January 19th, 2015
Born in 1921 on a small farm in Port Madison, Akio Suyematsu’s family moved to Day Road and began Suyematsu Farm in 1928. The iconic Suyematsu pioneered organic and sustainable farming methods, which are being upheld by the island’s farming community to this day. Upon his passing in July of 2012, the island community lost the last of the original Japanese-American homestead farmers on the island, a “living link with the island’s farming tradition,” as stated in the official Suyematsu Proclamation. Suyematsu worked hard to build an atmosphere through which the education, support, and expansion of the island’s conscious community would be facilitated. He accomplished this with the respect and admiration of those with whom he worked. Following his death, the City of Bainbridge Island honored Suyematsu’s dedication by declaring August 19 as “Akio Suyematsu Day.” Coincidentally—or maybe not—this day is also marked as “Earth Overshoot Day,” the marker of humanity living beyond our natural resources’ limits for the year. By evaluating the ecological budget within which we should all strive to live, we understand that the earth is not an infinite resource and we must nurture land, water, and sky in order to sustain. Suyematsu’s own ethics were very much the same.
Day Road Farms is the oldest and most continuously farmed property as well as one of the largest working farms in Kitsap County, producing 80-100 tons of food annually. This 40-acre farm is also one of the last large family farms on the island, which created its reputation as a strawberry capital. Aside from their famed strawberries, raspberries, and pumpkins, Suyematsu & Bertryn Family Farm also produces raspberries, corn, pumpkins, grapes, potatoes, garlic, onions, and seasonal greens.
Suyematsu’s life work also included planting 2 acres of grape vines on his property at Day Road; he handed over and, in 1976, sold the vineyard to Gerard and Jo Ann Bertryn, who began Bainbridge Island Vineyards and Winery, a conscious and sustainable viticulture practice, which focuses on caring for the immediate and surrounding landscape from which one harvests food. This winery was the first “salmon safe” certified vineyard in Washington state and the only vineyard in western Washington to refrain from using insecticides. As Gerard Bertryn so accurately stated, “The food you eat and the wine you drink is the landscape you create.”
Recently, Betsey Whittick, proprietor of Laughing Crow Farm and 25-year vineyard manager of the Bertryn’s property, began the process of taking over the vineyard with the help of nine young investing farmers, numerous community members, and the Open Space Bond under which she secured protection for the land. In 2000, the City of Bainbridge purchased nearly half of the farm’s land through the Open Space Bond, which maintains that the working landscape will be protected as farmland forever. That land is now managed by Friends of the Farms, an island nonprofit working to “preserve and enhance local farming,” according to their website.
Friends of the Farms works to build the island’s community, local economy, and landscape by promoting sustainability as well as supporting local farms and farmers. According to Ryan Montella, a Friends of the Farms board member, the organization “manages the stewardship of the land as well as the leases of all farmers leasing the land.” Montella, who serves on the government affairs committee, elaborates: “Aside from providing space for seven farmers, Friends of the Farm manages the Farm Link program and works to preserve up to 180 acres of farmland on Bainbridge Island, as well as numerous other initiatives including fund raising and grant writing.” The organization also manages the interns’ lease of the Suyematsu’s own home on the Day Road Farm once the interns are selected by various farms.
For more than nine decades his land has been producing quality food products as well as providing work experience for interns and edible education. The Suyematsu & Bentryn Farms has acted as home base for EduCulture since 2006, which, with the help of the Suyematsu legacy, bridges “sustainable local farming with education for sustainability,” according to their site. EduCulture provides a platform for teaching and learning in the field of agriculture for grades K-12, as well as community-based education for the greater Puget Sound area.
Contributed by Christine St.Pierrre
December 6th, 2014
Located kitty-corner from Bay Hay and Feed, tucked on the backside of the Rolling Bay Hall, you’ll find the home base for SPACECRAFT. Co-Founders Morgan Terry and Cortney Wollaston, two self-professed “vibe oriented” women, have made this hidden stage a truly unique venue for Bainbridge Island.
SPACECRAFT is a performance and event based non-profit organization with the mission to bring innovative and adventurous artists to Bainbridge. Terry and Wollaston believe their non-profit status is helping them fill a missing link in the Bainbridge art and entertainment scene.
Instead of obsessing on for-profit issues (like ticket sales concession prices) they can focus on finding diverse performances and curating a unique artistic space. “There really isn’t another place like this in Kitsap County,” says Wollaston.
Terry, who does the booking for SPACECRAFT, says she hopes the project will get people on Bainbridge listening to new music and trying new things. “When you come here tickets are always $10 advanced or $12 at the door,” explains Terry. “That way if you end up not liking it then it’s not the end of the world. At least you came, you tried something new, and you had a beer.”
Whether it’s a punk show or experimental performance art, Terry and Wollaston do their best to make SPACECRAFT as friendly as possible. “I want people to feel comfortable in a situation where they might be taking a risk,” said Terry. “Even if the show is pushing boundaries the rest of this is comfortable, local, and welcoming. That’s my goal.”
Interested in getting involved? Check out volunteer opportunities, as well as the SPACECRAFT event calendar, at SPACECRAFTpresents.org.
Contributed by Liz Pleasant
December 4th, 2014
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, started like so many other Tuesdays at the pub… with our Open Mic night. This one was much different, however, Todd Houghton was noticeably absent. As many of you are aware Todd died unexpectedly in November. Nancy, Todd’s wife and Aaron, Todd’s son, were present, however, for one final Open Mic in Todd’s remembrance. The pub was packed with Todd’s friends in music… some old and some new. It was a night that all the good times that we have enjoyed over the last 22 years on Tuesdays was celebrated.
Follow the link to see the story we did on Todd for the Open Mic 20th anniversary: http://parfittway.com/Blog/?p=713
Thank you and so long, Todd - it’s been good to know ya!
November 27th, 2014
One afternoon, huddled around steaming lattes in a local coffee shop, Bainbridge Island artists had an off-the-wall idea—starting a local artist collective. One year and 30 members later, Off the Wall Artist Collective has been feverishly creating all mediums of art, from music and film to bronze castings, paintings, fine jewelry, and many others. Pioneered by such locals as Juliette Wallace, Sean Sebastian, Susannah Schaeffer, and Kaylë Steele, the collective is comprised of all-aged and all-experienced artists in the greater Kitsap county area. Off the Wall believes that we all have something to teach each other and can do so through creative expression—especially if that creative expression exceeds the boundaries of commercial standards and ventures into the realm of avant-garde.
Although the island cherishes and nourishes artist culture in the forms of a monthly art walk and various galleries planted across our little rock—not to mention the abundance of inspirational natural beauty and vibrant community—artists in the Off the Wall collective desire to reach beyond watercolor sunsets and driftwood centerpieces. These artists never cease to be possessed by the spirit of art, finding time to create in every hour of every day. By giving themselves assignments that seem like challenges, Off the Wall Artist Collective strives not only to expand their knowledge of all mediums of art, but also about themselves as artists, both individually and as a group. The Nightwalker Series, Off The Wall’s version of “homework,” was created in order to challenge the artists by working within specific frames of time, beginning at conception and working through filming, editing, and scoring. The first episode was created by four artists in four hours.
The Nightwalker Series was born from Pizza Box Productions, the collective’s most recent side project that focuses on filmmaking. BOUND, the production’s first large-scale film, was created by 30 artists, in four separate locations, over seventeen hours, in one day. The film focuses on choices and the consequences of making poor decisions. Members of the collective have lost many close ones due to the dark path of drug use and excess. “We wanted to show how fast young people, especially those who have no sense of self or direction, can be consumed by the glamour of the party scene and fall prey to people with malevolent intentions,” wrote Juliette Wallace, one of Off The Wall’s founders and consistent visionaries. Another project of Pizza Box Productions, titled Life on a Rock, is a seven-minute short “about the hidden culture on Bainbridge Island, and how our youth can continue to sustain culture in an isolated environment,” explained Wallace. The project is still in progress and will be released in February of 2015.
Off the Wall took an unexpected turn at Life on a Rock, as more and more teens became interested in joining the collective. Adult members of Off the Wall have been inspired by these teens’ unfiltered creative visions, causing them to create an avenue for these teens to do more than inspire adults within the collective, but to inspire their peers in the collective’s Teen Group, consisting of artists aged 12 to 19, with a focus on freedom of expression and an emphasis on the completion of individual pieces of work. Off the Wall’s mentor program, separate from Teen Group, is yet another avenue for seasoned artists of all styles and mediums to share their talents with budding artists by hosting seminars, workshops, meetings, and personal feedback regarding individual artists and their growing portfolios.
Keep an eye—and an ear—out for Off the Wall’s next seasonal art show, an exhibition of the musical talents who record and practice in the collective’s musical hub, Bard Rock Studio, as well as art and other musical guests from the Puget Sound area.
Contributed By Christine St.Pierre
November 20th, 2014
There is a new Sound Flow on Bainbridge Island, and it’s not the whispering breeze flowing in from across the deep blue waters surrounding our home. Dayaalu Center, the island’s year-old healing center with a focus on yoga, massage, acupuncture, Ayurveda, reiki, and other medical practices such as physical and occupational therapy, has made an imprint on the community’s Saturday morning routine by offering Sound Flow Yoga, hosted by yoga instructor Jeny Rae and local musician Jon Crane.
Join members of the island community at nine o’clock in the morning in the warm embrace of Dayaalu’s beautiful property nestled on Wyatt Way NE. Dayaalu, meaning “compassion” in Sanskrit, is one of many emotions conjured upon walking through the beautiful wood-framed entryway into the open bodywork center with incredible wood floors, serene colors, and a tranquil energy. While Jeny Rae guides your body through a kundalini flow, Jon Crane will guide the rhythm through the use of drums, singing bowls, and gong. “When your heartbeat matches to the beat of a drum, that synchronization pulls you toward a deeper connection with all that is,” Rae describes.
While the wide variety of yoga classes offered by this and many other yoga centers may seem overwhelming to begin with, Dayaalu center strives to create a welcoming environment by highly capable teachers with a passion for empowering you to know and love your body and mind. Dayaalu’s commitment to the island community is apparent through their offerings of concerts, dance, seasonal celebrations, and retreats — truly a gem of interconnectedness to each other, our bodies, and the natural and spiritual world around us. If intuitive healing and bodywork speak to you, explore Dayaalu’s vini-theraputic, Tai Chi, integral, or restorative yoga practices; to bring greater intensity to your exercise, experience Dayaalu’s yoga & core and Hatha flow.
After fulfilling the mind-body-soul connection, follow the alluring scents of hot soup and fresh treats around the corner to Dayaalu’s Sukhi Kitchen, a quaint café that offers locally sourced, vegan and gluten-free dishes cooked in the small space just over the counter. Ranging from soups, salads, snacks, and treats, arrive during lunchtime on weekdays to enjoy Sukhi’s hot dishes, or use Dayaalu’s easy payment system to purchase pre-made, health-centered meals from the refrigerator during the center’s business hours. This is a wonderful alternative for those of us working in the Winslow area. And, if you are in the area and need to center and ground yourself during your lunch break, the center offers free lunchtime meditation—because they are here for you.
Dayaalu’s one year anniversary party is this Saturday, November 22nd at 7PM
November 18th, 2014
Check Willap Hills Cheese website for their gourmet gift packages, full of delicious treats personally selected by Amy & Stephen to complement Willapa Hills Big Boy Blue, Two Faced Blue and Pluvius, as well as their Artisan Cream Cheese Spreads. Great for gifts for family, business associates or holiday hosts!
Priced from $49.95, the gift boxes fit any budget, and shipping is included to Washington & Oregon.
Please call 360-291-EWES for shipping rates to other US states.
Ordering & Shipping Details: Orders received by Thursday at 3:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time) will be shipped the following Wednesday for Thursday or Friday delivery.
October 31st, 2014
October 13th, 2014
Pierce County News did a spot on a couple of our local meat producers (Perry Schermerhorn & Becky Weed) and the Puget Sound Meat Cooperative’s mobile slaughter trailer… take a look. Becky Weed raises the beef we eat at our restaurants. It is all processed by the trailer in the video. Click on the link:
September 25th, 2014
A garden flourishes in the spring and summer, bursting with color and bountiful harvests. Slowly, each of these lively plants will begin to wilt, dropping leaves and sinking closer to the ground. Eventually, the garden will decompose and freeze through the duration of winter. It isn’t until spring draws near that we must ponder the garden once again, accounting for the perennials that will awaken at the thawing of Earth to relive their dependable and vibrant cycle. The annuals are but a memory, their passionate bursts of life having ended at the first frost, and we must rethink and redistribute these varieties in different parts of the garden—places they’ve never been, where the soil is richer and the sun shines bright.
Since childhood, I’ve lived my life as an annual among perennials, giving every ounce of my spirit and energy and love to each steadfast community that welcomes me with open and productive arms. While the community and landscape of Bainbridge Island is and will remain nourishing enough to bring me back to life over and over again, I must move on and plant my delicate roots in the rich soil of Bellingham Bay. My life on Bainbridge Island altered my future forevermore—as would any life after living in such an empowering and mesmerizing environment. I was so inspired by the idea of regenerating the wealth of knowledge and inspiration I received from various sources on the island—YES! Magazine, our local farming programs, the community and music revolving around Pegasus Coffee House, and YOU—that I applied for and was accepted into Woodring College of Education’s Master in Teaching program at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
The bittersweet transition came quickly, and as eager as I was to get to the new community and environment I now call home, I knew that leaving came at the cost of becoming unfrozen in the timeless sphere beneath which all of us live blissfully on the island. I thought it was gone forever, the equity and togetherness and solidarity and passion and art and Earthly wonders, and prepared myself for withdrawal. But, then I arrived in Whatcom County, where the sun sets the sky ablaze and illuminates the art-covered buildings, garden-covered yards, bike-covered streets, and forest-covered valley between the Salish Sea and the North Cascade range. Here, the community is as vibrant and innovative as the island’s—in fact, the community is quite shared. The Bainbridge to Bellingham pipeline is real, as the exodus of young adventurers brings their journey to the trails and sidewalks of my new beloved streets, where we share music, friendships, art, and a passion for social justice and sustainability.
The Bellingham community is a macro version of our tight island family, made even more vibrant by the transient annuals amongst the homesteading perennial that come together to create a wild and productive multipurpose garden. Here, doors and minds are open, and the last days of sunlight pour inside of both as the mass migration of students inspires an even more bustling community, with events and music and food and beer—endless beer from tens of breweries around every corner—that nourish this hardy garden in the wake of winter. As I write my final words of farewell to you, island community, I smile at the thought of knowing you here, in various forms and faces, and look forward to connecting our communities in the future. Until next time.
–Christine St. Pierre
September 15th, 2014
Friday nights have an air of excitement to them; many have wrapped up a week of nine to five and look forward to spending time with family and friends in the traditional “eat, drink, and be merry” fashion. Bainbridge Island has a wide variety of restaurants and bars that offer scenic venues for gatherings, but on the first Friday of each month, the city takes things a step further by providing our community with the First Friday Art Walk, a gallery hop and dining experience.
This event features visual art on display at the many galleries and boutiques that line downtown Winslow, from oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings to sculptures crafted from various mediums, blown glass, and textiles. Beginning at 6 PM and wrapping up at 8, the tour is designed to begin at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, located corner of 305 and Winslow, allowing for travelers from Seattle and beyond to jump right in after departing the ferry. Heading west from there, gallery-goers can visit places like Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, The Island Gallery, Roby King Galleries, Mesolini Glass, Millstream, and the Stephen Fey Photography Gallery. Many of these destinations feature art created by locals, including youth galleries!
Now for the “eat, drink’ part of the evening—many galleries provide refreshments, including snacks, tapas, and drinks. Akin to any other gallery opening, you can enjoy the company of your community and incredible visual art while sipping on local wine. In between galleries, enjoy a meal catered to the art walk with small plates and tapas that will get you out the door quickly yet satisfied, leaving plenty of time to enjoy more of what the First Friday Art Walk has to offer. For a quick snack, take a detour to Blackbird Bakery, Fork & Spoon, or Pegasus Coffee House and enjoy baked goods and café menu items. Otherwise, indulge in a dinner experience at Four Swallows, Harbour Public House, or Hitchcock Restaurant that includes small plates and weekend specials.
The event occurs early enough in the evening to bring the whole family along! Gather together and enjoy our finals weeks under the warm summer sun for an evening of art, food, family, and friends.