I recently had the honor of attending the Tilth Producers of Washington conference in Yakima. What an inspirational group of people!
Word has it there were 550 organic farmers from across the State of Washington in attendance at the conference, with workshops provided throughout the day on relevant topics such as All About the Organic Certification Process, Farm Paperwork and Business Management, and Ecological Weed Management.
While Blue Mountain Station is focused on providing a location for artisan food processors, it was wonderful to talk with the many regional farmers who grow the products to be processed. It is inspiring to hear about the innovations being made in the way we grow food.
In fact, we’ve been inspired so far as to decide we need to start farming differently at the Blue Mountain Station site! While we’re working on the long-term process of locating food processors there, we’re developing a plan to encourage the transition of the land for use in growing fruits and vegetables that can be sold on site and regionally.
We also heard from several conference attendees about the need for a flour mill in the region to accommodate the milling of small quantities of locally-produced grains. This is also an initiative we will work towards in 2012.
Congratulations to the Tilth Producers of Washington organization for their well-organized, exciting conference! We look forward to learning more from them as we move forward with our project.