May 21 will be the first of six Washington farm walks sponsored by Tilth Producers and the WSU Small Farms Program.

Gibbs Organic Produce in Leavenworth will host a session on organic mechanics. Farmer and mechanic Grant Gibbs and "Ask Albert" Roberts of Pine Stump Farm will work on two Massey-Ferguson tractors, one diesel- and one gas-powered. Participants will learn how to do a spring tune-up and see the inner workings of a motor.

* On Monday, June 4, Hama Hama Oyster Co. in Lilliwaup will demonstrate sustainable shellfish production. Lissa and Adam James farm oysters and clams on 100 acres of tide flats using old-fashioned, natural catch methods alongside state-of-the-art shellfish aquaculture.

* On Friday, June 15, Pride and Joy Dairy in Granger will host a session on organic raw milk dairy and agritourism. Cheryl and Allen Voortman's certified organic farm is modeled after New Zealand dairy operations that graze livestock exclusively on pasture. This provides their mix of Jersey, Holstein, Ayrshire, Swedish Red and Normandy breeds an agronomically diverse, low-stress life that keeps cows in production for 12 years, rather than the typical four.

* On Monday, June 25, Sunfield Farm at Port Hadlock will demonstrate the interaction of a Waldorf educational program with a biodynamic farm. The direct-marketing farm, which integrates vegetables, fruit and rotational grazing, actively engages children of Sunfield School and community members in the farm operation.

* On Monday, July 9, Doubletree Farm in Twisp will demonstrate horse-powered livestock production. Farmers Sam Thrasher and Paul Soodak produce vegetables, beef and pork, as well as hay and grains for the family milk cow and laying hens.

* On Monday, Aug. 6, Double Diamond Fruit Co. in Quincy will host a presentation on sustainability in a large-scale fruit production. Warren Morgan Orchards, which farms about 300 acres of apples, cherries and apricots, established Double Diamond to store, pack and sell the fruit. New technologies are continually being evaluated such as tower sprayers, compost tea, mow and blow, and platforms for workers.

Paid pre-registration -- $15 for Tilth Producers members, students and interns; $25 for non-members -- is recommended for all the farm walks.

Information, directions and registration: organic@tilthproducers.org, www.tilthproducers.org or 206-632-7506.

-- Steve Brown

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