Our MissionSupporting and advocating for Clean, Fair, Healthy Food and Sustainable Agriculture, and supporting local farmers and producers, with an emphasis on directly supporting emerging farmers and farm workers, with the understanding that local foods produced sustainably are:
- Good for our health
- Good for our Mother Earth
- Good for a strong local economy
About Land SeaLand & Sea has independently created and sponsors many projects here in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. We have started small to be most effective while continually building a network of support at the grassroots level. We also help link people who want to support farmers with farmers, and link resources for farmers with farmers, using our main Land & Sea web page and many one-on-one introductions. We have gained a lot of trust from local producers by actually being there in the field.
We always welcome new members but do not insist in membership to participate; our focus has been finding like minded passionate people who also share the Slow Food mission, working with them and building in that way. Often these people do decide to also join. We are happy to work with anybody who has good ideas, and to help however we can to help make them happen. We find that our direct action fills a need in our community and is our strength. The quote attributed to Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” has definitely inspired us and given our work affirmation.
Policy making is very important, but we see that that hands-on work at the ground level has often been able to effect positive actual change even before work of policy-makers does and often drives changes in policy. However, we support and encourage good policy making, and share our mission and suggestions with local and national policy makers, as a look at our site attests.
We feel we have been most effective here on our island with actual work in the field and creating virtual and physical links. We'll continually keep our ear to the ground and evaluate our effectiveness to see how we can do our best to accomplish the Slow Food mission and serve our community, working for Good Clean and Fair food and food production.
An important part of what we do is work with a number of young people in our community, introducing them to the many skills associated with growing and producing food, especially on our islands. All kids are welcome.
Our work includes, but is not limited to:
* Getting to know local kids, and their possible interests and potential;
* Introduction to farm skills; farm and producer visits;
* Intern placement; farm visits and introduction to local farmers;
* Cooking skills using local food;
* Working with local bakers, cheese makers, chefs, and fishermen and learning more about hands-on food preparation;
* Visits and demonstrations from out of the area food producers using sustainable methods;
* Hands on learning opportunities building ovens using local materials;
* Talks from and connections with traveling youth farm workers (WWOOFers), about their programs and how our local youth can participate;
* Introduction to internships and other sustainable food learning opportunities;
* Talks and hands on training with local experts on food preservation;
* Introduction to fishing skills and seafood preparation;
* Scholarships to learning farms in Washington State.
Land & Sea believes strongly that local sustainable farmers and producers strengthen our local economy, can provide rewarding jobs for our children and can help to strengthen our families with more local opportunities for meaningful work, income, and learning.
In supporting the international mission of Slow Food - "Good, Clean and Fair" - Land & Sea chapter advocates fairness in the treatment of farm workers, and supports fair labor practices, fair wages, and clear support for emerging farmers.
Land & Sea’s chapter does not require member attendance at meetings, and works to keep the number of meetings to a few a year as needed.
We intentionally do not aggressively fund raise. We recognize in this small community the number of meetings and fundraisers by schools and organizations has already reached critical mass.
Instead, we attempt and have been successful at taking actions that don’t cost money and act on suggestions for actions as they come in.
Our cob oven building workshops have been a good example: a wonderful young volunteer workshop leader volunteered his time after expressing his interest in doing a workshop, and we used found materials and local clay and earth. Sand was purchased by the owner of the property. Lunch was provided to all workers by the owners of the property where the oven was built.
We have accepted donations from two donors who sought us out; this money has paid for four scholarships, over 3 years to week long Quillisascut Farm workshops for 3 very deserving youth interns, and some work clothing and transportation costs for the workshop. Due to the generosity of these donors, this became a yearly event for farm oriented local kids.
Land & Sea is now in the 3rd successful year of what we have heard is an unprecedented contract with San Juan County to create and maintain a learning garden, on county property that was not currently in use. Land & Sea now creates and oversees opportunities in the garden for students from the local schools to work in the garden with chapter volunteers, and also for High School students to use the garden to do projects as part of the Friday Harbor High School "Community Service" class. Two of these student projects mentored by members of Land & Sea, and mightily contributed to by adult volunteers and local businesses, have resulted in the placement of a good size greenhouse at the garden, with Land & Sea assuming liability for the greenhouse, and also the building of a pretty wood-chipped public path across the entire garden lot.
Land & Sea is now working along with Bequin Lapwing and the San Juan Community Garden in the management of the garden and maintenance of heritage fruit trees on the lot, and developed an ongoing relationship with 7th and 8th grade Friday Harbor Middle School students, who have a chance to visit and work in the garden a number of times each month as part of a middle school class with Land & Sea volunteers.
It is the policy of Land & Sea to never ask for donations from island farmers and producers. Full payment for any local food used in our functions is always offered to farmers and producers.
Non-farmer or producer members can make those purchases if they wish as a contribution to the chapter and its work.
Farmers and especially local fishermen (thanks Matt and Maureen!), have donated goods to Land & Sea in recognition of the work we have accomplished, which has been gratifying.
To contact us:
Land and Sea
San Juan Island
P.O. Box 3121
Friday Harbor WA 98250
(360) 317-5890 Linda Degnan Cobos co-leader