Taking the Hill

In 1974, Ann Palmer and her sister, Virginia, purchased property in the heart of Lopez Island – a densely forested piece of land nestled next to Lopez Hill. If you’ve ever been to Lopez Hill, you’ll understand what attracted Ann and her sister to this place – hundreds of acres of forestland, blanked by a…

Take a Survey, Feed the Island

At a potluck dinner on Lopez Island late in the summer of 2014, Sandy Bishop, executive director of the Lopez Community Land Trust, and one of LCLT’s farm interns, Ezra Fradkin, were having a conversation about a hot topic – eating locally-sourced food. Sandy told Ezra she guessed that Lopezians probably only get about 5-10% of…

The Simple Life?

Ah, the simple life. Pigs with abscesses. Ewes that die at birth. Sheep with mastitis. Rows of lettuce plagued by wire worms. Allergies triggered by the ever present dust and pollen in the fields. Though they make it look simple, life on Horse Drawn Farm for Ken Akopiantz and Kathryn Thomas is anything but. I had lunch the…

Organic Growth

When Blossom Grocery moves into its new location in early 2016, it will at once be the newest and oldest natural foods grocery store in San Juan County. Since Jeff Nichols opened Blossom in 1977, Lopez has watched the store grow and change – along with the consumption habits of the island. When I recently asked Blossom co-owner,…

No Time to Waste

“I love entropy.” This is how my conversation started with Nikyta Palmisani, the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District (LSWDD, aka The Dump). I scheduled coffee with Nikyta expecting to learn a few data points about Lopez Island’s garbage habits. I left that conversation with that and an entirely new perspective on human…