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Home arrow Sail Transport Stories arrow From Farms to Markets via Sail and Bicycle
From Farms to Markets via Sail and Bicycle PDF Print E-mail
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by Dave Reid   
03 June 2009
Summer 2009 Update
Sail Transport Company:
Petroleum-Free Delivery of Local Organic Produce -

ImageSummer has finally arrived, and we here at the Sail Transport Company are eager to start our regular deliveries on Sunday, June 14th, through our sail and bike-powered Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

ImageWe’d like to bring you up to date on our progress since our last late season produce delivery on February 22nd and our plans for 2009. Since February, the sail transport crew and I have been setting up routes for the 2009 CSA delivery schedule, expanding relations with farmers and sustainability groups, engaging in community outreach, and building the equipment we need to perform petroleum-free delivery of fresh produce. We’re pleased that we’ve made progress with dock access with several Washington ports, including the Port of Seattle’s Shilshole Bay Marina and Seattle’s City Dock.

We’ve continued our partnership with Nash’s Organics in Sequim, and the first produce deliveries this year will come from them. We will continue to supply you with creative recipes supplied by local chefs—June’s recipes are from Heidi and Dylan Stockman, owners of the GreenGoFood restaurant in downtown Ballard.

Some people wonder why we don’t start deliveries earlier. This time is when food becomes available locally in Western Washington. Our CSA is not based on produce trucked in from areas outside Western Washington. Our produce is as in season and local as it can be. We promise our customers and suppliers we support what we can be proud to grow and move locally within the environment we have.

ImageWe’ve continued to deliver raw local Kitsap honey from Buck Hollow farm near Poulsbo throughout the year.

Over the winter, we explored some new future sailing routes as well as developing sculling oars. Future routes to Whidbey Island are looking really promising. Sailing completely engineless requires careful route planning and navigation as well as local first hand knowledge of tidal currents.

ImageBob Hall and I, as well as Kevin Connally at Seattle Central College’s Marine Carpentry program, have been working on multiple sculling oar designs in order to locally perfect here in Seattle a robust system for propelling boats 25 ft. to 40 ft. in close quarters without using engine power. Bob Hall, the skipper of Jacqui and active member of the Oar Club, built the first prototype oar with the help of Jay Fitzgerald, author of “Wind and Tide”.

STC is delighted about its selection as a produce supplier for the first-ever “Camp Carbon Feather” on Blake Island at the end of July where campers, kayakers, sailors, and hikers can meet for a more natural alternative to the gas-powered Seafair.

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Bob Hall sculling in the Straight of San Juan de Fuca, and Seattle-built custom cargo trailer
Over the spring, Segue Fischlin, proprietor of Frankentrikes, has been working long hours to perfect the electric-assisted cargo trike which will be one of our CSA's main land delivery vehicles. I believe this vehicle is one of the most efficient small cargo delivery vehicles in existence, other than pure pedal power. Its designed load-to-weight and energy-to-weight ratios far exceed the conventional small delivery vehicles we know of (including the often-promised, hyper efficient carbon fiber cars arriving in the mainstream media).

ImageLocal bike trailer designer Haulin Colin has also completed a bike delivery trailer design which can be dually used as a dock cart with much better stability than the standard carts available at most ports.

We will use both these designs for this year's deliveries after their prototypes worked successfully for previous loads. I’m very happy that right here in Seattle, we have the local craftspeople with the innovative skill sets who can build these vehicles.

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Fulvio, Dave, Steve, and Alex at Lazy-J Tree farm
STC attended the Green Festival and the Sustainable West Seattle Festival, and in April proudly donated a free tote of produce to Sustainable Ballard’s community raffle. KUOW and KEXP have both produced segments on the Sail Transport Company. You can hear the KUOW interview from the link on sailtransportcompany.com. We're also looking forward to joining Sustainable Ballard's green corner at Seafoodfest in July. Thanks to everyone who is making fresh, healthy food — transported free of petroleum — a reality right here and now.

Fair winds,

Dave Reid, Founder

To order, please visit our Web site at http://sailtransportcompany.com, and click the Ordering link on the left.

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