The Dirt

The Dirt is intended to educate, inform, and WOW people about farming in the Skagit Valley.  It is a modest, monthly message designed to give you a behind-the-scenes, fascinating, who-woulda-thought look at Skagit agriculture.

Let us know what you think, pass it on to a friend, or email us with topic ideas.

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The Dirt Issue 32 – Collaborating to Preserve Farmland

Working Together to Preserve Farmland In 1989, an attempt was made to have a nearly 400-acre tract of prime agricultural land alongside I-5 rezoned for an amusement park. On the face of it, it may not have seemed such a … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 31 – Career Technical Education

Career and Technical Education in Agriculture In our modern world, the need to develop and enhance work skills is constantly evolving. Rarely does anyone say anymore, “That’s a good job, a job for life.” Technologies change. Economies change. Marketable skills … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 30 – Dikes & Drainage

Any drive along Skagit Valley farmland features the ubiquitous roadside ditch, but did you know that it’s part of a vast interconnected system that does more than anything else to make the Skagit Valley the agricultural wonder it is?   … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 29 – The Skagit County Fair

Time for the Fair! A highlight of our summers for well over a hundred years, the Skagit County Fair is set to delight, excite and educate again this year. Running from Wednesday, August 8 through Saturday, August 11, the Fair … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 28 – The Bread Lab

A Mighty Driver in a Thriving Local Economy It’s been said that plant breeding operates at the intersection of production, processing and consumption. Here in the Skagit Valley is a revolutionary model of just how well that intersection works—the WSU … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 27 – Agricultural Support Businesses

Last month The Dirt explored the meaning and importance of fully functioning agriculture. This month we want to delve more deeply into agricultural support businesses and their vital role in Skagit Valley agriculture.   In a practical sense we’re talking about a … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 26 – Fully Functioning Agriculture

Ask any farmer in the Skagit Valley what makes this area so special that it’s known as the Magic Skagit and you’ll hear answers like the soil…the climate…the topography…and, very probably, the farmers. All of that is true. What’s also … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 25 – Voluntary Stewardship Program

Farmland preservation is a complicated issue. It’s more than removing development threats so farmland can keep functioning as farmland; it’s also the necessary measures required to keep farming viable. Viable means profitable, of course, and that means getting the most … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 24 – The Case for Conventional Farming… and Organic… and Sustainable…

Conventional, organic, sustainable—these are just three of the many terms used to characterize twenty- first century agriculture. Each has its champions, but what is becoming increasingly evident is a trend toward adopting practices from each growing system as best suits … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 23 – Farming & Flooding in the Skagit Valley

It’s hard to imagine a livelihood more governed by the effects of weather than farming. For a farmer, the weather dictates when a crop can be planted, where it can be planted, and whether successive crops can be planted in … Continue reading