March 2013 - Gardening by the Salish Sea; Third Saturday Square Dance and Social

Hanako Meyers and Marko Colby
of Midori Farms

Midori Farmers Present “Vegetable by Vegetable” Gardening Talk

March 4th Quimper Grange will host a talk by highly regarded organic farmers Marko Colby and Hanako Meyers of Midori Farm. The presentation will be based on their recently published book, “Vegetable by Vegetable, Gardening Near the Salish Sea” and will cover: how to care for your vegetables based on crop families; when to plant; water and fertility; how to choose seeds for your garden; and how to deal with basic pest and disease issues. This information should prepare you to take better care of your garden and help you to get to know and understand how to grow your own food.

Marko and Hanako enjoy the dynamic nature of the vegetable garden and have gained their knowledge from direct experience and from their mothers. Their curiosity and interest have led them not only to grow high quality produce and plant starts on their farm but also to contribute to plant breeding and crop improvement projects in conjunction with the Organic Seed Alliance. Recently they won national recognition for three of their traditionally fermented products in the Good Food Awards. To learn more about Midori Farm visit their website:

The program begins at 7:30, at Quimper Grange hall, 1219 Corona St, (end of Sheridan) in Port Townsend and is preceded at 7:00 by a social half hour. Potluck finger-foods appreciated. Suggested donation is $5-$10.  For more information contact Marla Streator 385-6924.

Last Chance String Band and Caller Dave Thielk play for the Third Saturday Square Dance and Social

The Third Saturday Quimper Grange Square Dance on March 16 will be hosted by local caller Dave Thielk.  Live music will be provided by the Last Chance String Band with Gary Pasco, Katya Kirsch, Carol and Hardy and Roger Pick. Dancing starts at 7:30.  Partners are not necessary, all dances will be taught; all experience levels are welcome.  Admission is $5.00 for adults, and free for those under 16.  see for more details.  

Tree Grafting Expertise Shared at First Program of the Year

Father and son grafting duo, Tim Kubica and son Carter, demonstrated three types of grafts to an attentive audience at the February 4th program: whip and tongue, side veneer, and bark grafts using apple trees as the example. We learned why to graft, when to graft and the ins and outs of collecting scion wood. Tim makes his own tools because he likes the way they work better than commercially available ones, his favorite grafting knives being altered kitchen knives. Much  “you–had-to be-there” knowledge was imparted, but here are a few of the basics Tim spoke about:
  1. The reasons for grafting include: increasing the number of varieties of fruit on a tree; adding a pollinator branch that will aid in getting fruit to set; repairing damage that has been done to a tree; completely changing the variety of fruit produced on a tree; or, to improve tree form, letting in light and air.
  2. The best time to collect scion wood is when trees are dormant. There is still time to collect scion from dormant trees now for grafting later onto rootstock when the sap starts running, the ideal time to graft being the four days just after flowering. Tim theorizes that grafting should take place to mimic nature’s process of healing branches after breakage from a winter storm.  The graft being an artificial ”break”.
  3. Tim likes to cut long scion (about 2’ long); he advises against using water sprouts; says to select straight, smooth wood showing no sign of disease or insect damage, and without spurs. After scion is cut roll it up in moistened newspaper, place bundle in a plastic bag, label and date, then store in a refrigerator until it is time to graft.
  4. During the program Carter cut scion into short pieces about 5”or 6”long, then Tim made grafting cuts, and lined up cambium layers between rootstock and scion, wrapping each graft with special tape made for the purpose. Carter then painted the union with Doc Farwell’s Grafting Seal, dabbing sealant on scion tips so they won’t dry out. 

A special thanks goes out to Judi Stewart who, on short notice, provided us with rootstock for this event and, of course, thanks to Tim and Carter.