Justin Blotsky picks beets in Mt. Vernon, Washington on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Photo by Clay Lomneth / The American Legion.

Justin Blotsky picks beets in Mt. Vernon, Washington on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Photo by Clay Lomneth / The American Legion.

“I’ve known a lot of people who have been to combat and came back quite changed,” explained Kenny Holzemer, a 22-year retried navy air crewman and the executive director for of Growing Veterans.

Growing Veterans is a Washington-based organization that aims to help veterans successfully transition into civilian life through sustainable organic farming. Launched in 2012, co-founders Marine Corps veteran, Chris Brown, and mental health counselor, Christina Wolf, recognized that farming can be both a therapeutic activity for returning veterans and a way to explore a potential new career path.

“It’s a really great opportunity to bring the healing powers of nature to people,” explained Wolf. “And the healing powers of having a community of people who you can rely on.”

Recent studies have looked at the mental health benefits of gardening. But Wolf says she doesn’t need any scientific research to know farming can be therapeutic. “Those of us who do it just know instinctively that it helps us feel better. Researchers are like, ‘How can we study it and prove it?’ But it’s just something so innate to people. We just get it.”

The organization has also developed its own three-day peer-support training for staff members, volunteers, and anyone else interested in taking the course.

“As we were working with a lot of veterans on our farms, we found that a lot of people wanted to be kind of a support system for others, but they didn’t feel like they had the skills to do that,” explained Wolf. In addition to the veterans who enter the program as farmers and volunteers, veterans make up eighty percent of the organization’s staff.

“Our training is really on both sides. How to be a helper to someone else, and how to get help for yourself when you need it,” Wolf explained. “We just see that as a normal human experience. It’s not a bad thing for me to support you—it’s just a human thing. We all need that sometimes.”

Find out how to help Growing Veterans efforts at:

www.growingveterans.org

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The Central Kitsap Farmers Market was established in 2017 by the Kitsap Community & Agricultural Alliance in response to the community’s requests to provide a centralized outlet for producers as well as an easily accessible market for all.

The market takes place every Tuesday from 3pm – 7pm in Old Town Silverdale, between the Waterfront Park and boat launch. The 2017 season starts Tuesday, May 2nd and goes through Tuesday, October 10th.

Questions about the market? Contact info@kitsapag.org

http://kitsapag.org/ckfarmersmarket/

Nothing is as universal or as personal as food – we all eat, we are all consumers.

Strong local food systems positively impact every aspect of local economies and culture.

By supporting local food you make an enduring investment in your community.
That said –  we welcome The Local Food Trust!

Their mission is to grow culture and community through strategic investments in our local food system. Initial target areas are the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas.

Teamed with organizations in the food industry and through the Trust their hope is to pair them with grants and investments from foundations, corporations and individuals. These investment will help recipients build and sustain their work and allow them to connect and collaborate with their peers all along the food system.

The Trust was formed last October as a non-profit organization. Their partners include the Kitsap Community Foundation (fiscal sponsor), Washington State University Extension Program, and 1% for the Planet sponsorship of Grounds for Change, a local coffee roaster with global reach.

Now all they need is YOU!
Please share the mission, vision and goals of the Trust with others.
If you know of an organization, individual, a project or program that could benefit from The Trust, encourage them to apply for funding support.
You can make a tax deductible donation – join and become a food matchmaker and ambassador.  They are participating in the Kitsap Great Give on May 2nd – another great opportunity to donate.

To receive more info contact Patricia Hennessey at info@supportlocalfood.org

 

 

The mechanical HORSE is temporarily employed adjacent to our parking lot. Initially permitted for six-months, the Pub was able to negotiate one six-month extension to keep the unit operating for demonstration purposes. The self-contained HORSE, which stands for High solids Organic waste Recycling System with Electrical output imitates other biological ruminants (barnyard animals). When optimized, it steadily “eats” or otherwise diverts over 100 pounds of our carbon-based wastes from our waste bins.

Partnered with Puget Sound Energy and Impact BioEnergy, the Pub’s HORSE pilot demonstration is in full swing. Having arrived in September, 2016, the unit has been put into full production mode over the past few months. Because this is the first unit using nothing but food waste, the Pub is documenting the practices that work best with its particular blend of food wastes and volume.
During startup, the Pub and the engineers from Impact BioEnergy have been met with a few challenges. Each one has been overcome, so far, and the unit is operating as expected.

As of printing, we are generating 2.7ft3 of biogas (methane)per lb. of food waste (currently 3.3 MMBTU/ton of food waste) – the goal is to come as close to 5.7 MMBTU/ton as possible. When we can reach 5.7 MMBTU/ton of food we will be able to say “1 ton of food scraps is yielding the equivalent energy in 1 barrel of crude oil.”

The goals of this particular demonstration have remained the same:
1. Demonstrate to the community that this project and ones like it are viable.
2. Inspire a public dialogue about resource recovery through coordinated projects like this one.
3. Develop strategies for locating and funding permanent projects.

pig_prohttp://pork101.brownpapertickets.com

No Horse’n Around

September 28th, 2016

impact

Partnering with PSE and Impact BioEnergy, the Pub has set up a HORSE pilot demonstration (more detail at Fresh Connections). Because composting can be both an art and a science, we’ll be attempting to discover the practices that work best with our particular blend of food waste and volume. The mechanical HORSE will be temporarily employed adjacent to our parking lot for about six-months – imitating other biological ruminants (barnyard animals). We expect that it will “eat’ or otherwise divert over 100 pounds per day of our food and carbon-based wastes from our waste bins.

Also, of great interest to our partners, the electrical output will be monitored and analyzed. Remember watching Doc Brown power up his time-travel machine with banana peels among other items scavenged from garbage in “Back to the Future II”? Well, that may be our new reality. We hope to power part of our electrical use during the pilot phase of the project with the same food waste.

See how it works on YouTube

We’ll be keeping you updated here over the next few months.

Oh, and being Bainbridge Island, even though the project is community-based, it still has its detractors. So, if you think this is a cool project, keep the positive comments coming!

 

 

 

The Dayaalu Center, one of Bainbridge Island’s beloved yoga and holistic body healing centers, will host an enchanting communal meal beneath the stars on Saturday, July 30th from 7 – 9 PM, as they join forces with the green Quince Blossom Kitchen to serve a four course, farm-to-fork dinner on their patio. Both of these holistic businesses focus on transforming body and mind through various mediums, ranging from plant-based meals prepared with love, to yoga, music, and meditation. The convergence of their missions, along with the missions of local farms, will culminate in a conscious dining experience that connects you deeply with your community, the land, and prana, the life force, which flows through these plants and transfers into your body through conscious consumption.

Quince Blossom Kitchen’s Emily Abby Klein has been seasoned in many of Seattle’s fine restaurants and is an up-and-coming caterer with a focus on simple and elegant plant-based meals. She will be utilizing the summer harvests of the island’s local farms, abundant in fruits and vegetables of all varieties. By attending this farm-to-fork dinner, you will expand your culinary prowess of vegetarian meals and open the possibilities of healthy, clean eating, while supporting local farmers, dedicated to stewardship of the land and the practice of ecologically sustainable farming that utilizes natural landscape and nature’s rhythm and cycles.

In addition to expanding your community and rejuvenating your relationship with plant-based food, the Farm-to-For Dinner with Quince Blossom Kitchen is expanding the scope of their mission by promoting egalitarian access to healthy, organic food for all, in partnership with downtown Seattle’s Green Plate Special. A portion of the proceeds from the evening’s dinner will be donated to this youth-centered educulture organization, bringing a hands-on farming experience to fourth- to eighth-graders. At Green Plate Special, kiddos learn about basic food and nutrition and grow from there, planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and eating their own vegetables! In an urban setting—particularly low-income—access to organic food is difficult. This organization provides crucial gardening, health, and cooking skills that empower and inspire a healthier youth and sustainable future.Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 12.55.38 PM

This joyous event is also meant to bring acquaintances and even strangers together around a table to celebrate in the space we call “home” with laughter, storytelling, skill-sharing, and general elation. The Dayaalu Center guides many on the path to mindfulness, raised consciousness, meditation, yoga and pilates, sound healing, and aryuvedic care, with a desire to “help us hear, see, smell, taste, touch, and move in ways that cultivate AWE-filled moments, compassionate engagement with life, and connections to self and others,” according to their site.

If you want to participate in this conscious community meal, register here. Seats are $50 per person, which includes gratuity and taxes, as well as your contribution toward Green Plate Special. For four courses of local, organic food, prepared with love for you and your community, this is one meal you don’t want to miss. Email Jeny at jeny@dayaalucenter.com or Emily at quinceblossomkitchen.org with additional questions.

Torfaen Libraries' blog: Autumn

Food scraps and decomposing plants from your spring and summer garden are fantastic compost material, but there’s something else–something better–that we’ve been missing all along: tree leaves. At least twice as rich in minerals than manure, the composted leaves of most trees can save you cash, not only on what you would spend on plant food and humus, but also on sanitation bills.

Some of you may be thinking, Well, I already save on bills by burning my leaves. But think of the carbon footprint you create when burning that organic material. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen as they grow, storing the carbon dioxide in plant material that is rereleased as the plants burn. Even though composting also releases small amounts of carbon, much of it is contained in the decomposing plant matter. A major contributor to climate change and airborne pollutants, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect, which adds “insulation” to the earth, making our planet warmer.

During extra hot summer months that often go unaccompanied by rain, your mineral-rich leaf compost will improve depleted and dry soil, helping your garden reach its full potential. Plant material from trees, ranging from leaves to pine needles, are high in mineral content such as calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, and phosphorus–many of which make up your average bag of garden compost or potting soil. This is because most trees are deep-rooted, absorbing minerals from deep within the earth that travel through the tree and into the leaves. The structure of these leaves as they decompose, known as humus, facilitates mineral filtration, soil consistency, and overall plant and soil health by aerating heavy soils, preventing sandy soils from drying, and balancing water levels in the soil.

In order to successfully compost leaves, one must do a bit more than rake them into a pile and check on the pile come springtime. Adding nitrogen—such as manure—to the pile will allow the compost to heat up and give the bacteria in the compost something to break down. Next, attempt to grind or shred your leaves. This will make handling the compost much easier, as the humus will be more broken-down. Turn the compost pile every three weeks and, come spring, use your new compost as mulch for a healthy garden and healthy harvest!

For more information on other things you can use for compost, check out this detailed composting chart that lists materials ranging from dog poo to algae.

Contributed by Christine St. Pierre

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Nora Harrington and her close friends are asking communities to rethink their medicine cabinets, bringing herbal remedies directly to your door. She and I shared a cup of virtual tea and chatted about her herbalism passion, entrepreneurial journey, and the love and intentions behind her recent endeavor, Medicine Chest Herbs. Pull up a chair and join us.

Christine St. Pierre: Starting a business on your own takes great planning, passion, and grit. What about herbalism moved you so deeply that you took it upon yourself to bring it to others?

Nora Harrington: Aw. Such a sweet question. Thanks for seeing that!

In my early twenties, I was pretty sick. I did my own research and found some great healers to help me, but a lot of the alternative modalities I wanted to try were just out of my budget (i.e. acupuncture and naturopathy). I had always been studying herbs and alternative health, but it wasn’t until a friend gave me a bottle of homemade bitters that I really got a taste of Western or Folk Herbalism. They cured me! Those bitters helped me so much. And I was astonished that I could go out and make my own batch after. I started cooking up a storm of herbal medicine and I felt deeply inspired by the accessibility and effectiveness of this medicine. Soon afterward, I enrolled in Herbalism School in Portland, and the rest is history.

When we were doing the first herb CSA, we got a lot of feedback from people that we were helping them learn about herbs, and I found that really inspiring, too. I started this business because I truly believe that the medicine we need is right outside our door, and that plant medicine belongs in our homes. It is an “accident” of the current culture that we do not automatically inherit a basic knowledge of how to heal ourselves with herbs and food. That’s why our little tagline is “Grandma Knows Best.”

St. Pierre: How did the seed for Medicine Chest Herbs become planted and grow into fruition?

Harrington: The idea for an herbal remedies CSA landed in my brain almost 4 years ago. My dear friend Heather Wolf and I were planning to attend herb school, but we needed to raise money. I had just started to make remedies at home and I had been giving them out to friends and family members, and I thought, “Why don’t I sign people up for this ahead of time?” So Heather and I started Remedies CSA called The Wheel Plant Medicine. We ran it for a year and had a wonderful time, holding some classes and herb walks, too. It helped us pay for school.

Then, after traveling to Europe two years ago, I decided I wanted to start the project again, but in a more financially viable way. (The Wheel had been all donation based.) I had the idea this time to partner with other small-scale herbalists; by finding other people to make the medicine, I could focus on curating the shares and creating the educational zine that comes with them. The zine is a great way for me to make art in the name of empowering people to heal themselves with herbs. It has been really rewarding.

Mirabai “The Magician” Troll is my business partner. Starting this project was overwhelming­–I had never had a real business before and there were so many things that my witchy artist brain could short circuit on. Mirabai came on initially as “Head of the Problems Department,” but pretty soon after that joined the Medicine Chest as a partner. She now edits and contributes to the zine, runs most of our marketing, and generally makes the magic happen when it is most needed.

St. Pierre: How did you gather knowledge on herbalism?

Harrington: The bulk of my formal education was carried out at the School of Traditional Western Herbalism in Portland, which I attended for a year. Before that, I did an internship with an addiction rehabilitation center in Peru, where they use and sell to the public about 50 different medicinal herbs. In addition to various additional jobs and conferences, I continue learn from our participating herbalists.


St. Pierre: Say I’m a potential customer (because I am). How does the Medicine Chest work?

Harrington: Essentially, you order a package of herbs, and then, at the beginning of the next season, we send you the package, which is pretty much a treasure trove I must admit. If you live on Bainbridge, we will deliver it to your home. If you live in Seattle, you can also chose to pick up your share at the SugarPill on Capitol Hill.

So, you go to the website (www.medicinechestherbs.com). There, you have some options:

1. You can get a Full Share, which is a package 6 remedies and one Zine per season. If you buy the full share for the whole year—as in, you pre-order all four shares for the whole year—you save a little money. But you could also just buy the full share for the upcoming season, which in this case is winter.

2. Another option would be to buy a Half Share. The half share contains 3 items and one zine per season. Same deal here. You could get the Half Share for the whole year­—all four half shares ordered at once—and you get a little discount. Or, you can get the half share for the upcoming season, which is around $39.

We also sell an Essentials Pack, which is a package of our most trusted remedies. It also comes with a little informational zine. Additionally, we sell a subscription to the zine only as well as individual products from the shares (all on the site). The zine is a place where I feel like I’m able to bring together a lot of different perspectives and tips on at-home herbalism.

St. Pierre: What are your intentions with the Medicine Chest?

Harrington: Our hope is for the Medicine Chest to continue on as a beacon of herbal education and outreach, maybe sprouting up localized branches or sister companies in other parts of the country. I think it would be best for there to be lots of small companies like the Medicine Chest. Our Medicine Makers wild craft most of their ingredients and make the medicine in small batches, which is ideal for serving the local community. The zines we are hoping to send out to bookstores across the region. We just landed them in Left Bank Books and Elliot Bay Books in Seattle.

We’d like to make this easier to navigate on the website.

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St. Pierre: Who is Nora Harrington, the energy behind the Medicine Chest?

Harrington: I’m also a gardener for an amazing gardening company called Red Twig Fine Gardening, and for a huge vegetable garden for a local island family. I’m so grateful to be spending so much time in the dirt! Realistically, running a small business, a little home and a gardening job, takes most of my time, but when I’m free, you can also find me practicing with my band Boobface, planning Lady Church, doing Tarot Spreads for lost souls and making meals with my friends. Right now I’m drinking yarrow, elderflower and ginger tea because I’m warding off a cold.

The deadline for signing up for the winter share is November 23rd! It arrives December 14th, so it will be a great holiday thing if people are thinking ahead. Last year, we had a lot of people send the subscription as a gift to their friends and family members. (One lady seriously bought 8 of them.)

www.medicinechestherbs.com

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Contributed by Christine St.Pierre


This Labor Day, consider avoiding the wildfires and staying home to experience the Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island’s Winery Tour Weekend, September 5–7, from noon to five o’clock PM. Seven wineries and one tasting room present wine procured from grapes grown within the island’s maritime climate as well as the east side of the Cascade mountains. These small and quaint wineries are earning big awards, and the vintners and viticulturists will be present during the tastings to welcome you and discuss all things vino. Take a loved one or two along for the ride, although avoid large groups as these tasting rooms are island-sized. After the clock strikes five, regroup with your friends and neighbors at one of the island’s restaurants to pour over your experiences from the day!

The Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island (WABI), which began in 2003 at the hands of winemaking fanatics, consists of seven independent micro-wineries living right on our patch of rock. These wineries are run by their winemakers—individuals who are gifted with the ability and driven by the passion to create award-winning, vibrant handcrafted wine. Without relying on heavy machinery and thousand-barrel batches, these wineries operate through simply designed artisan systems, as well as uncomplicated, community-driven supply sources—like uber-local grapes—and neighborly distribution.

WABI consists of the following seven wineries that will be participating in the Winery Tour Weekend over Labor Day, as well as the Island Vintners tasting room:

Amelia Wynn Winery: This winery, founded in 2008, features Bordeaux, Rhone, and Northern Italian wines from grapes sourced from Eastern Washington’s aged vineyards.

Bainbridge Vineyards: With land stewardship dating back to 1928, this vineyard’s maritime bioregion—similar to that of France and Germany—works wonders for the seven acres of grape varietals grown on site at the Day Road Farm.

Eagle Harbor Winery: A commitment to honoring and furthering winemaking in Washington State has this winery producing new-age wine influenced by old world styles.

Eleven Winery: This off the cusp, sustainable (yes, green!) winery not only produces a variety of fantastic wine, but is run by wonderfully loving people who great things, like donate all after-tax profits to charity as well as sit-down food pairings with the winemaker.

Fletcher Bay Winery: Located in the happenin’ Coppertop Business Park, this winery features French Bordeaux-style wine that incorporates Italian Sangiovese and Spanish Tempranillo grapes.

Perennial Vintners: In 1997, Perennial Vintner’s (PV) winemaker began experimenting with winemaking, but it didn’t take him long to realize that most of winemaking truly happens in the vineyard, and so began the 2005 conception of (PV), producing estate-grown dry white wine from the underappreciated Melon de Bourgogne grape.

Rolling Bay Winery: After many years of playing and exploring within winemaking, a group of friends and wine enthusiasts settled in rocky Rolling Bay nearly a decade ago to handcraft fantastic wine as well as a stunningly beautiful tasting room, both of which have been considered one of the “Top 22 Tasting Rooms in Washington” by the Seattle Met.

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