Last weekend The Agricultural Resources Committee of San Juan County sponsored over a dozen farm tours and demonstrations on Lopez.
Here are some highlights from the tours:
Wet Wool Farm
At Hill Farm Audrey Swanberg & Michelle McDarmont gave a sheep herding demonstration and talked about their wool and meat products.
Their dog Craig was the star of the show!
S & S Homestead Farm
Biodynamic farmer Henning Sehmsdorf led the tour at 55 acre S & S beginning with the history of the farm. Henning explained how they create healthy soil, integrate plant and animal production and how these along with sustainable resource development are keys to success in farming. Other advice: “don”t go into debt”.
Steve Lillestol, founder of Island Grist demonstrated how he uses his historic and creatively repurposed milling equipment to process Lopez grown grains. One of Steve’s main customers is Barn Owl Bakery so we followed the path from grain to pizza.
Barn Owl Bakery
Bakers Sage Dilts and Nathan Hodges make all organic, naturally leavened breads by hand with Washington grains in their wood-fired oven at Midnight’s Farm.
Sunday’s farm tour crowd gathered at the bakery to hear Nathan describe the properties of grain followed by Sage’s pizza dough demonstration. Afterward we enjoyed beautiful, delicious pizza and fruit galettes!
This summer Nathan grew a variety of heirloom grains searching for what grows well on Lopez. He is looking for fenced land to grow seed of some of the best varieties next summer. Contact Nathan if you would like to become a partner in this grand experiment!
I have about 20 acres of pasture, fast going to wild roses and thorny bushes. It was fenced decades ago but most of the fencing is down now. I would love to see some kind of agriculture on this piece of land so if you know anyone who might be interested in exploring that, let me know.
Love and blessings,
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Thank you Lorna for this generous offer! I will pass it on to young farmers.