Winter Solstice Edition

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A Quarterly Newsletter from KCD’s Farm Conservation Planning Team

Welcome Winter Solstice!

The days are finally about to start getting longer! If you own livestock, a subtle change you might notice is that your animals will very slowly start shedding a few hairs in the next few weeks. Shedding is triggered mostly by the increase in daylight and happens more in earnest once the warmer temperatures show up in March and April.

We would like to introduce you to our 2019-20 AmeriCorps Individual Placements on the Shorelines, Education and Engagement Teams:

  • Cly Samson, Rainier Valley Corps Fellow, Community Agriculture, Engagement
  • Natalie Quist, AmeriCorps Projects Coordinator, Community Engagement
  • Liz Fredrickson, AmeriCorps Projects Coordinator, Shorelines
  • Renee Shapiro, AmeriCorps Coordinator, Education

Your KCD Farm Services Team,
Carrie KingJay MirroLiz ClarkMegan Weldon, Liz Stockton

Winter Reminders

Winter is when our battle with mud and rain begins. Don’t feel like your animals and land need to suffer all winter long. Here are a few simple solutions for avoiding muddy conditions.

  • Stop grazing and keep your animals confined. Protect your pastures from mud, rutting and compaction. Animals do the most damage to fields in the winter.
  • Build a heavy use area or “sacrifice” area next to your barn or loafing shed.
  • Fence off streams, ditches, and wet areas to protect them from mud and manure.
  • Install gutters and downspouts on all buildings to direct water away from where animals are housed.

Wait, what is a heavy use area?

Heavy Use Area

Heavy Use Areas

Heavy use areas, also called Confinement Areas or Sacrifice Areas, are fenced graveled areas, typically located next to barns and shelters, that confine animals and keep them off pastures from late fall through early spring. Consider boredom-busting activities for livestock, such as slow feeders, to occupy their time while confined and to prevent damage to troughs, sheds, stalls and barns.

For more detailed information about pasture management recommendations in western Washington, check out this resource from WSU, OSU and NRCS:
Western Oregon and Washington Pasture Calendar (Acrobat PDF)

KCD Native Plant Sale

KCD offers a variety of native trees and shrubs for conservation purposes such as wildlife habitat, windbreaks, hedgerows, reforestation and stream enhancement, as well as home and garden landscaping. A majority of the plants offered are bareroot stock. This means that they do not come in pots or burlap bags. They are harvested from the field in winter when the plants are dormant and ready to be replanted. Bareroot plants are affordable, hardy, have well-developed roots, and are easy to handle, transport and plant. Order early for the best deals and availability. We do sell out, so do not wait as you may not get the species you want.

Order online now!


And make plans to pick up your plants on March 14!

2020 Native Plant Sale and Community Fair

March 14, 2020, 10:00am to 3:00pm
Location: Tukwila Community Center


Equipment Share Program

Need help managing your pastures?

If you are ready to apply lime and boost your soil pH, consider renting KCD’s Rhino Limer Drop Spreader. The calendar is wide open, so it's a good time to put in your request.

If you raised turkeys or chickens, make sure you book early to use KCD’s Featherman Poultry Processing Equipment.

These tools are available for use for free, year-round:

Tractor Time PodcastDo you listen to podcasts?

Winter means we are hiding inside, catching up on research and planning for the coming season. If you need some background audio educational entertainment during the time of year, consider checking out Tractor Time podcast from AcresUSA/Eco Farming Daily.

Upcoming Events of Interest

Check out these upcoming events in early 2020.


Women In Ag Conference

KCD is hosting the King-Pierce County Location
Saturday, January 25, 2020, 8:00am - 4:00pm

“HEALTHY FARMS” is the theme for the eighth annual Women in Agriculture Conference. Experience an engaging, interactive day full of inspiration, learning and networking with other women farmers. This is a one-day event held simultaneously at sites throughout Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana and Washington.

Register here!


KCD Native Plant Sale

2020 Native Plant Sale and Community Fair

March 14, 2020, 10:00am to 3:00pm
Location: Tukwila Community Center


Northwest Flower and Garden Festival

Mark your calendar now to visit the Washington State Convention Center to see the Conservation District Display Garden featuring native plants and principles to help protect water quality and improve soil health.

And be sure to plan to visit the Garden Festival on Saturday, March 1. KCD staff Jay Mirro and Megan Weldon will be giving a a presentation from 12 noon to 1pm in the Hood Room on Soil Health 1010: Evaluating and Managin Your Soil for Healthier Plants.

See Sunday Seminar Schedule here.

February 26 through March 1
Location: Washington State Convention Center, Seattle
Buy Your Tickets Now


Partner Events


WSU Extension Cultivating Success:
Ag Entreprenuership and Business Planning

WSU Snohomish County Extension
Tuesday evenings, January 14 through March 31, plus one full Saturday
Cougar Auditorium, WSU Extension, Everett, WA


Visit KCD’s Events page to register for all KCD farm tours, workshops and volunteer opportunities.

Copyright © 2019 King Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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