December 3 Update: North Olympic Peninsula Farmers Convergence & Mixer

Update # 3 – December 2


* The dance music will start sometime between 6:30 and 7:00 depending on how long the Farming Awards take.  Joanne Pontrello and the High Waisted Ramblers will help us whoop it up. Joanne is thinking “We will have an hour to 1 1/2 hour square dance, and fill out that first section with some old time fiddle tunes and songs. Then we will take a break and set up for the Cajun set with a few honky tonks thrown in. I am really looking forward to it! I am also thinking of doing a short two-step lesson before the Cajun part, just to give people a little something to experiment around with if they don't have much experience partner dancing - it also gets people on the floor meeting and dancing with different people. “ ~  Joanne.


* From 2:00 to 5:00 pm, Pretty Gritty and Small Souls will be playing live music on the Finnriver stage. Jack and Joe play a unique blend of Americana - Cowboy music, some Folk, a little Blues, and "BlueBilly Swing". 


* Roger Short (Short’s Family Farm) is donating some dairy manure laced with biochar for a door prize.  You know you are at a farmer event when manure is one of the door prizes!

* Michael Pilarski is donating a couple of his biggest squash.

* Participants are invited to bring other donations for door prizes, useful and/or hilarious.


* Francesco Tortorici and friends are leading a biochar discussion group from 4:00 to 5:00.

* Francesco and Bryan are bringing two biochar burners to do a biochar demonstration. One is a 1/2 of a 55 gallon drum the other is about 42" in diameter.  The barrel would provide heat and make biochar. A warm place to stand around outside.

* Roger Short is bringing some biochar products to display and talk about.

* The PNW Biochar Atlas will be introduced.

* Gary Kline from the Olympia/Southwest WA Biochar Group is hoping to make it.

* Info on the Farmers Convergence & Mixer has gone out to over 300 people on the regional biochar networks.


Dave Seabrook is bringing information to share on the Northwest Climate Toolbox, the Ag Climate Network, AgBiz Logic., and soil as carbon storehouse.


WSU County Extension sent an email about the Convergence & Mixer to over 900 addresses. 306 emails in Jefferson County, 342 in Clallam and 389 in Kitsap County.


* Nicole Witham is going to facilitate this section. 

* Mark Jochems, Jefferson County Planning Commission, District 2, will be on hand to answer questions and inform us on the ways we can have input.

* Members of the Policy Committee of the Jefferson County Local Food System Council and the Olympic Peninsula Regenerative Agriculture Alliance will report briefly on their position papers.

* Andrea, the pig whisperer, is coming from Nash’s Organic Produce livestock division to call for a meat processing facility closer than the current 5-hour drive away.

* We will compile a list of ideas and recommendations) from the participants. Who are we presenting this list to?  1) First of all, ourselves the agriculture community, 2) Planning boards, county commissioners and State agencies. 3) The general public, the citizens of our region. Let them know what we farmers need so they can support us in building the local food economy.    


There will be an extensive bookstore of books for sale. Books on farming, horticulture, permaculture, crops, herbs and more.


The Farming and Food Film Festival will screen movies every two weeks in January, February and March.  The venue will likely be the classroom at the WSU Cooperative Extension’s office in Port Hadlock and/or the Port Hadlock Public Library. The exact dates should be set in early December.  Judy Alexander and Michael Pilarski are compiling a list of films and at the Convergence we will ask for your ideas.