As we look toward the end of the year with reflection and hope, it is made even more poignant because PARSONS + CO will turn 30 – yes 30 – in 2022! My team and I starting the celebration early – reveling in three decades of friendship, community and joy – with much more to come.

I truly can’t believe it.

When I decided to go out on my own as a young woman, I didn’t know the challenges I would face as a female-business owner. There have certainly been ups and downs over the years, but you know, that has made PARSONS + CO + me who we are today. A friend said recently, “I can’t image doing anything for 30 years.” Well, in PR/Marketing it isn’t really like that because you have a beautiful array of clients throughout the years. And because we have always been purposeful, it has been a joy to elevate those on a mission, whether it’s sustainability, organics, female-founders or forward-thinking nonprofits making change in the world.

As we head into a season of gratitude, I want to say thank you to our clients, old and new, our friends, and those who have supported PARSONS + CO along the way.

We are so very grateful to all of you!

Warm regards,

Client News

Proform Builds

We love watching our clients grow. Proform Builds hired us to update their brand, revamp their logo, their messaging and their website. Over the course of this past year, we have worked with them as they’ve grown their team, grown their clients, and grown in success.
They’ve started an informative and fun series of videos on their growing Instagram feed called #BehindTheBuilds. Want to learn more about what goes into the process of building or remodeling a home? Check out their feed – plus images of some gorgeous home remodels!

Fast Penny Spirits

Did you know Fast Penny Spirits commits 3% of its bottle revenue to organizations that support women in business through their Pretty Penny program? This quarter they are focused on Ladies Who Launch, an organization dedicated to providing grants, mentorship and networking to early-stage women entrepreneurs. If you’ve got some Christmas spirits to purchase, check out Fast Penny and know you are contributing to a great cause.

Mighty-O Donuts

Organic ingredients: check
Recycling programs: check
Compostable materials: check
Not only does Mighty-O Donuts satisfy our sweet tooth, they satisfy the PARSONS + CO mission of working with clients who share the same values. Respect for our local community and the environment is a big one. We are so grateful to be helping this Seattle-based company share their really sweet story.

Rogue Creamery

There is no need for a blue Christmas, unless it’s Rogue River Blue from Rogue Creamery. It’s seriously so good. Check out this article from the New York Times and this one from the Oregonian and see why we are so passionate about our cheese making client.
Not only do they make award-winning cheese, but they use their cheese for good with their Cheese is Love program. This video explains how.

Aging Well: How anyone can do it with grace + humor

Our ongoing partnership with RevelEleven continues with an upcoming series on Aging Well, that includes a LIVE IN-PERSON EVENT! Yep, we are super excited to be able to gather in person once again and hoping to do more in-person events in 2022!
For the week of December 6 – 10 RevelEleven will host a weeklong series of events, in partnership with Leisure Care.These events are for anyone who is getting older, or might have loved ones who are getting older.

Aging Parents: What You Need to Know

December 6 at 12 p.m. PT: It can be hard to juggle relationships, parenting and a career in order to assist our aging parents. In this session, we’ll have a heart-to-heart conversation about being a family caregiver.

Living Well: Mind, Body, Spirit

December 7 at 12 p.m. at the Murano Senior Living, Seattle: Align your mind, body + spirit with three experts who will help us tackle the challenges and opportunities of our mental and physical health. This event is LIVE at Murano. Only 20 spots available!

Audacious Living at All Ages

December 8 at 12 p.m. PT: What does it take to thrive at all ages? Audacity, courage and positivity. We will hear from three women who are living it up in their “third act of life”.

Financial Wisdom: Understanding the Importance of Financial and Estate Planning

December 9 at 12 p.m. PT: Financial and estate planning play a key role in securing your future. Learn how to live a richer life with three financial planners.

Growing Your Career in Senior Living

December 10 at 12 p.m. PT: From real estate to hospitality, health care to operations, hear from five women with diverse roles at Leisure Care whoo want to change the narrative on aging.

Look for more details and where to sign up for these informative events on the RevelEleven website.

What PARSONS + CO is grateful for:

JOANIE

I have so much gratitude for: Our incredible small, but mighty, Parsons’ team. Our clients who have supported over the last almost 30 years (crazy, I know). My lovely friends, family + fur babies (Jasper + Juno + Jakie who passed earlier this year). This immensely beautiful place that we call home here in the PNW. And just the simple moments within a day that make you smile with joy + happiness!

Natalie

I’m grateful for being able to gather with family and friends again.

Natalia

Grateful for family, and having daughters who live nearby and want to come to dinner. For friends who stick with you through all of life’s moments. For a team that works well together and rolls with the punches. And for family FaceTime calls every weekend, and coffee.

Hannah

I am grateful for my health and my family’s health. I’m grateful for my good friends and all the fun we’ve had this year. And the opportunity to explore a new city, try new things and meet new people!

Eden

I’m grateful for warming sun breaks in these rainy months! + supportive friends and family.

Jasper & Juno

We are always grateful – you can tell because our tails are always wagging. But mostly it’s for treats, pets, and long walks with Joanie.


Letter from Joanie  

The bounty of the fall season is upon us. Farms from around the Pacific Northwest are harvesting everything from pumpkins to corn, squash to tomatoes. It’s one of the reasons we live here – to take advantage of this place we call home – with healthy fruits and vegetables from this amazing fertile land.

As a board member of the Washington Farmland Trust, I am very excited to share with you about the Love the Land concert from the Trust and Viva Farms. What is Love the Land? Several local bands have joined together to raise important funds: The Decemberists, True Loves, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Whitney Monge, and Sera Cahoone.

Of course it is virtual again this year so you can enjoy from the comforts of your own home. We are proud to be a sponsor for the second annual event. The concert is this Wednesday, September 22nd at 7:00 p.m. – and it benefits Pacific Northwest farms and farmers – the people whose hard work keeps food on our tables and who help keep us nourished.

Tickets are just $10. Don’t wait, make sure to secure your spot today at Love the Land: A virtual benefit concert for local farms – WA Farmland Trust.

Enjoy the concert and this fall’s bounty!
Warm regards,
Joanie

Client News:

 

Getting Ready to Go Rogue

For cheese lovers, this is the month that really counts. Rogue Creamery debuts the 2021 vintage of Rogue River Blue on September 22nd. This is the cheese that won over international judges and took the top spot at the World Cheese Awards.
Head to the Rogue Creamery website on September 22 to get a wedge of that delicious blue. You can also join the Rogue Creamery Cheese Club – and get a box of cheese delivered to your door four times a year – and yes, one of those boxes will contain Rogue River Blue.

A Washington Wine Debut

A new collection of wines from Washington State made its debut this summer. Ackley Beverage Group, a family investment company for the Northwest wine industry, launched Cataclysm. Named after the cataclysmic ice age Missoula Floods that shaped much of the grape growing regions of Washington State, Cataclysm pays homage to the forces that gave rise to one of the most exciting wine regions in the world today. The inaugural release features three Columbia Valley wines; a Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blend and Chardonnay, each crafted with grapes from the Columbia Valley.

Parenting + Aging – Two New Series from RevelEleven

Parsons + Co has long been a sponsor of RevelEleven, a growing international community of women who gather online (we hope to gather in-person again soon) to listen to inspiring speakers from around the globe. This fall, RevelEleven will feature two special series:

  • Parenting Series – it is all about parenting – celebrating the ups and downs of motherhood, and recognizing and caring for some of the most important people in this world – moms!
  • Aging Well – we will host a weeklong series of events on aging – how to age into your later years with grace, health, and the support you need. This special series of events is being held in partnership with Leisure Care.

Look for more details and where to sign up for these informative events on the RevelEleven website.

Our Favorite Fall Activities

The days might be getting shorter and the temperatures cooler, so put on layers, get out there and revel in all that autumn has to offer! Here’s what the PARSONS team is looking forward to this fall.

JOANIE: Hiking in search of larches. The fall bounty from local farms. Fried green tomatoes. Cozy sweaters. Fires and Sunday mornings.
NATALIE: Harvest Season and fall cooking. So much amazing food is grown in the Northwest. I love to visit the farmer’s market this time of year and then explore new recipes to cook up whatever bounty I find.
NATALIA: Fall means soccer seasons is back in full swing. When we’re not standing on the sidelines cheering on our teenager, we are pottering around the house and garden working on a myriad of projects.
HANNAH: College football games! The huskies are back on the field and I’m so happy to get to go back to the stands to cheer on my favorite team. I also love walks in my neighborhood of Fremont, walking along the canal and enjoying the changing leaves.
EDEN: I like bundling up with a crossword and a big mug of tea while it’s rainy out, watching the leaves change, and long walks in the crisp fall air.
JASPER & JUNO: We still luv long walks – what’s rain?

Copyright © 2021 PARSONS + CO,  All rights reserved.


AUGUST 2020

Letter from Joanie

A global pandemic, passionate protests, the politicalization of nearly everything…it’s been a long, hot summer.

More and more, it seems like everyone is cranky, discouraged and unable to get along. Which is why a new book by best-selling author, local sustainability expert and PARSONS + CO client, Kevin Wilhelm seems especially relevant.

“How to Talk to the “Other Side”: Finding Common Ground in the Time of Coronavirus, Recession, and Climate Change” touches on not only the pandemic divide, but also the polarization between political parties, climate change activists and deniers, and rural versus urban dwellers. It’s a must read for these crazy times. We were delighted to see Kevin & his co-author, Natalie Hoffman, get some airtime on KING 5’s New Day Northwest recently, check it out here.

These days, it feels like we’re all trapped in some endless Bill-Murray-esque loop where every day is the same. But here’s something to look forward to: PCC Farmland Trust is presenting “Love the Land,” a fundraising event and virtual benefit concert featuring Dave Mathews and other musical guests. The concert takes place Sunday, September 30. PARSONS + CO is proud to again be a sponsor of this great organization and event. Stay tuned for more info to come!

All the best,

Joanie

Client Updates!

REVELELEVEN

We are thrilled to introduce RevelEleven! Over the last four years Joanie, Monica Smith and Barbie Seifert have been building an exciting, engaging and empowering community of women. Through events and retreats for women of all ages, they grew GrapeVine, Crush and Revel Retreats. Now they are taking it to the next level, combining all three of these fabulous communities into one: RevelEleven. We believe in the power of women together. Look for more details, more fabulous events and retreats, and more plans to revel on their new website.

ROGUE CREAMERY

This summer we welcomed Rogue Creamery to the PARSONS family! We are so excited to work with this artisan cheesemaker based in Southern Oregon. Rogue uses traditional, handmade and sustainable practices to create their delicious cheeses. Their “Rogue River Blue” was named “World’s Best Cheese” at the 2019 Word Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy. Check out their Instagram feed, @RogueCreamery to learn more about their cheese—and their adorable cows!

OHME GARDENS

Check out the new look of Ohme Gardens! Well, you have to do it online, because they’ve decided not to open this season. But they’ll be spending the summer on a multitude of maintenance projects—new plantings, clearing trails, new ticket office and gift shop—and plan to be back better than ever next year. So while you can’t visit this North Central Washington gem in person, you can take a look at their brand new website and follow their Instagram feed, @Ohme.Gardens, for updates. And here’s an article published earlier this summer in the Seattle Times. We can’t wait for opening day of 2021!

TRIBUTE 

Great news for Sarah Haggard, CEO and Founder of Tribute, and her team! Tribute, a mobile-first mentorship app, tied for first place at the Seattle Angel Conference, which was held virtually this year. Of 53 companies that entered, six were accepted to present pitches to investors. You can read more about it in GeekWire. Sarah also recently revealed that Tribute has managed to successfully raise their seed stage round – giving Tribute funding through 2021. Congratulations to Sarah and Tribute!

On the Road Again

by Eric Knudson, Creative Director for PARSONS + CO

I recently busted out of lockdown to take a road trip of sorts. I flew from Seattle to Palm Springs, — masked, gloved, goggled and in fetal position for most of the flight — swooped up my 86-year old mother and then we drove together to Salem, Oregon, where she moved into a retirement community.

It was my first time away from Seattle in quite some time and gave me an interesting look at how some businesses are managing to make it work under incredibly challenging circumstances.


Mask and You Shall Receive

On the second morning of the trip, I reluctantly decided that a nearby McDonalds was probably the best option for a quick breakfast before we started driving. A national chain known for efficiency and consistency, surely they’d have their act together? The drive-through was packed, so I decided to walk in and get our Egg McMuffins to go.

Except you couldn’t walk in. They had placed two large tables in front of the main entrance to prevent customers from entering. An employee stood there with a menu — a Word document covered in fingerprints. You gave your order to Barricade Guy, he took it to the kitchen and brought it out when it was ready. You handed him your money, he walked back to the cash register and then brought you your change.

Not fast. Not easy. Not what you expect from McDonald’s. But they had figured out a new system that, for the most part, worked. And based on the crowd that morning, it was enough to keep their customers coming in.

That night I got takeout from a small family-owned Mexican restaurant across the street from our hotel. I was the only customer. The owner said it would take 10-15 minutes to prepare, so I took a seat in one of a handful of chairs paced throughout the parking lot. There was a lovely view… of the dumpster.

In a few minutes, the owner brought me a complimentary box of homemade chips and salsa. He asked if I wanted a beer. It wasn’t quite the same as enjoying a drink on the patio, but why not? Moments later, a man wearing a surgical mask, latex gloves and a Mariachi suit appeared. He handed me my beer, carefully backed away two paces and began playing guitar for me. Somehow, they had transformed a grab-n-go transaction into a memorable evening.

One restaurant had to re-think their proven system and come up with new ways to do things. The other was able to recreate their pre-pandemic customer experience, at least to some degree.

When it comes to business, we are all in this weird, constantly changing state of limbo. Some businesses are open, “like normal.” Some are operating on a limited basis. Some remain closed. Many have gone out of business entirely. Circumstances vary by state, city and neighborhood.

No one knows what’s going to happen next, but you should get used to the idea that it’s going to require a dramatically different approach:

Forget what you think you know about your customers. Not everyone will want the same thing or be on the same schedule for reopening.

The new normal will challenge your team like never before. Internal policies and solutions that worked pre-pandemic, may need to be completely rethought.

Communication will be critical. It’s going to be confusing as companies start to open back up. There will be more middle ground, more grey areas, more unknowns. All of which will need to be communicated, both internally and externally.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be messy. And the new normal might not be normal at all. We’ll need to be smart, flexible and creative. The one thing it won’t be? Dull.

Celebrating a Century During COVID

This might be one of our favorite stories we have worked on during COVID-19, when the Fairwinds-Redmond Senior Living Community came out with a royal celebration for one of its residents. We met Toni just over a year ago, through our Leisure Care client, when she was the focus of some of our stories about fitness and aging. This year Toni celebrated her 100th turn around the sun. The coronavirus meant her family and friends couldn’t hold their planned big birthday bash, but Toni’s community rolled out the red carpet nevertheless, to celebrate their newest centenarian. You’ll want to read Toni’s story that appeared on KOMO’s Seattle Refined.

Giving in a Time of Crisis

Throughout the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement we have see a need to donate, whether it’s time or dollars, to organizations directly affected. We encourage you to give—money or time—what you can to help  We’re also sharing some of our favorite local nonprofits that are doing great work in our community.
JOANIE

NATALIE

ERIC

NATALIA

HANNAH

MICHELLE

JAKE & JASPER



How is your company communicating through this current global crisis?

COVID-19 has forced everyone to shift gears, change the way they do business and revamp communications plans. Joanie, and our PARSONS + CO Creative Director, Eric Knudson, shared their thoughts with the Puget Sound Business Journal.

You can read the article here.

For more information about PARSONS + CO’s crisis communications services contact us at info@parsonsandco.com.

 

 



Starbucks recently announced ambitious plans to cut its waste, water use and carbon emissions in half during the next decade.

That’s great news! But a Seattle coffee place that cares about sustainability? That’s old news. Just ask our client Mighty-O Donuts.

Ever since they sold their first donuts at the U-District Street Fair way back in 2000, Mighty-O has been mindful of the environment and their impact. Twenty years ago, selling an organic and dairy-free product wasn’t as popular as it is now but Mighty-O has grown to be a staple for those with a sweet tooth and care for the environment and has five Seattle shops. Their delicious donuts are made with no chemicals, no genetically modified organisms and no animal products. But better ingredients are just the start. Mighty-O is committed to using sustainable products and creating zero waste by composting and recycling. No donuts are thrown away: instead they donate what they don’t sell to nonprofit organizations and compost all food waste.

The good news is that a global corporation and local business are both showing that you can be successful when you put sustainability first. More and more, consumers are making their decisions based on these kinds of environmental factors and are expecting—and demanding—more from the brands they choose to support.



The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and Fall has wasted no time in making an appearance in the Pacific Northwest — despite our attempts to clutch on to those waning warm days.

And while the Parsons team thoroughly enjoyed the long days of summer, there is something special about that crisp Autumn air. Overcast days in the Pacific Northwest are made for reading, snuggled up under a blanket with a good cup of tea, or coffee, or kombucha. 

We thought we would share a little bit about what we’ve been reading, what we’ve loved reading recently, and what we are looking forward to reading.  

Joanie 

Currently reading

Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It, Anna Lappé. Anna Lappé is a thought leader around climate and food systems and this is a huge area of interest for me. 

Current favorite 

Moment of Lift, Melinda Gates. I strongly believe, as does Melinda, that educated women will change the world. 

Eric 

Current favorites

It’s So Easy and Other Lies, Duff McKagen. Celebrity memoirs aren’t usually my thing, but I really enjoyed “It’s So Easy and Other Lies”by Duff McKagen, Seattle native and base player for Guns n Roses. In a low-key and charming style, he covers the beginnings of the band, their rise to superstardom, heavy drug use and eventually his sobriety and transition to mini-van driving dad and financial advisor for up-and-coming bands. Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, Michael Gibney. I’m a lousy cook and only go to trendy restaurants when someone else invites me, yet I was fascinated by “Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line,” which takes you behind the scenes at an upscale New York restaurant where the stoves and the tempers are hot. A real eye-opener about the life of a professional chef. The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life, John LeCarré. I’m a big fan of spy stories and John LeCarre is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read all of his novels and think he is one of the best in the world. I was very excited when his nonfiction “The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life” came out in 2016 and wasn’t disappointed when I finally got around to reading it this year. It’s everything you’d expect from LeCarre: great stories, near-perfect prose and memorable characters. 

Hannah 

Currently reading

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, Robert Dugoni. Someone recommended The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell because it’s like Educated. It’s about a young boy who was dealt an unfair hand in life and how his story unfolds. 

Current favorite

Educated, Tara Westover. Educated was a page turner for me. I loved reading about a girl’s life lived so differently from mine and her perseverance through such formidable odds. There were moments I couldn’t believe it was a memoir, but I loved her dedication to expanding her mind and seeing the world. 

Natalia 

Currently reading

Leonardo Da Vinci, Walter Isaacson. I wanted to read this book in prep for a trip to Italy. Well I started, but I haven’t finished yet, and my trip to Italy is long over! But I’m taking it slowly and totally fascinated by the life of this creative genius.  

On my TBR pile

Hollow Kingdom, Kira Jane Buxton. This was recommended by a friend who had the chance to read an advanced copy. It’s described as genre-bending, apocalyptic, and both horrifying and hilarious. The protagonist is a pet crow (I love crows) and it’s set in Seattle.  

Natalie 

Currently reading 

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan & The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin. I’m currently reading Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.  And my book club just picked the Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. 

Current favorites

Lake City, Thomas Kohnstamm. A hilarious dark comedy that if based in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood in the early aughts. I loved the descriptions of a very different Seattle and the story line is a page turner.  
The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah. It really makes you appreciate the amenities of modern life.  It is a gripping story that portrays the struggles and strength of people that live in Alaska’s bush. 
Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Hannah Tinti. A great story of love and family that was based in a coastal town in Massachusetts which sounded similar to where I grew up and Hannah Tinti lives in Washington so there was also mentions of Seattle which made it a fun to read. 

Amelia 

Current favorite

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt. My favorite read of 2019 so far has been the Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. I scored it in the UW Book Store’s bargain fiction section, and it was impossible to put down once I started. Counting down the days until I get to see the movie adaptation!

What about you? What has been your favorite current read for 2019  and what’s in your TBR pile? We’d love to know. 




Perched on a hillside, with sweeping views of the Wenatchee Valley, lies a very special garden. Ohme Gardens is a must-see for anyone venturing to Wenatchee or passing through North Central Washington. This year marks the 90th Anniversary for Ohme Gardens which has a rich history that started with the vision of a Wenatchee couple decades ago.

Back in 1929, Herman and Ruth Ohme purchased a dry and desolate 40-acre bluff. The couple saw potential in the land with the orchard and spectacular view of the Cascade Mountains and Columbia River Valley. They developed a vision- one that included tranquil pools, fluorescent greenery, and an immaculate landscape. Since then, Ohme Gardens has become a community treasure in the Wenatchee Valley.

The Ohme’s worked tirelessly to create the Gardens. They used milk gallons to cart water to the plantings throughout the Gardens and ended up installing an intricate irrigation system throughout the acreage. Although the beautiful site was originally created to be a family retreat, Herman and Ruth decided it was best to be admired by all- and Ohme Gardens became open to the public. In 1991, the Ohme family sold the gardens to Washington State Parks. It’s now maintained by Chelan County.

The team at Ohme Gardens is working hard to carry out the vision the couple had for the property, including the physical upkeep of the land as well as creating a shared space for the community to enjoy. The Ox Yoke Lodge is a beloved piece of architecture in the Gardens, and one of the very first structures to be built by the Ohme’s. As time has taken its toll on the lodge, a goal of Ohme Gardens is to renovate this meaningful and iconic landmark- not only to honor Herman and Ruth’s work, but to allow present and future generations to enjoy the lodge with family and friends. The Ohme Gardens Friends Society is a volunteer group that aids in these efforts, working on Ohme Gardens maintenance, implementing fundraising projects, garden promotion, and hosting events.

Ohme Gardens is a place where nature, community, and history can be enjoyed. While the gardens are gorgeous enough to draw a crowd on their own, they also host concerts, movie nights, yoga, and more throughout the year to bring the community together. The gardens offer an environment where people can gather, celebrate, reflect, exercise, relax, and appreciate while surrounded by stunning views, dense greenery, and blossoming floras.

At Parsons + Co., we are working with Ohme Gardens to support their goal of maintaining the vision that Ruth and Herman had for this land back in 1929. As a company, we stand behind the values of cultivating community, preserving culturally significant landmarks, and appreciating the beauty of the outdoors.




It’s true when they say that Seattle summers are worth the wait. From watching the Blue Angels soar during Seafair to hiking the nearby evergreen trails, the season has something to offer for everyone! With August in full swing, we asked our team to share their favorite activities- Pacific Northwest style. 

Joanie: For a fun summer date night: Take the Bainbridge Island ferry from Seattle and walk to one of the wonderful restaurants in lovely Bainbridge. Then catch the sun setting on the city on the way back. There’s nothing like an evening ferry ride on a warm Seattle evening. 

Some favorite restaurants: Harbour Public HouseStreamliner DinerRestaurant Marche and Hitchcock 

NataliaAt the start of this summer I bought an inflatable stand-up paddleboard and have taken the family paddling around on the various lakes and waterways around Seattle. It’s been a lot of fun to jump in the car and in just a few minutes be out on Lake Union or Green Lake. While we try to take at least one holiday out-of-town, we also enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest during the summer. We try to get outside as much as we can whether it’s riding bikes, walking dogs, picnicking at Gas Works or Golden Gardens, or finding festivals and farmers markets that we can stroll through. Summer in the PNW is the best. 

HannahI love summers in Seattle for so many reasons! Having late nights around a campfire outside with friends and finding a good book to read in the sun are two of my favorite activities.

EricOne of my favorite summer weekend activities is to go on a long bike ride with Joanie. We carefully plan our route, make sure our bikes and other gear are working smoothly, get up early…and then go out to brunch instead. 

NatalieFor me, I love to grow lots of tomatoes to make sauce and gazpacho at harvest time.  I also love to camp with my kiddos and get out on our boat to simply enjoy being on the water. 

Chloe: One of my favorite Seattle summer activities is grabbing a picnic dinner and heading to Gas Works park! All of the boats in Lake Union are beautiful when the sun is going down, and it’s a great place to enjoy and relax with friends.

AmeliaI love taking advantage of all the fun seasonal activities Seattle has throughout the summer! To name a few, outdoor movies at Marymoor Park, Bumbershoot Music Festival, and trying bites to eat at the Seattle Street Food Festival are always highlights of my summer. 

Thanks for being so good to us, Seattle!

 




“Sometimes our issues seem so vast, but so much of what you can do can start here and now.” Anna Lappé of Real Food Media has devoted her career to understanding the intersection of food systems and climate change. At GrapeVine and PCC Farmland Trust’s June 10th event, Our Plates, Our Planet, six incredible women panelists, including Lappe, told individual stories of how they work toward more sustainable farmland practices everyday.

We know that there is so much needed change that needs to happen within our food systems, and it was inspiring to hear each and every panelist explain the waves they’re making in the restaurant and farming industry. Anna Lappé, a nationally known author, spoke about the importance of re-imagining our food systems to protect biodiversity on earth. “Our vision is to eat food that’s good for our bodies and for the land.” Lappé also spoke about how while it can seem daunting, the food choices we all make can and will make a difference — using the metaphor of being drops in a bucket.

The rest of the panel was made up of speakers from the local food, farm and ranching industries including Marjorie restaurant owner Donna Moodie, Gleason Ranch Manager Tracey Baker, Viva Farms Marketing Manager Anna Chotzen, Conservation Director of PCC Farmland Trust Hilary Aten, and Executive Director at Oxbow Farm & Education Center Liza Jaguzny.

Food systems are the driver of many big issues of our time, and transitioning farms to be resilient in the face of climate change is important in every facet of the industry. Restaurant owner Donna Moodie sources her organic ingredients from local Washington farms and creates dishes based on the seasonality of certain PNW crops. “We need to eat at places that are choosy about what they serve, and make it a primary choice in our lives, no matter where we come from,” Moodie encouraged attendees to ask more questions everywhere they eat, and make conscious decisions. Reflecting on Lappé’s metaphor Moodie said,“We’re all drops in the bucket, you can decide how big or small you want to be.”

Small farms are the backbone of the organic growing industry, as we heard Anna Chotzen speak about the opportunities Viva Farms provides to small farm businesses to become successful. She mentioned that 175 acres of farmland is lost every hour- to decrease that number we must educate small farm owners on organic practices so their farms can be resilient.

Tracey Baker of Gleason Ranch had an interesting perspective into the ranching industry, and suggested people always double check the labeling of their products. As a grass-fed beef farm, Baker works to do her best to control the process for the benefit of the animal. Baker says she is with her cattle from the moment they are born, to their very last day.

At Parsons, we have a longstanding support of organic farming and produce. We were thrilled to be able to help sponsor this event with Grapevine and PCC Farmland Trust and to hear these panelists speak so complementary of each other, it just confirms the need for more women in the organic farming industry to make change. We look forward to more thought-provoking events like this, and working with all these fantastic organizations to keep making drops in the bucket!

-Hannah




In the dialogue of climate change, waste takes up a huge space. How can we avoid waste and how can we create less of it? Today, more and more companies and entrepreneurs are asking: how can we REUSE it? These unique (some, unheard of) ideas may be putting us on the right track to save our planet before it’s too late.

Entocycle

This London based company is reinventing the future of protein. Did you know that just 55 percent of the world’s crop calories are actually eaten by humans? Thirty-six percent is used for animal feed and the rest (nine percent) goes towards bio-fuels and other industrial resources. Some of that animal feed goes back into humans, but it takes 100 calories of grain to produce a mere 12 calories of chicken or three calories of beef. Doesn’t seem very productive – does it?

That’s where Entocycle, an insect farming company, comes in. They take pre-consumer food waste (such as spent grain from local breweries or used grounds from local coffee roasters) and feed it to their Black Soldier Fly Larvae in their indoor, controlled environment. In just six days the larvae consume the organic waste and convert it into high-protein body mass. These insects are then processed into a flour when they are 45-65% protein and this flour can be combined with other products and turned into feed pellets.

Spinnova

With our current water usage, experts predict that we will only have 60 percent of the water we need to survive by 2030. Cotton, grown mainly for the apparel industry, uses three percent of the total water consumed by agriculture. This doesn’t seem like a huge percentage, but over 5,000 gallons of water is needed just to produce one t-shirt and a pair of jeans. When it comes to a life resource, any way to cut down usage is a step in the right direction.

After learning about how a spider spins its web, co-founder of Spinnova Juha Salmela wondered if wood fibre could be spun into textile fiber in the same way.

He was right. While still in their pilot stage, their process uses about 99 percent less water than cotton production and zero harmful chemicals. Using FSC certified wood, they’re promoting responsible forest management and creating a sustainable and recyclable fibre choice for the textile industry.

EILEEN FISHER Renew

American women’s clothing brand, EILEEN FISHER, has started a program to extend the life of the clothing pieces they create and love so much. Their philosophy couldn’t be more simple: Buy quality pieces, wear them as long as possible – and when you’re done with them, pass them onto someone else.

Bring your original EILEEN FISHER pieces in any condition to one of their retail stores and receive a $5 gift card for each piece. The amazing renew team then sorts, cleans and sometimes even redesigns to make one-of-a-kind creations! You can find these sustainable, affordable and unique garments online and in select EILEEN FISHER stores.



© Copyright 2018 Parsons + Co. All rights reserved.