Transition Whatcom

Food Security Group


Food Security Group

We will be supporting existing community and TW food security-oriented projects, organizations, and the local ag industry; assessing gaps and how to fill them; and starting a plan for dramatically increasing food security in the next 10-20 years.

Location: Art used with permission by Sue Zimmerman
Members: 60
Latest Activity: Jan 11, 2017

Original Greetings Letter from the Food Security Workgroup:
Greetings from the Food Security Workgroup.doc

Good Links for Food Security Information:

Sustainable Connections Food and Farming Program (Sign up for the newsletter on this page)

WSU Extension Office

Discussion Forum


Started by Krista Rome. Last reply by Penny Chambers Jan 11, 2017. 25 Replies

Ok Folks! Take Note! I have created a list of every food I could think of that helps me to eat locally year-round here. I suspect I could be 100% easily, if only I could make the decision to give up…Continue

Roving Garden Party - March 24th

Started by Jamie Jedinak Mar 15, 2015. 0 Replies

ROVING GARDEN PARTY ~  March 24th ~ 6pmWhere: 5463 Noon Rd ~ just a few driveways north of Smith Rd ~ Watch for parking signs!! Parking will be in property next to me, watch for signs!!Requested…Continue

Global Dimming Caused By Chemtrails + Ph Changes Caused by Aluminum Spraying Screws With Food Security

Started by John Hammell. Last reply by John Hammell Oct 15, 2012. 1 Reply

All Gardeners: Please read this article about Global Dimming  We must all learn about weather modification…Continue

invitation to join the planning group for the Whatcom Food Network

Started by Laura R.. Last reply by Penny Chambers May 8, 2012. 19 Replies

Hi folks,re: planning for a food security summit, I've been working with a small group to plan the formation of a food network in Whatcom County, to work toward all of us being coordinated in some…Continue

Tags: summit, food

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Food Security Group to add comments!

Comment by Krista Rome on September 19, 2011 at 11:01am
Riverhaven Farm is hosting a bean & grain threshing party on Sunday Sept 25 from 2-5:30. Also, around 6ish we'll have a fall equinox harvest potluck! So bring your favorite local dish and enjoy the property. Check the Events Page for details and spread the word, thanks!
Comment by Heather K on September 14, 2011 at 4:51pm

Whatcom Food Network Forum-Save the Date- Monday, October 17.  - Session 2 - .

quote:  "WHAT: Whatcom Food Network Forum - Session 2 with special guest speaker, Dr. Oran Hesterman, author of the new book “Fair Food” and founder of the national Fair Food Network.

(co-hosted by Washington State University – Agriculture Extention & local community groups)

 WHEN: Monday October 17, 2011, 1-4 pm. Partnership social with refreshments, 4-5pm.

 WHERE: Squalicum Boathouse in Zuanich Park Point, 2600 Harbor Loop, Bellingham, WA 

  WHY: To build upon momentum from the first forum and be inspired by Oran Hesterman, offering stories of how others are building equitable food networks."  endquote.


For more information on the Network go to:


For invitation & full agenda request on above website.


(Ditto on Farmer Walter & Brian's wisdom

- Its time to harvest our foods, either in our own gardens, or head out to your favorite farm and make a fair exchange).

Comment by Brian Kerkvliet on September 11, 2011 at 3:19pm

I liked to see this!! lets do it here!

Third Maine town passes food freedom ordinance

Garden Hen/Wiki Commons image
Food Freedom

On Saturday, April 2, Blue Hill became the third town in Maine to adopt the Local Food and Self-Governance Ordinance.  The Ordinance was passed at Blue Hill’s town meeting by a near unanimous vote. This comes on the heels of the unanimous passage of the Ordinance in neighboring towns, Sedgwick and Penobscot, on March 5 and March 7, respectively. The Ordinance asserts that towns can determine their own food and farming policies locally, and exempts direct food sales from state and federal license and inspection requirements.
more here
Comment by Deanna Lloyd on September 5, 2011 at 11:10pm

In response to Kate's comment about being able to get good, local food in town, check out the the Common Threads Farm and School Garden Youth Grown Market that will be occurring on Tuesdays!  

Shop at the Youth Grown Market Stand Tuesdays in September from 3:00-5:00.  The stand is located at 1020 North State St. (as is the site of the beautiful Youth Grown Garden!)  

Not only can you purchase some gorgeous produce, but you'll also have a chance to learn about and support Common Threads Farm's newly launched garden-based job-training collaboration with Northwest Youth Services and the Whatcom Volunteer Center.  This is our definite "feel good" story of the summer, and we'd love to share it with you!  

Comment by Kate Clark on September 5, 2011 at 8:39pm

We used the words Food Security, to mean just that on a broad truly, nearly all of us are "food - insecure" in reality.  That's why I LOVE the Food Bank Gardens project, its prescient...because eventually a great many more will depend on food banks.  There is a great hunger (!) for fresh food, organically grown, and the demographics of those who want this kind of food is growing beyond the typical foodie types.  There seems to be two directions we should focus on for true food security for Whatcom County. 

One is buying from local farmers as Brian and Walter are saying.  The barrier is often of course, that people are used to buying cheap food and they are surprised and upset to find that to buy good, local produce and meats is more expensive. Hence, the sentiment that local organic food is elitist- a family of five living on minimum wage would be hard pressed to afford it (and still enjoy the quantity and diverse selection as they do when they shop at Fred Meyer).  So those of us who can afford it, and who are accepting of less of it and fewer exotic imported foods need to step up and pay the real price.  

I was approached this week by someone who said she wished she didn't have to drive out to the county to buy from a local grower or go to a good organic u-pick. She wished there were more gardens in town so she could drive her bike over and pick (or pick up) some freshly harvested salad stuff, for example, after work.  So I guess that's the second approach- more neighborhood gardens, community gardens, even commercial gardens near or in town.  

Well, I'm just joining in the concern is that there won't be sufficient interest/support for these strategies until more people are challenged to get food. Its estimated we have about three days worth in the stores!  Its too bad the average person doesn't really think about how to solve a problem until it IS a problem.  Necessity being the mother of invention- or hunger being the mother of gardening/needing local farmers and farms.  

Comment by Brian Kerkvliet on September 5, 2011 at 2:57pm

I would like to second Walter's comment. If you put your money where your mouth is and support local farmers that are pursuing a regenerative methods of growing food their efforts will be rewarded and people will find out how and why they grow food the way they do because it tastes good and has more nutritional value.

Here at Inspiration Farm we strive to grow things in polyculture settings with minimal water. We focus on animal and crop rotations for the health of the soil and the environment supported by it. We don't till, we don't use any major external inputs and you can really taste the difference in the food. We have expanded out of a family homestead farm that raises our own fruit, veggies, dairy, grains, meat, and spices for most of the year We are relearning how to do this and can teach others how to go about it as well. But the best way to make sure this approach is pursued in our county is to support the farmers that are doing it right now so that they can teach others what works and what doesn't. 

That being said, our farmstand is open 24/7 for self serve and for larger quantities or special items contact us at Inspiration Farm

Comment by Alys Kennedy on September 4, 2011 at 9:51am
Although I have yet to attend a meeting with this group, due to time constraints, I totally agree with what you wrote Tris.  As the climate continues to be more unpredictable, and this year has certainly given us a taste of that, growing adequate food, both in terms of quantity and nutritional quality, will become more and more difficult.  Throw in more and more limited transportation issues, due to peak oil - be it to costly to purchase or just not very available - and  you have the makings of a serious disaster....many could and most likely will not survive this sort of scenario.  And, although I would like to see world hunger addressed, as it is currently a serious issue, I think we first have to take care of our immediate and local needs.  Building a viable food network within this county and perhaps connecting to Skagit and a few other neighboring counties seems like the wisest thing we can do at present.
Comment by Shirley Jacobson on September 3, 2011 at 5:23pm
The book is


EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want


There is a ticketed event at the Leopold beginning at 5:30 on Monday, Sept13, and a talk at Village Books at 7.

Comment by Tris Shirley on September 3, 2011 at 3:53pm

This might be an appropriate time to reinvigorate the discussion about the goals of this workgroup.  A reasonable inference from the name of the workgroup is that we are concerned about "food security".  In common usage, I believe, that phrase refers to the risk that people of limited means may not be able to afford or have access to an adequate or healthful diet.  This is certainly a worthy focus for a group such as this.

However, in the context of Transition, I think the phrase "food security" has a somewhat different meaning.  In my opinion, it means that with the expected impacts of climate change and scarce (or just expensive) petroleum, almost everybody will be at risk of inadequate nutrition in the near future.  Income and wealth have nothing to do with it.   Therefore, the focus of this group might be to work toward  a resilient, local, sustainable food supply system for the benefit of everybody.   

There are lots of good ideas floating around and many people are  experimenting and even operating some very efficient small scale ag businesses. Some may believe we already have the answers. But I have yet to see a comprehensive analysis of the dietary needs of Whatcom County residents and how those needs can be met despite high energy costs and unstable weather patterns.  Maybe it exists, but I haven't seen it. IMHO, supporting the experimenters and businesses, as well as doing that analysis should be our focus. 

And if redesigning our community's food  supply were to he the focus of this workgroup, then issues such as world hunger and eliminating inequality are a bit off the mark.  Again, this is not to say that those are not worthy topics and that we could not have a workgroup to address them.  I just didn't think this was the workgroup to do that.  I'd like to know what others in the group think about this.

Comment by Patricia Herlevi on September 3, 2011 at 2:42pm
I saw an ad for Frances Lappe's appearance at Village Books this fall.  I don't have the information with me, but a book she co-authored on world hunger was instrumental in getting me involved with food security.  I believe the title of the book was "World Hunger". 

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