Invasive Species Could Cost Washington Businesses, Agencies $1.3 Billion

— from Susan Zemek, WA Recreation & Conservation — A new report released today pegs the economic impact of 23 of the most damaging invasive species in Washington at $1.3 billion a year and a loss of 8,000 jobs, if there’s no prevention, according to the Washington Invasive Species Council. … Continue reading

Farm to Cafeteria Program in November

–from Ashley Randall — K-5th Farm to Classroom: During the first week of November, we met local botanist, Madrona Murphy, and her favorite plant, Great Camas. We explored the plants relationship to the Native Salish diet and local pollinators. After slow cooking the tuber for three whole days, we were … Continue reading

Farm to Cafeteria Program in October

— from Ashley Randall — What happened in Farm to Classroom (K-5) during the month of October? We celebrated the process, practice and importance of seed saving. We harvested enough seeds to both save for spring and make multiple donations to the Public Library’s very special Seed Library. Katie taught … Continue reading

Become a Master Gardener this Spring Nine-week session on Tuesdays, January 31- March 28

Applications are due November 1 — San Juan County WSU Master Gardener program — Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 San Juan County WSU Master Gardener Training Program. Volunteer trainees will receive over 60 hours of training, both in the classroom and on-line. The training is taught by … Continue reading

Winter Gardening Tips

Wednesday, October 19, 10 a.m., Madrona Room — from Vanessa Julian — Wondering what to do with your garden during winter? Coming October 19, at 10 a.m. in the Orcas Center Madrona Room, Richie Steffer, the curator at the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle will tell you. He will … Continue reading

Orcas Public School’s Farm to Cafeteria Program in September

— by Ashley Randall — During our first week back to Farm to Classroom (K-5th), we tasted and painted with beets! We gathered around a large bed of beets, and examined the vegetable’s leaves and colorful stalks. Upon harvesting the root vegetable, we identified the three varieties and examined the … Continue reading

Pop-up Park Stirs Conversation What should be done with Public Works strip in the heart of Eastsound?

Get ready for “Vision for Eastsound” Town Hall on Thursday, Oct. 13 — by Margie Doyle — It was a potluck pop up party with a big pole tent keeping the blustery winds at bay. After the County Department of Public Works took down the fences facing North Beach Road … Continue reading

“Local” is Theme of Farm Parade in Friday Harbor

Saturday, October 1, 2:30 p.m., Friday Harbor — from Roger Ellison — The San Juan Island Grange is pleased to announce the 2016 Friday Harbor Fall Farm Parade on Saturday October 1. Now in its sixth year, the parade will once again depart the fairgrounds onto Argyle at 2:30, travel … Continue reading

Calling All Gardeners to Annual Gardening Workshop Secrets of Wheat, Bees, Tomatoes and Deer to be revealed at day-long event

Saturday, October 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday Harbor Middle School, advance registration required — by the San Juan County Master Gardeners — Come join other garden enthusiasts at the 2016 Annual Gardening Workshop, Secrets of Gardening, at Friday Harbor Middle School, on Saturday, October 1, from 8:30 a.m. to … Continue reading

Thor Hanson Keynote Speaker at Annual Gardening Workshop "Secrets of Gardening" takes place Saturday, Oct. 1 on San Juan Island

— from the WSU/San Juan County Master Gardeners — Calling All Gardeners to Our 2016 Gardening Workshop Author and biologist Thor Hanson will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Gardening Workshop presented by the San Juan County Master Gardeners on October 1, 2016. As the first speaker at this … Continue reading

Learn About New, Unusual Plants

Wednesday, September 21, 10 a.m., Orcas Center — from Vanessa Julian — On Wednesday, September 21, 10 a.m. at Orcas Center, Kelly Dodson and Sue Milliken of Far Reaches Farm will be giving a talk about “New and Unusual Plants from Around the World.” One of the largest collection of uncommon ornamental plants in … Continue reading

Permaculture Celebration at Orcasong Farm

Wednesday, August 24, 10 a.m. –  4 p.m., Orcasong Farm — from Gretchen Krampf — We invite you to join us at Orcasong Farm, 280 Dolphin Bay Road, for a day of community and permaculture learning-in-action. Our first Salish Sea Permaculture Action Day brings musician/sisters Leah and Chloe of Rising … Continue reading

Creating with Calendula in the School Garden

— by Ashley Randall — While waiting for our salves to set, we turned to a large bed of calendula flowers for inspiration. We identified and discussed the assortment of calendula flowers used in the salves. We hand picked seeds from the dried flowers to fill seed packets. And a … Continue reading

Get Ready for Entry Day at the Fair Youth Exhibitors FREE Again at the Fair

Tuesday, August 16, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Fairgrounds — from Ashley King, et. al — You’ve seen our posters, you’ve heard the chatter, it’s FAIR season. Are you getting your entries ready? We are excited to have our online premium book again this year ( —be sure to look up … Continue reading

OIYCC Eliminates Yellow Archangel, Saves Trees For Dog Park

— from Izabela Janecek — The Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps started off an exciting week with a trip to Bonnie Brae, a OPAL community in Eastsound. The purpose of our visit was to eliminate the noxious weed Yellow Archangel which resided in the back of the residential area. The infestation started … Continue reading

Calendula Salve Workshop in School Garden

— from Ashley Randall — The Farm to Cafeteria Program is hosting the second of three summer workshops in the school garden this weekend! Colleen will be teaching our friends of the garden how to transform our organically grown calendula flowers into a nourishing skin salve. Fee is $5–10 sliding … Continue reading