Garden E News 1.22.20

The following list of information on local resources for growing is compiled by Shannon Maris, friend of the Chuckanut Center.

Huxley’s Gigi Berardi to host campus ‘FoodWISE’ lecture series this winter

Western Washington University Professor of Environmental Studies Gigi Berardi will host a trio of guest speakers and discussions this quarter in conjunction with the release of her new book, FoodWISE.

All the presentations are free and open to the public, and will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. in Communications Facility 115.

(Tomorrow) Thursday, Jan. 23: “Slow Food and the Art & Science of Fermentation” with author Sandor Katz

Thursday, Jan. 30: “Our Shared World of Food and Farming” with author and farm activist Joel Salatin

Thursday, February 20: “Our Personal World of Food: Traditional Foods and Fats,” with guest speaker Sister Noella Marcellino, known widely as “The Cheese Nun” and featured in Michael Pollan’s Cooked book and docu-series on Netflix.


Birchwood Garden Club’s February Meeting

When:  Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Time:  7:00 PM

Place:  Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room, 121 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA  98225


Topic:  Birchwood Garden Club’s February speaker will be:

Stephanie or Travis from Green Earth Compost.  Find out where our “green recycling” is done. Basically, composting on a grand scale!

 Please join us!!! Birchwood Garden Club membership is open to everyone!


Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting

Tuesday, Feb 25, 8:30AM–5PM

Bellingham Technical College

The Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting is Northwest Washington’s premier food and farming business conference, bringing together over 180 farmers, fishers, chefs, grocery buyers, food artisans, processors, and distributors!






Some really fun articles here….. (thanks, Wendy!) : Inspiration For Spring Gardening


Biological Inoculants for Soil Health

As part of efforts to improve the soils and quality and yield of produce at Tobacco Road Farm we have been utilizing a biological inoculant made from locally sourced microorganisms. This inoculant material is referred to as IMO (Indigenous Microorganisms).

The techniques for IMO culturing come from the principles of Korean Natural Farming (KNF), an agricultural methodology developed by Han-Kyu Cho.

KNF is based on traditional Korean use of local materials, fermentations of fertilizing materials and modern concepts in plant nutrition from Japanese agricultural thought.

Read the full article here.



Big investments, small farms. And finally, Andrew Amelinckx brings us this story about Steward, a new online crowdfunding platform that works with small sustainable farms that are typically unable to get the types of loans to which industrial-scale commodity farmers have access.


Who Goes There? Identifying Animal Tracks In Your Backyard

Kaitlin Parker   |  December 23, 2014

Are you eagerly awaiting the snowy season in order to take a peek at what critters have been scurrying through your backyard? Studying prints left by animals is an ancient activity that was first practiced by those who depended on hunting and gathering for survival.



Here in the Pacific NW we’re looking forward to a few snowy and rainy days this week. We have  it on good authority that Spring is coming. I am ready to plant some seeds.

 Fava Beans can be planted as soon as your soil can be worked. They can be easily grown as a winter cover crop. Later in the season, we love to eat tender young fava beans.

If your soil is wet, compacted and heavy, a few seeds like favas can be planted now but it is best to hold off turning soil until it dries and loosens. You may want to get a soil test and plan to include fertilizer and compost. The favas are a good early crop that starts pulling excess moisture out of the soil with roots that return nitrogen to the garden.

Winter has been variable for much of the country: too cold, too wet, or too warm.  But we all know that Spring is coming. The committed gardener begins now to think of starting the seeds for plants that will be the heart of the summer garden.  This includes of course Tomatoes and Peppers, but also Lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and onions. Depending on the plants, three to eight weeks before the planting out, is the time to starts seeds indoors.


Soil Organic Matter: Tips for Responsible Nitrogen Management

For soil organic matter to work the way it should, it depends on a careful balance of nutrients and minerals, including one of the most important elements — nitrogen. One of the great paradoxes of farming is that lack of nitrogen is regarded as one of the great limitations on plant growth, and yet plants are bathed in it because the atmosphere is 78 percent nitrogen.

Read the full article.

Supplying Nitrogen: Tap Into Nature

As growers, we must do our part in mitigating our impact on natural systems by taking every opportunity to use naturally occurring N and cease the use of industrially created N. There are five main ways we can get the nitrogen we need to grow our crops without resorting to man-made N. The good news is that you will be raising healthier, more valuable crops in the process of using nature’s supply of N and can achieve comparable yields (or even greater yields).

Read the full article.