Hearing Examiner Allows Conditional Use Permit for Pot-growing Operation

— from the Nov. 3 Hearing Examiner’s decision — On Nov. 3, Sharon A. Rice, San Juan County Hearing Examiner, signed off on a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Tusco Property Management of Bellevue to construct a building to house indoor commercial marijuana production and processing under state-licensed Initiative 502. … Continue reading

Garden Club: Drawing & Painting Flowers with Linda Ann Vorobik

Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 10 a.m., Madrona Room of Orcas Center — from Jan Jacobson — Linda Ann Vorobik of Lopez Island, a PhD botanist and botanical artist, has spent her career traveling throughout the west, botanizing and translating her joy and understanding of the natural world into botanical art. She … Continue reading

Taming the Overgrown Garden

Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. at the Orcas Center — from Jan Jacobsen — Orcas Island Garden Club presents “Taming the Overgrown Garden,” with Cass Turnbull.  Cass Turnbull’s name is synonymous with good pruning.  As the founder and president of Plant Amnesty, her mission has been to “end the … Continue reading

Celebrity Chef Is Back…And So Is Charles!

Charles Dalton teaching students how to make tasty tamales.

— from Madie Murray — Mark your calendar and prepare your taste buds, the Farm to Cafeteria Program’s Celebrity Chef at School event is back. On Wednesday, October 21, Charles Dalton, owner of The Kitchen, will be this school year’s first Island chef to participate in the event. This will … Continue reading

School Garden’s Kale For Sale at the Co-op


— by Colleen Stewart, Orcas Farm to Cafeteria Gardenkeeper– If they haven’t already flown off the shelf, you may still have the opportunity to buy the debut Farm to Cafeteria-grown bunches of Lacinato (aka Dino) kale at the Co-op this week. Twenty big verdant bunches were harvested Thursday by students … Continue reading

That Spurge Laurel Popping Up is Toxic

spurge laurel

— from Judy Jackson, Coordinator, San Juan County Noxious Weed Control Program — That evergreen, rhododendron-like shrub that is popping up in gardens and woodlands throughout the county is spurge laurel (Daphne laureola). Closely related to the much-admired ornamental daphnes, all parts of this plant are toxic to dogs, cats and humans, … Continue reading

The Fresh, New Face of Farm to Cafeteria

Ashley Randall, new F2C Coordinator

–by Madie Murray — You may have noticed some recent Farm to Cafeteria articles being written by Ashley Randall, Farm to Cafeteria Coordinator. You’ll be seeing many more. Yes, she’s finally on board after spending the summer interning at Black Dog Farm and is now beginning to take on the … Continue reading

It’s Harvest Season – Come to the Seed-Saving Workshop

— from Sustainable Orcas Island — Come to the Orcas Island Library in Eastsound this Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm for a hands-on seed cleaning workshop with Katie Wilkins. We will practice threshing and winnowing seeds to get them ready for storage, and discuss seed growing … Continue reading

County Council Places Review of Proposed Greenhouse Regulations on Hold

— from the San Juan County Council — San Juan County Council Chairman Bob Jarman announced today that he will not calendar any further Council review of the proposed greenhouse regulations until the Dept. of Community Development has had an opportunity to reevaluate the draft regulations, and take into consideration … Continue reading

Another Fifth Season of Farm Freshness for the Schools

— by Ashley Randall, Farm to Cafeteria Coordinator — Saturday morning, September 12th, marked the sixth Farm to Cafeteria Program Fifth Season event where five Orcas Island farms delivered organically grown produce to the public school cafeteria. Boxes brimming with chard, carrots, beets, tomatoes, garlic, pears, squash, potatoes, basil, green … Continue reading

Calling All Gardeners to Fall Gardening Workshop

Saturday, October 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday Harbor Middle School — from Kate Yturri — Marianne Binetti, host of “Dig In Seattle”, a cooking and gardening show on KJOE-TV, will be the keynote speaker at the San Juan County Master Gardener Fall Gardening Workshop in Friday Harbor, on October 10, … Continue reading

The Gifts of Melons and Knowledge


 –by Madie Murray, Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria– “We want to give some organically grown melons to your school and spend some time with the kids telling them how they are grown and how to save the seeds for planted in the school garden next year.” Music to our ears! … Continue reading

SJ Grange Talks Apples and Orchards

apple feature Waldrip orchard 1914

Wednesday, September 16, 6 p.m. potluck and 7 p.m. program at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor — from the San Juan Island Grange #966 — San Juan Island Grange #966 begins its fall evening program series with “Historic Orchards of the San Juans” on Wednesday September 16, 2015 at … Continue reading

Garden Club Welcomes Roses to the Garden


Wednesday, September 16 at 10 a.m. at Orcas Center — by Jan Jacobson — “Welcoming and Designing Roses to Your Garden” with Nita-Jo Rountree will be the featured speaker at the Garden Club’s first meeting of its 2015-16 year. Ms. Rountree, prior to relocating to the Northwest, began her garden … Continue reading

Farmers Market: A Summer Tradition for Locals and Visitors

farmers mkt  feature

— by Margie Doyle — The Orcas Island Farmers Market may be the greatest single tourist attraction on the island, but it is also a summer Saturday tradition for many islanders. Which is only fitting, because only Orcas Islanders can sell their products –whether farm produce, dairy or crafted items … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Meetings to Address Proposed Farming Regs


Wednesday, August 26, from 4-5:30 at the Eastsound Firehall — by Sandy Strehlou — Dear Friends of Local Agriculture: I am writing to encourage you to attend one of the following meetings on the proposed greenhouse regs. The San Juan Island meeting is [Tuesday] afternoon at Brickworks. There will be … Continue reading

Exchange Progress Public Forum on Tuesday

OIRS concept.psd

Tuesday, August 25,  5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Eastsound Fire Station — from the Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange newsletter (reprinted from Aug. 18)– Save the date! The team at ORS/The Exchange wants to update you, in person, on what we’ve been up to! Please join staff and the board of directors on … Continue reading

The Current State of Island Agriculture: Greenhouse Regulations Proposed

Orcas -Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. at Eastsound Fire Hall Lopez – Thursday, August 27 at 4 p.m. at Lopez Library — from Peggy Bill, County Agriculture Resources Committee Coordinator — San Juan County Council is currently considering adoption of new regulations that would be applied to greenhouses and … Continue reading

School Garden Prep and Pizza Party

Saturday, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. at the Orcas School Garden –by Colleen Steward, School Garden Keeper– The original school garden area has been “resting” for a couple of years to replenish the soil and revitalize its spirit. It produced joyously every year since 1995 and deserved the time off. … Continue reading

Master Gardeners Offer Fall Gardening Workshop

chalker-scott feature

Myth-busting Garden Professor to Speak at Master Gardeners’ 2015 Fall Gardening Workshop Saturday, Oct. 10 in Friday Harbor from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  — from San Juan County Master Gardeners — The San Juan County Master Gardeners have changed their popular biennial gardening workshop from spring to fall. The … Continue reading

Help Make Our Pizzas Happen

Farm to Cafeteria Pizza Thursdays at Doe Bay — by Madie Murray — Those who have come to a pizza party in the public school garden or had lunch in our school cafeteria know that the Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria Program helps fund plants, materials and tools for the … Continue reading