Farm Walks

  • Date: Thursday, Nov. 10
  • Time: 12:30-5 p.m.
  • Track: Farm Walks

We’ll be visiting Hayshaker Farm (College Place, WA) and Natural Selection Farms (Sunnyside, WA). Farm Walk attendees will choose which farm they want to tour after registering. Space is limited. Farm Walks are not included in Tilth Conference registration — be sure to add your ticket(s) when signing up.

Lunch and transportation included.

Hayshaker Farm

Chandler Briggs and his fellow farmers operate Hayshaker Farm and the Walla Walla Food Hub year-round on an 8-acre plot of prime soil on the urban boundary of College Place and Walla Walla, using horses, tractors, and humans to power the production of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. While the farm is not certified organic, they do spread compost, use organic fertilizers and potting soils, plant cover crops, and grow flowers for beneficial insects, seeking to caretake this special plot leaving it better than they found it. In their search for more sustainable practices, the farm also is pursuing that concept in work/life balance and fair pay.

Come explore and learn about this unique and progressive approach to production as our resident farmer guides us through mixed-powered farm production, the growing and processing of chicory varieties, and a look at their other winter greens production in tunnels and outdoors. As a bonus, Lane Selman of the Culinary Breeding Network and Cassie Woolhiser of Chicory Week will provide additional expertise on the burgeoning local market for this favorite bitter vegetable, why chicories are excellent crops for Northwest growers and eaters, and why many believe that radicchio is the best topping for pizza (sorry, arugula).

Natural Selection Farms

Situated in the Yakima Valley and nestled into the southern slopes of Snipes Mountain just east of the Yakima River, Natural Selection Farms is a third generation, predominately organic, family-owned farming operation.

As one of the largest permitted composting facilities in eastern Washington, Natural Selection Farms developed their recycling programs to provide nutrients for their own production but have since expanded to serve growers across the Columbia Basin. As part of this service they provide drop-off and collection services for most organic products. Along with the compost production, Natural Selection Farms manages a biosolids program and a commercial oilseed production facility.

Join us as we explore this diverse farming operation. Family members from Natural Selection Farms will guide us on a tour of their recycling and composting operation, describe the management strategies used in production, and illustrate how they integrate the two as a means towards closing the loop.