Only Two More Saturdays!
Only two more Saturdays until opening day of the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market! The mix of sun and rain we are having this spring promises abundance on April 2nd at the Saturday Farmers Market Opening.
This week I am highlighting Red Dog Farm. Next week get excited for news and photos of baby goats soon to visit a market near you.
Spring Has Sprung at Red Dog Farm
On opening day Red Dog Farm will be bringing organic tulips, salad mix, carrots, stir-fry mix, chives, parsley, raab of many kinds, jerusalem artichokes, green garlic, chard, potatoes, parsnips, and plant starts to the Port Townsend Saturday Farmers Market.
Red Dog Farm is a certified organic mixed vegetable, berry and flower farm in the fertile Chimacum Valley nestled next to Chimacum Creek. Owner, Karyn Williams, first became interested in organic gardening as a Seattle University student. Karyn studied social justice at Seattle University but found herself drawn more to the organic gardening she was involved with outside of class.
Her interest in organic gardening inspired Karyn to take time off of school and volunteer as a Willing Worker On Organic Farms (WOOF) in 1998. Karyn WOOFed in Spain, Portugal and England on produce and dairy farms for two years. Working on organic farms opened Karyn’s eyes to a new way of living, rich with delicious, fresh and deeply connected to the seasons.
Karyn returned to the US and studied agriculture at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. In 2003, she graduated from the Evergreen State College with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture. After graduation, Karyn decided to move to the Jefferson County to work as a farmer. Karyn worked on vegetable farms, at a cow dairy, a nursery operation, and on goat, sheep and poultry farms.
In 2005, Karyn started her own farm business at Old Tarboo Farm in Quilcene with a friend from Evergreen. After two years of leasing land, she was ready to dig her shovel into her own soil. She began fundraising to purchase land in Chimacum. Several investors from Jefferson County stepped up to help Karyn. In early 2007, Karyn found the piece of property, which is now Red Dog Farm. Karyn started out leasing the land from the Jefferson Land Trust in a creative lease to own agreement. In 2011, Karyn purchased the land from the Jefferson Land Trust.
Karyn’s interest in social and environmental justice comes through in her work and the ways in which she manages her business. She gives farm produce to the food bank each season and works to be a good steward of her land by conserving her soil through crop rotation, cover cropping, and minimal tillage. Red Dog Farm is on Chimacum Creek, a swimming and spawning ground for coho and chum salmon. Karyn has maintained a buffer between the land she keeps in crop rotation and the stream. Her careful farming practices have earned Red Dog Farm Salmon Safe certification.
When I asked Karyn what she loves most about farming she told me she loves encouraging the skill development of her team and seeing her employees grow into their potential through their work with Red Dog. Karyn also enjoys the “magic of nature, plants and soil.” Farming is “humbling,” she told me. Changes from one season to the next remind Karyn that she is “not really in charge.”
You can find Red Dog Farm produce at the Red Dog Farm Stand, the Port Townsend Saturday and Chimacum Sunday Farmers Markets and the Port Townsend Food Coop. You can also find Red Dog Farm produce at local restaurants including: the Port Ludlow Resort (also one of our sponsors), the Silver Water Café, Quench, Hillbottom Pie, Sweet Laurette Café, Ajax Café and Owl Sprit Café. Also, visit the Red Dog Farm website to learn more about their Community Sustained Agriculture shares.