PULLMAN, Wash. – Discover the benefits of “solar tractors” at an upcoming Farm Walk on the Palouse. Zakarison Partnership is a diversified crop and livestock farm situated on 600 acres north of Pullman. Wheat, barley, oats, hay, locker lambs and pastured poultry are produced on the family-run farm.
To reduce petroleum inputs Eric Zakarison uses draft mules and oxen for light tillage, planting operations, haying, hay feeding during winter months, and log skidding. These “solar tractors” are maintained with fuel produced on the farm, including grass, grass hay, grain straw and oats. To complete the farm power/nutrient cycle, all animal manure is spread back on the farm to enhance soil fertility.
Ten acres are currently transitioning to organic. Alfalfa/grass cover crops are being used in rotation, along with Austrian Winter peas to increase the fertility of the soil. Sheep and pastured poultry are used to harvest forage during the cover-crop phase and to control weeds during fallow periods. Plans include direct seeding organic small grains using minimal tillage, raising crops with minimal petroleum consumption, and marketing the crops locally, as well as a WSU on-farm research project.
The Farm Walk is Monday, June 2 from noon – 3:30. The cost is $10.00 for Tilth Producer members and $15.00 for non-members. Register on-site or pre-register by mailing a check to Tilth Producers, PO Box 85056, Seattle, WA 98145. A sack lunch is recommended. Beverages provided.
Zakarison Partnership is located six miles north of Pullman on the west side of Highway 27. Look for a large windmill that says Zakarison’s 1935 about ¼ mile before the driveway. As you drive north, turn left off the highway onto the farm driveway. At the fork in the driveway, turn to the right and head towards the grey house.
The Farm Walk is sponsored by Tilth Producers of Washington and Washington State University Small Farms Team.