F.A. Farm

  (Ferndale, Washington)
Postmodern Agriculture - Food With Full Attention
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Sustainability at the Stein

Last night we had our first Sustainability at the Stein group night. The Frank N Stein is a local brewpub (smallest brewpub in America!) owned by Lloyd Zimmerman and located in Ferndale, Washington. They are open Wednesdays - Saturdays, starting at 5 pm. This is my regular hangout on Wednesday nights, so Lloyd and I decided to do an informal casual meeting on Wednesdays at 6 pm (approximately - this is Ferndale). Last night was our first night and there were 6 of us, including my significant other and myself. Three of the other people were backyard gardeners wanting to increase production and the other person is doing a startup business based on selling local products, featuring both crafts and agricultural produce. I also got my Fedco seed order yesterday, so I delivered the seeds to one person who had ordered cooperatively with me. The idea was to bring at least one topic to the table and let the talk flow. This worked quite well. As most of my friends know, I hate meetings and corporate mindsets, so the informal atmosphere, availability of beer and comfy chairs was conducive to good discussion. The topic I brought last night was sprouts, since I am currently flogging sprouts as a cheap, easy alternative to storebought winter greens. We usually have greens in the garden all winter up here in the rain belt, but this winter was colder than usual and my broccoli, chard, mustard mix, collards, mache, etc. are all frozen out. (I don't have a greenhouse or hoop tunnel.) For those of you who read my blogs, I did a blog on sprouts earlier on this forum. At last night's meeting, I brought several jars with sprouts in various stages of growth and the radish sprouts were the most popular. The discussion also spread to bio-charcoal, late blight in tomatoes and the local farmers market. We want to continue this informal group night into the indefinite future and I invite anyone in the area to stop by. The beer is good and also cheap by Bellingham standards. I like this concept of maximum flexibility with people just showing up but having something to contribrute. What I don't want to see is someone coming by with a product to sell and a polished pitch. I really dislike branding and other aspects of the corporate playbook. In fact, I am starting to read Naomi Klein's No Logo (2000), which is all about the rise of branding and problems created by mega-corporations who buy outsourced products, slap a brand on them and market the brand, not the product. But . . . that is fuel for another blog. 
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