Beef in Kitsap

I try not to eat meat unless I know who raised it, especially beef. Fortunately antibiotic-free, hormone-free, grass-fed beef is available in Kitsap County. Vegetables, fruit, and grain have a season, are planted in fall or spring and harvested when ready. Meat also has a season – animals are born in the spring, raised through the summer, and then slaughtered in the fall. That means now is the time to place your meat orders with local farmers! Where to store it? You can store a surprising amount of neatly wrapped packages even in a small refrigerator freezer. Home cooks who grow and shop in the local food shed often invest in a standalone freezer to store meat slaughtered in season alongside harvested vegetables. Kitsap County Fair: First there’s the 4H youth club animal auctions at the fair. This is great fun and encourages future farmers too! It’s Saturday Aug. 27 … Continue reading

Farm Walk

Last Monday I went to the second WSU Small Farm Teams Hot Summer Nights farmwalk. Shannon Harkness and Red Barn Farm hosted the evening. A group of 4H kids, Kitsap farming’s next generation, showed off the new chicks and the guard llamas, which Shannon says keep the coyotes off the chickens! The Kitsap County Agricultural Association monthly meeting fell on the same night, so the association turned up at the farm walk as a field trip. Since it was a KCAA meeting we started with a potluck under the trees (I brought my chorizo stew). Farmers potlucks are the best. Nikki brought a roast chicken! Red Barn is where Andrea Wigglesworth is sharecropping her Wyckels Farm operation this year. After the potluck we got to tour Andrea’s acre of vegetables. It was a fantastic opportunity to see in action the process she described at the West Sound Farm Expo last … Continue reading

Mother Earth News Fair

Mother Earth News threw a fair at the Puyallup Fairgrounds June 4 and 5. This was the first sunny weekend around here so many people stayed home to work outside. Ted, Alex and I worked hard to finish the chores on Saturday so we could hit the fair on Sunday. First thing that greeted us as we walked onto the grounds was the gigantic Earth. We knew we were in the right place! The fair occupied the Show Plex and Centenniel buildings. The walkway between also had vendors, food booths, and an outdoor clay oven demonstration. There were ten stages running programs that changed every hour so there was a lot to see. I caught two programs on seed saving. Shannon Carmody of Seed Savers Exchange gave a Seed Saving 101 class she titled “Biology and Ecology of Seed Saving”. She’s very approachable as well as knowledgeable. I have primarily … Continue reading

The backyard woodlot

Today Alex and I went for a walk in the woods. See, all the cool kids are going on foraging walks and collecting nettles for soup. I wanted to find nettles. Our house sits on a one-acre lot in unincorporated Kitsap County. About half the lot is forest, adjacent to another lot that is also half forest, as well as a wetland and a block of county woods. It’s in urban zoning though so there are a lot of houses on half acre lots around the house and several developments that squeeze ten houses into an acre. Our woods reflect the checkered character of the neighborhood, with much of the understory being native plants, but also significantly infested with invasives, an issue we inherited when we bought the place a decade ago. It’s always a surprise to me how much woods half an acre can hold. It feels vast. Educated … Continue reading