Wednesday, March 30, 2011



 (Photos: Linda Degnan Cobos) 

Photos above are of sod removal, tilling, planting, irrigating, weeding, harvesting by Land & Sea Slow Food chapter volunteers, community members, and students. 
The Land & Sea Slow Food Garden was started and is run by Friday Harbor's Land & Sea Slow Food Chapter, a chapter of Slow Food USA
We are a non-profit, operating independently of the SJI school district or other schools. 
In providing this garden, we enthusiastically welcome participation by students of all the island's schools for Slow Food Land & Sea sponsored workshops and activities. 

We donate produce we grow to Friday Harbor schools and the community at large, and work to plant things schools need for their lunch program. We provide learning opportunities of all kinds to benefit students of all ages, including mentoring.
 Our mission for this wonderful garden is community participation and education and also supplying needed produce to benefit the school lunch and other community programs. 
We also have arranged for guest speakers at the schools, including an intern from Ecuador, representing the indigenous cooperative Kallari Chocolate, and documentary filmmakers from Moving Images. (More on the Kallari visit here). We've sponsored community movies at the school, Palace Theater ("Food, Inc" - thanks Aaron!) Village at the Harbour, the FH Library, the Drs. Office, and the Friday Harbor House. We've successfully placed high school age interns with a local farmer, and  sponsored cob-oven building workshops with local youth and families with Ryan Browne. Land & Sea has co-sponsored farmer parties in exchange for our helping out with work and other benefits to farms, and we have hosted many large fisherman dinners with salmon, labor, and space donated by the Marinkovich family, to welcome visitors and link people to people. We try our hardest to get messages out from farmers to our community when we're asked, and to support our local sustainable agricultural services.
Our main web page exists to educate and link people together, and make opportunities for learning and farm work known.

Because of the generosity of a local working family and another kind benefactor, we have been able to send students and other local young people each year to a one week summer full-immersion workshop at the Quillasascut teaching farm each summer for the last 2 years, and plan to do this again this summer!

One of our most wonderful achievements last fall was supplying a community benefit dinner with heritage Ozette potatoes. These delicious potatoes were developed by the native people of our region and are recognized by Slow Food USA/ International on the Ark of Taste. The seed potatoes we used to grow them were gathered on Sucia, San Juan and other local islands and donated by biologist Madrona Murphy. The potato crop was dug up - harvested - by a cooking class from the high school, which was really exciting. 
We also do our best to link people to people, and work with other organizations to benefit our local kids and community.

Our garden's irrigation material was provided by generous donations from the Masonic Lodge, and Browne Building Supply. Other generous donors at the start included Harbor Rental, Soroptimists, and Tim Nicol-McGee, in addition to M. Melville, the Degnan-Cobos family and the Marinkovich family. Uprising Seeds and High Mowing Seed companies have also made generous donations, in addition to other kind and much-appreciated community-minded contributors listed on the following posts.
Declan designed and made us the lovely cedar information podiums around the garden with local materials he gathered from Bill Maas and  Dave Hall. 

Last fall our chapter also supplied the school with greens, beans, squash and garlic gleaned from local farms at the end of their seasons by Land & Sea volunteers. We've also grown and supplied snap peas, beans, and squash in our garden on Blair and Second, and now have garlic, peas, and beans planted. In addition to salad greens and a number of other starts now getting taller by the minute at our greenhouse on the west side of the island.

If you'd like to read more about the Land & Sea Slow Food  Garden, scroll down the page to find our earliest post, then read your way back up the page. It's really great to have you visit! To take part, or get on our Land & Sea mailing list, contact, call 317-5890. or stop by the garden when you see volunteers out there working. Everyone is welcome. 
Great things come out of this little place!

Look at upcoming posts, and at the informational podiums at the garden for info on things like: What does 'nitrogen fixing' mean? How do we keep away deer? And which weeds, pests, and beneficial insects we are encountering in the garden? We will do our best to keep the podiums updated - we are also happy to have volunteers who'd like to do artwork, writing, or photographing for these informational stands. If you have an idea, let us know, we'll do our best to help you make it happen.

Please look at information in earlier posts, directly below, which also can be seen on the informational podiums at our garden. These cedar podiums also contain info on what is planted now, and other tidbits about gardening and what's going on in the garden.
We will try to keep this page updated. Posts are upcoming on the tree pruning workshop we had last month, and on possible new beds, and other simple additions to the garden.

To find out more, visit our main page and "About' page, or contact Linda, Maureen, and Marion at or call 360-317-5890

And visit the Land & Sea garden on Blair Ave and Second St. in Friday Harbor, across from the High School and Middle School on Blair, and from the Courthouse on Second St. It's everyone's garden!


MULCHED WITH HAYLAGE THOUGHTFULLY DONATED BY BRUCE AND COLLEEN FROM MITCHELL BAY FARM. Colleen called and suggested we pile on some of this lovely hay to protect the soil for winter's cold, and enrich the soil, too. Bruce and Colleen roll hay into bundles and wrap them in plastic - they look like big marshmallows - and allow the hay to break down and slightly ferment, making a nutritious feast for animals and soil that smells like root beer!

Matt and Lucy consulting on planting methods.

Food for us workers from Bruce's garden and kitchen!
Bruce doing a great job of teaching us all what to do next!

Shann and Claudia go right to work getting that garlic going.

Linda, Lucy and Maureen getting those cloves in the row.
Candace and Bruce, with Shann & Matt.

This was a great day with Bruce Robinson, Shann, Claudia, Candace, Linda, Lucy, Matt and Maureen, and others who dropped in for a moment or two, planting garlic in the garden!

New - Work Party and Pruning Workshop!!

Tree Pruning Workshop For Older Trees This Sat. at Land & Sea Garden on Blair Ave! 

Trees in late summer
Hi Everyone! 
This Saturday, for anyone interested in learning a bit about pruning older fruit trees - The apple and pear trees located at our Land & Sea Garden site on Blair St. across from the High School and Middle School will be pruned this Saturday, at 10 am. 

This simple workshop will be about an hour long, and will be of help to people who have older fruit trees.
If you're interested in attending, please let us know
by emailing back to or call Linda at 317-5890 (leave a message).
We hope to film the pruning - wish us luck!
Not summer anymore - in fact it's last week! Photos: Linda DC

Below are photos from last Saturday's work party at the Land & Sea Garden. 
Thanks Mariya, Helen, Scott, Bruce, Tasha and little ones, Jesse and daughter, Maureen, Lucy, Linda and everyone for coming out in the cold weather!! Our garlic is looking good, and now favas and peas are planted, too!!
Look for our expanded garden soon!!

Photos: Linda Degnan Cobos

Below,  the lovely little starts in our DMRS Greenhouse on the sunny (sometimes) westside of the island, up in the highlands! Soon these starts will be ready for transplanting!! Thank you to our generous friend for the wonderful space!

Photos: Linda Degnan Cobos

New - Work Party and Pruning Workshop!!

Fun in Our Garden!!!
Moving Garlic, Planting Favas/Peas (3/5/11), and 
Free Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop (3/12/11)

Garden manager Scott and Land & Sea invite you to come to a work party this Saturday, March 5th at 10 am at the Land & Sea Garden on Blair St. across from the High School/Middle School. 
Scott says "I would like to move one row of garlic plants and put a few rows of favas and peas in the garden this Saturday."
The next Saturday (3/12/11), we'll be sponsoring a workshop on pruning fruit trees, at the lovely old apples and pear tree  at our garden site  
(that's Blair St, across from the high school and middle school).  
Saturday March 12, 10 am.

Scott says: "Can we send out a request for volunteers/workshop attendees for both of these?"

If you'd like to come, just show up at 10 am. We'll have some hand tools for the work party, but you can bring your own if you'd like.
Questions? Write,
or call 317-5890
L & S co-leaders: Linda Degnan Cobos and Maureen Marinkovich


THE LAND & SEA GARDEN GARLIC PLANTING WORKSHOP WITH LONG-TIME ISLANDER, GARDENER AND TEACHER BRUCE ROBINSON WILL BE AT THE GARDEN BETWEEN BLAIR, 2ND AND REED STREETS - One PM this Sat. 10/16. We'll plant 3 rows of garlic starts donated by Bruce for use by the wonderful Food for Thought SJ Island School Lunch Program started and run by Liz Varvaro and Andy Radziolowski. We should be working for a couple of hours - arrive when you can, and wear your gardening clothes!
Small but mighty, with more to come! (Ozette & Haida potatoes & squash, to follow.)

String beans (FH Middle School in the background, left photo)/Below, Eleanor is a hunter/gatherer . All photos Linda DC

Hi Everyone!
Here are lovely pictures of our first harvest! - string beans picked in the twilight last week (we couldn't wait - the deer were starting to look just a bit too hungry). These beans were donated to Andy and Liz at the school's Food for Thought lunch program started and run by all San Juan islanders, with initial support from Land & Sea.
We're planning on putting in garlic and kale and harvesting potatoes next week - stay tuned here and through email for details.To add your name to our email list, contact Right now Maureen's getting our events calendar updated, too - we'll link to that as soon as it's ready!

And - the amazing Food for Thought program started by Andy & Liz will take up our suggestion to create a food broker/farm liason intern position for students at the high school, and we'll continue to support that however we can. That's been an important missing link for getting local food at good prices into schools, and we are happy that the idea looks like it will take root! This can be great training for a young person - developing relationships, putting together a calling schedule and a system to contact farmers and supply the kitchen - basically, learning to be a food broker - which is something the islands also desperately need on the commercial level between restaurants and growers. And it would be one more way to get good working relationships between the kitchen and people who might not have lots of connections with the school. Good all around!
We're so lucky on our island to have an amazing woman working as a link between our local producers and our local Co Op, serving as a role model for this internship! Above, 2 photos of Eleanor, the beautiful Patron Saint of Hunter - Gatherers.
Eleanor Hartmann stocks our miracle of a San Juan Community Co Op with the most wonderful locally grown foods she and Anna Spears search out and gather from our islands and all over our region, and from family farms in parts of rural Oregon - and not only that, but also serves on the Co Op board, too. Eleanor volunteers and on her own time has introduced herself to our island farmers and food artisans, then has gone out into the field to bring back what they make and grow.
What a great example of making things happen!
October is sign up time at the San Juan Community Co Op, to renew or if you want to join.
Don't miss out on the local bounty while you're there! Vegetables, fruits, nuts, honey, milk, eggs, cheese, juice, poultry, seafood, fresh and preserved meats, ice cream, breads and baked goods at very good prices!


Click on photos to enlarge.

Location: Land & Sea Garden is located in the open field bordered by Blair Ave, Reed St. and 2nd Street in Friday Harbor, directly across from the County Courthouse on 2nd and across Blair Ave from Friday Harbor High School and Middle School. Look for the sunflowers and apple and pear trees.

Land & Sea is the Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA chapter of Slow Food USA. In an agreement with our county, our new organic garden began this June on Blair Ave and 2nd Street in Friday Harbor.
Informational podiums around the garden describe our new garden, what it's for, its history, and what's currently planted. We're now almost ready for our Ozette and Haida potatoes to be harvested, rows to be weeded and turned, and garlic, leeks, and kale to be planted!

Our garden's thriving with care from Land & Sea volunteers Ryan Browne, Jared Wellington, Kelly, Michelle Lyons, Scott, Albert, Linda, Maureen, Sophie, Lucy, Marion, Albert, and Tim and with contributions from Harbor Rental, San Juan Masonic Lodge #175, Browne Lumber, our friend Declan, Bill Maas, Dave Hall, Scott C.S.A. Garden Manager at Heritage Farm, Eric Ellison, Madrona Murphy, Maureen Marinkovich, Linda Degnan Cobos, garden mother Marion, Tim McGee our wise garden advisor, Albert Strasser (rototiller - never did mention that), and a wonderful county, San Juan County!

Our garden produce will be donated by Land & Sea to the San Juan Island School District's home-grown, island-originated lunch program headed by Liz Varvaro, "Food for Thought". Land & Sea offered logistical and community outreach support to help initiate the program, and we are very happy to now make our new chapter garden and its produce available to the lunch program for meals and the garden available for learning opportunities.
We have also just been given the use of a beautiful greenhouse on the west side of the island that currently is home to 5 potted basil plants, and we are making plans for the growing of greens and culinary herbs.

Our chapter also will continue our volunteer gleaning program, gleaning produce from local farms to help, too. Chef Andy and Liz are looking forward to using potatoes, squash, and beans from this June's very late planting, and are advising us on what the school lunch program can use next from our garden to help guide our next planting choices.

Write to to let us know if you'd like to provide organic seeds or starts for the garden, gardening tools, are willing to teach a workshop on any related subject, or, have another great idea of how you'd like to help.

For MORE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION about the first days of the garden, SEE EARLIER POSTS BY clicking on "See Older Posts", below.


Rows of Ozette and Haida potatoes, rows of beans squash, and sunflowers (plus a few zinnias , marigolds, and a little basil)
all photos by Linda DC

Wide-angle of Land & Sea garden in its lovely field

Generous island resident Declan - skilled carpenter and craftsman - with a beautiful cedar/plexi podium to the right. That's a post hole digger and a pick in his hand - did we also mention he's a hard worker?

Our fantastic irrigation system, purchased with funds donated by the greathearted San Juan Masonic Lodge # 175, & installed by our good friend, garden advisor, and Mason, Tim McGee.

Look at those nobby, rich-smelling Ozettes!

Young garden gnomes lurking among the many flowers. Yes, they're friendly!!
And all those stakes? They're from Browne's Home Center. Thanks, Nancy!
Foggy day in Friday Harbor-town

Still life of of garden, with podiums

Garden manager Albert Strasser, with a handful of earth & some of the earliest potatoes. Potato blossoms in photo above (they smell like clean laundry) and bean blossoms, in all their purple-ness, below
sunflower leaves framing the middle school in the distance, with a ladybug nestled in the lower left there somewhere; and a squash getting more colorful and bigger by the minute.

Albert turning honey-bee before heading off to his second year at Colorado.

One more picture of a podium, and a side view of our garden plot, cleared of sod with a sod remover (like slicing butter!!) from wonderful Harbor Rental. Thanks, you guys!!
In the forefront, left, are some of the old apple and pear trees who keep watch over our garden.

Hi !

What has been going on in our Land & Sea Garden? So much!!

In June our many volunteers removed sod at our lovely plot with help from Harbor Rental, then tilled and furrowed (and found some wire worms), planted beans, Ozette and Haida potatoes, sunflowers, and winter squash, installed a great irrigation system financed by the SJ Masonic Lodge, and today, installed informational podiums to tell you all about it!