay while getting exercise roaming and rotating through chemical-free pastures, unlike “feed-lot cattle where they gorge,” Tom said. “We don’t grain-finish, which is standard practice with grocery store meats,” Holly said, “so our beef tastes a little different — a bolder, beefy flavor. It’s just more flavorful and the other stuff, it’s just bland. The No. 1 reason we do a lot of black Angus is because they marble on pasture, they’re lean and have a high hanging weight so there’s more meat for the money. It’s best to cook it low and slow.” Marbling is intramuscular fat that helps give flavor to the meat. Cuts with the highest marbling are rated prime and command a premium price. The process of becoming USDA graded and certified and statecertified to sell their beef and following strict regulations of each was painstaking. In order to sell packaged beef themselves and to retailers, the Clarks have to take live animals to Centralia, about 110 miles away, to be slaughtered, and their meat cooled, hung, cut and wrapped under USDA inspection, with costs all along the way. To sell a quarter, half or whole beef to consumers, they have to have a state-approved butcher come to the farm for a slaughter, after which the buyers’ sides of beef go to the cut and wrap shop of their choice for aging and custom cutting. “The regulations are horrendous,” Holly said. “With our first slaughter, we had a negative $115.23. This farming business is


Top: Grass-fed beef is lower in overall fat and calories and lower in saturated fats. It is richer in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Here a mother and daughter graze on nutrient-rich hay. Submitted photo The Clarks hired Tony Kramer to start a pork production operation at their farm. This 6-weekold pig is part of a herd of 30 that will be raised antibiotic- and hormone-free. Photo by Patricia Morrison Coate

Above: “Our animals are rotationally grazed through a variety of grasses, forbs and browse to maintain optimal vigor and bliss,” say the Clarks. Photo by Patricia Morrison Coate


not a ‘get rich’ type of career but it sure is a fulfilling one that’s easy on the conscience. Tom gets to be with his cows and I find hanging out at the markets and making friends with the business owners to be a blast,” Holly said. When they first started, they harvested two animals a month but now are up to 3.5, selling packaged cuts at the Port Angeles and Sequim farmers markets, and to Good to Go Health Food Store, Thai Peppers and Speedi-Mart in Port Angeles; The Red Rooster and Alder Wood Bistro in Sequim; and the Old Mill Cafe in Carlsborg. Cuts include filet mignon, nine types of steak, brisket, London broil, roast, ribs, stew meat and 90-percent lean ground beef. “Sequim and Port Angeles markets are filled with fascinating, great people who routinely are buying our meat and sharing their stories as to why they support their local farmers,” Holly said. The Clarks recently started to raise pigs, too, under the same no hormones, no prophylactic antibiotics, no pens philosophy. They’ve hired Tony Kramer to raise 30 Duroc-BerkshireHampshire pigs for them to about 6-8 months of age or 200 pounds. The Clarks are taking pork orders for quarter, half or whole animals. “ We feel good about what we are doing — helping preserve our family farm, having an influence on the environment in a more positive way and providing cleaner food for our community,” Holly said.

Left: Clark knows to approach the mother of this new calf gently. Spring calving is an intense time on the farm. Submitted photo

For ordering information, see www.sequim.locallygrown. net/growers or call the Clarks at 360-681-5499.

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yourself to the river, ’cause the fish are jumpin’. It’s summertime. Time to lighten up, brighten up and shake off all that seriousness. Open the windows. Let the sunshine in. Feel the warm breeze as you stretch out on these lazy, crazy daze of summer. The cooing, morning sounds of doves remind us to be gentle, to coo and purr and love life like we’ve never loved it before. It’s time to do the things we’ve always wanted to do rather than wait until it’s too late. We all know that life waits for no one. Choosing how we spend each day is a matter of tending to our choices and opting for what nurtures and sustains our life. It’s astonishingly easy to forget the preciousness of a day. We get too busy or too lazy — lulling ourselves into mindlessly passing time without realizing that the time of our life is passing by. Summertime reminds us to wake up, to enjoy the extravagantly long days, the joy of light and lingering sunsets. Our gardens bloom, and if you don’t have dirt under your nails, get out there, darlin’, and dig ’til your heart’s content. Revel in knowing the sensations of touching a rose petal, sifting sun-warmed soil through your fingers, listening to the hum of bees and inhaling the heavenly smell of fresh-cut grass. Five o’clock in the morning is my favorite time of day. Summertime tickles the toes of those who are early risers. We’re up and out, walking our dogs, greeting the day and saluting the sun as we welcome the approach of summer solstice. Darkness has been banished to the background as if the stage of life has once again been set for the grand entrance


of a new season of joy. Are you willing to play? Will you gather your garlands and ribbons and dance barefoot in the grass? Will you lie on your back and see yourself dancing on the clouds, leaping from one white heap to another? We are here to love life. My dog has no limits when it comes to loving life. He blissfully stretches into his yogic postures, bowing to the sun, then frolicking and rolling in the grass. He encourages me to be less inhibited. And you? I propose we wrap ourselves around the spirit of the season — let the fun begin. It’s time to perk up, put away the pouting. It’s beach time, garden time — time to relax, play and enjoy. Roll out the barbecue grill. Dust off the patio furni-

ture. Pump and prime the bicycles for miles of trail rides. There are fields and hills, valleys and mountains to be discovered on our wondrous Olympic Discovery Trail. Get out everything that blissfully bobs along on the water — your canoes, kayaks, rubber dinghies — and enjoy a refresher course on the importance of rowing your boat, gently down the stream. Yes, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily — life IS but a dream. Summer in the Pacific Northwest is heavenly. We all know it and we prefer to keep it a secret. Go ahead; stealthily pack up the car, the van or camper and head to the beach, to the rocky coast, to the vistas that take your breath away. Let the ocean mist and the sounds of gulls remind you that soaring above it all is possible. It’s simply a matter of remembering that you and I are small players in the scheme of things. We take ourselves too seriously. Let’s wiggle our toes in the sand. Yes, take off those shoes. Push your heels into the warmth beneath your feet, then dance on the edge of the surf, squealing with delight when you get wetter than you wanted. It’s all about summer fun. Children bury each other in the sand. Buckets and buckets of wet sand — piled high and patted perfectly, turning bellies, legs and arms into a mound that joins the human body with the sea. Our spirits are fortified with joyful play.


Then, comes the moment of movement. The slightest movement, when the sand cracks and fingers wiggle creating miniature landslides. Like a gentle, buried giant the sands of the earth begin to topple as a body rises up and dashes to the water’s edge. Ah yes, the brilliant, messy lessons of childhood. Play ’til your heart’s content. Pretend, imagine and immerse yourself in the splendid beginnings and endings of sand sculpture on a beach. My dog barks at the waves. I think it’s a good idea and I roar as the waves roar, letting out a sound that frees my soul. As with all of life, the time comes to surrender to the tides. Accept what is and marvel at nature’s lessons being repeated over and over: Life rises and falls, works itself in and out with the highs and the lows, the bleak and the brilliant, the strong and the weak — and still it goes on. There is time to visit the Dungeness, the Elwha, the Hoh and the many rivers on the peninsula. Sit by a river and look as the sunlight twinkles its diamond dance, sparkling

Summer on the peninsula encourages us to feel our aliveness.

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and splashing its summer ballet between the river banks, skirting the rocks, embracing the toppled, uprooted trees. It’s hard to imagine any sound or sight more lovely. Summer on the peninsula encourages us to feel our aliveness. Make play and laughter daily companions of choice. Take yourself to the farms. Listen to the rooster’s crow and the cow’s bellow. Smell the lavender fields. Taste the sweet honey. Stand on the edge of a field and measure the distance from here to there with your eye. Then, appreciate the open space and ask yourself if you are willing to be as open and spacious as the fields that feed our bodies and nurture our souls. Bring out the picnic basket and the frilly floral napkins. Invite a friend, “Let’s go sit at the point, have a picnic and watch the sun as it sets.” Sweet connections with sweet friends. Take the kids, the grandkids and the neighborhood kids for the special summer rituals of picking fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The berries seem sweeter when seasoned with the giggles of children filling their buckets. When the day is done, let go with complete abandon and surrender. Take heart, knowing that you have lived a good day. Ruth Marcus offers leadership and lifestyle coaching. Visit or e-mail



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Theodore (Ted) Cordua was incorrectly identified in a story about the Sequim Senior Activity Center on Page 33 of our Winter 2009 issue of Living on the Peninsula. Photo by Harry von Stark


Lavender Festival Puffin Sunset Dinner Cruises For information and reservations, call:

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Friday, July 16 & Saturday, July 17 Per Person 7 pm - 9 pm $65 Reservations Required Depart from the John Wayne Marine in Sequim aboard the 65-foot Glacier Spirit. Join us for an early evening, 2-hour cruise to Protection Island to see marine animals & seabirds. A top naturalist will be on board.

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Events CALENDAR EC June 18-20 • “Prisoner of Second Avenue,” by Neil Simon, produced by Key City Public Theatre, 360-385-7396, www.keycity Also June 24-27, July 1-4 • The Northwinds Homeschool Band performs the nonmusical stage production of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” written by award-winning author Sandra Fenichel Asher, at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse. 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.

July 9 • Festival of American Fiddle Tunes public dance at Fort Worden State Park. Sponsored by Centrum, www.centrum. org/fiddle.

July 9-11

June 23-Sept. 8

July 4

•Concert on the Pier series, 6 p.m. every Wednesday, City Pier, Port Angeles. 360-452-2363 ext. 11 or www.port

• Centrum American Fiddle Tunes concert at McCurdy Pavilion, Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend. 800-773-3608 or • Forks Old-Fashioned Fourth of July, various locations in Forks. Contact info@ • Fourth of July Community Celebration, 3-11 p.m., City Pier, Port Angeles. Grand parade on Lincoln Street to First Street from 5:30-6:30 p.m., fireworks display at dusk (around 10 p.m.). vanessa@; • Fourth of July Celebration, 11 a.m.2 p.m., Sequim Prairie Grange, Macleay Road, Sequim. 360-681-2257 or www.

June 25 • U.S. Air Force Band plays in the first Free Fridays at the Fort concert of the summer season, noon, on the patio at Fort Worden State Park Commons. Sponsored by Centrum, www.centrum. org.

June 26 • Seventh Annual Rakers Summer Cruz-In Car Show at Memorial Athletic Field in Port Townsend. Sponsored by Rakers Car Club, www.rakerscarclub. com.

June 27-Aug. 29 • Port Townsend Summer Band concerts, 3 p.m. last Sunday of the month, Chetzemoka Park and other venues,

July 4-Aug. 22 • Olympic Music Festival, 2 p.m. at Concert Barn, 7360 Center Road, Quilcene. Classical music every Saturday and Sunday, no pets allowed. www.olympic, info@olympicmusic or call 206-527-8839 for tickets and reserved seating.

July 8-18 “Shirley Valentine” by Willy Russell, produced by Olympic Theatre Arts, Sequim. This play replaces “Bullshot Crummond.” Contact www.olympic or 360-683-7326.


• Clallam Bay & Sekiu Fun Days, 10 a.m. in Clallam Bay/Sekiu. Fireworks on Saturday night. or; • Hadlock Days in downtown Port Hadlock, with lawnmower races, vendors, parade and car show, 360-821-9347,

• Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Show, 10 a.m. at Sequim Middle School gym. 360-6832072, • Quileute Days, 10 a.m. in LaPush. Tribal festival with parade, canoe races, bone games, arts and crafts, softball tourney and fireworks on First Beach. Contact

July 15-17

July 22-24

• Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival performances, sponsored by Centrum, 360-385-3102, www.centrum. org.

• Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend concerts, Fort Worden State Park and downtown Port Townsend. 800-7333608, 360-385-5320 or visit www.

July 15-18 • GWRRA Washington District Rally, self-guided touring, bike games, show and shine, and light parade. Sponsored by Honda Gold Wing Road Rider Association. At Jefferson County Fairgrounds,

July 23-25 • Arts in Action, Friday, 2-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., City Pier, Port Angeles. Professional sand sculptors, artists, merchants and vendors. Street dance Saturday night. 360-417-0501.

July 16-18 • Sequim Lavender Festival, 9 a.m., various locations in and around Sequim. Six farms on tour with street fair features more than 150 craft artists of handmade items and vendors of lavender and other Olympic Peninsula specialties. 800-6813035 or;

July 29 • Blues Barbecue and Dance, on Littlefield Green, Fort Worden State Park. Associated with Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival, sponsored by Centrum, 360-385-3102, ext. 110, www.centrum. org/blues.

July 31-Aug. 1 • Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival performances at McCurdy Pavilion and local clubs. Sponsored by Centrum, 360-385-3102, ext. 110; www.centrum. org/blues.


Events CALENDAR EC Aug. 14-15

• Port Ludlow Days, with activities, including arts and crafts, music and food.

• Port Angeles Heritage Weekend, 10 a.m., downtown Port Angeles. Guided walking tours of historical downtown Port Angeles. Register in the atrium of The Landing mall to sign up for tours. 360-460-1001 or donperry10@yahoo. com.

Aug. 7

Aug. 19-22

• Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival, Joyce. 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Pancake breakfast, homemade blackberry pies, parade, children’s activities, arts and crafts, salmon bake, 40 vendors’ booths, pie baking contest, live entertainment. www.joycewa. com or 360-928-2428.

Aug. 1-8 • Centrum’s Acoustic Blues and Heritage Festival, Fort Worden State Park and downtown Port Townsend. 800-733-3608, 360-385-5320 or www.

Aug. 6-8 • “The Tempest,” a Shakespeare in the Park production by Key City Public Theatre at Chetzemoka Park, 360-385-7396, Also Aug. 13-15, Aug. 20-22.

Aug. 7-29

• Clallam County Fair, fairgrounds in Port Angeles. 360-417-2551 or www.

Aug. 21 • 21st Annual Kiwanis Classic Car Show at Memorial Field in downtown Port Townsend, sponsored by Port Townsend Kiwanis Club, 360-385-0706.

Aug. 21-22 • Art Port Townsend Artist Studio Tour. Art studios open to the public on free, self-guided tour. Sponsored by Northwind Arts Alliance, 360-379-0859,

Aug. 27-29 • Makah Days, 10 a.m. Neah Bay. Canoe races and bone games, children’s races, royalty, salmon bake, traditional dancing, talent show and fireworks.

Aug. 29 • North Olympic Land Trust’s StreamFest, noon at Ennis Arbor Farm, Port Angeles. Fun activities for all ages, Free admission. Salmon cookout fundraiser. Contact 360-457-5415 or www.north

Sept. 10-12 • 34th Wooden Boat Festival, 9 a.m. at Point Hudson in Port Townsend. An internationally acclaimed annual celebration of wooden boats, craftsmanship and cultural heritage. Authentic activities and demonstrations for all ages. 360-3443436, or www.

Sept. 18 • Quilcene Community Fair, Parade & Classic Car Show, all day at Quilcene School District on U.S. Highway 101. 360-765-3361.

Sept. 24-26 • Port Townsend Film Festival, 10 a.m. on Taylor Street, Port Townsend. More than 40 art-house, foreign-language, classic, documentary and short films from around the world. Contact 360-3791333 or

Sept. 11-12 • Stephenie Meyer Days, in honor of the “Twilight” series author. Forks. www.

• Art Port Townsend Juried Art Show, sponsored by Northwind Arts Alliance and Port Townsend Arts Commission, 360-437-9579, www.artporttownsend. org.

Aug. 13-15

Sept. 25 • Incredible Edible Festival, 10 a.m. At Boys & Girls Club, Sequim. Vendor exhibits and sales, samples, classes, demonstrations, contests. The focus of the event is on food, including meals, goodies, gifts, decorating, packaging/shipping food gifts and many other food-related items and activities. 360-683-6197 or

• Jefferson County Fair, 10 a.m. at fairgrounds in Port Townsend. 360-3851013, or

Port Townsend

Port Angeles

to Forks




THE Living END

10 reasons to buy from local family farms


ood is one of the most important elements of our lives. It quite literally sustains us — we cannot do without it. And, did you also know that it was the invention of agriculture — planned, organized food production — that allowed humans to advance from primitive hunter/gatherers to modern civilizations capable of amazing things? Yet food is not simply fuel for our bodies and a cornerstone of civilization — good food is one of life’s simplest, yet most satisfying pleasures. Today we are awash in food choices: fast food/slow food, organic food/conventional food, gourmet food/ convenience food, raw food/processed food, etc. No other people in the history of our planet have had so many food choices. Yet today food is so ubiquitous and easily available for most people in the United States that few of us seriously think about where it comes from. In fact, food is so plentiful and relatively cheap that obesity is a serious and widespread health issue. But of all the food choices we can make, the most important decision is whether to buy food produced locally from family farms in and around our communities or buy food produced on distant mega-farms processed by giant transnational food corporations. The following is a list of 10 reasons why it is important to buy food from farms close to home. I urge you to contemplate these reasons and then to seek out local food produced by your neighbors. You’ll be glad you did.


Locally grown food is fresher and tastes better

Juicy vine-ripe tomatoes bursting with flavor; succulent strawberries that melt in your mouth; eggs laid yesterday with bright orange yolks that taste like eggs used to taste; carrots so crisp and sweet you’ll think they are a fruit; sweet-tart apples that make your pies taste like Grandma’s. Food grown by local family farmers is grown with you in mind. Fruit and vegetable varieties are selected for freshness, flavor and nutrition and local family farms produce meat, milk and eggs in natural ways using local feeds, without added hormones and antibiotics. Conversely most food found in the average supermarket was developed not first and foremost with you in mind but to stand up to the abuse of machine harvesting, long-


term storage, long-haul trucking and massive processing facilities. It is not as fresh or nutritious as food produced and harvested at the peak of perfection.


Local, family farms help protect the environment

Farmers who live where they farm and who are members of local communities tend to be better stewards of soil, water and other natural resources than are owners of large agribusiness farms. Family farmers build soil quality and fertility to conserve and keep clean our local water resources. This often helps to create and improve habitat for fish and wildlife. Farmers in Clallam County have reduced water used for irrigation by more than 50 percent in the past 20 years, returning an average of over 50 cubic feet per second to the Dungeness River for salmon spawning and other environmental benefits. It was small-scale family farmers who started the rapidly growing organic agriculture movement with its emphasis on chemical-free, safe, wholesome foods.


Buying from local farms conserves precious resources

Industrial farms are part of a global agribusiness network that relies on long-distance shipping and energy intensive storage, processing and packaging of our food. The average food item you consume today has traveled in excess of 1,500 miles to your table. Food produced by global agribusiness firms consumes 10 times or more the energy it produces in food energy while food produced locally consumes far fewer resources by the time it reaches your plate.


Thriving family farms build rural economies

Money spent on locally produced food and farm products stays in our communities longer than money spent at a national or regional chain. Local farmers buy things locally and contribute to the “multiplier effect” in communities where dollars circulate over and over again. Simply put, buying locally supports the farmer who shops locally and supports other businesses.


Buying locally helps you learn how your food was grown

Today’s food system, where producers and consumers of food are separated by an incredibly complex system, has led us to question the safety of the food we eat. Buying from local farmers allows consumers to learn how their food is produced and gain confidence that the food was produced safely and responsibly. Buying food locally, especially when you buy direct from a farmer, helps you learn the basics of what it takes to produce food. This translates to more home gardens and self-sufficiency.


Family farms help children learn healthy values

Children who grow up on farms often gain a strong work ethic and learn life skills that serve them no matter where they go. Farm work and farm life instill a love of

nature and the land. Today very few children grow up on a working farm but having local farms to visit allows them the chance to learn where food comes from and that milk doesn’t come from the grocery store.


Locally grown food protects genetic diversity

Wes Jackson, a friend and well-known author and critic of modern, industrial agriculture, argues that we are in the midst of an “information implosion” in agriculture. He says that we not only are losing the incredible diversity of knowledge that used to exist in multi-generational family farms working the land in different parts of the country, but that industrial agriculture also is causing the extinction of thousands of varieties/breeds of agricultural crops and animals — a huge loss of “genetic information” we will need in the future.


Many family farms grow a feast for the senses

Many family farms use “heirloom” and unique fruit and vegetable varieties, allowing us to taste and experience food not available in supermarkets. Local family farms produce unusual vegetables, flowers and other products that add to the “spice of life.” Visit a local farmers market during this summer season and you will be amazed at the cornucopia of colors, shapes, smells and tastes you will find.


Nearby farms help keep your taxes in check

Numerous studies have shown that keeping land in working farms helps to keep taxes lower. This is because farms contribute more in taxes than they require in government services, while sprawling growth of low-density suburban development onto farmland requires more in services than it provides in taxes to support those services.


Diverse family farms contribute to food security

Today most of our food comes from various far-flung places. This is not likely to change in the near future. But think about what would happen to our food supply if a major global disruption of our food system should occur because of economic collapse or world war. Having a variety of local farms within and around our communities will serve as an insurance policy for keeping local food production available for the future. This is a major reason why we should do whatever we can to keep local land in agriculture and why we should support the many small and often part-time farms that surround our communities. Keeping this cultural knowledge alive, maintaining farming skills and preserving farmable land is something that we should value greatly. Our amazing, modern society, as high-tech and complex as it is, still requires food to be coaxed from soil, water and sun in order for us to survive.

By Curtis Beus, director, WSU Extension of Clallam County LIVING ON THE PENINSULA | SUMMER | JUNE 2010



Products, services and ideas from across the Peninsula. To advertise in Clallam County, call Debi Lahmeyer at 360-683-3311. In Jefferson County, call Kathryn Peterson at 360-385-2900.

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(360) 457-8527 360-681-3333 782 Kitchen-Dick Road, Sequim | JUNE 2010 LIVING ON THE PENINSULA | SUMMER



NOW Then Boat Haven


lassic boats from a bygone age are moored in their slips at Port Townsend’s Boat Haven marina in this 1955 photo. Construction began on the marina in 1931 after the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce asked the Port Commission to develop a boat harbor. For several years, the town had seen the need for a harbor for small boats and fishing vessels. The boats shown here are in what today is referred to as the commercial boat basin, although with the decline in the fishing fleet, pleasure boats are moored there, too. The low white building on the breakwater is the Coast Guard station, which only recently was removed. Coast Guard cutters stand ready in both today’s and yesterday’s photos. Today, Boat Haven is a full-service marina that is home to 475 commercial and recreational vessels and more than 60 marine trades businesses. Restaurants and even a microbrewery make the boatyard a unique little community unto itself that’s well worth a visit. Historical photo from The Leader collection Current photo by Fred Obee

Old Dungeness Schoolhouse


ore than a century ago, the community of Dungeness, north of present-day Sequim, was thriving. Due to an expanding population, voters approved spending the princely sum of $3,000 in 1892 to buy land, clear and fence it, and build and furnish a two-story school using locally harvested and milled lumber. Its most distinctive feature remains — a decorative belfry with a bell-shaped red roof. The school was upgraded and expanded in 1921. The facility served the Dungeness farming community from 1893-1955, when its district consolidated with Sequim. After leasing the building for about 10 years, the Dungeness Community Club purchased it in 1967. The club’s volunteers and the Women of Dungeness members spent many hours refurbishing and maintaining its historical character. Thanks to their members’ efforts, the schoolhouse was designated a Washington State Historical Site in 1971 and put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. In 1995, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Museum and Arts Center agreed to manage it. This year the MAC is raising funds to return the schoolhouse to its original color scheme of white with barn red trim. The Old Dungeness Schoolhouse continues to be an active site with adult education classes, performances and club meetings.

Historical ph oto Sequim Muse courtesy of the um and Arts C Current pho to by Patricia enter Morrison Co ate

54 54


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Late night or early morning flight? Ask us about special hotel rates! Port Angeles/Sequim (360) 417-0700 Outside the area toll free (800) 457-4492 LIVING ON THE PENINSULA | SUMMER | JUNE 2010




Living on the Peninsula, Summer 2010  
Living on the Peninsula, Summer 2010  

Living on the Peninsula, Summer 2010