May 2020 Newsletter

Greetings volunteers and community members!
Happy May Food Bank Farm and Gardens volunteers!

I want to take a moment to thank you all for the incredible support you have all shown the Food Bank Farm and Gardens through this time of global crisis. I know a lot of people are hurting, and it is wonderful to see so much interest and commitment to the Gardens. 

So much has happened this month! 

First of all, we will be starting up work again on the highly productive Port Townsend High School gardens which experienced a small hiatus over the winter. See below for information regarding the first work party of the season!

Huge progress has been made at RainCoast Farms. A group of seven (or so) volunteers shows up every Thursday to prep that garden beds for planting. 

SunField Farms will be planting soon for winter storage crops. Email the Volunteer Coordinator if you have any interest in volunteering.

If you know of anyone who is food insecure, make sure to tell them about Just Soup. It is located at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend every Tuesday from 1130-130. Free curbside soup delivery, including a fruit item, a protein bar, bread and spoon for anyone who shows up. 

Also, the Port Townsend Leader wrote a fantastic article about us that has gotten the word out. Already, numerous people have contacted us interested in volunteering due to this article. If you haven’t had a chance yet to read it, here is a link:,69027

And lastly, follow us on our new Instagram account @jcfoodbankfarms

Thanks all and be well!Interested in volunteering?? Want to learn how to grow vegetables?? And become a contributing member of your community?? Volunteer with us! We have so many opportunities available to you. Also, if you are interested in a weekly gardening gig, click the button below and let our volunteer coordinator, Rachel, know what your needs are, and she can get you set up with a garden that works with your schedule.

Swan Farms
Every Tuesday from 10-2! Located behind the Thrift Store  at 10632 Rhody Drive in Port Hadlock. Right across the street from Carl’s Building Supply.

A brand new Food Bank Garden generously donated to the organization by RainCoast Farms! Will meet every Thursday from 10-2. Located at 12224 Airport Cutoff Road. Super close to the San Juan Taqueria by the Airport.
Meets every Friday from 10-12. We are currently expanding this garden to increase production for the upcoming season! Located down the street from Mt. Townsend Creamery, gardener parking is at the dead end of Sherman Street.
Volunteer Now!


Saturday, May 30th from 10-1. The High School Gardens need your help!! The gardens are usually cared for by high school students, but as school has been cancelled for the rest of the year due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the garden has gotten out of control!! Join us later this month to get the garden back on track! The garden is hugely important and donated almost 500 lbs of produce to the food bank last year! Bring your own tools and a mask. Again, put May 30th on your calendar! Click below to let the Volunteer Coordinator know you are interested!Volunteer NowPlease be aware that the safety of our volunteers is of paramount importance!! During the Covid-19 outbreak, please bring your own tools to volunteer parties, wear a mask if you have one, and comply by social distancing guidelines. The pictures below are various examples of how we have been complying by safety standards while working and harvesting. Thanks all!

Upper left to right: Jo Yount, garden manager for the Quimper Grange, harvesting using a face mask and gloves. Alexa MaCaulay, garden manager of Farm’s Reach. Lower left to right: Mary Hunt planting chard and kale at RainCoast. Kellen Lynch wrestling a cedar root with face mask. 


Top left to right: Cauliflower from Swan Farms. Rhubarb, kale and herbs from Birchyville. Bottom Left to Right: Spinach from Farm’s Reach. Salad mixes from the Quimper Grange.

Trying to grow Raspberries?
The Quimper Grange just installed a magnificent new raspberry trellis system that will support the plants as well as make it easier to harvest. Built by our own highly regarded and skilled volunteer, Steven Cade, it will last for years! You might want to replicate this at home or better yet … call us to get Steven’s contact information.

Seasonal Recipe & May Gardening

Rhubarb is here!!! Finally!
After a long winter and spring without fresh fruits, rhubarb gets a hero’s welcome.
This recipe is an old family recipe of Jo Yount, the garden manager of the Quimper Grange. 

5 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup drained, crushed pineapple
4 cups sugar OR 2 cups honey
1 package dry strawberry jello

1. Mix the first three ingredients, let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring CONSTANTLY. Cook for 12 minutes.
3. Remove from stove.
4. Add jello, mix until completely dissolved.
5. Put into sterilized jars and seal. 

 Having problems with a mystery pest?
Go out at night with a flashlight and surprise them. That way you’ll be able to discover what is eating your veggies and how to deal with it.

Transplant tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants.
Mulch with hay to retain soil warmth and moisture for the coming dry season.

Set up your slug traps before they take over everything!

If you are hoping to grow corn, a good trick is to pre-sprout the seeds before direct sowing in the garden.

Hot Tip
Do you have any leftover kale from last year’s crop?
Instead of ripping it up and composting it, let it go to seed. The bees love the flowers and will flock to your garden!

RainCoast Farm Overview May 2020

a letter from Lys Burden, May 23, 2020

We gather at RainCoast Farm’s Food Bank Garden every Thursday at 10 am to 12 noon. This year is our first at this garden site, although the garden has existed for at least 15 years. This garden is on the smaller side with only 2,240 sq ft, but it has 22 raised beds and an established drip irrigation system, so it was a no-brainer when the owner/managers asked if we’d be interested in taking it over this year. They are focusing on their orchard and berry crops this year and needed someone to keep their vegetable garden looking vital and productive. We are happy to oblige! 

We have a nice-sized group of volunteers who mostly live nearby in the county, so we accomplish an amazing variety of tasks each week. We started working in the garden on April 23rd, 2020 and have done lots of weeding, revitalizing of the grow beds and spring planting so far. Bed prep has involved digging out tons of Red Cedar tree roots that have grown into the fertile soil over the years and replenishing and amending the soil before planting. We have also been spreading cardboard as a weed barrier on the pathways and topping it with wood chips that are produced on-site. This process should help keep weeds from overtaking those paths.
Next week we should be completing the pathway rehab and doing lots of planting of the warmer crops, so it should be a fun time to visit. We did deliver our first harvest of the year last week with 20 lbs of Rhubarb to the PT Food Bank!
The farm is located at 12224 Airport Cut-off Rd, Port Townsend, WA. The driveway has a nice sign, just past the county airport and Prospect Road, which leads back to the Kala Point development. The farm’s website can be found at this link:

See you soon at the garden!

– Lys Burden, FBFG Board Member RainCoast Farms Food Bank Garden Manager

Port Ludlow Voice Article

Port Ludlow Voice, May 2020

Page 10

Gardening to Support the Community

Quimper Grange Garden.

With the restrictions in place for mitigating the COVID-19 outbreak, gardening can be a wonderful outlet for working off tensions, as well as taking in some fresh air. It can also be a way of helping our neighbors who are thrown out of work by the lock- down restrictions and may be having difficulty paying for food.

The Food Bank Farm and Gardens of Jefferson County (FBFG), an all-volunteer group founded in 2013, has seven gardens in the east county from Port Townsend to Chimacum, that are currently being planted with vegetables. An eighth garden is planned and will be started in a couple of weeks. When the harvest comes in, the fresh vegetables are given to the local food banks for distribution. And boy, do the gardens produce! Last year the total given to food banks was over 8,000 pounds of fresh produce.

Volunteers can work in the gardens in a variety of capacities, all while maintaining the recommended physical/social distance. Looking to learn more about gardening in this area? There is no better place to do it; you’ll be working with experienced and master gardeners who can answer questions and show you how.

If you would like to know more or see a map of the gardens that are already in place, visit To volunteer, send an email to [email protected].

If you can’t work in the gardens, how about a donation to FBFG? Donations pay for seed, soil amendments, tools, deer fencing, and other supplies the gardens need to produce abundantly. Send donations to Food Bank Farm and Gardens of Jefferson County, P.O. Box 1432, Port Townsend, WA 98368.


Birchyville Garden expands


Quimper Grange seedlings