Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sometimes You Get So Busy on the Computer, You (Almost) Forget Where Outside's At

Young people are busy everywhere on the island turning over soil, planting and growing. There's Zac's blog about cooking as a passion, and farmworking and pushing into the the unknown - with recipes! There are so many new and returning interns and farmworkers showing up this spring - like flowers, it gives us hope, big time. If you scroll down at right to Island Grown Links, to many of the island farms, (Margaret's Thousand Flower Farm blog is always fun to read), you can see what everybody's up to this Spring!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Take action to insure USDA "organic" doesn't mean factory farm.
The USDA recently put out new rules making it clear that organic dairy cows must be raised on pasture. As consumers, please let the USDA know that we expect the same for "organic" certified cattle raised for beef.
Keep hearing the terms "Confined (or Concentrated) Animal Feeding Operation" (CAFO) and "factory farm"?
Go here for a brief, clear US gov't description of what that means.

Want to know what “grass-fed” & “pasture-raised” means?
EatWild.com has excellent, clear explanations of grass-fed basics and how grass-feeding affects food safety, in addition to information on current common feeding practices for commercially raised beef, pork, poultry and dairy operations.

Top - Sample photo of a typical feedlot , from YonderWay , Grass Fed. Enough Said blog page. Yonder way grazes grass fed beef, pork and chickens in a system that has much more long-term success than feedlot methods illustrated in the photo.
Below: Grazing system where cattle have grazed for 3 weeks on the left side of the fence and will be moved to the other side after a 3 week grazing rotation. Benton, Arkansas.
By: Jeff Vanuga, photogallery.nrcs.usda.gov

Some examples of successful grass-fed operations can be seen at:
Fruitland American Meat (Missouri)
YonderWay Farm (Texas)
Thundering Hooves Ranch (Eastern Washington)
Island Grown Farmers Cooperative IGFC right here in San Juan & Skagit counties (WA)
To find where to buy IGFC meats, go here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Good Food" Documentary
Free screening and presentation, sponsored by Land & Sea,
With filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin
at San Juan Conference Room, Friday Harbor House Hotel -
130 West St. Friday Harbor WA

Friday April 23rd at 8:30 pm and
Saturday April 24th at 2 pm and 8 pm
Presentation Free to the Public. Limited seating. (room capacity 70)
Everyone invited - No Purchase Necessary.
Venue courtesy of Friday Harbor House Hotel, and as at all Land & Sea free screenings, we will be serving free popcorn.

Dining before the film? Lunch and dinner featuring local food is available for purchase at the Bluff Restaurant at Friday Harbor House, Fri/Sat 11-10pm, Tues - Thurs 11-9pm
Mention Land & Sea/Slow Food at the Friday Harbor House, or at
Compost It! in downtown Friday Harbor, to receive Bluff Bucks coupons worth 10% off room rates & bottle wine purchases at the Bluff.

for other eat local options, go here and here

action you can take to PROTECT THE ORGANIC LABEL FOR BEEF.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

There are two things we hope you will do.Taking action is easy.
One action takes one click of a mouse on the link below.

The most critical action takes a simple phone call.

Critically important is Senate Bill 510. As it is written now, it severely threatens small family farmers with a one size fits all approach that does not improve food safety.
Jon Tester, a working Montana farmer and U.S Senator who has appeal across political lines has written and proposed an amendment to remedy this mistake.
It’s critical, because this amendment still needs to be added to 510, and the bill goes up for a vote as early as Tuesday. Please contact your local Senators, and the head of the committee and members voting on this bill. Please go here to read a summary of the bill, the problem, and how it can be fixed.
This really is very important.

Very Important - Contact the Senators who are the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. Members are listed at the bottom of this page - mouse over their names for contact links.
Call your state's US Senators and the Senate H.E.L.P. Committee members today, and tell them that you support
Senator Jon Tester’s amendment to S. 510.

Our State Senators:
Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441

Patty Murray (202) 224-2621

The second very easy thing you can do is to support Lincoln School in Mt. Vernon with an online vote. These Skagit valley kids have produced and entered a video in a contest about school gardens and lunch, and have made it to the final round. Now all they need is your vote.

Here’s the note from the gal overseeing this project:
"Hi all
We created a video about our efforts to improve the food at Lincoln
Elementary School in Mount Vernon. We entered the National Farm to
School "Real Food Is" video contest and the judges put us in the top 4
picks. We are the only video from Washington State in the top 4!
Online voting is how we can win $1000 for our efforts at Lincoln.
Please vote for our video. It is called "Lincoln's Journey to Real
Please get the word out and send on the link so everyone you know can
vote. http://www.farmtoschool.org/vote.php (you can only vote once per
Please vote from each of your computers. (I know you have more than
one!! :) Please ask your friends, family and networks to vote as
well. Thanks so much

Wish us luck
Rita Ordonez, Coordinator
Lincoln Elementary
School Garden and Family Cooking Classes
Mount Vernon, WA


SB 510
Sponsor: Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill.
Cosponsors: 15 (8 Democrats, 7 Republicans)
Introduced: March 3, 2009
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Tom Harkin (D-IA)
harkin.senate.gov .

Ranking Member
Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)

To contact the Senate HELP Committee members, go to the links below.
Call or email as many as you can before Tues.!
Make a party of it! Call with friends, and pass this on!
This can be the thing that makes the difference.

Democrats by Rank

Tom Harkin (IA)
Christopher Dodd (CT)
Barbara A. Mikulski (MD)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Patty Murray (WA)
Jack Reed (RI)
Bernard Sanders (I) (VT)
Sherrod Brown (OH)
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA)
Kay Hagan (NC)
Jeff Merkley (OR)
Al Franken (MN)
Michael Bennet (CO)

Republicans by Rank

Michael B. Enzi (WY)
Judd Gregg (NH)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Richard Burr (NC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
John McCain (AZ)
Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Tom Coburn, M.D. (OK)
Pat Roberts (KS

Please learn more about the number of Food Safety Enhancement Acts now working through Congress by looking here at our Actions page and asking questions.

Tracking SB 510 through Congress - http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-510
(Please read the questions at the bottom of that page)

Thanks for making a big difference!
Happy, blustery Spring,
Linda and Maureen

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Extra - - - - Please check our Actions page for a critical update on small farms and Senate Bill 510


R: Vojkovich family, Skagit River Ranch

Filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin will appear along with their acclaimed documentary film “Good Food”, showing April 23rd and 24th, Fri. and Sat. at the Friday Harbor House Hotel and Bluff Restaurant. (For more info on Friday Harbor House, scroll down this post.)

"Good Food" will be presented FREE to the public both days as part of Land & Sea chapter's ongoing informal film fest/teach in.

"Good Food" visits producers, farmers’ markets, distributors, stores, restaurants and public officials who are developing a more sustainable food system for all. Featuring number of Washington state and Pacific Northwest sustainable and organic farmers, the film was an official selection at both the UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival) and SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival)!

Pacific Northwest farms and farmers seen in the film include Billy Allstot and Stephanie Blackstead of Tonasket, Blue Heron Farm, Hilario Alvarez, and Doc, Connie and Travis Hatfield, founders of Country Natural Beef - the marketing cooperative of family ranchers.

Filmmaker Melissa Young wrote "I think the Skagit River Ranch folks on the [film] poster, Eiko, George and Daughter Nicole Vojkovich, use the same mobile slaughter unit as some of the farmers in the San Juan islands".
(That would be the nation's first mobile unit, pioneered by Lopez farmer Bruce Dunlop and Lopez Island's Lopez Community Land Trust! The unit travels to both Skagit and San Juan counties).

On response to the film - Melissa tells us an organizer at a recent showing told her "Thank you so much for your great work for the community and the planet. I was inspired!"

Other reviews:

"Good Food" is an exciting, thoughtful and provocative movie that asks -- and answers -- the question: what could life look like if we really wanted to have healthy food for healthy communities? The film tells inspiring stories of not just what is possible, but what is really happening on the ground and in the ground to restore our farms, our health, and our families and communities."
Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council President, author of Local Food Action Initiative

Chef Thierry Rautureau of Rover’s Restaurant, Seattle wrote “I’m very, very excited about Good Food, a documentary that will help us understand and promote sustainable agriculture".

More film reviews can be found here .

photo below, right: Doc, Connie and Travis Hatfield, founders of the marketing cooperative of family ranchers, Country Natural Beef

above, left: Farmer Hilario Alvarez shows off his colorful strings of peppers. Photos Melissa Young
Location of the free screening and filmmakers presentation:
the beautiful new
San Juan Room at the Friday Harbor House Hotel and Bluff Restaurant and Bar.

This lovely room has the latest a-v equipment including drop-down screen, and features art of the Pacific Northwest and a large fireplace.
These screenings and filmmaker presentation are free to the public, thanks to the generosity of the Friday Harbor House and a tip from Ian Byington,
Thanks, Ian, and Thanks to Lisa, Wendy, Michael, and Joseph of Friday Harbor House!

  • Friday evening, April 23rd at 8:30 pm
  • Sat. April 24th, at 2pm
  • Sat. April 24th at 8 pm
Land & Sea chapter recommends you consider dinner reservations at Friday Harbor House's incredible restaurant, the Bluff, before or after the film, (360-378-8455).
Or, stop in for appetizers and a glass of wine at the new Bluff Bar, situated to look out over the dining room and across the gorgeous bluff view of the harbor and Brown, Shaw, and Orcas islands in the distance. There are astonishing bargains in the happy hour "Beat the Tide" specials Tues - Sat.

Mention Land & Sea or Slow Food at the Friday Harbor House, or at Compost It! in downtown Friday Harbor to receive Bluff Bucks coupons worth 10% off room rates & bottle wine purchases at the Bluff.

The Bluff Restaurant at Friday Harbor House's affordable menu features a large number of San Juan Islands' farmers, fishermen, and food artisans. Dinner, lunch and appetizer plates showcase freshness and incredible flavors. The wine list is carefully selected. Delicious flavors and value are both well represented.
Chef Joseph Foriska, new to Friday Harbor House this year, is great talent in the kitchen and has a sommelier's knowledge of wines to pair with both small plates, meals, and desserts.
We love him because he places a great emphasis on going out to work one on one with the producers on our island to bring the best of what they offer to his kitchen, his dining room
, and to our community. He knows farmers and fishermen well after years working in such great island restaurants as Roche Harbor's McMillan Room and Madrona Grill, and Duck Soup. We've seen his dedication to finding and using the best of what the island has to offer.
When you taste this food, you'll know where his heart is.

We're incredibly lucky to have so many extraordinary farm products available to our community within just a few miles of where they grew or were made, from artisan cheeses to heritage tomatoes, grass fed meats to shellfish and seafood, that simply cannot be found anywhere else on earth.

With our location and climate, and because we have an agricultural and fishing community putting great effort into farming and fishing sustainably and bringing the best to their customers, we can find vegetables, fruits, honey, eggs, milk, wheat and flour, grass fed beef and poultry, pork, lamb. shellfish, seafood - soup to nuts - lovely and robustly healthy foods whose production both feeds us and at the same time enriches our topsoils, protects our water sources, encourages fair labor practices and improves our economy.
The islands are nothing short of of bountiful when age old care and common sense are put back to work!

That's what the film "Good Food" is all about - wonderful things happening now all over the Pacific Northwest -
Don't miss the opportunity to see it!

Colorful produce at a NW farmers market. Photo by Mary Embleton, Cascade Harvest Coalition

Some of the many San Juan Islands farmers and fishers featured on Bluff Restaurant and Bar menu include:
Sweetwater Farms
Barlow Bay Shellfish
Motorboat Farms
Nick and Sara Jones/Jones Family Farm - oysters, clams, grass fed pastured beef and pork
Layne Sundberg/Quail Croft - hard cheeses/dhevre
Mark/Bakery San Juan - breads, rolls, sandwich buns
Lisa and Rex Guard - lamb
Guard Sundstrom - lamb
Lopez Island Ice Cream
Matt and Maureen Marinkovich/Matt's Fresh Fish - halibut/salmon
Pelindaba Farm - organic culinary lavender

Joseph also let us know that:
Dungeness crab is caught sustainably off the Oregon Coast
Lamb when not available on island is from small farmers in Ellensburg, WA

We are hoping to have some of the farmers and producers represented on the menu present for movie showings - please check back for updates on that.

The current menu at the Bluff:

Land & Sea encourages you to patronize other San Juan Islands restaurants serving locally produced ingredients and supporting our local farm community. Click here for a complete list of the many San Juan County producers and restaurants carrying local foods which bear the delightful Islands Certified Local stamp, including Coho Restaurant, the new and very affordable Pablito's Tamales, the Duck Soup Inn, Roche Harbor's McMillan's on San Juan Island, Inn at Ship Bay on Orcas, and Vortex and the Bay Cafe on Lopez.

Check at right for links to local island producers, or go to our Island Grown list.

Traveling from off-island to see this great film? Would you like to make a weekend of it? For reservations at Friday Harbor House, click here.
Mention "Slow Food" when making a room reservation for 10% off rates.

Also, check this page for upcoming info on island farm tours, chicken coop tours, and other farm and food events on this and other weekends.

For other island accommodations, try Nichols Street Suites, Harrison House B&B and Tucker House Suites, States Inn, Roche Harbor Resort, Longhouse B &B, and Bird Rock and Earth Box Hotels, also serving products from local farms. Check here for campgrounds and hostels.

Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to see a great film all about our Pacific Northwest friends and neighbors!

Also featured - the short film by Orcas Island film maker Mike Hurwicz "Where is Tomorrow's Farmer?". A number of San Juan Island farmers and farm interns appear in this film, which was shown in the WA State house caucus last month before the vote on the Farm Intern Bill 6349. San Juan County-originated 6349 was passed unanamously in the Senate and last month signed into law.