1st annual North Olympic Peninsula Farmers Convergence & Mixer, Chimacum, WA

Date(s): 

Sunday, December 3, 2017 -
1:00pm to 10:00pm

Download the poster. Help us with publicity. Put it up in your local area.

Location: Finniver Farm & Cidery, 124 Center Road, Chimacum, WA

CELEBRATING FARMING !!

BUILDING LOCAL AGRICULTURE !!

Schedule:

1:00 to 5:30: Farmer networking, marketing & discussion groups.

5:30 to 6:00: Open mike for proposals, ideas, offers.

6:00 to 7:00: Farming Awards Ceremony. Nominate your favorite farmer.

7:00 to 10:00. All Farmer Mixer Dance (band to be announced).

“Farmer discount on cider".

Who is invited?

Farmers and their families, interns, farmworkers,

aspiring farmers, organizations and businesses that serve farmers and friends who want to show their support.

Jefferson, Clallam, Kitsap and Mason Counties.

Contact: Michael Pilarski

360-643-9178[email protected]

Facebook page www.tinyurl.com/farmermixer  

www.friendsofthetrees.net

Sponsors include: Friends of the Trees Society, Abakis Music, Jefferson County Local Food System Council, WSU County Extension, Olympic Peninsula Regenerative Agriculture Alliance, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Nash’s Organic Produce, and . .

Organizational Invitations:

* The Chimacum and Quimper Granges are invited to send their representatives and have a table and forum to share what they have going.

* The WSU County Extension Service is invited to have a table to share what they have going and how they can help serve the farmers and the farming community.

* The Soil Conservation District is invited to have a table to share what programs and cost sharing they have for farmers in 2018. Last year they helped provide lime and liming services to farmers.

* Jefferson County Local Food System Council

* Olympic Peninsula Regenerative Agriculture Alliance (OPRAA)

* Jefferson Land Trust

* Organic Seed Alliance

* The Fiber Group

* The Grain Co-op

* Local seed companies,

* The Herbalist Guild of Jefferson County

* Cedar Root School

* Peninsula College’s Sustainable Agriculture program

* Agricultural businesses.

* Local tribes concerned about food sovereignty.

* Who else should be added to this list?

We initially titled this event the Local Food Fair and it was to be a marketing and networking event. We wanted to bring the food buyers together with the farmers to make deals. Have the chefs, restaurants, stores, value-added processors, institutional buyers like schools hospitals, and elder care. On November 3, I had a meeting with Judy Alexander and Jeannette Martens of the Jefferson County Local Food Systems Council and they asked me to shift the marketing aspect to their Farmer to Buyer event planned for January 2018. So we have dropped our farmer to buyer meet-up aspect. We’ll have plenty to do anyway.  Buyers are still invited to attend!

Let’s celebrate Jefferson County’s farming community! We might not be rich: farming in today’s world is full of obstacles and hoops to jump through; but we are alive and still farming in spite of it all!  Let’s clap each other on the back, give kudos where kudos are due and celebrate our shared passion and commitment for farming.

Farming Awards Ceremony. Recipients will be nominated on the spot for exemplary farming and/or for service to the farming community. Small, cheap plaques will be handed out. Come prepared with your nominations. You can use one of our cheap plaques or bring one of your own making. We expect many of the nominees will be there.

Finnriver has a large enclosed area with heaters and lots of outdoor space for overflow. Let’s see how many business deals and symbiotic relationships we can initiate; how many friends we can talk to: and how much fun we can have.

Food: The usual Finnriver food vendors will be set up for lunch onwards. Some people will be there setting up before noon.  Most people will arrive in the afternoon with a further wave for the Farming Awards Ceremony and Dance. Chimacum Corner Farmstand across the street has hot food available. People are welcome to bring their own brown bag lunches or dinners. This is NOT designed to be a potluck.

There is no charge to attend the event or the dance. There will be donation cans at the event and farmers can bring farm products to help pay the band.

All Farmer Mixer & Dance

Dancing, socializing & networking. 

All ages invited.

This dance is inspired by the Young Farmers Mixer put on by the Washington Chapter of the National Young Farmer’s Coalition. They just held their 7th annual Mixer Dance in Walla Walla this year.  They held one at the Quimper Grange in Jefferson County a few years ago which was SUPER well received.  But we wanted our dance to be all ages of farmers (and farm interns). Hence the All Farmer Mixer. The Mixer is part of the Farmer to Farmer Convergence since the conversations will never stop. There will be local musicians as well as a hot dance band. Come ready to boogie. Finnriver will be selling their famous ciders. Farmers are encouraged to donate farm products to the band. We’ll have a table set up.

We are still looking for the right dance band.  Our criteria are danceable, fast-paced, foot-stomping music with fiddles, banjos etc. Something that harkens back to rural life such as bluegrass, honkeytonk, Cajun. If you’d like to nominate a band please let us know. They could be local or anywhere in the Puget Sound area.

SPONSORSHIPS

This event is initiated by Michael Pilarski of Friends of the Trees Society. Sponsors and collaborators are welcomed to help finance and organize the event. Sponsorships are $100. In exchange, your name will go on our website, on any posters produced after we receive your funds and on a large, publicly-displayed, sponsor list at the event. Sponsors will be thanked on stage and you can sleep better at night for doing a good deed. Sponsorships can be made via Paypal to [email protected] or by check made out to Friends of the Trees. Mail to:

Friends of the Trees
PO Box 1133
Port Hadlock, WA 98339

 

MORE EVENT INFO….

We picked December for this event, because farmers usually have more breathing room in their schedules in December and we picked a Sunday because the Port Townsend Farmers Market is still going in early December.

The Farmers Convergence & Mixer is meant to be another step along the path of localization for Jefferson County and the adjacent counties. How wide-ranging is farm production in Jefferson County in terms of vegetables, tree fruits, berries, grains, livestock, dairy, fiber, dye crops, craft materials, herbs, beverages, alcoholic beverages, seeds, and more.  What businesses exist to serve them? All facets of local agriculture are welcomed at have a presence at the Convergence: A robust local agriculture would encompass all of these types of farm production and the processing and distribution businesses that go with them as well as the inputs and services required. A vibrant local agriculture that supplied a large percentage of local food needs (let’s say 50%) would be an impressive economy. This has been the case for most of human history. The globalized food system is a very new experiment and is looking increasingly dangerous. Let’s get on with localization.

On October 28, 2017, Helena Norberg-Hodge gave a keynote speech at the Economics of Happiness Conference held at Fort Worden in Port Townsend.  I attended and was inspired. Helena’s thesis was that localisation (British spelling) was the single most important thing we could do to solve the world’s ecological and social problems.  Greatly reduce the amount of goods that are shipped around the globe.  Local economies, stable economies, more local control, reduce power to the central banks, multinational cartels and their captured governments. Helena pointed out that the easiest place to start localizing in most places is with agriculture. Jefferson County is already noted for its thriving local agriculture scene and there are many organizations and individuals involved and events already happening.

Backhauls & carpools to and from the Olympic Peninsula.  Ferries are an expense for most of us and some more than others.  There are trucks and trailers coming and going and sometimes empty or part empty.  Can we save on shipping costs by working together? How do we set that up?  How about carpooling to ag events?

Farm Film Festival

Winter of 2017/2018

This is in the works and the film festival sponsors and movies will be announced at the December 3 event.

The Farmers Convergence overall coordinator is Michael Pilarski of Friends of the Trees Society. A life-long activist and student of agriculture. Michael started farming organically in 1972, was one of the organizers of the 1st Conference on Sustainable Agriculture in 1974 which resulted in Tilth, and founded Friends of the Trees Society in 1978. My recent, local credentials are organizing the Medicinal Herb Growing & Marketing Conference at Fort Worden, April 15-17, 2016 (450 attending) and the 9th Northwest Permaculture Convergence at Fort Flagler, October 7-9, 2016 (600 attending).

What am I (Michael Pilarski) looking for personally at the Convergence? 

* I need a source of manure.  I was thrilled to get one of Gerald Bishop’s 14-yard dump-truck load of dairy cow manure in 2016, but alas the Bishop Dairy is now gone.

* I need other farm inputs such as fertilizer, potting supplies, cover crop seed and more.

* Who is interested in bulk plant ordering? I buy plants too. I have been coordinating bulk nursery sales and plant exchanges since 1978. In 1990 I started what became the Port Townsend Tree Festival (which continued for 20 years). [The Jefferson County Conservation District puts on a great Native Plant Sale every spring.]

* I sell a wide diversity of medicinal plant propagation material and seeds and am looking for buyers.

* I need farms to wildcraft certain weeds and wild plants on.  I pay 10 cents on the dollar of the gross value. Some of the plants I harvest include dandelions, sheep sorrel, burdock, red clover, nettles, horsetail, teasel, wild lettuce, yarrow, hawthorn, catnip, chickweed, comfrey, mugwort, wormwood, fireweed, goldenrod, gumweed, horseradish, lemon balm, mullein, spruce tips, St John’s Wort. I give workshops on wildcrafting.

* I want to see farmers get a fair shake in society.  As the old saying goes “If we don’t stick together we will hang separately.”

* We will be promoting the Northwest Washington Medicinal Herb Cooperative.

* I am looking to see old friends and meet new friends and I like to have fun.

* As a single farmer, I look forward to the mixer aspect.

 

Every farmer will have a unique wish & have list. Bring yours.

AGRICULTURE POLICY

We will schedule an agriculture policy discussion in the afternoon (small group, one hour). This would be an opportunity to write up a list of proposals for policy change at the city, county, state and federal governments. In particular to plan some more concerted action on behalf of farmers and farming to Jefferson’s County’s long-term plan which they are about to adopt. Here is a chance to give some input. What would us farmers like to see?  Perhaps the discussion can come up with a short statement by farmers to the County Commissioners, Planning Board and citizens. A general statement that can be ratified by the larger group during the event. While it is true that farmers are a very small voting block, we have the support of all the so-called “foodies”, people who like quality food, local food and support local food and local farmers.  This is a very big constituency. Indeed the foodies has been called the biggest social movement in the US today.  Jefferson County farmers should rally the support of this large constituency on our behalf.  A good public statement would help do so.  What’s already been done to address farmers’ concerns in this planning? Let’s have a report at the discussion.

Games/activities:

Bobbing for apples.

What else would be fun?

Things for the kids to do.

Dear farmers,

I want to personally invite you to be part of this Farmers Convergence. & Mixer. This is still taking shape and we want your input? What would you like to see? What topics do you want to see on the table? Who would you like to see there?  Invite them. 

How many reasons can you think of for farmers to get together and talk? Here are some I can think of. I know when we add our lists together it will be a long list.  But you say, I’m too busy farming, who’s got time to talk!? Farming is hard work and farmers have to work long hours and if they aren’t efficient too boot, they’ll likely be out of business.

But perhaps farmers can’t afford to not talk together.  How can we collaborate?  What common causes do we have? How can we help each other to have a higher net income? What symbiotic, mutually-beneficial relationships can we set up? History tells us that farmers and populism were once potent political forces to be reckoned with. The granges were one of their wings. Where is the (small) farmers’ political force today? Who speaks for us Jefferson County farmers on the governmental stages today? Let’s put this on the agenda so we can inform each other what we collectively know about.

Agricordially, ~ Michael Pilarski

 

Event Type: 

Gathering