You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2010.

June 29, 2010

Listen to this interview re-play ~ Thursday, July 1st at 9am and Friday July 2nd at 4pm from 96.9fm – around Penn Cove or stream it anywhere on the island or in the world from the KWPA website.

Support KWPA ~ the whole of Whidbey Island’s public radio station


Colorful hives at Golden Harvest Bee Ranch

Tom Schioler & Golden Harvest Bee Ranch

Continues KWPA’s Whidbey Chat Farm Tour


On the heels of the Slow Food Whidbey Island event, two days ago at Greenbank Farm, talking with a beekeeper about pollinating orchards and crops was apropos to continue Gwen’s foodie direction of the week, and the Whidbey Chat Farm Tour on KWPA radio.

Tom Schioler prepares to calm his bees with smoke so he can work on the hives - photo GS

Tom Schioler of Golden Harvest Bee Ranch came down to KWPA’s wharf  studio to talk with Gwen about beekeeping, honey, the bizarre biology of bees and some suggestions, directed at Island County leaders, on bee pollinating policy.  Political bee concerns aren’t something we’ve heard much about lately; unless you want to include the stinging effect the banking crisis and bail out continue to have on all of us.  But, government  policy that effect bees and pollination are just the kind of thing a beekeeper like Tom thinks about, as he tends his commercial pollinating hives, on Ebey’s prairie.

Tom recently moved his home and bee operation to the prairie, and says with the shortage of pollinators in the area, his farming neighbors have been very glad to see him.  Now getting unpacked and settled on the new “ranch” Tom is ramped up to grow his hives, local services and product lines.  He say’s he can step up his operation if he can add one more apprentice to the one he has now.  Hives weigh 45 lbs – let it be known, to anyone who may want to apply.  And like Georgie Smith of Willowood Farm who uses intern worker’s on her farm, Tom says he can only survive with bartered and stipend arrangements for the apprenticeship labor he uses to get the job done.  Both make every effort to not go broke, and therefore out of business, in the business of organic agriculture.  A business they both love.

Tom's apprentice, Cameron, cleans hive trays. Photo GS

Speaking on the shortage of bees in our country, and the widely known colony collapse disorder, that has devistated 10’s of thousands of hives, Tom discussed how he keeps his hives safe, and the preventative measures he takes to insure his bees are healthy and ready to pollinate.   Saying CCD causes are not fully understood, Tom assured listener’s the disorder is being vigorously funded and studied worldwide. Healthy bees and pollination are so important in our national food growth that apiary science is a full-time and multi million dollar business in our country.  Tom Schiloer knows that business; is following the science and sticking it out through the epidemic with successful organic measures for his well kept hives.

Tom and Honey at the Market - Photo Kathy Schultz - NWSource

As far as honey goes; that tasty treat, the antibiotic , cosmetic and health food, it’s mostly made for us.  Tom says “honey is an emergency food for the bee’s; nectar and pollen are their real food.”  Hence, thanks to the bee’s preferred menu, Tom can be found selling honey at numerous Farmer’s Markets in and around the island and Puget Sound.

Who knew that bees smell with their feet?  You may have some slight memory of knowing that, from a class room, book or science show somewhere.   But, like Bill Nye the Science Guy, Tom Schioler provided listeners with the science of bees on KWPA’s Whidbey Chat’s Farm Tour, in language you can understand.

NOTE: After the show – Gwen went out to take some pictures of Tom’s ranch and was stung by a bee.  She now swears by his remedy.  Listen in to find out what remedy that is.

Listen to this interview’s re-play on Thursday, July 1st at 9am and Friday July 2nd at 4pm from 96.9fm – around Penn Cove or stream it anywhere on the island or in the world from the KWPA website.

Tom Schioler lifts out the trays from the interior of the hive. Photo GS


This hive is too crowded. Tom will prepare and new hive, introduce a queen and spilt this hive.


This hive has the proper population of bees

Where just some of the magic happens at Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. The sparkles are drops of nectar.


Tom and Cameron load hives, headed for Raspberry pollinating, onto the Golden Harvest Bee Ranch truck. LUCKY US!






The main barn at Greenbank Farm was the setting for the first ever Slow Food Whidbey Island event.  Held from 2 to 4pm & open to the public, it was a fanfare of yummy food and wine, and a another Whidbey success!


The slow food movement that has swept our nation recently intends to support and help small and large communities embrace food grown and prepared by their local citizens. members.  Slow Food USA states on their website: Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. There are 16 “chapters” in Washington state alone, with hundreds nation, and world-wide, with membership counting in the 100’s of thousands. In an effort to promote this slow food “idea” on Whidbey, local farmers, chefs, and foodie prone residents, planned the event at Greenbank with the intereste in forming a Whidbey chapter of the umbrella organization.   The intended chapter will be called Slow Food Whidbey Island.

To be an “official” chapter of Slow Food USArequires several steps and a team of founding members who commit to promoting locally grown foods, increase the membership and hold food related events open to the public, and chapter membership.

Planned specifically to meet some of the requirements in becoming an official chapter and introduce ever more island citizens to the slow food concept, the event was well attended and delicious. Dazzling guests with the best locally grown food, wine and local color the island has to offer, the event included information about slow food, local farmer’s, produce; restaurants, meat and shell-fish growers, a winery, a pie company and the myriad of other food related businesses that make their home on Whidbey.

So the question is: Should we have a Slow Food Whidbey?  Are a bunch of new foodie related events a good thing for island residents and visitors?  Seems the people who packed the barn today think so.  Coming from north and south, those who attended were all a’buzz over the event.  Clearly, it could have been twice the size, if they’d had twice the room.  Tickets sold out over the last several weeks, and only a small hand full were left to sell at the door.  For the 25.00 cost to attend, each guest received small tapas size servings from 7 farmer/grower/chef partnerships, coupled with tastings of 3 wines from a Whidbey winery.  All making up a meal.

Acting as MC for the event, founding member and acting president, Barbara Graham, informed guests, while they enjoyed their meals, about the new chapter’s inception, creation and hope for the future.  In a partnership with growers, chefs and other citizens, and the support of Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conrad, Barbara told guests there was a lot of support on the island for the effort to start a chapter.  She then introduced the local farmers/growers and chef’s who were participating, and other founding members who encouraged the guests to join with them in bolstering up this new chapter of Slow Food USA.

The chapter already has a mission; to preserve, strengthen and expand the local production, preparation and appreciation of food on Whidbey Island by fostering a sense of its importance in our lives and promoting access of our entire community to good, fair, clean food. Farmer’s, growers and chef’s spoke about their convictions that a slow food chapter is, indeed, a good for Whidbey.

And why not?  With La Connor, Anacortes and Skgit Valley, to our north and Seattle to our south, Whidbey is smack dab in the middle of “good food land” around here.  A lovely island; with great growing conditions, a long history of farming, a load of new and young farmers, an agriculture training center at Greenbank Farm; countless great chef’s; lots of historic barn’s, community center’s and recreation halls to hold events. Seems like a good fit.  Not to mention, our well outfitted state park’s; with their hefty BBQ’s anchored into the ground, picnic tables, scenic sites and sunsets!   It’s perfect right?

With plans for a full bore website, right now Slow Food Whidbey Island has a facebook page that states: This is truly one of the most delicious places in the world to live, surrounded by abundant waters and rimmed by the stunning Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. No matter where you turn Whidbey Island offers a truly marvelous array of food, some traditional and some new, but all worthy of celebrating and preserving.  And there you have it.  Good food in a good place, enjoyed by good people.    Slow Food Whidbey Island here you come.  

If Slow Food is about partnerships between farmers, chefs and cooks and community, it would appear Whidbey is a good fit for a chapter.


For more information about Slow Food Whidbey Island

contact Barbara Graham or Vincent Nattress

The Island County Historical Society’s 1st Annual Barn Rally




Yesterday’s ICHS 1st Annual Barn Rally, under the leadership of ICHS board member, Jackie Feusier, was a fun and interesting event, supporting the Whidbey and Camano island’s museum in Coupeville.


Everyone looks forward to next year’s

Since 1949, the Island Country Historical Society’s mission is to continue preserving Island County’s historic structures, artifacts and documents for their members, guests and for generations to come.  Your donation supports history’s of Whidbey and Camano island’s and also includes admission to the ICHS Museum on Front and Alexander in Coupeville.


Support the Island County Historical Society


The assortment of cars registered for the road rally went from extreme to charming and everything in between. Owner’s of the myriad of cars present participated in a driving event for any motorized vehicle, traveling 4 different scenic routes on Whidbey Island, and playing historic barn games while enjoying the lovely roads of Whidbey.


Drivers line up on Front St., in Coupeville, the morning of the Barn Rally


From the OLD and slow...


To the NEW and fast...



support the Island County Historical Society






Rumbling and Proceeding...



support the Island County Historical Society


Add motorcycles...


with side cars...



support the Island County Historical Society


Segway? YUP!


support the Island County Historical Society







June 25, 2010

~ Listen to ~

The Day That Lehman Died

Written By Matthew Solon ~ Produced by the BBC

!!! WOW !!!


September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in US history, sending the already unstable United States economy into a financial and emotional free fall.  What happened in the days just prior to the fall of Lehman Bros?  What CEO called what CEO?  Who had more lawyers present. How did the ‘big beasts’ of Wall Street make this critical decision? They held in their hands the future, not just of a bank, but the stability of the global financial system.

Starring: John Shea, John Rothman, Rob Campbell and Mark La Mara. Directed by John Dryden, Goldhawk Productions.

Documentary producer Jeremy Skeet and writer Matthew Solon look back to meltdown Monday to explore the emotional truth behind the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Watch behind-the-scenes of The Day That Lehman Died

Originally aired in 2009.





JUNE 26, 2010 – 9am & 2pm Rally starts

Or just come to ogle at LOTS OF COOL CARS!

Sherman, 2006. 24″x36″ Acrylic. By Perry Woodfin




Looking for a fun day for the entire family?  Think about partaking in the Island County Historical Museum’s Barn Rally, a driving event for any motorized vehicle, on Saturday, 26 June 2010.    All Rallies begin and end in Coupeville  —  Washington’s second oldest town.   Participants will have several routes to choose from.  Do one, or do them all (9am and 2pm starts) OR, make reservations now for guaranteed parking on Front Street for a Show ‘n Shine with an option for the 2pm rally.   Your donation of $20 per vehicle benefitsIsland County Historical Society (a 509(c)(3) non profit) in their mission to continue preserving Island County’s historic structures, artifacts and documents for their members, guests and for generations to come.  Your donation also includes admission to the ICHS Museum on Front and Alexander in Coupeville.

ICHS Museum is open seven days/week with its new exhibit “Industrious Islanders” featuring various “industry” of Island County life, from Woolly Mammoth hunting, to telecommunications. Some of the featured displays in the exhibit include an interactive telephone exhibit, antique printing press and early Island County Times editions, doctors, pharmacists, and midwives, and more.

Get away for a day of driving adventures on unforgettable Whidbey Island to win cool prizes and increase you and your family’s awareness for the preservation of historic structures – namely barns.

All are welcome, individuals and vehicle clubs alike.  Call 360 678-3310 to make your reservation.  Donation accepted day of.  Come one, come all and Rally ‘Round the History of Whidbey Island.

~ Don’t miss ~

Slow Food Whidbey’s First Culinary Extravaganza

at Greenbank Farm

Mix, mingle and munch your Sunday Afternoon Away!

June 27th from 2 to 4pm – 25.00

Slow Food Whidbey was founded, by community  members of Whidbey Island,  to preserve, strengthen and expand the local production, preparation and appreciation of food on Whidbey Island by fostering a sense of its importance in our lives and promoting access of our entire community to good, fair, clean food.

Slow Food Whidbey is on facebook

Studio 360 is a PRI and WNYC radio show – Host Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture today.

A piece by EarthSky producer, Lindsay Patterson, called Museum of God – was rebroadcast this week.  Original show aired during 360’s Evolution series, Nov. 2009, marking the the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s,On The Origin of Species. Whidbey Chat’s Gwen Sam thinks it is a wonderful piece by a talented young woman with a great present, & future in science reporting, education & entertainment!

In this 13 min piece, Museum of God‘s star, amateur paleontologist Jon Halsey, the creator, so to speak, of  The American Museum of God, takes Lindsay on a digg in an effort to increase his museum’s holdings.

LISTEN to Lindsay Patterson’s – Museum of God

Note: there are numerous pieces from the Studio 360 Evolution series (Nov. 2009) on the same link !

Let it be known, 99.9% of the time, in Gwen’s opinion, Studio 360 hits the ball out of the audio park!  A real touch stone!  Enjoy

Studio 360 blog

Willowood Farm & Georgie Smith

Show note: re-air ~ Thursday ~ June 24 at 9am & Friday ~ June 25th at 4pm ~ 96.9fm in central Whidbey or streamed worldwide over the internet from the KWPA website.  LISTEN IN!

Georgie Smith is a wife, mother and farmer.  A descendant of some of Whidbey Island’s earliest settlers,  Georgie has been mentored by farmer’s her entire life.   From the little kitchen garden she started years ago, at the behest of her mother, to the 8 acres she now farms, Georgie grows up to 200 varieties of produce year round at her little farm on the prairie, Willowood.   Energetic, humorous and thoughtful, Georgie talked to Gwen about her road to becoming a farmer; her family and ancestors, her mentors and the people she is mentoring today through a farming internship program.  Using an honor system Georgie trades housing, food, and in ground training, to people who want to learn how to farm, can work as hard as she does and don’t mind getting dirty.

A member of Whidbey Island Grown, a consortium of farmers, chefs, businesses and residents who seek to increase awareness and consumption of agricultural products grown on the island, Georgie does her level best to work with and support other farmers on the island.

2008 garlic crop curing in barn © Trish Drury

Georgie began her adulthood and intended professional life with a degree in journalism.   She worked in the newpaper world for some time, before devoting herself to the farm full time.  Today she still writes, getting the news out, so to speak, sharing her farm and life through her two blogs; Little Farm on Ebey Prairie and Funny Farmer Tales, Life on Ebey Prairie; the Willowood Farm website and facebook.

As if she didn’t have enough to keep track of, she’s also a founding member of the Slow Food movement on the island and presently organizing and preparing to launch their first big community event.   Slow Food Whidbey Island will partner island growers and chefs for a  foodie extravaganza, tasty time and culinary education ~ Sunday ~ June 27th ! 2 to 4pm at Greenbank farm.  Georgie will be partnered with Sieb Jurriaans, from Prima Bistro in Langley.  You say you’re a Foodie? ~ Then don’t miss it!

Listen in while Georgie tells Gwen and listeners about her life on Willowood Farm, how she connects her farm to the community, and how her family continues to be woven into Whidbey Island history.

Recordings of this interview can be heard Thursday ~ June 24th at 9am & Friday June 25th at 4pm.  Tune into Whidbey Chat on your fm radio dial ~ 96.9 ~ in central Whidbey or streamed from your computer at KWPA’s website.

Here’s just some of the produce Georgie brought to markets in June of 2010 –

– Kohlrabi!
– Garlic
– Garlic scapes
– Walla Walla Onions with greens
– Mesclun Mix
– Kale – 3 kinds
– Chinese cabbage
– Pac Choi
– Head lettuce
– Broccoli
– Purple artichokes
– Pea vines

Farmer’s Markets you can find Willowood Farm produce.

Coupeville – Farmers Market: Saturday, 10-2.  April thru mid Oct ~ Coupeville, WA.

Bayview Farmers Market Saturdays, 10-2. May thru mid Oct ~ Bayview, WA.

Oak Harbor Farmers Market ` Thursdays, 4-7. June thru Sept. ~ Oak Harbor, WA.


Willowood also caters to resturants and brick and mortar markets on Whidbey Island.


Georgie & the SLOW FOOD WHIDBEY ISLAND event!

JUNE 27, 2010   2 – 4 PM



June 21, 2010

Georgie Smith – THANK YOU!  for kicking off the Whidbey Chat Farm Tour with a bang!

Off to a meeting about the Island County Historical Society Barn Rally – coming up this sunday – June 26th!  Mark your calendars for a great event benefiting the Island County Museum in Coupeville!

Be back later today – to post an update on the farm tour kickoff and Georgie Smith’s interview!


June 20, 2010


KWPA’s Whidbey Chat ~ with Gwen Sam

kicks off

The Whidbey Chat Farm Tour

Summer Solstice ~ Monday ~ June 21, 2010


1st Guest: Georgie Smith of Willowood Farm on Ebey’s Prairie


The Whidbey Chat Farm Tour ~ where local farmer’s expose their soiled lifestyles.

And you think you have dirty laundry!

Over the next several weeks local farmer’s will come down the Coupeville wharf to KWPA‘s studio to chat about their lives as farmers, talk about their dirt, their veggies; their fruits, their honey, their cheeses, their flowers and baked goods, among other things…

~ Listen in ~ Monday June 21 at 11am PST

Get to know Whidbey Island’s produce department ~

Live – Monday – 11am – June 21 – Summer Solstice 2010

96.9fm on central Whidbey or streamed from KWPA anywhere in the world.


GUEST NOTE: Gwen gets to visit with the woman whose house and farm she takes pictures of, lots of pictures of, several times a year!   Let’s hope Georgie doesn’t ask Gwen to discontinue her photo excursions, immortalizing Willowood…


And now ~ a slide show of Georgie Smith’s farm, Willowood, on Ebey’s Prairie.  Photos by Gwen







Thanks to ~ Georgie Smith, her family and Willowood Farm, the little farm on the Ebey Prairie, of Whidbey Island




June 2010
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