Thursday, October 29, 2009


Dear Everyone,
Know your local farmer, and please take a look at our new, printable list-in-progress of where to buy local products (LINK HERE), and our last two posts, below, but first:

We just got a letter from Food Democracy Now. It reads, in part:

"(President) Obama’s first agribusiness selection is Roger Beachy, to be head of the USDA’s newly created National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Beachy is the founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO...essentially the non-profit arm of GMO seed giant Monsanto; Monsanto’s CEO sits on its board, and the company provides considerable funding for the Center’s operations.

As the head of the USDA’s new research arm... Beachy is responsible for deciding how U.S. research dollars will be spent in agriculture. Translation: more research on biotech, less research on how to scale sustainable and organic agriculture.

...Beachy has already started work at the USDA, but the next nominee—Islam Siddiqui—still must be confirmed by the U.S.Senate. Siddiqui, the Vice President of Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, was recently nominated to be the Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the US Trade Representative.

...When Michele Obama planted her “organic” garden on the White House lawn, Siddiqui’s CropLife MidAmerica sent the First Lady a letter saying that it made them “shudder”... Siddiqui spent over 3 years as a pesticide lobbyist, an Undersecretary at the USDA and a VP at CropLife....he played a key role in helping establish the country’s first organic standards....those original organic standards would have allowed irradiation, sewage sludge and GMOs [genetically modified organisms]... 230,000 people signed a petition for them to be changed, which they eventually were."

A broad coalition of groups around the country including the National Family Farm Coalition, Institute of Agriculture & Trade Policy, and Center for Food Safety is calling on President Obama to keep his campaign promise of closing the revolving door between agribusiness and his administration.
To visit our Actions You Can Take Now page for more information, go here.

This is not about left or right.
Corporations have not been dealing fairly with the American family farmer.
Until they do,
to keep providing food that is healthy for you and your family, and healthy for the planet, America's family farmer needs a big voice in government. Your voice.
Please click here to add your voice.

Lastly - Thanks Land & Sea kids for showing up rain or shine (rain!) for the outdoor Matt M. fish fillet demonstration. What tasty little morsels of fish! Matt's a good cook! We'll do it again.
Plans are also in the works for more showings of "Food, Inc." and a general Land & Sea get together. More posted soon on that.

Top photos: San Juan Islands farm products, courtesy of Becky Bolt.
Bottom photo: Matt Marinkovich


Photo, top : Becky Bolt. San Juan Island Farmers Market

From the "Small Farmers. Big Change." web page of Equal Exchange comes this important message, below. It's important that our voices are heard NOW:

"The Revolving Door between Big Ag and OUR government

A broad coalition of groups around the country (Pesticide Action Network, National Family Farm Coalition, Food & Water Watch, Farmworker’s Association of Florida, Institute of Agriculture & Trade Policy, Food Democracy Now!, Greenpeace, Center for Food Safety) have mobilized to block the appointment of Islam Siddiqui to the critical post of U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator.
Equal Exchange is encouraging our friends and allies to read the following statement and petition and sign on. We share in the belief that President Obama should be held to his promise to put people’s interests ahead of the special interests of big agriculture.
Dear Colleagues:
Despite campaign promises to the contrary, President Obama has nominated to two key posts “Big Ag” industry insiders who come straight from the chemical pesticide and ag biotechnology sectors.
  • Islam Siddiqui — current VP of science and regulatory affairs at CropLife (THE lobbying association for the pesticide/GMO industry). A former registered lobbyist, Siddiqui has been nominated to the critical post of U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator. This position will enable him to keep pushing chemical pesticides, inappropriate biotechnologies, and unfair trade arrangements on nations that do not want and can least afford them.
  • Roger Beachy — long-time head of Monsanto’s defacto nonprofit research arm — has been installed as director of the USDA’s newly created National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This office comes with a $500 million budget, and therein control over the U.S. ag research agenda for years to come.
Please join us in signing this petition, urging President Obama to withdraw his Big Ag industry insiders nominations to vital agriculture posts.
We need 50,000 signatures to make an impact and we have until Nov. 4th (when the Senate Finance Committee will vote) to make a difference.
Click here to sign the petition".
Thanks, Small Farmers and Equal Exchange!
Please go here to read more important information from Equal Exchange's "Small Farmers. Big Change." web page, here for info from Organic Consumers Association, and here for the petition from Food Democracy Now. And, please, tell your friends.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Above, the cream-colored center of the Northwest Ozette potato.
Link to printable list of where to find local farmers' products is here now...(Also check out links to the right, and look for local meat and fish, specifically, one post down)

Want to make a little commitment to yourself?......Maybe choose a number, and copy & post this on your fridge:

I'll commit, to myself, to spend ______ of my food budget every week on products from our local island farmers and fishers. If I can consistently support our local food producers, they will be there when I need them!

The money spent here in our community stays to circulate again and build our economy.
And since our bodies are built from the foods we eat, when I eat food grown on the island, local island land and waters will actually be a part of what I'm made of!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We just got a reminder from Jane Burton Bell - (also mentioned today in SJ Update by Ryan Browne of Earthlore):
Michael Ableman of Salt Spring Island (one of the Vancouver island farmers interviewed in the film "Island on the Edge") will talk about "Thinking Like an Island" at a potluck of local foods, Friday at Mullis Center in Friday Harbor. There's a suggested donation of $10, though no one will be denied a ticket. You can bring a tasty dish, and you can bring all your friends!!!
If you'd like to read some of Michael's essays, go to this link. Thanks again Jane and Rebecca Moore for bringing Michael here!!

ANOTHER great opportunity - at least until it all gets eaten! - The Fabulous Kallari Chocolate Bars are back!!! Maureen has the handmade, handwrapped, incredible Kallari Chocolate in the beautiful wrappers back in at Compost it!! Kallari is organic chocolate, grown and made from bean to bar by the Kichwa farmers and families of the Kallari Chocolate Cooperative in Ecuador. It has been called the "best chocolate on Earth". Maureen also carries Kallari handcrafts. Go here and here for story and links. The bars Maureen carries are made in the smaller factory located in the high mountains, where the bars are handpoured and handwrapped - Although the larger bars are available at Whole Foods, Maureen is the only retailer we know of that carries these smaller bars outside of Ecuador! Kallari chocolate is chemical-free, and the money you spend on it goes to make positive change in the world.
For information on interning in Ecuador with Kallari, go here.

And, go here to read more from Maureen and Matt about commercial fishing AK and Puget Sound waters, and our about our local wild salmon.

Matt and halibut
- Thanks, Island Guardian on-line news and San Juan Islander on-line news, for the permanent links to Land & Sea!
Remember to join the San Juan Community Co Op grocery store this month!! It is a great place to shop!! We hear they have an updated page coming soon - check the current one for contact info, and non - member hours!

And check out links in the post below for where to buy healthy and delicious, San Juan Islands raised, grass fed meats and local wild seafoods! Know your local farmer and fisher!

Monday, October 12, 2009


*Our Featured Farmer
Layne Sundberg, the artisan cheese maker behind the incredible Quail Croft soft and hard aged cheeses!!!
Buy Layne's
cheese from the sources listed below, & find Quail Croft in fresh made raviolis from San Juan Pasta (SJ Co op), and in delicious recipes you can use from Synergy Farm Recipe page!

(go to more complete list as of 10/27/09 by clicking here)

  • Kings: Jones Family Farm/Barlow Bay Fish Company oysters, smoked salmon, and clams, *Quail Croft cheese
Matt's Fresh Fish: all wild local salmon species available seasonally, all caught by Matt
Westcott Bay Seafarms: oysters, mussels, clams
Barlow Bay Fish Company (Nick & Sara Jones) 3 varieties of clams, 3 varieties of oysters, wild local salmon smoked
LaCrover Farm: organic pastured chicken
Guard Sundstrom Fir Oak Farm:
grass fed USDA inspected pastured lamb and beef. IGFC processed 3106 San Juan Valley Road

*Layne Sundberg: grass fed pastured goat and lamb, delicious hard aged and lovely, creamy soft Quail Croft cheeses. Hours: call for appointment (360) 378-5764
Available at SJI Co Op, SJ Farmers Market, Kings

Rob Waldron Raven Gap Farm: grass-fed USDA inspected pastured lamb and beef. IGFC processed. Available at SJI Co op, SJ Farmers Market
Jones Family Farm / Lopez Homestead Farm: USDA grass fed beef, goat, pork, poultry clams oysters salmon. Member IGFC 360-468-0533Lopez Island Farm: grass fed pastured lamb and pork. Member IGFC
email: 360-468-4620
Skagit River Ranch: organic grass fed pastured USDA beef pork lamb chicken. Member IGFC 360-856-0722
Mitchell Bay Farm and Nursery: organic grass fed pastured lamb - custom cuts, burger, sausage. ICL, member IGFC.

ZLazyJ Farm: organic pastured pork email:
Sweet Grass Farm: organic grass fed pastured Kobe beef . Member IGFC

Red Gate Farm: pastured locker lamb
Synergy Farm: pastured organic chicken
One Clay Hill Farm: IGFC pastured grass fed lamb
Saddleback Ranch: pastured grass fed lamb
Ten Four Farm: beef - Local grass fed beef - limited quantity by split or half avail. mid-Nov. Jeanne Turner 514 Kiehl Rd, Friday Harbor.378-3195

We see in the sanjuanislander that island-grown Certified Organic Cashup Wheat is available at 360-378-6395! We hear this type of soft Winter Wheat is perfect for pastry! Add a little butter or spread with soft cheese from Quail Croft!

Don't forget!!
Michael Ableman, the Salt Spring Island farmer, internationally acclaimed writer, speaker, photographer, practitioner of sustainable agriculture and proponent of regional food systems will talk about "Thinking Like an Island" at a potluck of local foods. Fri, 10/23. 6 pm Mullis Center. Donation $10 suggested, though no one will be denied a ticket. Bring a tasty dish, but mostly - bring yourself and your friends!
Tickets: Farmer's Mkt., Griffin Bay Books, Market Chef
Contact Jane and Rebecca for questions -
Sponsors: SJI AG Guild & SJ Farmer's Mkt.

Two more days (until 10/15) for the join-for-any-contribution offer from Slow Food USA!!!
Any size donation makes you a member - take part in supporting the work for biodiversity, sustainable farmers, and fair treatment of all the people who grow our food, also known as
Good, Clean, and Fair!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Manager Aaron King at the Palace Theater tells us the movie we've been hearing so much about, "FOOD, INC." will be playing matinees this week , starting Friday
(call 370-5666 for showtimes)
We'll have handouts on where to buy local available to viewers by Sat. (Also, check links at right for info on island farmers and farmstands.)

Tell your friends and make an outing of it -

See "Food, Inc." this weekend, and know and support your local farmer!! (See links at right for more info on that!)
And thank you, Aaron! (We asked, he got it - what a guy!)

Also, remember that incredible Salt Spring Island farmer from "Island on the Edge"? (Borrow the DVD from the library - it is great!) -Well, we'll post about this again later, but we just got a note from Jane Burton Bell at the Ag Guild:
"Could you post the info about the Michael Ableman
talk, 'Thinking Like an Island' to your blog? Here’s the scoop:
A harvest potluck of local foods at the
Mullis Centre at 6 pm on Friday, October 23rd will be followed by a talk
by Salt Spring farmer, writer, speaker and photographer, Michael Ableman.
For more information on Michael, please see
Prepare to be inspired by this proponent of sustainable agriculture and
regional food systems!

Tickets at: SJI Farmers Market, Market Chef, and Griffin Bay Books.
Suggested ticket price is $10, though no one will be denied a ticket.
For more information, contact:
Rebecca Moore or
Jane Burton Bell
Sponsored by the SJI Ag Guild and SJI Farmers’ Market."

Aren't we lucky? Thank you Rebecca and Jane!!

Ian at San Juan Update, Jack at the Island Guardian,
Sharon at San Juan Islander & Richard at the Journal; thanks for your links to our page,
and also your work keeping islanders up to date!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Island On the Edge" DVD Now Available at SJI Library!

Thank you Eliza Buck, SJI ARC & AG Guild, and SJI Library for the presentation of the film "Island on the Edge" and visit by director Nick Versteeg and his wife and partner Elly Versteeg.
What a great, moving documentary, and what incredibly valuable information! If you weren't lucky enough to be at the presentation last night - please go to the library and borrow this film. The film is also available here.
It would not be a surprise to hear that people here are watching this movie over and over; as someone commented at the showing tonight, "This movie is about us." Please watch it, and see what they mean.

On another subject...
Slow Food USA's reduced membership fee offer is extended through Oct. 15: If you want to join Slow Food - check our 9/27 post (below).
Any amount donation to Slow Food USA makes you a Slow Food USA member. Donations until 10/15 are being matched by supporter Mr. Donald Sussman, & are tax-deductable. They fund the programs listed on the 9/27 post, and many others. Slow Food USA and International sites have details. This is such a good deal we wanted to let you know about it.

Link to Backyard Chicken.
Link to chicken coop plans
photo by Bill Cobos