workshop flyer 2016 flat

Organic No Till with Year-round Cover Cropping – Workshop
Saturday April 23rd 2016, 12 – 5pm
Good Earth Centre
652 Halvorsen Road, Friday Harbor

$25 for individuals / $40 for working partners or couples
includes tea and snacks.

$10 for natural foods lunch (please email or call 360 298 5699 to sign up for lunch)

A natural, ecological and sustainable approach to gardening that improves soil fertility, contributes to carbon sequestering & biodiversity and reduces weeds.

Join this hands on, practical workshop on an organic no till farm, suitable for home and market gardeners.

Topics covered include:
– How to transition to no-till using your existing tools and equipment
– Bed prep for direct seeding and transplanting
– Cover-cropping strategies
– Weed management
– Tool demonstration including scything

All will be demonstrated at the the farm, as part of our spring planting schedule with the opportunity to directly participate.

With time for Q&A and discussion.

Car pooling encouraged. Pick up may be arranged from the ferry.
good earth

Events Past ************************************************************


Organic No-Till for Vegetable Production II will take place on 8th March 2014 at 2.00 – 4.30pm. Orcas Island High School, 715 School Road, Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA.  Click for map

Organic No-Till is the most sustainable way to grow vegetables on a commercial scale and as a home gardener. In nature soil health and fertility are maintained without tillage. Organic No-Till methods work with this natural ecosystem, leaving the soil’s healthy structure largely undisturbed.

The workshop will be held as part of the San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit on Orcas Island. This workshop is FREE. You do NOT need to buy a ticket for the summit to attend.

Hear about the benefits and practical knowledge of organic no-till with Good Earth and guest speaker Doug Collins (Washington State University). We will be exploring how to:

*transition to no-till
*bed preparation
*direct seed and transplant
*incorporate fertilizer / compost
*manage weeds / cover crops

This FREE workshop forms part of our two year research and education project funded by Western SARE & supported by Washington State University San Juan County Extension

SARE_Western_Logo_ High  sanClogo

To register, please email us: or phone: 360 298 5699

carrotsOrganic, no-till ‘experimental’ carrots, grown for our SARE funded research…


Natural Farming Weekend (cooperating with nature)
11th – 12th August 2012 / 9.00am start (tea & coffee served from 8)
with Larry Korn (editor Fukuoka’s One Straw Revolution)


Join Larry and other speakers for two exciting days of practical, hands on workshops, talks, films, music and feasting inspired by the philosophy of Masanobu Fukuoka.

At Talking Horse Farm

652 Halvorsen Road
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

google map link

‘Strictly speaking, the only “natural” farming is hunting and gathering. Raising agricultural crops is a cultural innovation which requires knowledge and persistent effort. The fundamental distinction is that Mr Fukuoka farms by cooperating with nature rather than trying to “improve” upon nature by conquest.’ Larry Korn, The One Straw Revolution

Masanobu Fukuoka (1913–2008) was a farmer and philosopher, born and raised on the Japanese island of Shikoku.  At the age of twenty-five, he had an inspiration that changed his life. He quit his job, returned to his home village, and put his ideas into practice by applying them to agriculture.  In 1975 he wrote The One-Straw Revolution, describing his life’s journey, his philosophy, and his farming techniques.  This book has been translated into more than twenty-five languages and has made Fukuoka a leader in the worldwide sustainable-agriculture movement.  He is popularly considered the father of no-till farming.

Click to watch a film about Masanobu Fukuoka


All classes are suitable for small-scale organic farmers and home gardeners, including beginners.

9.00 The Natural Farming Philosophy of Fukuoka – Larry Korn
Larry Korn will talk about the unique and revolutionary philosophy of Masanobu Fukuoka and discuss why such a philosophy is the foundation to sustainable agricultural practices. He will share stories of his time spent learning with Fukuoka in Japan and his visits to the Pacific Northwest.

10.30 Wild Medicinal & Edible Plants  – Dr Ryan Drum
Get to know the ‘weeds’ in your vegetable garden! Ryan Drum will lead a wild medicinal and edible plant walk at the farm, looking at these ‘weeds’ and their benefits.

11.45 Growing Dry Beans & Grains – Krista Rome
Krista Rome will present information on growing dry beans and grains in our cool Pacific Northwest climate – a vital element in feeding ourselves locally, year-round. She will also offer a hands-on threshing workshop that will de-mystify the processing of your own dry beans and grains.

1.15 Lunch

2.00 Hand Tools for No-Till Practices – Errol Speed
A good hand tool holds as the conduit between man and nature. Hand tools allow us to create in the natural world. Errol Speed will give a demonstration on how to use the Scythe as a beautiful fossil-fuel-free mowing tool.  He will also give an introduction to hand tools that can be used for turning pasture or sod into a planting bed.

3.30 Seed Saving – Ana
By saving and selecting seeds from your own garden a vegetable grower follows nature’s cycle more faithfully.  Ana Malinoff will give a practical workshop on how to save your own vegetable seeds.

4.45 The Natural Farming Philosophy of Fukuoka – Larry Korn
Larry Korn will lead a practical workshop on natural farming in the field.

6.00 Time to talk

7.00 dinner and live music from OPA

Sunday 9-12 am: *Introduction to Organic No Till for Vegetable Production
Field Day and tour of Organic No-Till test beds, including hands-on workshops and presentations with Larry Korn & Andy Bary

The poor glacial remnant soils of the San Juans are a challenge to successful farming. The soils are shallow, wet and high in clay content. This workshop focuses on how to improve soils in these conditions.  No-till lends itself to this challenge by reducing the risk of soil compaction and increasing organic matter, as well as permitting earlier planting dates. However, most organic farming still depends on tillage despite its major problems of soil erosion and soil structure damage.  There has been little research on organic no-till systems that include vegetables that are directly seeded.  This workshop launches a two year experiment funded by Western SARE that aims to combine organic and no till methods that are economically and environmentally sustainable. For this project, we are using conventional tillage methods in designated test plots to compare the results.

Lunch will be served at 12.30

Presenters Bios:

Larry Korn –

Larry Korn is an American who lived and worked with Masanobu Fukuoka on his farm for over two years in the 1970s.  He is the translator and editor of Fukuoka’s first English-language book, The One-Straw Revolution, and accompanied Fukuoka on his visits to the United States in 1979 and 1986. Korn studied Chinese history, soil science, and plant nutrition at the University of California, Berkeley.  He currently lives in Ashland, Oregon, giving workshops and classes on natural farming, permaculture, local food production, and building resilient, sustainable communities.

Larry will also have copies of his new Fukuoka book: Sowing Seeds in the Desert for sale.

Dr Ryan Drum

Ryan Drum, PhD is an internationally renowned herbalist and therapeutic seaweed expert. He studied Herbal Medicine with Ella Birzneck, founder of Dominion Herbal College in British Columbia and taught at their summer seminars for 25 years. He has been an adjunct faculty at Bastyr University since 1984, and he lectures at major herbal conferences and herbal schools. Ryan believes in true patient autonomy: the freedom and right to choose one’s caregivers independent of their official certification.

Krista Rome –

Krista Rome started The Backyard Beans and Grains Project in 2008 as a response to the challenge of incorporating locally-grown dry legumes and grains into the diet. She believes it is important to re-gain local knowledge that has been lost over the past century and to discover additional crops and varieties that are well-suited to our climate. She believes strongly in education and makes her research and seeds available to other local farmers.

Errol Speed –

Errol & his wife Kathleen  started dealing in hand farming tools in 2002 by doing local fairs in the San Juan Islands and now run the Smith & Speed Merchantile Store on Orcas Island. They have worked in horticultural, agricultural and gardening circles for 25 years and a lifelong love of good hand tools inspired them to share their passion. They live off the grid and use little fossil fuel on their farm doing most things by hand or by horse. They focus on hand tools because they value the place a good hand tool holds as the conduit between man and nature. 

Ana Malinoff –

Ana Malinoff started her small scale seed production – Green Heart Gardens five years ago. She says that her expertise is based on several years of hands-on experimentation and intuitive trial and error. Ana encourages all gardeners to incorporate seed saving into their seasonal routine.

Andy Bary

Soil Scientist, Andy Bary has worked for WSU for 26 years.  He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho and a Master’s from Washington State University.  He conducts research and educational programing in organic vegetable systems management, nutrient management, soil science, composting, compost usage, cover crops, and food safety on the farm.


Registration Fee for the weekend: $125 / $75 for farm-workers & students.
Delicious Farm Fresh Food: $55 for Friday & Saturday evening meals / Saturday & Sunday lunches / Saturday & Sunday breakfasts
Please ask about accommodation and camping.
*Introduction to Organic No – Till workshop is FREE – please register!
To register or for other inquiries:
email – / phone – 360 298 5699