Debby Hatch

Debby posted 41 stories to Islands' Weekly.
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Horse Drawn Farm's pickin' trailer provides a moveable home for pigs and chickens.

Green Living: Horse Drawn Farm

Stop by Horse Drawn Farm’s self-serve farm stand on Port Stanley Road…

  • Jun 8th, 2011 6:50pm
Horse Drawn Farm's pickin' trailer provides a moveable home for pigs and chickens.
Lopez sheep farmer Don Burt with his sheep.

The First Annual Lopez Lamb and Wool Festival

 The First Annual Lopez Lamb and Wool Festival will fill the Lopez…

  • May 10th, 2011 5:44pm
Lopez sheep farmer Don Burt with his sheep.
Gardner Carol Noyes spreads Jewel-toned beans on the table. Noyes grows a variety of beans despite challenges.

If you like a challenge, grow beans

Home gardeners like a challenge and will often go to great lengths…

  • May 10th, 2011 5:42pm
Gardner Carol Noyes spreads Jewel-toned beans on the table. Noyes grows a variety of beans despite challenges.
Blossom Grocery owners Jennell and Brian Kvistad and children Samuel and Freda.

Green Living, Blossom Grocery: Making a Difference

If we are what we eat, what does the food we buy…

  • Mar 8th, 2011 10:37pm
Blossom Grocery owners Jennell and Brian Kvistad and children Samuel and Freda.

The New Planting Year Continues!

Vegetable gardeners who enjoy a challenge have already begun their 2011 planting,…

  • Feb 8th, 2011 7:34pm

Green Living, the new planting year begins.

It’s January and for passionate vegetable gardeners in our temperate, maritime climate,…

  • Feb 1st, 2011 6:31pm
Gingerbread people ornaments at Holly B’s Bakery ready to decorate holiday homes.

Tasty holiday gifts from Holly B’s kitchen

Gingerbread people and loaves of stollen from Holly B’s Bakery on Lopez are wonderful, local holiday gifts, but if you weren’t lucky enough to get to the bakery before it closed for the season, take heart! You can still bake your own.

  • Dec 12th, 2010 9:00am
Gingerbread people ornaments at Holly B’s Bakery ready to decorate holiday homes.
Seasonal vegetables for the Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving reverie

It’s November and people are planning Thanksgiving dinner menus and inviting friends and family.

  • Nov 5th, 2010 11:47pm
Seasonal vegetables for the Thanksgiving table
Diane’s display garden at Heritage Farm with Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glories covering the barn.

A field trip: Seed Savers Exchange

For me and for many of my vegetable gardening friends, the Seed Savers Exchange Catalog and the annual Seed Savers Yearbook are favorite sources of heirloom seeds.

  • Oct 9th, 2010 12:42am
Diane’s display garden at Heritage Farm with Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glories covering the barn.
Plant rutabaga now and you can harvest it this winter

Plant your winter roots now!

I’ve been gardening in the Pacific Northwest for 30 years and I’m…

  • Sep 17th, 2010 6:25pm
Plant rutabaga now and you can harvest it this winter
Blake Johnston and Julie Bottjen hold two of their Cornish Cross meat chickens.

Pasture-raised chickens: It can be done

There is a lot of interest in grass-fed, pastured, humanely raised cattle, sheep, pigs and goats. Especially with the recent 10th anniversary of the Island Grown Farmers Cooperative and its Mobile Slaughter Unit that have made raising these animals profitable for local farmers.

  • Sep 10th, 2010 11:41pm
Blake Johnston and Julie Bottjen hold two of their Cornish Cross meat chickens.
The mobile meat processing unit has its ninth anniversary this year.

Happy 10th anniversary, IGFC

This fall is the tenth anniversary of the Island Grown Farmers Cooperative. It is also the ninth year of USDA-inspected meat processing with the IGFC’s Mobile Slaughter Unit and its cut and wrap facility in Bow.

  • Sep 3rd, 2010 11:53pm
The mobile meat processing unit has its ninth anniversary this year.
Below: Islanders gather in the Ag Tent for another event.

Visit the Ag Tent at the San Juan County Fair!

Locally Grown is the theme of this year’s San Juan County Fair, Aug.18-21.

  • Aug 7th, 2010 12:24am
Below: Islanders gather in the Ag Tent for another event.
Above: Rug by Debbie Hayward woven of Lopez wool in the traditional

‘Native plants, textiles, baskets: Inspired by traditions of the Salish Sea’

“Native Plants, Textiles, Baskets:  Inspired by Traditions of the Salish Sea” is the new show opening at Chimera Gallery June 12, and continuing through July 9.

  • Jun 6th, 2010 9:00am
Above: Rug by Debbie Hayward woven of Lopez wool in the traditional
The Zapalac family

Keeping a family cow

June is “Dairy Month,” a designation begun in 1937 by the National Dairy Council as a way to encourage milk drinking and support dairy farmers. But before there were dairy associations promoting the milk, cream, butter, ice cream, yogurt and cheese we buy in markets today, many families had their own cow. And here on Lopez some still do.

  • Jun 4th, 2010 11:41pm
The Zapalac family

Preserving farmland by farming

Those who’ve lived in the San Juan Islands for many years remember farms large enough to sustain a herd of dairy cows and operate a dairy or to raise large numbers of hogs, sheep or cattle and grow fields of grain to feed them.

  • May 7th, 2010 11:45pm
Rows of bush beans and pole beans in the Hatch garden

Beans, beans and more beans!

Maybe it comes from growing up in New England eating baked beans in the winter and shell beans in the summer, but for as long as I’ve had a garden I’ve grown beans, not for the pods but for the seeds inside. Occasionally I’ll meet another bean lover and we’ll talk like long-lost relatives, members of the happy family of bean growers and eaters. Lately, with current interests in local food and food security, I’ve met other gardeners who want to join the bean family. Here’s what I share from my experience with varieties, planting, shelling and eating.

  • Apr 9th, 2010 10:19pm
Rows of bush beans and pole beans in the Hatch garden

Grow a row to share

When Lopezian Denise McIntosh heard about Grow a Row from a friend in Friday Harbor, “I got an instant picture of exactly what it was. I think it would make sense to most people.” After attending the Jan. 30 Lopez Community Land Trust Food Charrette and learning of food needs on Lopez, Denise decided to create a Grow a Row project here.

  • Mar 6th, 2010 12:57am
Kevin Murphy and Mary Hayton begin spring pruning in their Lopez orchard.

Pruning Fruit Trees

It’s time to prune fruit trees and there are many print and Internet resources for guidance if you’re new to pruning or want to review. Another great resource is friends with experience pruning who will let you tag along as they prune.

  • Feb 6th, 2010 1:06am
Kevin Murphy and Mary Hayton begin spring pruning in their Lopez orchard.
The author

Why we grow vegetable gardens

For all of us who grow vegetable gardens, the New Year is a good time to pause and consider why we choose to spend our time planting and harvesting food. There’s the food, of course, but as a sampling of Lopez gardeners reveals, there’s also a sense of self-reliance and most of all there’s the garden itself.

  • Jan 11th, 2010 6:08am
The author
Renewing grain farming on Lopez

Renewing grain farming on Lopez

Two ways to harvest grain: David Zapalac’s cradle scythe and Gary Buffum’s combine.

  • Oct 9th, 2009 11:43pm
Renewing grain farming on Lopez
Lopez School Garden: good for the kitchen and the classroom

Lopez School Garden: good for the kitchen and the classroom

Lorri Swanson admires the Scarlet Emperor runner beans which students will study this year in class.

  • Sep 4th, 2009 11:26pm
Lopez School Garden: good for the kitchen and the classroom
Susan Corning of Synergy Farm

Under Cover Greens

Green living

  • Aug 13th, 2009 10:37pm
Susan Corning of Synergy Farm
Raspberries: The Back Story

Raspberries: The Back Story

Crowfoot Farm UPick raspberries will be ripe soon.

  • Jul 13th, 2009 4:49pm
Raspberries: The Back Story
Sweetwater Shellfish: Farming the Sea

Sweetwater Shellfish: Farming the Sea

Nick Jones checks Sweetwater Shellfish oysters. In the background, Robin Minkler digs clams.

  • Jun 6th, 2009 12:03am
Sweetwater Shellfish: Farming the Sea
Farmers’ Markets: More than Produce, Arts or Crafts
Farmers’ Markets: More than Produce, Arts or Crafts
The Islands Certified Local (ICL) program was developed by the ARC to promote local agricultural products.

Preserving Farmland and Foodshed

When I read ARC (Agricultural Resources Committee) Farmland Preservation Coordinator Tim Clark’s article “Mapping our Foodshed” in last July’s Project Home, it was busy mid-summer so I put the article aside. Still, the idea of making maps that tell us what is grown in San Juan County, where it’s grown, and how much farmland is left intrigued me, so this winter I called Tim to find out more. He arrived with maps and data and optimism for what the project can contribute to preserving farmland and sustaining our farmers and food supply.

  • Apr 11th, 2009 3:42am
The Islands Certified Local (ICL) program was developed by the ARC to promote local agricultural products.
Maxine Bronstein skirts a just-sheared Lopez fleece.

Island Fibers: A Slow Fiber Experience

Ever wonder what happens to all the wool from Lopez sheep? For the past year and a half, a lot of it has ended up with Maxine Bronstein and Debbie Hayward at their Lopez business Island Fibers.

  • Mar 7th, 2009 12:37am
Maxine Bronstein skirts a just-sheared Lopez fleece.

Grafting Fruit Trees: Why Not?

If you’re spending some of these winter days pouring over fruit tree catalogs, imagining new plums and cherries, pears and apples, maybe you should add grafting to your studies. Learning what it is, how it’s done and why people do it may inspire you to graft some new varieties onto your existing trees or start some new trees that strike your fancy.

  • Feb 10th, 2009 5:48pm

Tasting apples

Bite into a slice of apple and ask yourself: crisp or soft; sweet or tart; juicy or dry; fresh or in pie, sauce, juice, or cider? That’s what small groups of Lopezians have been doing at November evening apple tastings hosted by Elf Fay and Eric Hall at their Crowfoot Farm.

  • Dec 5th, 2008 10:57pm
Steve Jones

In the San Juans, a future for grain

One challenge to an all-island diet is finding locally grown grains. With this challenge in mind, 30 islanders, many with experience growing and harvesting grains here, met in Friday Harbor in late September for a WSU Extension workshop titled “Growing Grains.”

  • Nov 7th, 2008 10:10pm
Steve Jones

Local cider: a perfect summer drink

Why am I writing about cider in May? Because, as Rich Anderson of Westcott Bay Cider explained to me, “It’s a perfect summer drink. It’s a little lighter than beer and has less alcohol than wine.”

  • Nov 4th, 2008 9:08pm
Lopez beekeepers Mary Hayton and Kevin Murphy prepare to check a hive.

Bees and beekeeping

Honeybees are a presence in many Lopez gardens. I’d noticed them most recently in my mid-September garden, busy on the purple blooms of anise hyssop and summer savory. Wanting to know more about bees and beekeeping, I called Kevin Murphy and Mary Hayton, whose hives I’d noticed in their garden off Farm Road.

  • Oct 14th, 2008 5:40pm
Lopez beekeepers Mary Hayton and Kevin Murphy prepare to check a hive.
From left to right: Lopez farmers Kathryn Thomas

Lopez’s Horse Drawn Farm teaches farming apprentices

How do you learn to farm? If you didn’t grow up with farmers, you could apprentice yourself to some. That’s what Eleanor Burke and Andre Entermann have been doing with Ken Akopiantz and Kathryn Thomas at Horse Drawn Farm on Lopez since March and plan to continue doing for another year and a half.

  • Sep 11th, 2008 7:14pm
From left to right: Lopez farmers Kathryn Thomas

Lopez resident Christine Langley keeps greens growing into winter

“I know it’s spring when I can buy Christine’s greens again,” a friend said at the end of last winter. The self-serve bins of Christine Langley’s Local Harvest Lettuce Blend and Island Greens appear in early April at Blossom and Lopez Village Market, and the greens keep coming until November.

  • Aug 14th, 2008 4:35pm
Kathryn Thomas leads oxen Giz and Red and Debby Hatch steers the cultivator at Horse Drawn Farms.

Everyone should have oxen

Drive along Baker View Road on Lopez toward Spencer Spit and it’s likely that you’ll see a car or two pulled over and people taking pictures of Ken Akopiantz leading a team of oxen yoked to a cultivator and Kathryn Thomas sitting on the cultivator guiding it through the rows of vegetables.

  • Jul 16th, 2008 4:14pm
Kathryn Thomas leads oxen Giz and Red and Debby Hatch steers the cultivator at Horse Drawn Farms.
Todd Goldsmith and a favorite chicken.

Lopez chicken farmers show reporter the ropes

Have you ever thought about raising a few chickens in your backyard? Talking with Todd Goldsmith and Diane Dear of T&D Farms, who have 88 Barred Rock laying hens, I learned that raising chickens is one part worry, one part daily chores and one part entertainment.

  • Jun 18th, 2008 11:14pm
Todd Goldsmith and a favorite chicken.
New kids Cream

Raising kids 101

Baby goats, baby animals of any kind, are so cute. Watching them frolic about this time of year, it’s easy to assume that everything else about them is just as carefree.

  • Jun 17th, 2008 8:01pm
New kids Cream
Images of spring vegetables encourage January garden planning.

Advice for the new year’s garden

With the 2008 seed catalogs showing up in mailboxes, tempting gardeners and non-gardeners with glossy, color photos of luscious vegetables, each whispering, "what food could be more local than vegetables you grow yourself?"

  • Jun 17th, 2008 4:51pm
Images of spring vegetables encourage January garden planning.
The Vortex sign welcomes diners to the Lopez Village Juice Bar and Cafe.

Vortex: a gathering place to eat local food

We can eat fresh, local, seasonal meals by buying food from Lopez…

  • Jun 17th, 2008 4:46pm
The Vortex sign welcomes diners to the Lopez Village Juice Bar and Cafe.