Bounty Food Experiment finale!

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Every month for the last year Lopez individuals and families have participated in the Bounty Food Experiment.   The challenge they accepted was to eat local and to write weekly about their personal experience on this website.  The entertaining stories and delicious photos tell of the seasonal bounty available to all of us here on this island in the Salish Sea.  Reading the Bounty Food Experiment is pure inspiration!
pumpkinToday’s post on the Bounty Food Experiment is the last!  The Finley family were the August volunteers.  Ande ended with an optimistic aspiration for the future of food on Lopez Island:

“As a Transitioneer, I can imagine a time coming of regionally-based eating that makes the preparation of food into a daily adventure, much more ingredient- than recipe-driven. In this ideal future, everyone takes their carbon footprint seriously and strives to keep it as low as possible for the good of all. Scott’s idea of our Salish Sea partners has come to pass and we now have large sailboats traversing our local waters delivering goods and food from our neighbors on the Olympic Peninsula, Vancouver and the Gulf Islands, Whatcom County, Whidbey Island, as far south as Seattle and as far east as the Skagit Valley. Along with our common ecosystem, we have strong, shared values, such as a reliance on organic farming and a prohibition of GMO seeds. Most people on Lopez grow their own food, buy produce at the farmers markets (now one in the Southend as well as the Village) or visit the farmstands directly. There are agriculture festivals all year round and an active agro-tourism that encourages visitors to participate in what each season brings. We have identified the various crops that grow best in our Salish Sea region and restaurants and consumers have found creative and delicious ways to use all this abundance. Can’t you see this magnificent future unfurling before us?”

Yes, I can Ande!

THANK YOU to all the Bounty Food Experiment volunteers:

September – Henning Sehmsdorf and Elizabeth Simpson
October – Suzanne Berry & Table (Amy) Stuzienko
November – Marney Reynolds
December – Linda Hudson
January – Faith Van De Putte
February – Marney Reynolds (Lopez & Yucatan)
March – Suzanne Berry & Table (Amy) Stuzienko
April – Sandy Bishop
May – Teri Linneman & Liz Scranton
June – Jan & Bob Sundquist
July – Chuenchom (Chom) Sangarasri Greacen
August – Ande, Scott & Aliza Finley

 


 

Bounty Photography Exhibit coming soon!

Photographs for the Bounty Photo Exhibit are selected and being printed by our photographers. Framing will be done in early October for the exhibit opening at Lopez Center on October 23rd and the Harvest Dinner October 24!

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Steve Horn and Robert S. Harrison Printing. Photographs by Sue Roundy.


We Need Your Support!

The Bounty Project is community funded. We have been fortunate to raise over $3,500 so far this year from individuals and local organizations including Lopez Locavores, Heller Family Foundation, Lopez Thrift Shop Grant, and Lopez Artist’s Guild Grant.

We still have to raise $2,500 to cover printing, framing and writing for the project this year. Please consider making a donation today or buying one of the DVDs.


 

DVDs of the Bounty Slideshow are now Available!

The DVDs show the entire 30 minute slideshow featured at last years Harvest Dinner and the San Juan County Agricultural Summit.  These stunning photographs of 27 Lopez farms were taken by Steve Horn, Summer Moon and Robert S. Harrison and are set to music by Stanley Greenthal.

The DVDs are $20 and are available at the Lopez Bookshop, Vita’s Wildly Delicious, and the from Bounty farmers at the Lopez Saturday Market.  Proceeds go to fund the Bounty Photo Exhibit (see details below).

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Photograph by Heather Gladstone


Five Years of Good Tastes

Reblog from Iris Graville
MAY 31, 2015 ~ at www.irisgraville.com

This post finds me once again singing the praises of Barn Owl Bakery—a wood fired bakery on Lopez Island, WA.  I first tasted Barn Owl’s delicious artisan loaves in 2011  when Sage and Nathan, the bakery’s owners, moved to Lopez Island from Berkeley, CA.   I wrote about how their immediate success at the weekly Farmers’ Market led to a Kickstarter campaign and the building of a certified, wood fired oven and bakery. Earlier this year, Barn Owl Bakery bumped up production to sell bread at Blossom Grocery on Lopez and the Food Co-Op on neighboring Orcas Island.

The opening of this year’s Farmers’ Market is a milestone for Barn Owl Bakery—it’s now been five years since Sage first brought a few dozen loaves of bread on a Saturday morning and sold out within a couple of hours. It’s hard to believe perfect bread could be even better, but Sage and Nathan keep raising the bar with new ingredients and styles of their wild leavened breads and treats.

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My current favorites are the big, crusty loaves of Country Miche and the Lopez Sandwich loaf, made with Lopez-grown and -milled Fortuna wheat. But then, it’s hard to resist the rosemary batard, the rustic rolls, the multigrain wholegrain, the cinnamon rolls, the rhubarb scones, the lemon chevre (from Sunnyfield Farm) rugelach, the flatbread (Olive oil, Sunnyfield chevre, pesto, kale)…

Congratulations, and thanks, to Sage and Nathan! I can’t wait to see (and taste) what the next five years bring for Barn Owl Bakery.

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Sunnyfield Farm Medicine Walk

By Andre Entermann originally posted 5/19/15 on sunnyfieldonlopez.com

 

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We have been graced with the chance to move in some old ways. My son Weston, Elizabeth, or I get to be goatherds, which in sheep would be a shepherd. Taking the goats from the farm up the road to the Lopez Hill area feels like medicine to my spirit. I dream of having each of our land mates choose a day a week to take the goats up the hill to get their medicinal forages of choice: the wild varieties that we miss with the plow and mower. They browse on wild roses, ocean spray, willow, hardback, alder, thumble berry, you name it, they love it, and the deep roots pull up the minerals goats need. More minerals than sheep and cattle need.

This year the goats kidded fine – with no assistance, but it seems hard to keep them gaining weight and in good health coming through the first couple of weeks of lactation. After some health issues with the goats and my own stress from all the dairy related work, I received a message in my thoughts to go up the “mountain”. This is not just a walk, it is several hours up there so the goats can relax and eat and move and eat and move and lie down. And for me to read and watch and think and lie down, and eat too. I think how lucky I am to be able to maybe make this part of my livelihood and I fight my mind saying it’s not productive. I know that goat health is everything if my business is wholesome cheese and milk.

 

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Weston is more excited about that long stick than herding goats, never the less he is getting good at it. The other day he lay down next to me during the DAY in the field with the goats on one of our “walks” longer then I’ve ever seen him be still. I think it was 2 minutes. He has been coming to the Quaker meeting so maybe that’s given him some practice in stillness. Of course I dream of him being more a part of the dairy. He liked bottle feeding some of the doelings we bought.

One of the most beautiful parts of this dairy farming is managing the goats in a way that gives them the freedom to forage and gather what turns into milk and then I collect it. If those goats eat what was intended for them the milk is so nutritious and good. They spend all day eating and converting the forage that we cannot make use of into milk. Then I manage the milk in a controlled manner to change it to cheese using some old ways again. Grass and the other plants they eat do not taste good to me, but chèvre does!

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I don’t want to give the idea that I go relaxing up in the little wild patches of Lopez on a daily basis. For the most part I move electric fence out in our 35 acre pasture, fix or build this or that, and feed hay in the winter, but I would like to move with the goats more.   I gain such clarity, aside from my allergies, when I go. I have joked about taking my laptop to do some office work, off-line.

Well, please come out to see us at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. We are talking about a Wednesday market too, which we thought would appeal to locals wanting a more peaceful shopping scene. Maybe you’ll get some chèvre that was from milk made from snowberry leaves, which I guess is essentially sunlight.


 

Helen’s Farm

By Tim Fry originally poster on Project468 February 15,2015

A predominant theme across all of the subjects of the Project 468 blog is overcoming major challenges. The farmers on Lopez Island are particularly skilled at improvising to beat the odds. Two people in particular have overcome probably the most difficult challenge facing aspiring Lopez farmers: no land. Blake and Julie Johnston moved to Lopez Island without land to farm. They, like many other farmers getting started, spent time plying their trade and honing their skills at S&S Homestead Farm. When they were ready to start their own farm – Helen’s Farm – Blake and Julie had the expertise, support from the community and a plan. But no land.

Not letting that stop them, the Johnstons struck agreements with a half-dozen land owners around Lopez – leasing a half-acre here and an acre there to grow their vegetables and raise their chickens, pigs and cattle. Running a farm is complicated enough without the added complexity of running between parcels of land, but Blake and Julie were able to make it work. In fact, they found ways to turn this challenge into an opportunity by educating themselves on the variety of systems that different types of land require – everything from planting methods to drainage. Having no land meant no permanent place to process what they grew, which resulted in many a chicken butchered under the shade of a tree. My favorite Helen’s Farm innovation is the portable chicken coup that Blake and Julie constructed to ensure they could stay mobile.

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I introduced myself to Blake and Julie a few weeks ago at the Saturday Winter Market on Sunnyfield Farm. While he was flipping a hamburger, Blake gave me a bit of the history of Helen’s Farm. After a few years of crisscrossing the island every day to maintain their far flung enterprise, he and Julie were introduced to Rita O’Boyle, a long-time Lopez landowner whose 55 acres in the center of the island had for years been harvested for hay. “After many many years of growing grass I was concerned about the health of the fields,” Rita told me later. Her land had a fertility deficit as a result of nutrients being stripped away by years of haying. So, after a few conversations with the Johnstons, Rita agreed to let them consolidate their farm, leasing 50 acres of her land. Blake described this as “a dream come true.” It seems that Rita feels the same way: “The fields are now being nourished, producing amazing crops and feeding organic cows, pigs and poultry. I feel as if I have played small part in the future sustenance of the island.”

wpid-img_20150124_104957634Blake and Julie invited me to the farm last week to check out their latest project: the construction of a new processing facility that is going to take Helen’s Farm to the next level. After years of mobile farming, the Johnstons became adept at processing their goods without a building in which to do so. But for many reasons, probably including how tiresome it must get cutting up chickens and making sausage in the cold and rain, Blake and Julie decided it was time to have a permanent structure of their own. In addition to a roof over their heads, they’ll now be able to cool large quantities of the food they grow – making it possible for them to sell to more customers, including restaurants. Without a processing facility, Helen’s Farm used to harvest everything the day before they made a sale. Blake would get calls from customers asking how much he had for sale. He’d look out into his field and say, “I have no idea.” So, yes, their new processing facility will solve a number of problems.

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Having learned so much about different types of land and agriculture systems from their mobile farming years, Blake and Julie have an abundance of knowledge to apply to how they manage their farm. They are big believers in biodynamic agriculture, developed by Rudolf Steiner. They look at their farm as a cellular organism that has different systems operating in balance with each other – using manure from their animals as natural fertilizer for their crops. They’ve also learned about how to leverage the light cycle of the moon for more effective crop management. According to Blake, “the moon throws off a shit ton of light.” That sounds like a biodynamic technical term.

Without a doubt, I learned a shit ton from Blake and Julie, and I share others’ excitement about the past and future success of Helen’s Farm. In case you’re wondering, they named the farm after Julie’s grandmother (who was a farmer) and Blake’s great grandmother – both of whom were named Helen. Both would be proud of their offspring.

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You can buy Helen’s Farm’s chicken, pork, beef and vegetables at both the Winter and Summer Farmers Markets on Lopez as well as the San Juan Farmers Market. As their new processing facility comes online, I’m sure it won’t be long before you start seeing their food in more grocery stores and restaurants. In the meantime, you can join their CSA and contact them directly at lopezchicken@gmail.com. And, if you want to check out their 50-acre farm, you can find it in the Mixby app.


 

Cows to Pasture

By Heather Gladstone

On Sunday, a big event took place at Sweet Grass Farm – the mamma cows and their babies were let out into the grassy fields after a winter in their corral! Some of the youngsters had never been let out into the green fields before, and it was clear that everyone (including the spectators) enjoyed it immensely! See for yourself:

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In the midst of the excitement, Joy briefly escaped from the pen. She was gently persuaded to rejoin the herd…

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Compost CSA on Lopez!

“Together we are building an incredible sustainable local food system. And it all starts with building fertile soil.”   David Bill and Faith Van de Putte, Midnight’s Farm

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2015 is the International Year of Soil!  To celebrate David and Faith of Midnight’s Farm wanted to further invest in their compost operation with the purchase of a small trommel screen so they could offer finely screened compost to their customers.  Last week they announced they had been awarded a $10,000 challenge grant towards this trommel from the Human Links Foundation. The grant was dependent on their raising an additional $10,000.  Inspired by the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model they asked for “investors” to buy their compost forward, offering different options to suit different needs.  In just 48 hours the matching funds were raised!

David and Faith want to THANK all those who joined their Compost CSA and the Human Links Foundation, the Soil Conservation District for their initial grant, Tim O Neil of Engineered Compost Systems, Tami Thompson from Terre Source, Nathan Hodges, and Peggy Bill.

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For the Love of Goats

By Tim Fry originally posted on Project468 January 24, 2015

Nothing says love of goats more than a 1200-mile road trip with two goats in your car – with frequent stops to milk them alongside the road. That’s what Andre Entermann did on his move from Southern California to Lopez Island in 2008. Seven years later, his love of goats is as strong as ever. Andre and Elizabeth Entermann recently opened Sunnyfield Farm, their family-run goat dairy on 40 acres in the center of Lopez Island. I sat down with Andre in his barn earlier this week to hear his story. Originally from Southern California, Andre grew up wanting to be a firefighter. When he was 18 his mom suggested he might like the Coast Guard. That sounded close enough to firefighting, so Andre joined up – eventually becoming a helicopter rescue swimmer and EMT stationed in Savanna, Georgia. If you’ve ever met Andre, you’d probably agree that he doesn’t exactly come across as the military type. His commanding officers likely came to the same conclusion when they saw him on TV protesting the war, or when they noticed him selling hemp grocery bags at the local Saturday market. wpid-img_20150124_183721 In 2003, Andre decided it was time for a new chapter. Having saved up his hazard pay from his years in the Coast Guard, he moved halfway across the world and spent two years hitchhiking his away around Australia in search of indigenous cultures and primitive, more sustainable lifestyles. In 2005, after quite a personal transformation, Andre’s parents, who lived in Anacortes, suggested he pay a visit to Lopez – thinking that the island’s community and lifestyle might suit him. It clearly did. His first day on Lopez, Andre wandered into Blossom Grocery, where someone suggested he introduce himself to Ken Akopiantz at Horse Drawn Farm. So he did, and landed himself a job immediately. That might have been when Andre first started thinking seriously about starting a goat dairy. But the timing wasn’t quite right; so he headed back to Southern California for a few years, where he ended up buying the two goats that accompanied him on the car ride back to Lopez in 2008. Back on Lopez, Andre returned to Horse Drawn where he got an apprenticeship. His transformation continued. Andre learned a lot about farming. He became a father. And, in 2011, he met Elizabeth Metcalf, who shared his love of goats and dream of owning a goat dairy. Elizabeth had moved to Lopez as a child when her parents did a straight trade: their Victorian home in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood for a 40-acre farm on Lopez; which Elizabeth’s dad, Ron Metcalf, later named Sunnyfield Farm. In the winter of 2012/2013, the WSU Extension advertised for a several-month-long workshop in Friday Harbor on how to start a dairy. So, Andre and Elizabeth spent one weekend a month in Friday Harbor learning every conceivable detail about running a goat dairy – everything from what to feed them in order to produce the best-tasting milk, to how to prevent the goats from pooping in their food. They also visited countless farms around the region to learn from people who had been farming for years. The workshop provided a goat dairy blueprint. To this day, Andre and Elizabeth regularly refer to their massive how-to-run-a-dairy instructional binder. In November of 2014, Andre’s and Elizabeth’s dream was finally realized: the Washington State Department of Agriculture granted Sunnyfield Farm a license to sell raw goat milk, aged cheese and pasteurized cheese. The Metcalf’s farm was perfectly set up for such an operation, having originally been a cow dairy in the 1930s – complete with barn, milking stalls and several outbuildings for processing and aging cheese. wpid-0242015212342 Sunnyfield Farm is quite a sight to behold. You get a sense of how farming used to be about 100 years ago. The goats have free reign across most of the farm’s forty acres, which is bordered not by fences, but instead by natural barriers like hedgerows and trees. Currently, Sunnyfield is home to ten goats, which produce about eight gallons of milk a day, collectively. A portion of that is sold as raw milk; the rest is made into cheese. Andre and Elizabeth are very much into permaculture. Most of the goats’ food comes straight from the land, supplemented by alfalfa that comes from Whidbey and eastern Washington. Though Sunnyfield very much seems to have its act together, Andre admits that “it’s really one giant experiment.” That experiment seems to be going well. What Andre and Elizabeth have created with Sunnyfield Farm is pretty amazing. Their vision, though, transcends farming. They are gradually turning Sunnyfield into a community hub. Every other Saturday they host the Little Winter Market, a small farmer’s market in the back of their barn where you can sample and buy cheese and milk from Sunnyfield, pastries and bread from Barn Owl Bakery, and meat and vegetables from Helen’s Farm. My family has gone the past two Saturdays – thoroughly enjoying both the delicious local food and the gathering of Lopezians, many of whom are becoming our friends. wpid-024201522136 If you haven’t tasted Sunnyfield Farm’s cheese and milk, you have to check it out. For now, you can buy it directly at the Little Winter Market. Eventually, you’ll probably find it at Blossom, the Summer Lopez Farmer’s Market in Lopez Village, and maybe even the Farmer’s Market on Orcas. Check the LopezRocks calendar to see when the next Little Winter Market will be held. And, you can find Sunnyfield Farm in the Mixby app. _____________________________________________________________________________