May 2022: And into the fields I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. 👩‍🌾

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”And into the field I go, to lose my mindand find my soul.” – Anonymous
What’s Happening Down on the Farm? 

Operation Pond Liner! Thanks to the Helping Hands Food Bank, we were able to collect the used pond liners from their food forest to use as a natural, effective method to smother tenacious patches of less-desirable plants around the property such as morning glory and reed canary grass. It was heavy, sweaty work, and we were extra grateful to all the volunteers who rolled, lifted, and persevered throughout a long, tiring day. We hope they all got a good long soak in a hot bath when all was said and done — they certainly deserved one!
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iNaturalist @ Rooted NW 

Rooted NW member Diane has started a project on iNaturalist to gather information on native bees and other wildlife at Rooted NW. How does it work?  Using our phone cameras we will observe and record the wildlife we encounter on the farm using the iNaturalist app. By participating in iNaturalist, we will be contributing to biodiversity science by sharing findings with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. That makes us citizen scientists! One fun aspect of the app is the ability to hold a “bioblitz” event where people try to find as many species as possible!  Watch this space for such an event this summer.
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This tree frog was spotted on the land by photographer and Rooted NW member Morgan Keuler.
   
Meet a Member: Meet Laurie! 

Laurie’s vision is to help initiate a Rooted NW non-profit for growing, processing, and donating fresh produce to those in need, as well as supporting Rooted NW’s educational mission to teach sustainability and permaculture.
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Laurie at her farmette in Pennsylvania (canine companion Pepe in the wheelbarrow)
“In these uncertain times, many folks struggle to make ends meet.  So, I’d like to support and empower those who are vulnerable by leveraging my farming, CEO, and teaching experiences.  I’m heartened that decades of tending to our apple orchard, making cider, raising chickens, growing food, and, just this year founding Red Sol Farm, are laying the groundwork for offering nourishment and sharing knowledge.”
   
New Members & Explorers 

In April we welcomed Morgan as the 25th member of the Rooted NW family! New explorers David & Emma, Janet & Marsha, and Steffi & Don also joined our bustling team. Great to have you all on board!  We are nearly full and plan to prioritize farmers and move others to an “interest list” for now.
   
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Permaculture Dave says: “Got problems with slugs eating your garden veggies? You can find lots of advice about using sluggo, copper, beer traps, etc. Well, one technique that has worked really well for me it a heavy mulch of lawn clippings. After I plant, I put about 4″ of lawn clippings around my starts as a thick mulch. Over time this grass will dry and form a thatch mat. In addition to retaining soil moisture in the summer and suppressing weeds, I’ve found that slugs don’t seem to like crawling across it. I’m guessing the tiny pieces of grass stick to them and they really have to ramp up slime production to get it off. Note that mulching a bed early in the season before it’s warmed up may keep it cooler later, so this trick is probably best for your cool season crops. Also, avoid piling the mulch too deep or mounding it up around the starts. The fresh lawn clippings can heat up as they start to compost and you wouldn’t want to damage your tender starts. Enjoy the sweet late spring weather!” 

Dave Boehnlein – Rooted NW Member and Permaculture Author/Educator
   
Join us! Want to learn more about how we’re combining co-housing and regenerative agriculture to create a dynamic new community in Arlington, Washington?  Sign up for an info session or subscribe to this newsletter at rootednw.org. And be sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook.  

Photos by Rooted NW members and explorers. Special thanks to Morgan K for the work party shots!

April 2022: Agroforestry at Rooted NW 🌳

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“April, dressed all in its trim, has put a spirit of youth in everything.” ~ William Shakespeare
What’s Happening Down on the Farm? 

There’s an exciting new project brewing at Rooted NW!

The Snohomish Conservation District asked Rooted NW if we’d like to be part of an experiment to explore growing agroforestry crops in wet areas.  Yes, we would! Beginning this spring, we will work with them to test our soil, plan a site layout, and document the pre-planting site; later this year, we’ll plant species known to prosper in seasonally soggy soils.  We are considering  Aronia berry or ornamental willow as the primary crop, with other species integrated for a polyculture planting.  The SCD will help us maintain and monitor the planting for three years, during which we’ll conduct market research and add to the body of agroforestry knowledge here in Snohomish County. When it’s all said and done, Rooted NW will inherit a great start to a perennial polyculture planting area. A win-win for all!
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SCD site visit at Rooted NW, March 2022
   
What is ‘Agroforestry’? Agroforestry is the deliberate integration of trees and shrubs into farming systems. It can include integrating parkland and wood pasture, hedgerows (common in the UK and Europe, but less widely used in North America), or newer systems like contour planting and silvoarable cropping – a method of growing alleys of productive trees among arable crops. 
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What are the benefits of agroforestry?enhances farm productivityincreases wildlifeimproves soil healthboosts livestock welfaremanages water flow contributes to climate-change mitigation. Systems can be designed to avoid the potential trade-offs that occur in many modern farming systems between food production and public goods like clean air and water. It’s a benefit for both farming and the environment. Read more here. 
   
Meet a Member Meet Mindy.

Mindy is a retired volunteer firefighter/media, animal lover, and motorcycle enthusiast  among many, many other things. While we have members who follow all sorts of diets, Mindy chooses a plant-based diet. 
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“My household’s decision to eat a plant-based diet comes from a three-fold awareness.  We were introduced to this lifestyle while on a journey to live well with cancer. The documentary THE GAME CHANGERS illuminated the health benefits for humans and the environment.  Combining fasting with a plant-based diet beneficially lowered cancer markers, strengthening our commitment. The awareness that the climate crisis was speeding up thanks in part to methane gas from feedlots and the destruction of rainforest land to further grazing empowered us to take the step to eat-plant based as a small yet radical step.

Always a lover of animals, I came to the personal realization that if I could not face the death of an animal whose meat I ate, then I needed to re-examine my choices.  I came to enjoy several Kunekune pigs living in the neighborhood near Rooted NW land who come running like pet dogs.  While I recognize not everyone will share and make this decision, those pigs supported my choice! These factors, along with such wonderful vegan choices now available, strengthen my choice towards health of the planet, my own well-being, and that of the creatures who so delight me.”
   
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Permaculture Dave says: “Include some peas in your spring planting for soil-nurturing benefits! “Not only do peas cover the soil to prevent erosion, but they also boost soil nitrogen levels by drawing nitrogen gas from the air and storing it in the roots. For this reason, peas are often included in cover-crop formulas to act as as green manure, meaning plant-based organic material vs animal waste. “Peas are very easy to grow, but their growing period is limited to cool weather. You can harvest green shoots in just 3 or 4 weeks to add to your salad or stir-fry, or harvest the mature pea pods in a few months for enjoying as nature’s candy from the garden.” 

Top tips:
– To speed germination, soak seeds in water overnight before planting.
– Sow seeds 1 inch deep and about 2 inches apart. Don’t thin.
– Plant rows 7 inches apart.

Dave Boehnlein – Rooted NW Member and Permaculture Author/Educator
   
New Members & Explorers 

In March we welcomed two new member households, John and Diane! Greetings as well to our two new explorer households, David & Emma and Janet & Marsha.  Although we are almost full, it’s not too late to get involved! We are actively seeking farmers. This 30-minute video outlines our agriculture vision and describes how we plan to combine co-housing with community-supported agriculture. Please watch and share! We are also adding folks who are not farmers to an “interest pool” in case spots open in future. 

March 2022: Winter Fades and Spring Teases at Rooted NW🌱

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“In March winter is holding back and spring is pulling forward. Something holds and something pulls inside of us too.”
~Jean Hersey~
What’s Happening Down on the Farm? Our monthly work parties are more than work — they’re party, too! — and a key ingredient for “community (social) glue.” We get together on the land and fix, build, clean, and measure, and, best of all, we do it together. Here we are at the first one of the year, on a surprisingly beautiful day. We cleared blackberries, measured groundwater, fixed holes, built a door, cleared more blackberries, measured the barn for use as a provisional common area, sorted a huge junk-glob into useful and haulable piles, and … cleared blackberries! Then we had a lovely potluck dinner with all sorts of yummy goodness and stood around the fire pit basking in the glow of food, land, and each other.
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Meet a Member: Jake
Jake’s vision is to start Rooted NW Ferments using farm “seconds” from Rooted NW farmers as well as other local organic sources to feed a CSA-style subscription program that would include jarred vegetables (kimchis, krauts), beverages (kombucha, kvass), and fresh bread (sourdough)!
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“Fermented foods are more digestible and nutrient-dense, add value to otherwise non-saleable farm produce, require less refrigeration, and stay viable longer than other prepared foods. Plus, I love making them! It’s like having a science project on your kitchen counter.”
   
New Members & Explorers New members in February? Yes, indeed! Welcome to the Rooted family, Kim, Chelsey & Adam, and Sonia & Devin. We are so excited to have you on board. And welcome to our newest explorer Jessi as well! We are almost full and plan to prioritize farmers and move others interested in becoming explorers to a waitlist for now.
   
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Permaculture Dave says: “Pruning fruit trees is a near-perfect blend of art and science. This is a great time to learn and practice. If you inherited unkempt fruit trees with your property, you can get started on restoring them now. Just make sure you only remove a max of 25% of the living branches per year (your pruning budget!). That means restoration often takes place over several years.  If you’re not sure where to begin, remember the four D’s: “dead, damaged, diseased, and deranged” (branches that are crossing, rubbing against each other, pointing straight down, etc.). Beyond that, lots of organizations offer pruning classes this time of year. Even YouTube can give you some excellent advice. Happy pruning!” Dave Boehnlein – Rooted NW Member and Permaculture Author/Educator

February 2022: Getting Excited About The Future 😍

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You can get excited about the future. The past won’t mind. ~Hillary DePiano
What’s Happening Down on the Farm? Cold winter days in community are for creativity! Here’s how Yuko from Honeyberry Studios transformed the living room of the mobile home on the property into a “hip hotel lobby” (with the aid of some community helpers of course). Enjoy these before and after shots and the process in between. We can’t wait until we have many more walls to decorate in the future!
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What’s to love about being in community? 💙 Colorful decorating is just one of many wonderful things we’re looking forward to at Rooted NW. We asked our members to complete this sentence: What I will love about being in community is…
being around others who share my obsession with growing food and living sustainably.
having hiking buddies an arm’s length away.
sitting around a shared dinner table laughing together.
being an auntie to community kiddos and watching them grow and blossom.sharing good food with the larger community in Arlington.
cooking up a storm!
being around people who challenge my way of thinking with new ideas and concepts.
living close to the soil and the opportunity to mutually benefit each other.
learning from observing nature.
having opportunities to work hard, play hard, and contribute with appreciation and love.
having a village of connected folk who know how to communicate in a positive way.
the opportunity to work and play together, with common goals and ideals.
being able to walk out my door and be in nature a few steps away.
starting impromptu cribbage games and spontaneous movie nights!

What would you look forward to? 
   
Meet a Member
Meet Matthew G. Matthew is an experienced berry farmer with a background in landscape and horticulture. The Blueberry Topping pictured is a product he used to sell when he had his own farm, and that’s his daughter on the label!  Matthew plans to farm a few acres of blueberries at Rooted NW with a group of other members.
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“Our plan is to buy several thousand blueberry plants of a few different varieties. These plants will only be a couple of inches tall. We’ll put them in pots and wait several years for them to be big enough to plant out on the land.  Soon after, we can start harvesting. Our long term plan is to pick 10,000-plus pounds per year and market them on the land, in local retail outlets, and on the wholesale market. Depending on how successful we are, we’ll expand, and hopefully branch out to other small fruits.”
   
New Members & Explorers 
We took a pause over the holidays and for much of January, so we have no new members or explorers to report, but we did have a record number of households sign up for our January info session! Things are hopping, and we are almost full. So if you are interested in learning more about our project and the membership process, we have two online Zoom info sessions scheduled in February — one on Tuesday, the 8th from 6-8 PM PST, and one on Saturday, the 19th from 1-3 PM PST. Sign up here
   
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Permaculture Dave says: “Observation is key to good permaculture design. Interestingly, what we can observe changes throughout the year. It would be a mistake to make plans based on your observations at one point in time. Whether you live in a climate that is snowy, rainy, cold or warm in the winter, it’s a great time to make observations. Here at Rooted NW, we’re cold and rainy in the winter but tend to have only short forays into the sub-freezing range. I’ve been taking time to observe where standing water shows up, how deep our water table is on different parts of the property, and what tracks I can see in the mud. I’m also paying close attention to where the frost settles and melts first and last. This helps me to better understand micro-climates on the property so we have more success when planting time rolls around. What features of your landscape are best observed in the winter?” 
Dave Boehnlein – Rooted NW Member and Permaculture Author/Educator
   
Join us! Want to learn more about how we’re combining co-housing and regenerative agriculture to create a dynamic new community in Arlington, Washington?  Sign up for an info session or subscribe to this newsletter at rootednw.org. And be sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook

January 2022: Looking Back and Looking Ahead ❄️

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“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.~J.R.R. Tolkien~
What’s Happening Down on the Farm? 
Snow — that’s what’s happening! We were blessed with lots of the white stuff after Christmas. It turned our already gorgeous land into a stunning winter wonderland. (And the sledding was pretty good too!)
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Looking Back and Looking Ahead 
How can we reimagine living together in a way that nurtures and respects all, including the land we inhabit?

Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

This thinking informs our vision for Rooted NW.  What began as a dream shared by our founding members has turned into a project gaining momentum and members. 

Here’s a brief past and future timeline:

Dec 2015
We have a vision!

2016-2019
Research phase – visiting cohousing communities and conferences, exploring forms of governance, hiring consultants, drawing up criteria for the land — at least 100 acres,  at least 100’ elevation, no more than 2 hours from Seattle

Jan 2021
Committed to 240 glorious acres in Arlington (2019) 5 Member households (Aug 2020)Land purchase (Sept 2020)10 Member households

Summer 2021
Dug a well and built a gravel road

Dec 2021
20 Member households

Summer 2022
Design common house
First harvest of crops grown at Rooted NW

Fall 2022🤞
Approval of Preliminary Plat

2023
Final design submittal, goal of 28-30 households

2024
Final Plat approval, begin construction, add final 5-7 households

2024/2025
Move-in

The efforts of many hands and hearts have put this dream in motion and will continue to encourage it forward.

We are so excited to see what develops in 2022 and beyond!
   
Meet a Member: Meet Brett.
Brett is a farmer who loves to grow delicious food for the local community at his current farm, Reconnecting Roots.
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“I am excited about moving my farm to Rooted NW this spring. I look forward to growing a diverse array of produce for the local community. I am passionate about creating a local food system where communities have access to sustainably grown, nutritious food and have a direct connection to the farms and the farmers who grow their food. At Rooted NW I would love the opportunity to work with other farmers to develop enterprises that can collaborate to create a truly sustainable, local food system.  
New Members & Explorers
Congratulations to Christine, our newest member! We also look forward to getting to know the FIVE new explorer households who signed up in December — Maia and Alex, Diane, Ashley and Morgan, Maizie and Bill, Lou, Sandy, and Kingfisher — welcome! We are almost full!  If you are interested in learning more about our project and availability, we have an online Zoom info session scheduled for Sunday, January 23 from 1:00 – 3:00pm PST. Sign up here
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Permaculture Dave says: January is the time to take an inventory of leftover seeds and test them for viability. Fold about a dozen seeds inside a damp paper towel and place them inside a plastic bag in a warm place. Keep an eye on them and count how many germinate within the expected time per the seed packet. If the germination rate is less than four, throw out the packet and buy some new seeds! Dave Boehnlein – Rooted NW Memberand Permaculture Author/Educator
   
Join us! Want to learn more about how we’re combining co-housing and regenerative agriculture to create a dynamic new community in Arlington, Washington?  Sign up for an info session or subscribe to this newsletter at rootednw.org. And be sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook.  Photos by Rooted NW members.

December 2021: The Year in Photographs 🎄

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“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”-William Blake-
The Year in Pictures As winter closes in and we prepare to pause for a few weeks over the holidays, we thought we would revisit the year by sharing some favorite photos taken by our members. Enjoy. Be sure to scroll all the way down to see this month’s member profile and read Lisa’s permaculture tip for December!
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Meet a Member Meet
Yuko! She and her husband Dave moved onto the land in June. Yuko is an artist and currently runs her business – Honeyberry Studios – from their home.
“Walking the land and noticing small and big changes the seasons bring has been a treat. As an artist, the farm has inspired my creative practice quite a bit. Even though we don’t have any livestock yet, I’ve been creating a dream animal farm in my art, and I’m sure there will be more! This adorable holiday duck in the picture is inspired by another Rooted NW member’s ducks .🦆 (Thanks, Carla!)”
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New Members & Explorers New members? Yep! Welcome Brett and Sarah! New explorers? Indeed! Great to have you all on board!  Curious about community living?  Join one of our Zoom info sessions to learn more and ask questions. This month we have a session on  Saturday, Dec 11th,  1-3 PM PST, and another scheduled in January on Sunday the 23rd, 1–3 PM PST. Sign up here
December Permaculture Tip: “December is the time to order or purchase local bulbs, and to get a seed catalog so you can start planning for next year! As well, look up your local spring late frost date and mark it on the calendar. Then count backwards and mark when 8, 6, 4, and 2 weeks before the last frost date are on the same calendar. After you get your seeds, organize them by when they need planting, indoors or out. Lisa Miller – Rooted NW Explorer and Owner/Designer at Eco-RestoreEcological Consulting & Design LLCwww.eco-restore.com

November 2021: Observe & Interact, the First Principle of Permaculture 🌱

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“Just another cold, misty morning inviting, “Want to go again?””~ Mary Anne Radmacher
What’s Happening Down on the Farm 

Autumn has firmly settled over the land, and the fields shine with seasonal damp and cooler light. Besides continued cleanup, we’re “observing and interacting” with the land – the first principle of permaculture. It’s a beautiful time of year that reminds us that by taking the time to engage with the land and interact with the rhythms of the seasons, we can design solutions that suit both us – those who intend to farm – and the land itself.  

A Call for Farmers… 
As stewards of these 240 acres, one of the key reasons we have chosen to develop an agrivillage is that we recognize that making a living in sustainable, organic agriculture is not easy. Farmland is expensive and hard to come by. Farming has high start-up and equipment costs, especially taking into account the time and risk required to develop and refine a regenerative system. Going it alone, day after day, can feel like a grind.  

But imagine if…
• You were an owner in the land you farmed, with the ability to expand (or reduce) your acreage based on your evolving needs.
• You could run your own ag business but also work in close proximity to a variety of regenerative farmers eager to collaborate and share ideas.
• You lived where you worked, supported by a community that understands the challenges of farming and is committed to the long view — allowing you to take risks.
• You had the opportunity to form labor, marketing, and equipment coops with your neighbors, maximizing the efficiency of every dollar you spend on your business. 
• You were surrounded every day by a loving, intentional community rooting for you to succeed and helping make your life better in myriad small ways.

Our vision is that RootedNW will be a diversified farm incubator fostering innovative new agricultural enterprises. The farmers who get involved will shape and realize that vision. If you have an ambition to work the land (or know someone else who does) and our vision appeals to you, click here to email us so we can answer your questions, arrange a visit to the land, and continue this conversation.

And check out our new video on our Facebook page!
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Meet a Member! 
Meet Susan. Susan loves the idea of making something useful from trash! Given that food waste in landfills is a big methane issue, and Susan’s core value is to reduce greenhouse gasses, creating a composting business at Rooted NW is a natural fit for her.
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“I love the idea of sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and sinking it into the soil- a win win for humans and soil microbes! I hope to collect food scraps from the local community (the nitrogen source), mix them with a local carbon source (like wood milling by-products) and supply our farm and community at large with high quality compost that can be used in organic farming.  (No sewer sludge or persistent herbicides allowed – earth care and people care.) I’ve tossed around several names for the composting business. My two current leading contenders are –  ‘Taking Root Compost’  or ‘Rot-On! Compost.'” We might propose the name ‘Rotted NW’!
New Members & Explorers 
We have at least two new member households in the pipeline for November, and welcomed a new explorer family in October (welcome Barak and Sara!) 

Curious about community living? Join one of our Zoom info sessions to learn more and ask questions. This month we have sessions on  Wednesday, Nov 3rd, 6-8pm PST, or on Saturday, Nov 20th, 1–3 PM PST. Sign up here
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Permaculture Dave says: 
“Fall is in full swing and that means tree planting season! For those of us with mild winters, we can plant trees from Oct-Mar. One of the benefits of planting in the fall is that you get a whole winter’s worth of root development to fuel spring growth, and you can get them in the ground before things get too wet. Some species do prefer to be planted in the spring, however, so do your research. Also, for those of in colder climates where the ground freezes solid, you would want to fall plant earlier (Aug-Oct), so this will be a good thought for next year.” 

Dave Boehnlein – Rooted NW Member and Permaculture Author/Educator
Join us!
Want to learn more about how we’re combining co-housing and regenerative agriculture to create a dynamic new community in Arlington, Washington?  Sign up for an info session and be sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook.  

Photos by Rooted NW members.

October 2021: Celebrating our one-year “Landiversary”! 🌄

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Rooted NW’s One-Year “Landiversary” September 24th marked one year that we’ve owned the beautiful land that we’ll soon be working and living on together. So much has happened in that time!  The day after last Thanksgiving, instead of consumption-crazed Black Friday, we had ‘Blackberry Friday’ — our first hands-on work party (of many!) Things really picked up in May, thanks to warmer weather and COVID vaccinations: Dave and Yuko moved into the mobile home, a road was built, a well was drilled, and we started site planning.  In the past year we have continued to grow and deepen our connection with the land and with each other. Here’s what some of our members have to say about it:

This project feels like a huge gift from the members who have carried it so far. — Matthew T.

[The closing] was a HUGE milestone for us. That was the moment when Rooted NW became “real” to me. — Yuko 

A collage of vision, growth and memories. So much accomplished, with a lifetime of work and companionship ahead. — Kathy 

One full year of interaction, a full cycle of observation, the first “full circle” celebration… and so many full hearts filled with joy. — Jenn
What’s happening down on the farm? 

First tractors, now trucks!  One of our member households has generously donated this classic 1982 Chevy pickup for use around the farm. Susan drove it all the way from Colorado to Arlington loaded with a bed full of tools for the community. Local member Matthew G. was on hand to help with the heavy lifting when she arrived. A fresh set of Washington plates and this beauty was good to go! Speaking of tractors, we still haven’t settled on a name for our new orange Kubota featured in last month’s newsletter. It’s a toss-up between BOB (short for Big Orange Beast), Tiger Lily, or Pumpkin. Send your votes to rootedquestions@gmail.com.
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Meet a Member! 

Meet Rachel. Rachel envisions starting a seed company to grow organic vegetable seeds on contract.

“It has been a dream of mine to have access to land where I can deepen my experience growing and saving seeds, and I’m excited about the prospect of doing that at Rooted NW. My background is in plant breeding for organic systems, and I believe that farmers need many crop varieties available to them to be able to find the best fit for their unique management and markets. By growing seed of the varieties they rely on, I hope to contribute to farmers’ having those options. I also look forward to having space to work on plant breeding projects, hopefully in collaboration with other farmers growing at Rooted NW.”
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New Members & Explorers 

We welcomed six households’ worth of explorers last month. Six! Welcome Mitra, Stefan, Eleanor, Paul, Dan, Avital, John, Christina, Kris, Sonia, and Devin. We can’t wait to get to know you better.  Curious about community living?  Join one of our Zoom info sessions. This month they will be on Wednesday, October 13th, 6–8 PM PST and Saturday, October 23rd, 1–3 PM PST. Sign up here
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Permaculture Dave says: “In the temperate world, eating fresh homegrown fruit in the summer is easy. However, as you plan your landscape, consider planting some fruit that keeps well in the root cellar. That way you can continue to have fresh, delicious, homegrown food throughout the lean season. Kiwis, keeper apples (Ashmead’s Kernal, Melrose, Mutsu), and keeper pears (Bosc, Saint Remy, Suji) are all excellent choices for tasty, year-round food security. You can eat them all winter with proper cold storage.” Dave Boehnlein – Rooted NW Member and Permaculture Author/Educator

Happy December from RootedNW

Our Community is Growing.

In the past two months, four new households have joined Rooted Northwest! We’re thrilled to welcome members Jack and Clare, Jessica and Peter, Susan, and Tricia. You can find their bios (and those of our other members) here

If you’d like to have all these lovely folks as neighbors, sign up for an info session to learn more about Rooted and begin your membership journey. 

Blackberry Friday

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Kathy and her beautiful dog
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The day after Thanksgiving, Rooted NW members and explorers skipped the malls and headed to the property in Arlington for “Blackberry Friday.”  Originally planned as a social work party, the day became a socially distanced work party after Washington announced its newest COVID restrictions.  Masked, distanced, and armed with snippers, clippers, machetes, and shovels, the team tackled some of the seemingly infinite invasive blackberry thickets around the property. 

Success! We can now access a well and second pump house that blackberries had almost entirely hidden from view.  Clearing blackberries from another part of the property made one of the buildings more welcoming, and there’s now a space to gather around the new fire pit…once we can safely gather ‘round the fire pit, that is.  We are all looking forward to that time when we can work and play together with ease.  In the meantime, join us for Zoom calls and future socially distanced work parties! 

“To be with community and working on the earth for unknown future generations is something that I’m truly thankful for.”

Explorer and Blackberry Friday coordinator Erik Schneider

What is an Agrivillage?

Today, an acre is defined as a unit of land measuring 43,560 square feet. But before that standard was set, it’s believed that an acre represented a rougher measurement—the amount of land that could be plowed in one day by a yoke of oxen. The words “acre” and “agrarian” both derive from the Latin noun ager and the Greek noun agros, variants of which mean “field” and the farmers who cultivate them.The Anglo-French vil, or villa refers to a manorial estate or farmland. 

Those ancient roots are combined in the word “agrivillage.” In a nutshell, an agrivillage is a small village organized with agriculture as its central theme.It’s a contemporary expression of a type of living that has been embraced for millennia under other names and in other places and cultures — a neighborhood that supports and revolves around a thriving farm. Add permaculture to the mix, as with Rooted Northwest, and you have a residential community designed for healthy living, connecting with nature and one another, and member-run micro-enterprises, all within the context of the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care, and fair shares.

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A scene from the Netherlands that illustrates one take on the agrivillage concept.
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