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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 info@kitsapag.org. 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 http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3056272

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!

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.”

KCAA Is Looking For New Board Members!

KCAA Is Looking For New Board Members!

Are you passionate about local agriculture, healthy food systems and connecting your community with the resources available to them? If so, we need you as part of the KCAA team!

We are looking for individuals who are willing and able to donate time and energy towards furthering agriculture here on the Kitsap Peninsula. In addition to attending required board meetings (occurring on the 4th Tuesday of each month), board members are asked to participate in at least one committee (education, events, policy, or communications), and take part in any major KCAA fundraiser/educational events throughout the year.
For more information please download our KCAA Board Member Position Description, Then fill out our KCAA Board Membership Application and submit by March 28th, 2016.

For more information and an application please contact the KCAA Elections Committee at 360-355-9413 or info@kitsapag.org

Jerry Darnall – 2016 KCAA Farmer Of The Year!

Jerry Darnall – 2016 KCAA Farmer Of The Year!

Congratulations to Jerry Darnall of JJJ Farm who was voted KCAA’s 2016 Farmer Of The Year.

Jerry has been a tireless advocate for Ag education and has positively contributed to many areas of Kitsap County agriculture for decades.

Thank you Jerry for all the time and energy you give to our community!

From right to left: Ron Eber, Jerry Darnall & Scott Hall - Accepting awards for their support of local agriculture and the new Ag. Code
From left to right: Ron Eber, Jerry Darnall & Scott Hall – Accepting awards at the 2016 Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner for their support of local agriculture and the new Ag. Code
Nominations For The 2016 Farmer/Farm Business Award Going on NOW!

Nominations For The 2016 Farmer/Farm Business Award Going on NOW!

Farm Business/Farmer of the Year nominations are going on now through September 16th.

Do you know a really great Kitsap Farmer?

The 2016 Farmer/Farm Business of the Year will be announced at the 8th Annual Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner (KGHD) on Sunday, September 25th at Olympic College, Bremer Student Center.

Now is the time to nominate a Farmer that you think has had an outstanding year and deserves some recognition.  Maybe they have provided you with delicious local goodness throughout the year or perhaps been active in promoting agriculture in your area.  Anything YOU think makes a great Farmer.

Please send us your nominations to kcaa4u@yahoo.com by September 16th. Don’t forget to stay tuned to Facebook and here on our website to start voting for your Farmer of the Year between Sept. 17th and 25th.  Then make sure to come on out to Olympic College and celebrate with us during this years dinner. Tickets are on sale now through Brown Paper Ticket at http://kghd2016.bpt.me

Some additional things 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 8th Annual KGHD to celebrate the winner!

Farm Profile – Sagging Fence Farm

Farm Profile – Sagging Fence Farm

Interview conducted by KCAA Board Member Elizabeth Hoffman

Sagging Fence is a small scale goat dairy operation owned by Juli and Bob Fisher out of Port Orchard, WA. They currently have a closed herd of seventeen rambunctious Nubian dairy goats. Their main market product is a Farmstead Aged Goat Milk Cheese that they distribute to local restaurants, shops, and sell personally every Saturday at the Port Orchard Farmers Market.

Goat 1
“Kacie”

Did you grow up on a farm?

Actually both Bob and I were raised in cities. I was born in Denver and my dad used to farm in North Dakota. Bob was raised in the Denver area. I did not want to be around a lot of people on a day to day basis. I like to garden and I like to have a lot of space and a lot of greenery around me. Bob does as well.

How did you start farming?

When I met Bob I was professionally landscaping and I tease him that when he saw my apartment, he was more interested in the fact that I had flowers drying than in me. He thought that was the coolest thing…. We started thinking about buying a place outside of the city because a lot of the perks of the city theatre, restaurants, etc., we didn’t do any of that stuff…Bob was a chef and I think he cooks better than most restaurants. He was always interested in growing things, right now he grows bonsai and he always wanted to be a farmer.

How did you start making cheese?

"Mama Cinnamon"
“Mama Cinnamon”

Bob used to cook professionally and he worked at places in Denver and in Seattle… He has always been interested in making and growing our own food. When we came out here we found a couple with some goats because he said he wanted to get ahold of some goat milk and make some cheese, and so we did. For a year or two we bought milk and made cheese, some was good and some was not. We made it in the kitchen and we got better at it and a neighbor down the road had two wethers (fixed male goat) Calvin and Hobbes who were for sale and they were going to be butchered so we bought them. Once we had success with those two we advanced to breeding our own milking goats. We started with two sisters we bought from people that we knew and since then all our goats have been born on our farm.

When did you decide to start marketing your cheese?

Sagging Fence Farm was licensed in January of 2014. About 8 years ago Bob said I think we should get licensed so we toured many different farms including Kurt Timmermeister’s farm on Vashon Island we toured Estrella farms and took a class with her. Bob makes all the cheese now, I used to, but now I help with all the milking. I am also comfortable doing a lot of the hands on things with the goats, my undergrad was in microbiology and I worked in a lab for many years.

What was your biggest hurdle starting as a goat dairy?

Goat 3
“Good morning from Sagging Fence”

We didn’t really start selling right away until we had insurance and because we don’t pasteurize it is difficult to get insurance. And we were surprised by that big stumbling block.

Bob has been working on the recipe, making it for ten years so he has been learning how to keep the quality uniform even though the milk changes throughout their cycle. We make the soft cheese as well but it is not aged so we cannot sell it.

Have you seen a change in the public’s attitude towards goat milk since you started?

Some people can tolerate it better because the protein molecules in goat’s milk are already broken down somewhat which lends itself to goat milk being naturally homogenized, it does not separate in the fridge. The only issue then is if you want to make goat milk butter you have to have a cream separator. One of the big differences with goat milk is it is quite rich because it is whole milk. Most people don’t drink whole milk anymore. A lot of people have issues with lactose. Now why there is more of that going on is a different story.

We drink strictly goat milk and have now for many years. When we are in a position where we have to buy cow’s milk we have noticed that it takes a few days to get used to the taste… A lot of people say that I don’t like goat cheese/milk because it tastes “goaty”. Well we have found that once you heat the milk that flavor comes out. I believe Pasteurization adds to that flavor.

How do you differ from other goat dairy’s? What is the philosophy behind Sagging Fence Farm?

Goat 4
5 Day old kid – “Plum”

We have a closed herd meaning we do not freshen every year and all goats are born on the farm. We do not take our goats off site except to breed. We are very soft on our animals, we brought them into this world they are our responsibility. I don’t treat them like stock. We retire our goats when they are too old to produce milk, they stick around and live in the pasture. We keep wethers on site and they have their own space. Typically, on other farms they are butchered at around 6 months to a year. We find good homes for our wethers where they will not be butchered. Our last wethers were sold as brush eaters.

I think if we have a philosophy it is that I never want to get too big that I don’t know each goat individually and when you get to having fifty or a hundred, like other cheese farms in the United States and France. There were huge herds hundreds of goats and there is no way to know each of them. I really enjoy knowing them individually, each of them has a personality and I like getting to know them… I don’t like all of them (laughs)..but they all have a personality.

What advice do you have for people who want to start farming?

And I think a lot of people are looking back to farming traditions to self-sustain their household…I enjoy being more self-sustaining not having to buy eggs, milk, vegetables. I think you can but it could be a rude awakening for some people. It takes a lot of work physically and also time. You have to want to live in this environment and it can’t just be “I want to have a farm because I want to grow my own food” and I know people who have down that or said that. Realistically, you don’t have much of a social life, you don’t do much beyond your farm. It takes a lot and it takes money. When we wanted to start the dairy everyone told us it was going to be $100,000, we did it for less but it took planning and five years of time. We designed our own dairy and poured the foundations ourselves. We started in the kitchen trying things out and I would advise others if they wanted to start a dairy or making specialty products that you start small in the kitchen and do that for a while, even years, just to see if you like it. I think you should try it in small pieces first, we started with a garden and then a farm and finally it evolved into a dairy.

Sagging Fence Farm’s Farmstead Aged Raw Goat Milk Cheese can be found at the following locations:

Goat 5Kurt Farm Shop
1424 11th Ave Ste C2, Seattle, WA 98122
www.kurtwoodfarms.com

Bay Street Bistro: featured ingredient on Northwest Cheese Plate
834 Bay Street, Port Orchard, WA 98366
www.baystreetbistro.com

Delicatus
103 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
www.delicatusseattle.com

Port Orchard Farmer’s Market
Saturdays 9-3pm.

Local Business Profile – Tractor Supply Company

Local Business Profile – Tractor Supply Company

tractor supply compnayInterview between Scott Hall, KCAA board member/farmer and Zack Heurig of Tractor Supply Company

Tractor Supply Company, also known as TSC, is a major store chain with over 1,450 stores in 49 states.

TSC strives to serve the recreational farmer and others with non-commercial farm/ranch needs. TSC understands most of these type customers are avid do-it-yourselfers, so they want to make the most commonly needed types of recreational level farm/ranch supplies available in the outskirts of larger metropolitan areas.

Recently, I spoke with Zack Heuring at the Port Orchard store location.

Scott: Does TSC have dedicated store brands of some of the items they carry?
Zack: Yes, our store brands include Du Mor feeds, and Producers Pride livestock feeds, 4 Health dog/cat foods, Royal Wing wild bird/squirrel foods, County Line tractor implements and accessories, Red Stone heating supplies, Groundworks garden supplies, Traveler equipment lubricants and chemicals, and C.E. Schmidt clothing line.”

Scott: Do you have a catalog/online division where customers can get your products not physically available in the store?
Zack: Yes, our website tractorsupply.com has items you can purchase that may not be available through the store” The website has an option for free UPS shipping to the store nearest you for pick up at the store location.

Scott: At this store, what have you found to be your best selling types of products? Zack: Livestock and pet supplies.

Scott: Considering you are a chain of stores, will there always be a broad selection of the types of items found on the website in this store, even if some things like tractor parts and hardware don’t have frequent sales?
Zack: Yes, we want to make sure some of those more specialized items are available in the store, even if we don’t necessarily sell them too frequently.

Scott: Does TSC, or this store offer any type of rewards/discount/customer loyalty program to their customers?
Zack: no, not at this time.

I took a long look, maybe an hour, up and down the various aisles in the store. What I found is they seem to deliver on their objective to have a wide assortment of those supplies and supplies and equipment most generally needed on a recreational type farm of ranch. You never know when you will need a couple fencing panels, a set of points for your trusty 8N Ford tractor, some bar and chain oil for your chainsaw, some bulk corn seed, and a package of castrating bands for those little bull calves all in one trip to the store. Seems like TSC has you covered.

Are You A Local Farmer? Read On…….

Are You A Local Farmer? Read On…….

Are you a local farmer? Would you like to have your farm business listed in the 2016 Cascade Harvest Coalitions Farm Guide?

The Kitsap Community & Agricultural Alliance would like to purchase ad space this year and list local farms for FREE. We can only move forward on this project if we know how many people are willing to take part. Farms would be able to list farm name and one additional piece of info (some examples include website address, phone, physical address, etc). In addition to the printed guide, KCAA will be designing and uploading an interactive map on our website with hotlinks to each farm that takes part in the project.

If your farm is interested in taking part we need to hear from you by February 23rd. Please reply directly to kcaa4u@yahoo.com if you would like to be added to our list of possible participants.
We hope to hear from you soon!
~ KCAA Board of Directors
Thank You To The 2015 Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner Sponsors & Donors!

Thank You To The 2015 Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner Sponsors & Donors!

Kitsap Community & Agricultural Alliance’s 7th Annual Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner was a huge success. The KCAA Board of Directors would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to the following local businesses and individuals for their commitment to local agriculture and this event. With their help we were fortunate to host Joel Salatin, author and advocate of organic agriculture, for an amazing day around our community.

Thank you!

2015 Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner Sponsors

Kitsap Bank
Port Townsend Food Co-op
Kitsap Poultry Growers
Great Peninsula Conservancy
Cenex – Poulsbo
Kitsap Credit Union
Kitsap Peninsula_VCB

 

2015 Kitsap Grown Harvest Dinner Donors

Abundantly Green
Bainbridge Vineyards
Barb’s Sweets & Treats
Blackjack Valley Farm
Bon Bon Bakery c/o Marie Vila
Broken Ground Farm
Brothers Greenhouses
Central Market
City Of Bremerton
CJ’s Evergreen General Store & Catering
Creek House Family Farms
Davis Farm
Del Tucker / Rocky Ranch
Doug’s Harlow Gardens
Eleven Winery
Farm Kitchen c/o Sparrow Breads – Katherine Albro
Fat Apple Bakery
Finnriver Farm & Cidery
Gregory Farms c/o: Paul Gregory
Hansville Creamery
Harbour Public House
Heyday Farm
Hitchcock Restaurant
Holly James
Inky Quills Soaps
Jack Munro
Karesha Sahali
Kiana Lodge
Kitsap E-Z Earth
Kitsap Poultry Growers Cooperative
Legacy Farm c/o Peggy & Scott Hall
London Maid Crumpets
Mayor Patty Lent
Mel Carlson / Mel’s Wood Boxes
Michelle Schmittler
Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café
Mossback Café
Olympic College
Olympic College c/o: Chris Plemmons – Culinary Arts Program
Peninsula Paint Company
Persephone Farm
Pheasant Fields Farm
RNR Originals
Roadhouse Nursery
Robbi Perez
Rose Orchards
Short Family Farm
Silverdale Beach Hotel
Slippery Pig Brewery
Start Now Gardens
Sweet And Smokey Diner
Sweets & Savories
The Gift Garden
The Smithshyre Farm
Tom Douglas Restaurants
Town & Country Market
Viking Feast Ice Cream
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