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 #49 – Genuine Skagit Valley

For those of us who enthusiastically support Skagit agriculture, it’s hard to believe the following statement, “In general, consumers in the state of Washington are relatively unaware of the Skagit Valley Agricultural Region’s products beyond tulips.” This startling assertion comes … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue #48 – Current Use Tax

Farmland preservation is the stated rationale for the existence of Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland; it’s even in our name. But, we’d be the first to acknowledge that the cause isn’t ours alone. We share it with the voters of Washington … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 47 – Nutrient Management and Soil Health

Soil health has become a mainstream issue as it is increasingly evident that we cannot expect to produce the food, fiber, and even energy we need now and in the future without sound management of soil. In 2019, Washington State … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 46 – Skagit Drainage and Irrigation Districts Consortium

In Skagit County, water—how it’s used and how it’s managed—is a defining issue for many constituencies. With so many claims made on the water supply, the subject of this issue of The Dirt is of paramount importance to the viability … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue – 45 Ag Landlords

As members of Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, you have joined with us in protecting farmland, as farmland, far into the future. So, too, have the subject of this issue of The Dirt—Ag Landlords. Land is the primary input in farming. … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 44- Off- Farming Income

We all know that farming is a business. A farmer produces food, fiber, fuel, or any combination thereof to yield sales. Those sales generate income. They may even generate profit. But do they make a living? Here’s what the government’s … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 43 – Soil Food Web

Have you ever noticed how wonderful—and fresh—healthy fertile soil smells in the spring? The reason for that scent is the presence of certain bacteria that live in the soil. Or, if you’ve ever hiked in the woods on an autumn … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 42 – Feed Your Soil, Feed Your Plants

So far in 2019 we’ve explored three practices that play an important role in soil husbandry. We’ve discussed why so many Skagit Valley farmers rely on v-ditches to remove excess water and keep soils aerated. We’ve also shown how the … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 41 – The Grange

As you visit the various fairs around our area this summer, take note of the strong presence of the Grange. As the oldest surviving agricultural organization in the U.S. you might think its focus is farms and the families who … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 40 – Till vs. No Till

Till? Or No-Till? SPF’s fervor to protect Skagit County farmlands starts with the soil itself. The remarkable characteristics and high nutritive value of native soils has been well known and celebrated for decades. Interest in preserving and enhancing the soil … Continue reading