The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Carrie Backman
WSU Wahkiakum County Extension Agent 

Local farms, gardens offer nutritious food

 

As a county extension agent, I get to visit farmers and gardeners from the western reaches of Deep River to the eastern hillsides of Cathlamet. Their rainfall and soils range widely from hillsides to valley bottoms, but they all have important things in common--good food and good people growing it. I’m sharing some of that here in The Eagle over the next few weeks with short features on Wahkiakum farms and details on how you can bring that good food home to your table.

May begins the season for CSA offerings for some Wahkiakum farms this year. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and allows customers to purchase a share of the farm’s harvest for the season. The customer pays for their share early in the season, investing in the harvest to come from their local farmer over the spring and summer months. This is a model that both farmers and customers appreciate as it helps the farmer with early investments in much needed equipment, labor and seed, and provides the customer a variety and abundance far surpassing what they’d find anywhere else. CSA shares are usually distributed with weekly boxes throughout the growing season, filled with produce cut fresh from the farmer’s field or hoop house.

Tall Timbers Forest Farm & Fiber is one farm offering CSA shares this season, grown by Lori and Rick Cagle, at 85 Hodgson Road in Cathlamet. Tall Timbers has a produce CSA available this season, sharing a bounty of fresh herbs, heirloom vegetables and berries with their CSA customers. New this year, Lori is adding a wool CSA. Lori is a fiber artist, helping start the Wahkiakum Fiber Arts Guild, and raises Icelandic and Gotland sheep to create the fiber for her wool CSA. A short visit with Lori and the farm will show the appreciation and knowledge of animals she brings to the farm, with a very happy and healthy flock lucky enough to have a longtime veterinary technician as their farmer.

Beyond the happy animals, Lori says customer favorites are her green beans and marionberries. After the farm’s success with marionberries, she is expanding to more berry varieties this year. She says there is never a dull moment as a farmer. “Fresh air, rain and sunshine are always a part of my job,” Lori says. “I'm never bored, and I get to put nutritious food on people's plates.”

Lori is active on the farm and in the community, volunteering as horse barn superintendent for the Wahkiakum County Fair, and staying active in the Wahkiakum Fiber Arts Guild and Wahkiakum Food and Farm Network. “One of my favorite parts of farming in Wahkiakum County is being involved in the community,” Lori says.

To learn more about a produce or wool CSA share from Tall Timbers, call Lori at 360-703-7291; email talltimbersfff@gmail.com; or find them on Facebook at Tall Timbers Farm.

 

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