At the forefront is controversial Ascot drilling proposal and widespread kids programming
The Gifford Pinchot Task Force, which opened a new office in Clark County this year, is at the forefront of the controversial Ascot drilling proposal, among other forest-friendly and conservation initiatives.
At press time, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was about to issue its final ruling on proposed exploratory drilling for gold, silver, copper and molybdenum on a parcel of land adjacent to the Mt. St. Helens National Monument and within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Although he was somewhat reluctant to discuss the drilling project, Garth Smelser, deputy forest supervisor for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, said that after the BLM ruling is released, forest officials will decide whether or not to issue a “letter of consent.” Go-ahead from both entities is required for the drilling to proceed.
Protecting the forest
Jessica Walz Schafer, conservation director for the nonprofit environmental task force, said the drilling proposal by Canadian mining company Ascot Resources Ltd. has stirred controversy among local citizens, the BLM and the forest service.
“This area has always been a valuable place for recreation and wildlife,” said Schafer. “It’s a special place, and should be set aside.”
Although the permit under consideration is for experimental drilling only – not for an actual mine, which would be subject to a separate permitting process – opponents still fear damage to natural resources, especially the Green River watershed. According to Schafer, the Green River, which feeds into the Cowlitz River, is less than a mile from the proposed drilling site.
“Drilling and mining uses a lot of water,” said Schafer, “and there has been no assessment of where the water is coming from.” Ascot’s proposal states that they could use up to 5,000 gallons of water per day during the drilling process.
Clark County Food Bank needs volunteers to take advantage of farm programs
Clark County Food Bank is working hard to get fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables into the hands of the most needy citizens in our region. While most foods come from supermarkets and distribution centers, that food is canned, dried or otherwise processed and does not provide the same nutrients as fresh and frozen produce. The food bank’s farm and garden projects are expanding by the year, and are in deep need of volunteers on the ground (literally) to help plant, weed and harvest. To keep the food organically grown, a huge amount of people-power is needed.
John and Helen Pachl are entering their fifth season of offering food grown on their personal acreage to the food bank. A retired contractor, John Pachl is not a farmer by trade, but saw the need in the county and started growing what he could, using his own money and resources. This year, Fields of Plenty, as the food bank had dubbed the project, produced 36,000 pounds of produce for needy folks in the county. Seven acres of corn, zucchini, beans, peas, apples, peppers, grapes and plums were grown. Two to three tons of tomatoes alone were offered. Pachl has another 15 acres that could be farmed for the food bank, if only enough volunteers were available to take on the planting, harvesting and weeding necessary to take advantage of the offering.
Pachl also said he “might start asking for a little bit of help,” as the funds to make this food available are topping $10,000 a year for necessities such as fertilizer, lime, sprinkler heads, diesel fuel, and of course plants and seeds. Pachl bought a greenhouse, but got hundreds of starts donated from Chapman’s Greenhouse, a family-owned nursery in Orchards.
In fiscal year 2012, Clark County Food Bank distributed more than 3.9 million pounds of food products, resulting in over 121,055 emergency food boxes for distribution by partner agencies to their clients. Approximately 39 percent of those helped were children. Fresh food offerings, said Executive Director Alan Hamilton, helps the food bank accomplish its mission of “alleviating hunger and its root causes.” Kitchen volunteers are helping families learn how to cook simple recipes with inexpensive, easy-to-grow seasonal foods and enabling them to think differently about feeding their families.
Another fresh food initiative, the popular 78th Street Carrot Patch is heading into its fourth season. To help the Clark County Food Bank take full advantage of these offerings, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call the number above or visit the website.
Clark County Food Bank
6502 N.E. 47th Ave., Vancouver
Fava Beans (Broad bean, Windsor bean)
Vicia faba, variety major
Plant late winter, early spring
1-2 inches deep, 8” apart.
Used for centuries in the Middle East and Europe, this early season vegetable is gaining fans among health-conscious gardeners and eaters in the U.S. Harvested green, favas are shelled, boiled and served as a vegetable or roasted for a nutritious snack. Harvested after beans have dried, favas can be ground into a flour to make falafel.
Like peas, fava beans prefer cool, mild weather. Sow between February and March, when soil temp is at least 40 degrees. Windsor is an excellent variety with 5-6” pods containing three to five large, green shell beans. Planting in double rows will help support the large leafy plants. Harvest pods about 80 days after germination.
Many varieties of fava are used as an excellent cover crop for pulling nitrogen from the air and fixing it into the soil, adding biomass, etc.
One cup cooked fava beans contains 187 calories, 13g protein, 33g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 1g fat.
Plant This is provided courtesy of Anne Lawrence at Storytree Farm.
2416 Main St., Vancouver
Ever wondered what those nifty transports are next to the Starbucks sidewalk seating in Uptown Village? They are EcoMopeds, an alternative for commuters that is essentially a battery-powered bicycle. Two new models are available, and the bikes start at $699. They charge like a laptop – just plug into the wall and leave it alone for six to eight hours if it is completely depleted. The bikes do have pedals, so no license or insurance is required. A battery charge can last up to 62 miles, and a battery can last up to 350 charge cycles. All profits from sales of the bikes benefit Arnada Abbey, a local interfaith community.
Go vintage and your gift could be the most unique one under the tree
photos by mary preiser potts
If you’re on a mission to keep it local this holiday season, consider the advantages of giving vintage, antique and re-purposed gifts. Not only is it friendlier to the environment, it can be easier on your budget as well. The following are a handful of shops in downtown Vancouver where you’ll find a selection of unique and useful treasures with personality, pizzazz or a pinch of whimsy. PS: Check out our excursion to Kalama on page 14 for more antiquing opportunities.
The Cat’s Pajamas
1411 Broadway Street
If sheer variety is important, The Cat’s Pajamas should be at the top of your list. The space is not huge, but it’s well-utilized and the displays are eye-popping. Standout items are industrial and primitive furnishings, a collection of colorful perfume bottles, cowboy boots, western handbags, pictures, prints, Native American pottery and a magician’s rabbit table (you just have to see it). Kitchen items, ornate boxes, camping gear, telephones and typewriters round out an impressive assortment of desirable items from yesteryear.
108 Ninth Street
2nd Bloom is owned by sisters Keri Frendt and Kayla Castiglioni. Inviting displays feature an eclectic mix of rustic vintage home décor items, silver, lamps and jewelry. They also carry unique jewelry made locally from re-purposed objects by Humblebug Jewelry (humblebugjewelry.com). Vegan, organic candles made by Objects with Purpose also make a great gift. The warm candle wax is scented with essential oils and is pure enough to be used warm as a body butter or dabbed on wrists as perfume.
815 Washington Street
If it’s vintage fashion you seek, this is the place to find an amazing collection of plaid, leather jackets, hats, women’s gloves and men’s long-sleeve shirts. There’s also luggage, jewelry, vintage glass, local art and handbags created locally from re-purposed materials. Most Everything is also the engine behind Couve Couture, Vancouver’s fall fashion show event.
904 Main Street
Divine Consign is a community fundraiser nonprofit staffed by volunteers. The ample showroom is filled with mid-century, traditional and contemporary home furnishings for every room of the house, as well as rugs, tableware, lighting and smaller home décor items. Divine Consign gives grants to local charities providing community services in the arts, education and human services. Not only do they have a great selection, but it’s for a great cause.
Main Street Vintage
1817 Main Street
Owned by home decorating enthusiast Marci Fitzgerald and her husband, Glen, Main Street Vintage features 30 antique and vintage dealers. The displays are impeccable and the selection of merchandise is well curated. From large furniture pieces to vintage toys, tools, storage solutions and unique lighting fixtures, this is a store to get lost in.
Meadow Lark Tea Room & Antiques
1803 Main Street
Located in the same shopping center as Main Street Vintage, Meadow Lark Tea Room & Antiques is an antique mall with a twist. The mall showcases more than 25 antique dealers with an emphasis on glass, china and costume jewelry. A large English tea room serves home baked items and a wide selection of loose leaf teas. There’s also a gift area featuring the work of local artisans. Do a little shopping, have a bite to eat, do a little more shopping, all while staying dry!
1006 Main Street
Amour Mercantile is a fusion of mercantile, vintage and antique shop where you’ll find an array of home decor, reclaimed and re-purposed treasures of all kinds, vintage treats and military collectibles. And, just in time for the holidays, the mercantile is also carrying wearable arts from local artisans in the form of cashmere hats, gloves and scarves, as well as playful skirts and t-shirts; simple, locally crafted and custom jewelry; and a line of organic bath and beauty products.
Hot holiday shopping
So, what items do the proprietors of downtown Vancouver’s fine vintage and antique shops think will top gift giving lists this holiday season? Let’s have a look:
2nd Bloom: Angel wings wall décor and jewelry, because of the versatility and range of style and price.
Most Everything: Anything with owls on it and crazy Christmas sweaters.
Amour Mercantile: Vintage candy, handmade jewelry and soap.
Meadow Lark Tea & Antiques: Tea cups, hand-embroidered pillowcases and loose leaf tea.
Main Street Vintage: Mercury glass, pewter and Native American blankets in neutral tones.
Divine Consign: Pairs of traditional chairs, unique glass items and anything in the color range from apple green to turquoise.