February: the month of change

Sound Consumer | February 2010

by Kathryn Gardow, Executive Director

February is one of my favorite months. It takes us from the short days of winter toward the longer days of spring. Evidence of the wan-ing days of winter is everywhere. In my garden, Snow Drops are prolific at the start of the month and gone by the end of the month.

For farmers, it's the start of their active season. Our newest farm, Orting Valley Farms, is bustling with activity. The fields are tilled up to three times, allowing the weeds to germinate between tilling, and then weeded mechanically to reduce weed germination later in the season.

In the fields, the winter greens and overwintered garlic and onions begin their growth spurts. Cool crops, such as radishes, are planted and overwintered beets, carrots and leeks are harvested and sold. The greenhouse is heated and tomatoes, melons and peppers are planted in propagation trays.

This activity at Orting is like a typical western Washington spring, similar to a symphony, which builds up, crescendos and builds again until we get to summer with its profusion of colors and smells. Our eastern Washington farmers experience a different sort of spring, one that has multiple bursts of energy, more like the 4th of July.

February also is bringing change to the trust. PCC Farmland Trust's board of directors is beginning its search for a new executive director. I've been in this role with the trust for three-and-a-half years and nurtured it from a one-person shop to a six-person office with 550 acres of property to steward.

I will stay with the trust as conservation director and am excited to continue with the work I love, to add more acreage under our stewardship.

It also is time to thank Goldie Caughlan for her six years of service on the board, where she brought her passion and wisdom of organic agriculture to our work. Goldie stepped down from her board position in December. I am honored to have had her insight in the trust's development.

I am excited about the trust's future. February is a time of change and a time of opportunity.


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More about: Goldie, Orting Valley Farms

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