Organic 3: Common Sense Approaches to Organic from a Fruit Grower, Seed Producer, Wine Producer, and Produce Farmer

  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 28
  • Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
  • Speakers: Nestor Garcia, Blue Gem Farms; Katie Jagger, Saltwater Seeds; Mark Green, Wild Hare Organic Farm; Kiva and Jazmin Dobson, Klickitat Canyon Winery
  • Location: Bldg. 202, Room 2
  • Track: Track B

Four Certified Organic farmers with different crops, markets, size, and geographies will present how they take a commonsense approach to organic. Nestor discusses his “middle ground” approach to organic, including how he transitions apples from conventional to organic, why he chooses to keep his berries conventional, and lessons learned about equipment and best practices. Katie demonstrates how to keep organic recordkeeping manageable and not burdensome. Kiva presents the benefits and challenges of organic production under both a crop and processor scope for his winery, including being a niche market and having trouble finding organic inputs and processors. He relays how doing the paperwork helps him analyze costs and make changes in production. Mark will present his “in the moment” approach for keeping records for production and sales, including how he maintains an email thread on the spot that he can easily turn into a spreadsheet later.

A limited number of seats in this educational session are being offered for free by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). If you’d like to attend without registering for the rest of the Tilth Conference, please sign up here.

About the Speakers

  • Nestor Garcia

    Blue Gem Farms

    Nestor Garcia was born in Venezuela, grew up partly in Mexico, and studied in the U.S. He married his beautiful wife there and now has four wonderful children. He studied ag-business at BYU-Idaho and is an agriculture entrepreneur growing organic apples, cherries, and berries in eastern Washington. He enjoys the outdoors and is passionate about accomplishing challenging projects.

  • Katie Jagger

    Saltwater Seeds

    Katie Jagger has been farming organically since 2004.  She currently co-owns Saltwater Seeds, a certified organic seed company producing and selling seeds on the Olympic Peninsula. From 2006-2015 she managed a small-scale intensive CSA farm in Rhode Island, and more recently assisted in plant breeding work with Organic Seed Alliance. Currently, in addition to her responsibilities with Saltwater Seeds, Katie teaches garden classes to local elementary school students. She lives and farms in Sequim, WA.

  • Mark Green

    Wild Hare Organic Farm

    Mark and Katie Green run Wild Hare Organic Farm outside of Tacoma, WA, where they raise market vegetables, berries and chicken eggs for a 300-member year round CSA program. They have been farming for 16 years, cultivate about 15 acres a year, and occasionally take weekends off.

  • Kiva and Jazmin Dobson

    Klickitat Canyon Winery

    Kiva Dobson and his wife Jazmin own a small family farm that started as a winery in 1993. Organic and restorative agriculture was always at the forefront of their efforts. When they became organic in 2007, they were making wine. Now the farm grows fruits and vegetables, makes value-added processed foods including infused vinegars and hummus/pesto, and raises livestock. They have dealt with most aspects of organic certification and have experienced challenges and benefits as a one-man organization growing to an organization with several employees.