Organic Valley Dairy Family Invites Public to Celebration of Resurgent Flower
The endangered Kincaid's lupine (lupinus sulphereus kincaidii) will be the center of attention at the third annual Lupine Field Day, a celebration of the plant's unexpected resurgence in Washington. The free, educational event is held at the Mallonee family organic dairy farm, located in Washington's Boistfort Valley, on Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 330-acre Mallonee farm is home to Washington's largest concentration of the rare flower and represents the northernmost range of the Kincaid's Lupine, a flower normally found on the dry upland prairies on the Western side of the Willamette Valley.
Three years ago, an employee from the Washington Department of Natural Resources discovered a large population of the lavender-colored perennial lupine on the Mallonee farm, an organic dairy with 60 head of cattle. The Mallonee family has strived to maintain a safe and sustainable habitat for the endangered flower and its equally endangered inhabitant, the Fender's Blue butterfly, which undergoes its larval stage in the lupine's root system and emerges as a caterpillar to feed on the flower's leaves.
"We credit our organic practices with the lupine's success on our farm," says Maynard Mallonee, Organic Valley Co-op member and third-generation dairy farmer. "The same approach that allows our dairy cattle to thrive has made our pastures an ideal home for the lupine and the Fender's Blue."
The Lupine Field Day will begin at 10 a.m. at Baw Faw Grange Hall, located at the 995 Boistfort Road, next to the Boistfort School in Curtis, Wash., with presentations by Joe Arnett of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and Rare Plant Botanist for the Washington Natural Heritage Program. Mallonee will discuss the preservation plan he has developed and implemented for the lupine, which incorporates pasturing strategies and a no-cutting period, among other policies.
Following a free luncheon, compliments of Organic Valley's community of 31 Washington-based farmer-owners, a tour guide will lead visitors on a pasture walk through five acres of lupine fields and point out other rare plants on the Mallonee property. The entire event is free and open to the public. Baw Faw Grange Hall is located 20 miles south of Olympia, Wash. and 80 miles north of Portland, Ore. Travelers heading southbound take I-5, exit 76; northbound take I-5 exit 77. Reservations are requested for lunch and should be made by June 5. Please contact the Mallonee Family at 360-245-3733 or e-mail at maynard(at)malloneefarms.com to reserve a seat.
Cyclists can add a Botany Bike Ride to their Lupine Field Day
This year, cyclists can add a ride in the country to their Lupine Field Day experience by participating in the self-guided Botany Bike Ride 2009. The family-oriented ride begins at 8 a.m. and makes a 20-mile loop around the region's moderately hilly terrain. All riders will meet and begin at the Baw Faw Grange Hall at 8 a.m. sharp to pick up a map. Following the ride and noontime lunch, cyclists will join the rest of the group for the botany and butterfly walk in a meadow along the South Fork of the Chehalis River on the Mallonee organic farm. For more information on the Botany Bike Ride contact Taylor Pittman, Information & Education Specialist, US Fish & Wildlife Service at 360.753.4375.
Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,332 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $527 million in 2008 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop and the cooperative’s farmer website, www.farmers.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter, www.twitter.com/organicvalley and Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Organic-Valley/20674850824.