Annual harvest dinner celebrates local bounty, Farmer of Year

Michele d’Hemecourt, North Olympic Land Trust’s conservation director, talks with Carmen and John Jarvis about preserving Finn Hall Farm.

Participants in the recent 100-mile Harvest Dinner savored more than foods grown within 100 miles of the farmland they raised money to protect.

During the Sept. 26 dinner at Sunland Country Club they:

• Applauded the Jarvis family, owners of Finn Hall Farm, who received the annual Farmer of the Year award for maintaining their land as a working farm since the 1920s and collaborating with the North Olympic Land Trust in creating a legal agreement to protect it permanently.

• Received updates on achievements since the Harvest Dinner's organizer, Friends of the Fields, became a division of the Land Trust last spring, from Land Trust executive director Greg Good and a founder and former president of FOF, Bob Caldwell.

• Met the Land Trust's newest staff member, Colleen Teevin, whose responsibilities will be divided between farmland protection and sustainability and the fundraising the nonprofit organization needs to protect farmland as well as such other special qualities of land as habitat, timberland, clean water and air, scenic vistas, open space and cultural heritage.

• Celebrated raising money for farmland protection from sales of dinner tickets, a silent auction and pledges for continuing support through the year.

Kathy Charlton, founding owner of Olympic Cellars Winery, led the appeal for pledges to build up the Farmland Fund the Land Trust and Friends of the Fields have established.

Pledges ranged from one of $20,000 to dozens of $500 to $100. Good said gross receipts and pledges totaled more than $48,000 before expenses for the fundraising event have all been tallied.

Lead chef for the Harvest Dinner was Arran Stark, Port Townsend. Contributing farmers were Nash's Organic Produce, Lazy J Tree Farm, Clark Farms, Kol Simcha Farm, Fairaview Farm, Pam Larsen, Rainbow Farm, Dungeness Valley Apiary, Kathy Bryant, Lowell Dietz, Linda Dowdell, Cedarbrook Lavender & Herb Farm, Two Fools Farm and Graysmarsh Farm, all of Sequim; Johnston Farms, Agnew; Valley View Dairy, Oatsplanter Mystery Bay Farm, Marrowstone; and Holmquist Hazelnuts, Bellingham.

Others providing menu items were Steve Fink's Sunrise Meats; Doug Seaver of Michael's Steakhouse and Seafood; and Dave Long's Oven Spoonful, Port Angeles; Hama Hama Oyster Company, Lilliwaup; Alder Wood Bistro and Priscilla Raymond, Sequim.

Wine came from Camaraderie Cellars, Harbinger Winery, Olympic Cellars and Ken and Carolyn Johnston, Port Angeles; beer from Fathom & League, Sequim; and cider, Wildfire Cider, Port Townsend. Coffee, though grown more distant than 100 miles, was roasted by Princess Valiant, Port Angeles. Gabby's Gourmet Grub, Sequim, provided dinner for volunteers.

Harvest Dinner and silent auction committee members and other key planners were Suzi Schuenemann, Cathe Muller, Karen Kilgore, Patty McManus-Huber, Della LaCour, Joni Johnson, Laura Maroney, Linda and John Benson, Ann Leeds, Neil Conklin, Julie Jacobsen, and Bob and Elaine Caldwell.

Best Friend Nutrition and Nash's Organic Produce provided table sponsorship; Linda Dowdell and Kia Armstrong and Paul Creech Pianos & Music Academy, Sequim, provided musical entertainment; and Kindryn Downing and The Cutting Garden, flowers and arrangements.

For more information, visit or call 417-1815.

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