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Where we are now:
WestWind Farm is located 12 miles from
-Peter & Jane Vanderhoof
Where we were:
WestWind Farm is a dream becoming
true, established at the turn of the century in 2000, the same year we were
married. Our vision for our 56 acres of forest, fields, and Salt Creek is to
establish a viable, sustainable ecosystem where we move toward growing more and
more of our own food and being a working asset for increasing the local
agricultural knowledge base. Our farm is located west of
What we do:
Strive to live sustainably and reduce our ecological footprint
Grow, market, and enjoy organic food
Improve our riparian and forest environments
We grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including: asparagus, artichokes, apples, cherries, blackberries, broccoli, corn, cabbage, beans, peas, strawberries, potatoes, purple and orange carrots, beets, chard, parsnips, celery, leeks, onions, shallots, and are trialing exotic varieties such as sea berries, edible rowan berries and yuzu ichandrin to replace the food and taste value of traditional citrus. We hope to have some fruit to sample in the next year or two.
About 10 acres of the farm are being cultivated. The soils are being developed to provide more room for crop rotations. Our growing practices on 10 acres of fields and orchards are as follows: phasing out of animal/fish based fertilizers and improving soil structure and soil life communities by planting cover crops as a 'green' manure. We use no herbicides, organic or otherwise. The only pesticide we use is for slugs, and it is iron phosphate, a natural mineral. We are still using diesel powered equipment, but most weeding is done by hand. We use drip irrigation because it uses water efficiently. For various reasons, including cost, we have not chosen to certify as organic, though we believe we meet or exceed requirements for certification except for managing the certification process itself.
Salt Creek runs south to north essentially bisecting the farm. The riparian zone is well treed and provides good spawning and rearing habitat for the native coho, steelhead and cutthroat that are at risk along the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Salmon habitat on WestWind Farm's portion of Salt Creek has improved in the nearly 10 years Jane and Peter have owned the land thanks to Peter's diligence and knowledge of habitat restoration.
Our farm offers a year round apprenticeship for learning about food production and distribution, which amounts to room and board in exchange for about 35 hours of work. Bonus and stipend possible after two months or negotiable DOE. Farm related tasks could include cleaning eggs, weeding fields, watering, harvesting, market preparation, seeding trays, fencing, and working on soil improvement.