Jan 192011

So where exactly is our informal Transition project? Here’s a brief report:

1. Nancy Ging has put together a bulletin board that a few people are Beta testing to see where the soft spots were. We hope to have this available soon. The point of the bulletin board will be to provide a topic forum for people to ask questions, discuss issues, buy and sell stuff, make their skills and talents known, etc.

2. Gary Pittman is working on an on line survey to gather information about needs and visions and ability or willingness to participate. This will also be announced on line in the near future via this blog and, hopefully through other Lummi Island blogs and The Tome.

3. The Johnny Appleseed Project has been submitted to the Heritage Trust Board and they were receptive. We are in the process of finding answers to questions and concerns.

4. A seed swap is organized and will be at the Gardener’s Network meeting at the fire hall on Feb. 7, 6:30. (Regarding seed, our small local organic seed company, Uprising Organics, now has their seed catalog available. I’ve had great luck with everything I’ve ordered from them).

And, here is Ginny Winfield’s communication on the Seed Swap so you can prepare:

“Here is some information on our seed swap, Monday, February 7th.
We are putting out the word to the Lummi Island gardening community to join the Gardening Network for the seed swap, so let your friends know.
“Since this is the first time we have done this, and I have had a rather challenging last few months, it will be pretty unstructured. The main things are: bring small envelopes, viable seed, and knowledge. We would like the focus to be on seeds from your own garden, or from local companies, and organic/biodynamic. It will be important to have your seeds marked with dates purchased or gathered, company name, organic/biodynamic, or commercial. Also, please pre-package what you can in the quantities you have to share, this will make everything go smoother.

This will also be an opportunity to hear what your gardening neighbors have done in their gardens, plan for another seed swap, and make contacts for exchanging starts.

I have included a link that Barb Pitman told me about from Mother Earth News.
If there is anything you would like to ad, or have questions, please call or email me. Thanks!

~ Ginny”


  5 Responses to “Status Report”

  1. Feb 3rd is a Thursday. That’s training night for the Volunteers, so check your dates.

  2. Excellent.

  3. Dear Randy,
    I don’t have your email but I want to share an article from Edible Seattle. It is called the Farming
    Underground. I found out – quoted from Fred Berman of WSDA that farming internships are illegal
    in Washington State. I think this article is a must read.
    Please tell me how to link this up.
    Jo Ann Philpot

  4. That may well be, with just historical cause, to protect unskilled labor and children from exploitation.

    I doubt though that it’s illegal to ’employ’ independent contractors who work on several home farms, and take their pay in forms like room and board or other (declared) barter.

    Nor should it be illegal for a personal guest to ‘help’ you.

    Concerns come down to enforcement. Is there someone who would object with what you are offering?

    There is likely a legal difference between a farming internship, and a farming education (theory and method) with lab work. Document all the subjects which the course teaches, i.e. composting, aerating soil, crop diagnostics, posture, tool management, and such. If farming is singled out from internship, it’s because it’s perceived as merely ‘free labor’ without returns for the participants. Document otherwise.

    There are so many ways to circumnavigate employment laws, if you are operating in the interests of your participants.

    Another one is to launch a corporation with share holders based around a single harvest outcome, where the corporation (of interns) leases your land. Unfortunately personal ‘effort’ is not something they could deduct as a business loss as independent contractors. As a corporation though, they can theoretically give themselves salaries which are partially paid in barter, the rest of the barter which is written off as a business loss.


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