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Author: Jess Sappington

2017 KCAA Farmer of the Year – Scott Hall

2017 KCAA Farmer of the Year – Scott Hall

At this year’s Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner, we were extremely pleased to name Scott Hall as our Farmer of the Year. Scott, as usual, was extremely modest in accepting the award, but we thought it would be appropriate to sing a few of his praises even so. I can think of no better way then to let two of our local agricultural stalwarts (and KCAA board members emeritus), Nikki Johansen and Jerry Darnall, describe him.

Nikki Johansen – Pheasant Fields Farms:

“Scott Hall has contributed a huge amount of time and effort in promoting agriculture in Kitsap County and in my estimation that began when he befriended Gerald Petersen.  His dedication and time commitment to preserving the Petersen Farm was monumental.”

“Through the years Scott has become a powerful advocate by spending time educating himself on issues and the laws, and the rules and regulations regarding the details of legislation in order to protect his fellow farmer.  He was extremely active and influential in developing the county Ag code and more recently in the final formation of our critical area ordinance which is all a part of the Growth Management Act which is a huge piece of legislation.  He is an advocate, like Jerry Darnall, in the formation of an Ag council in this county and I have no doubt that with these two men pushing for it, we will obtain an Ag council. “

Jerry Darnall – JJJ Farm:

“Scott was crucial, integral member of the Ag Stakeholder group that gave us the Ag Code. “Farming” entails a tremendous varied industry, it takes (took) a huge amount of “Ok, have we covered all the bases with this provision?”… Scott’s viewpoint/opinion was very important in that process. He has also been the watchdog of the Critical Area Ordinance…and I think he was instrumental in revising som

2018 KCAA Farmer of the Year – Scott Hall

e of the final language.”

Nikki again – “On a personal level, I can share that if I need help on a project, I call on Scott Hall.  Whether it be a mechanical problem, help in seeding a field, or to advice on the final wording needed in developing an important legal contract which has nothing to do with farming, I call on Scott because he is an extremely wise man and a very good friend.  I know of his dedication to the KCAA organization and his loyalty to helping all farmers and I very much admire him for that trait.  I share his efforts to be supportive of our farming community and I greatly enjoy conversing with him on the subject. That’s what I know about Scott Hall and I see his wife right along his side, doing the very same thing!”

At the KCAA, we depend on Scott for his ability to untangle the sticky web of bureaucratic language the county snares us in, and to provide a common sense filter to any of our ideas. You can all see why this was an easy and unanimous choice!

Bob Geballe
KCAA Board

Wilco Opening A Store In Bremerton

Wilco Opening A Store In Bremerton

EAST BREMERTON — Wilco, an Oregon-based retailer of farming and pet supplies, plans to open a store within a struggling East Bremerton strip mall on Wheaton Way in early 2018, the company confirmed Tuesday.

The company, which proclaims itself to be “the largest farmer and rancher owned agricultural supply cooperative in the Pacific Northwest,” will hire 35 people and refurbish the big box location at 4220 Wheaton Way vacated by a Lowe’s home improvement store 15 years ago.

Bremerton will be Wilco’s 19th store in Washington and Oregon, following additions in Puget Sound in Puyallup and Gig Harbor.

“We’re excited to add a store in Bremerton to compliment the overwhelming community support we’ve received in Gig Harbor,” Wilco marketing director Jake Wilson said in a press release. “We look forward to working with homeowners, animal enthusiasts and farms in the area as we point towards a grand opening celebration next year.”

The eclectic store will cover 37,000 square feet and will include a 5,000-square-foot greenhouse, a dog-grooming shop, pet and livestock supplies, other farming equipment and clothing to go with it. READ MORE……….

Marketing Your Farm Business

Marketing Your Farm Business

Farmers, producers, processors! Come one, come all!

Even if your business isn’t quite off the ground, you´re welcome to attend

Marketing Your Farm Business is 4th in a series of monthly classes in the ¨Cultivating Success¨ curriculum for farmers and food businesses working within our local food system. It’s going to be a great class!

You´ll learn:

How can you differentiate yourself from the pack? What’s your secret sauce?

How do you develop a niche product or market?

What´s your ¨brand¨?

How do you know if your marketing efforts are successful?

When: October 16 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Olympic College, Poulsbo, Room 219

Two top notch marketing professionals will be sharing their knowledge with you:

Stuart Walton, local business entrepreneur and business mentor will share tips and tricks for cost conscious and impactful use of traditional marketing techniques.

Jeffrey Hora, owner of Social Sapiens, social media strategy and marketing firm, will share how to effectively engage social media to grow your customer base and increase sales.

This class, and the Cultivating Success series, is presented by WSU Kitsap Extension, together with the Farm Services Agency and Kitsap Community & Agricultural Alliance, with generous sponsorship from the Olympic College Foundation.

Register at:

Day-of-class registration permitted on a space-available basis; cash/check payment only.
Light refreshments served, but please bring a sack dinner.

WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact Laura Ryser at 345 6th Street, Suite 550, Bremerton, WA 98337 360-337-7157 ext. 7281 or  at least two weeks prior to any WSU  event

KCAA’s Farmer of the Year 2017 – Nominations

KCAA’s Farmer of the Year 2017 – Nominations

It’s that time of year again! Farm Business/Farmer of the Year nominations are going on now through August 31st.

Nominate by emailing us at Be sure to tell us why you are nominating the farmer/farm business (include criteria below). We will compile the nominations and send/post a link to a survey to vote in early September.

The 2017 Farmer/Farm Business of the Year will be announced at the 9th Annual Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner (KGHD) on Sunday, September 24th at Olympic College, Bremer Student Center. Tickets for the KGHD are available on Brown Paper Tickets

Criteria to consider when nominating:

1. Contributions that the farm business has made in the community as a whole.
2. The growth of farm business over the past year.
3. Contributions to the furtherance and advocacy of farming and agriculture in Kitsap County.
4. Past history of farm activities.

Thank you in advance and we look forward to seeing you at the 9th Annual KGHD to celebrate the winner!

July 25th – Board Meeting & Update

July 25th – Board Meeting & Update

After the preliminaries, we spent some time discussing the Central Kitsap Farmers’ Market. We are generally pleased with how it is going, and are looking at ways to increase public awareness and bring in more produce. We discussed the idea of having a ‘community table’ available, which would allow farmers to drop their merchandise at a manned table, and not necessarily have to be at the Market to sell it. This has some advantages and some disadvantages, and JJ Meland – Board member, will be checking out the community table at the Kingston Farmers’ Market to get some information on how that works there.

The Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner (KGHD) is taking shape. We are excited to bring Dr. Steve Jones of WSU’s “Bread Lab” as our keynote speaker. Dr. Jones has been pioneering research into developing grains for non-traditional grain growing regions, like the Puget Sound region. He is a highly respected and visionary researcher, and a captivating speaker  and we anticipate a fabulous evening with him at the KGHD. We will be releasing more information on his presentation and the other wonderful events of the day. Mark your calendars – Sept 24th at Olympic College. Tickets will be available through Brown Paper Tickets in early August.

Lastly, Jess is gearing us up for Farm Funk on the 12th of August. Here’s a description from the Farm Funk webpage: “Farm Funk will include vendor booths for local producers, artists, and non-profit organizations that support all things local. We will have hot food, treats, and a beer garden stocked with locally produced beer, wine, and cider. On the main stage, we will feature live music performed by local singers, songwriters, and musicians throughout the festival.”

It runs from 1pm to 10 pm at the Minder Farm. Put on your party duds and get out there! Now I’m going to run…till next time

Bob Geballe
KCAA Board President

Is Farming Right for You?

Is Farming Right for You?

When: July 17 @ 4:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Olympic College, Poulsbo

Sponsored by Farm Services Agency, WSU Extension and the Kitsap Community & Agricultural Alliance, Presented by Paul McClellan of Corvus Northwest with guest speakers.   We’ll learn from local farmers about their journey into farming, and discuss some predictors for farm business success. We’ll explore how clear goals, limits, and needs-determination drive good business decisions.   This class is the first in a series of monthly, local food systems courses for new and beginning farmers and producers. To learn about the series, visit   Doors and registration open at 3:30pm

Course fee $20;  3-course set $54; Full series $136

Register at 

Pre-event registration open through July 16 @10pm.

Day-of-class registration $25 permitted on a space-available basis; credit card payment only.

Light refreshments served, but please bring a sack lunch.

Corvus NW is a Kitsap-based consultancy helping local farms, food ventures, makers, and small enterprises manage their business for true sustainability and resilience.

June 27th Board Meeting & Update

June 27th Board Meeting & Update

KCAA Board Meeting Summary – June 27, 2017

Well, folks, we came, we ate some pizza, and we talked! This time, the Central Kitsap Farmers’ Market was a bit more enjoyable – we didn’t dodge raindrops and Roni didn’t shiver her way through the meeting.

The Highlights:

The Farmers’ market is doing well – receipts and visits are up, and the farmers finally have a bunch of beautiful things to sell. Our long-term plan is to be able to hire a Market Manager, but in the interim, various board members (Michelle, Peggy, Scott, especially) are carrying the load.  And…July 11 is Family Day at the Market – with music, face-painting, and much more fun.

We are planning our Annual Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner – taking place on Sept 24 at the OC Bremerton campus. The KGHD is our biggest event for the year, and our biggest fundraiser. We are finalizing our theme and guest speaker (more on those next time) and have hired Marie Vila to help us shepherd the gala event to the finish line.

The other BIG news is the incredible $50k gift KCAA received from the Petersen Estate. So…we took a vote and decide to hold our next 3 meetings in Hawaii (NOT!).  In actuality, this is a wonderful opportunity to shape the future of the organization, and we’ll be discussing ideas on how to do that over the next few meetings. If YOU have ideas, let us know!

Much more happened – but don’t want you to be board (bad pun…)

Till next time –

Bob Geballe

KCAA Board President

May 30th, 2017 Board Meeting & Update

May 30th, 2017 Board Meeting & Update

We held a KCAA board meeting on Tuesday May 30 – a cold and damp day for the end of May! We gathered at the Central Kitsap Farmer’s Market, and I wanted to share a few of the highlights with you, our dear members and supporters.

We discussed the Farmer’s Market –still in its infancy. We are anticipating more traffic and much larger selection of produce and protein as the weather improves, but farmers, like everyone else in Kitsap, are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our favorite summer guest…the Sun!

We welcomed a new member of the KCAA board – JJ Meland. JJ is a chef, culinary instructor at Bates Technical College, and a businessman with ambitious and wonderful plans to add to Kitsap’s growing culinary scene, as he works to open his lifelong dream – Maynard’s in Silverdale.  It will be a combination restaurant, market, and event space. He brings a lot of food and business acumen to KCAA, as well as plenty of energy and a good sense of humor. KCAA board is still 3 members short. Please contact us if you are interested in being considered for a board position.

We talked about two upcoming and fabulous events – Farm Funk, an afternoon of music, food, and fun set for August 12 out at Minder Farm in Bremerton, with proceeds benefiting KCAA and the Washington Academy Of Music.

And our yearly spectacular – the Kitsap-Grown Harvest Dinner, which will take flight on September 24th (a Sunday) at Olympic College, Bremerton.  Save the date! More exciting details on both these events to follow.

We have received a grant for $34,314 with Washington State University Extension from the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Marie Vila has been hired to work on this grant to create a series of workshops, webinars and conferences focused on strengthening farm’s business plans, marketing, and financing. She will expand on this in our next update. Scott Hall brought us up to date on the County’s crafting of the Critical Areas Ordinance, a topic we will follow closely as the County works towards its long-overdue update.

Other than that, it was the typical board business, so this is enough for now. Look for another exciting KCAA news flash after our next meeting, the end of June!

Till then –

Bob Geballe
KCAA Board

Petersen Estate Gifts $50,000 to KCAA

Petersen Estate Gifts $50,000 to KCAA

Petersen Estate Gifts $50,000 to Kitsap Community & Agricultural Alliance

On Tuesday, June 6th, at the new Central Kitsap Farmers Market, Dorothy Lind, executor of the Gerald Petersen Estate presented the Kitsap Community & Agricultural Alliance (KCAA) with a donation check of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). The generous donation was a gift from the Estate in recognition of Scott & Peggy Hall.

The Halls were deeply involved in the historic Petersen Farm before the passing of Gerald Petersen in 2009 and continued to be champions for the farm through the inclusion of the land under a conservation easement as well as during the sale of the farm in 2015. The Halls, owners of Legacy Farm in Olalla, have been long-time stewards of agriculture in Kitsap County, as well as long-time board members and supporters of KCAA.

“We are so overjoyed at the generosity of the Estate for honoring the KCAA” stated Peggy Hall during the presentation. Bob Geballe, board president of KCAA, said the gift was a testament to the hard work and long-time commitment the Halls have shown the farming community. “We are speechless, and we are so deeply in debt to Scott and Peggy, whose tireless work and generosity has borne such fruit for us as an organization.”

Geballe said the donation moves KCAA onto a new level in terms of how it can impact local agriculture. “We have several new initiatives in the works; creating an intellectual resource bank for farmers, developing a matching service for people interested in farming and property owners interested in having their land in production, working with local educational institutions to develop scholarships, programs, and internships to fill the pipeline with prospective new farmers. This is going to help us make those things happen.”

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