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The Local Dirt: June 2019

Jun 10th, 2019 | Category: News

Whatcom Family Farmers were honored as the grand marshal in the Lynden Farmers Day Parade on Saturday, June 1. Congrats!

The Skagit Valley Co-op’s June Summer Garden Party will be Saturday, June 15 at 11 a.m. Come meet with some favorite local farmers and producers to share the delights of the season. Enjoy fun in the sun and free samples. June’s party includes: Cat’s Paw Bees, Harmony Chai, Fidalgo Coffee, Skagit Valley Food Co-op Deli, and Mifroma Cheese. This free, family-friendly event series will also be held July 13 and Aug. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. See for more information. the local dirt web

Lydia’s Farm is offering a Beginning Shepherding course on Saturday, June 22 and Saturday, August 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 4269 Y Road, Bellingham. This class from Lydia’s Flock is a full-day, hands-on educational opportunity designed for new and aspiring shepherds who want to raise sheep in the Pacific Northwest using sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices. Topics include choosing the right sheep breed for your farm, housing, fencing, nutrition, health and healthcare basics, developing a management program, and connecting with a mentor. For more information, see

The 12th annual Llama/Alpaca Information & Education Day will be Saturday, June 22, offering a day of workshops and education about alpacas and llamas. This event is free and open to anyone that currently owns or is interested in owning llamas or alpacas. A group of caring owners and speakers will discuss care, basic information and more during clinics from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at JNK Llama Farm in Bellingham. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m. Coffee will be available. Animals will not be sold during the event. Registration is required. Call (360) 592-2603 to RSVP or visit

The Orcas Island Garden Tour will be Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30. The annual Orcas Island Garden Tour is sponsored by the Orcas Island Garden Club.  Featuring 5 lovely gardens offering interesting plants (annuals, perennials, fruit trees, veggies, natives, woodland, bird/insect friendly, deer-resistant), unique features (greenhouse, garden pond, rain catchment, berry cage, raised beds, drip watering, garden art) and/or creative design ideas that our fellow gardeners would enjoy seeing and might like to use in their own gardens.  $20 admission. For more details, see

Free food safety webinars are available this month. “Starting Out Right: Food Safety for Safe and Wholesome Foods” will be Monday, June 17 at 11 a.m. Find out more about Cottage Foods, and how to ensure that everything you make for your family and to sell is as safe as possible. “What are Good Manufacturing Practices?” will be available Monday, June 24 at 11 a.m. Keep your small food business on the cutting edge of food safety and efficiency with this webinar. Register and learn more about these webinars at

Grow More Forage through Pasture Rotation with Cows, presented by the Whatcom Conservation District, will be Thursday, June 22. All livestock owners can learn from this well established example of seasonal rotational grazing winter confinement, manure management and creek enhancement in a tough to farm area. Hurtfiord Farm has been working with the Whatcom Conservation District for the past 20 years and is especially interested in forages and pasture rotation schedules. This workshop will use Hurtfiord farm as an example for a high production cattle grazing system.  Join us and learn about different layout ideas, forage options, fencing ideas and whole picture farm nutrient cycling. 6-8 p.m. RSVP (required) to Corina Cheever at or 360-526-2381 x 104.

Sustainable Connections and the Community Food Co-op are proud to present three free lunchtime workshops through the Smart Business Leadership Series. Workshop #1 of the Smart Business Leadership Series features presenters Mark Peterson of Sustainable Connections, Amanda Grelock & Melissa Elkins of the Community Food Co-op, and Tyson Romanick of Saturna Capital. Anyone interested in the Quadruple Bottom Line – community and business leaders, human resource professionals, nonprofits, change makers, etc. – can attend Wednesday, June 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Community Food Co-op Connections Classroom – 405 E. Holly St, Bellingham. For more info, see

Learn to safely dig, cook and eat clams with the Sound Water Stewards several dates in June and July. Reservations are necessary. See more info at

Tilth Alliance has redesigned and rebuilt their Farm Guide website, updated with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market Promotion Program. Farms from all over the state are listed. See

Over the next few months, New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary will be transitioning to a sanctuary facility. They will be downsizing operations and no longer hosting public Open Barns or the Goatalympics. They will continue to care for the Sanctuary Herd, teach Goats 101 classes, provide goat care  information and resources online. To stay up to date, see

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