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 10 – Building with Nature

Building with Nature If you’ve lived in the Skagit Valley for any length of time, you’ve no doubt heard talk and seen reports on Chinook salmon recovery efforts. A lot of committed, caring people representing many different points of view, … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 9 – To Be A Farmer

Ever wonder what it takes to be a farmer? After all, it’s an uncertain way to make a living. Few other vocations are so dependent on factors that simply cannot be controlled. Weather alone has an impact that can run … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 8 – 4H

  4-H: Head, Heart, Hands and Health  What do animal husbandry, science and engineering technology, performing arts, photography, vegetable gardening and archery have in common? These and many other pursuits are all learning opportunities through 4-H. The Skagit County Fair-along … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 7 – Latitude, Day Length and Our Growing Season

In a previous post of The Dirt, we touched on the issue of climate and its contribution to successful farming in the Skagit Valley. In this month’s edition we are exploring how latitude and day length contribute to the characteristics … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 6 – Water, Water… Everywhere?

Last year at this time the agricultural outlook of the Skagit Valley was threatened by drought. While our 2014-2015 winter precipitation was slightly higher than normal, warm temperatures kept it from being stored as snowpack. By mid-June 2015 the snowpack … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 5 – Agriculture Meets Tourism

The search for somewhere natural and serene is one of the most popular getaways in the 21st century.  These days, that quest is increasingly being met through “Agri-tourism”– a conjoined term that loosely stands for the intersection between agriculture and … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 4 – Agriculture is “Growing” at the Port

For more than two decades, the Skagit agricultural community has been calling for an Agricultural Industrial Park to be established.  Twenty-six years on, that goal has been realized in very exciting ways at the Port of Skagit. The concept of … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 3 – What is Pinning?

Twice each year, a highly unusual “sharing of the soils” takes place at the WSU-NW Research & Extension Center here in Mount Vernon. The event is called a “pinning” and the participants are representatives of seed companies looking to secure … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue 2 – All About Climate

We all know the Skagit is special. One of the biggest reasons for that is our climate, forged as it is, from a happy confluence of topography, latitude and the over-arching influence of the Pacific Ocean and its prevailing westerly … Continue reading

The Dirt Issue I – Introducing the DIRT

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Magic Skagit.” It can mean various things, but without question, one of the biggest magic-making factors around here is the soils of the Skagit Valley. Back in 1940, a seven-year long survey of the then … Continue reading