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 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

The Dirt Issue 22 – Farming in December

A Different Kind of Busy: Farming in December As day length dwindles and all the winter prep appears to be done, you might be led to believe everything is “easy going” for a farmer in winter, but not so.  It … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 21 – Northwest Agricultural Research Foundation

Agricultural Research from the Ground Up From its earliest days as a World War II-era response to severely falling cabbage seed production, the then Northwest Seed and Truck Crop Laboratory, Inc. has been a pivotal and utterly essential contributor to … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 20 – Food Hubs

It’s what we all want, and here’s one way we get it In the last few years, there has been a market-changing shift in what consumers want to eat. The interest in food, its source and how it’s grown have … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 19 – Skagit Valley Ag Outside the Ag Zone

We’re all familiar with the lush, abundantly-productive farmland of the Skagit Delta. Zoned Ag-NRL (Natural Resource Lands), it is comprised of world-renowned prime farmland. But, you’d be wrong if you thought that was the entirety of Skagit agriculture. There are … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 18 – Slow Flowers

Slow down and savor the difference! Delicious food, freshly harvested and eaten while still in the perfect flush of ripeness, is a taste explosion often worlds away from everyday fare. To achieve it, many people have chosen to buy local … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 17 – Sheep and Goats and Alpacas…Oh My!

Driving around the Skagit Valley, you’re immediately struck by the sheer number and diversity of crops grown. But for a more complete picture of Skagit agriculture, we must include a look at livestock. This issue of The Dirt is focused … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 16 – WSU NWREC

Over the last 70 years, it’s hard to imagine a more valuable, more crucial collaboration in Skagit County agriculture than that between the local farming community and researchers at the WSU Northwest Washington Research and Extension Center (NWREC). Extension services … Continue reading