Transition Whatcom


Your opinions & questions in regards to the groups current name & its purpose/vision can be posted within this separate discussion.

If you are interested in following this discussion, remember to sign on to TW and click 'Follow' to receive email on new comments. (This separate discussion can streamline comments & reduce multiple emails to those not interested.) Scroll down for comment section.

This group was created as a specialty group for sharing focused information & questions.

The original members dialogued extensively through emails & in person on the group name & purpose and came to a shared agreement of name & vision wording, during mid March 2010.

(These core initiators included Brian K, Heather K, Krista R, David P, Celt S, Walter H).

New members, be sure to read the top of the group page, which states our shared purpose/vision for the grain/bean/seed growers. Please consider reading the history of the comments & thinking that came before you. We welcome your ideas & look forward to working together!

Comments & suggestion left will be considered at a later date. and be easily accessible to future new members.  (Admins may cut & paste past comments from the main text of this group into this discussion.)

Record of our past  grain/bean/grow group names that were changed:

 (earliest to most current)

'Small Scale Grain Growing Bean Saving Organically Cascadia”

“Whatcom Wheat & Grain/Bean Growers”

“Small Scale Grain & Beans-Grow , Process, & Save” 

Record of Related Past Comments: (earliest to latest)

Comment by Heather K on March 22, 2010

Welcome...Please forward to your network of grain raisers & dry bean growers.
The group text was completed by Heather with the editing assistance & encouragement from Krista & Celt & friends!
Please email me if you have any suggestions for clarity & accuracy..
Comment by Walter Haugen on March 23, 2010
Okay, I'm in. However, let me state right off the top that I take exception to the organic label, since I have no time for third-party organic certification. Organic - to me - means using the "feed the soil" paradigm and the work of Sir Albert Howard, Robert Rodale, and a host of others who have done the research over the last 100 years. It does NOT mean the phoney-baloney co-optation of the word "organic" by Congressional fiat in the year 2000.
Comment by Heather K on March 24, 2010
Some minor changes now made to the group title and text thanks to input from Brian, Walter, & Krista.
Comment by Krista Rome on April 18, 2010
This group was already going prior to TGU, but I've been thinking it makes sense to utilize it for that purpose also, rather than have two separate grains/beans growing groups. So for those of you that weren't at Day 2 of TGU, we started a workgroup on growing grains and dry beans, with many goals and ideas. I will post the follow-up email that I sent out to those on the email list. Anybody with ideas to add or share, or with time and energy to contribute to one or more of the items, please let me know!
Comment by Rebecca Meloy on April 22, 2010
Is this Small Scale, Medium Scale, or Agricultural Scale. Does it matter?
Or is it simply Grains & Beans Network Group?
Grow, Process, Save be in the description paragraph below the title?
Comment by Krista Rome on April 24, 2010
With the goals of Transition in mind, small-scale hand tool methods OR larger scale (farming to make a profit and supply the greater community scale) but with methods appropriate to a future of independence from oil and other non-renewable resources makes the most sense to me. Read Heather's description under the title. We don't want to exclude anyone that is trying to localize our food system or diversify what is grown here, though, so it would still be good to encourage any farmers to connect with us, regardless of the methods they choose at this point. Just my two cents.
Comment by Walter Haugen on April 24, 2010 at 3:36pm
Endless discussions have their place, but don't forget to actually grow some dry beans and grains this year.
Comment by Laura Ridenour May 8, 2010
BTW, I think this group should just be called "Staple Foods (beans, grains, and oil seeds)". The scale doesn't really matter as production issues are mostly the same. The focus can be increasing the amount and diversity grown here, and the group can be a for problem solving and a place to go for resources.
Comment by Brian Kerkvliet May 9, 2010
I would have to say that small scale is of BIG importance. Production issues are defiantly different for someone that hand plants, harvests, threshes and stores their crop, from someone who uses equipment to do the work. There are many methods for all of these tasks that are scale appropriate. This is one of the things that we are eager to learn and share on this group. Sure we can learn many things from farmers with large tracts of land that use conventional equipment and practices. However I also see a desire and need to have a lot more people growing small amounts of staple crops in a diversified rotation on their lot or small acreage. Another reason for this group is to help empower more people to grow grains and beans, by sharing what varieties work well for our region, what tools are needed for their scale, what kind of yields can be expected and how to process those yields with the simplest of equipment.
There is also a need to better understand the benefits of grains and legumes in crop rotation where the straw and plant stubble is left in the field adding much needed organic material to the soil and building nitrogen for future crops to use.
Also experimentation with no-till methods can be easier applied with small plots then acre and larger tracts. The more people trying different approaches, the faster we all learn together. One such method of no-till practice is the use of seed balls. We will be having a Spring Fling a seed ball event and talk about the practice, methods and benefits of seed ball sowing here at Inspiration Farm......”

Comment from  Heather K   May 10, 2010   -   Well said Brian.                        Would “Homemade” or “Human-scale” be an accurate & inclusive phrasing that might increase clarity over the relativity of the words small-scale vs large-scale? …...Many of us also share also the same concerns as expressed by Frances Moore Lappe (as she wrote in the introduction of Fukuoka-sensei book - “The One Straw Revolution – An Introduction to Natural Farming” )- “..pesticide use per acre has quadrupled since my youth (ie 1970's), and large-scale, fossil-fuel, corporate-monopoly-dependent farming continues to displace traditional practices worldwide.....”. …..This 'homegrown & local grain/bean/seed group' welcomes any farmers/growers/gardeners who are attempting to brake away from these harmful practices of the past, no matter what size land or farm they are the caretakers for. We are all learning & sharing the path through nature together.

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