PCC Farmland Trust
This article was originally published in May 2006
Nash’s Organic Produce springs ahead
by Kia Kozen, Nash’s Organic Produce
Irrigation season is in full swing! Clallam County has some of the oldest irrigation systems in the state. The ditches get turned on in April and shut off in October, feeding water from the Dungeness River to area farms.
The irrigation crew at Nash’s Organic Produce walks five to nine miles a day, picking up, moving and re-setting 12,000 feet of sprinkler pipe. This is a serious workout! Many fields are pre-irrigated two or three times before they are even planted, helping to maintain the active biological community in the earth.
We’ve been busy planting carrots, and these sweet, crunchy treats should hit PCC’s stores by late August or early September. Spinach, leeks, cauliflower, radishes, mustards and arugula will be available before you know it!
As the weather continues to warm up, we’re also planting what will become our fall and winter crops of kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collards. You’ve got to do a lot of planning to maintain diversity well into the winter, and we’re thinking ahead so we can all enjoy greens through the blues of January and February.
Strides in sustainable ranching at Bennington Place Farm
by Summer Howe
Development Officer, PCC Farmland Trust
The milk cow’s new calf was just minutes old when I spoke to Joel Huesby in April to catch up on the Bennington Place news. Joel, his dad and the kids were all out greeting another new life on their ranch near Walla Walla.
The new calf wasn’t the only reason Joel sounded as enthusiastic as ever. This past year the Huesbys succeeded in creating a truly local ecological chain in which 100 percent of the organic matter grown at Bennington Place returned to the land it came from.
This year Joel is reducing even further the amount of mechanically harvested hay used to feed his herd of Herefords. Instead, his cows can harvest their own food by grazing on grasses grown in the range fields, decreasing the need for fuel-driven, high-cost inputs.
The Huesbys are as concerned with the treatment of their animals as they are with the care of their land. With community volunteers, the Huesbys are building a “pasture-harvested abattoir” (on-farm slaughter facility.) The cows experience less stress when they aren’t hauled off the land they’ve lived on their whole lives. It’s another way the Huesbys are creating self-sufficiency and following the principles of sustainability.