Articles written by Adam Sowards

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 By Adam Sowards    News    December 20, 2024

Managing food insecurity key to a strong local food system

Local grocery shoppers pause and compare prices. They add up the rising costs of food and wonder how they will afford their next meal. This is how Arin Magill, director of the La Conner Sunrise Food Bank, defines food insecurity: concern about where...

 By Adam Sowards    News    March 20, 2024

Historical Museum signs Mortenson for exhibit

Inside Mortenson Signs on the corner of Avon Allen Road and Bennett Road is an explosion of colorful signs and art. This hints at the body of work Bob Mortenson has made since he opened the shop in...

 By Adam Sowards    News    February 28, 2024
A fallow field

Wary farmers watch weak snowpack

Last summer's drought lingered all the way to January before Skagit County officially finally emerged out of it. But that does not mean this year's water situation is secure. Snowpack in the Cascade M...

 By Adam Sowards    News    February 14, 2024

Skagit Ag Summit explores issues, resources and stories for farmers

At the eighth annual Skagit Ag Summit, on Friday, Feb. 9, about 75 people working or interested in agriculture spent the day learning and sharing critical developments in local agriculture topics at...

 By Adam Sowards    News    February 7, 2024
Snow geese above and in a field

Birding Festival features Skagit's abundance

La Conner became a landing spot for bird lovers last weekend. Drivers and pedestrians passing Maple Hall Saturday morning saw a roving raven drawing attention to the La Conner Birding Festival...

 By Adam Sowards    A & E    February 7, 2024
A bronze sculpture depicts a photo of ravens

Tony Angell blends art and science to explore birds' 'niches of time'

In the Seattle suburb of Lake Forest Park, where Tony Angell lives, crows gather in great numbers before flying off to Bothell to roost by the thousands. One reason they do this is for the social...

 By Adam Sowards    A & E    January 31, 2024

Skagit Ag Summit gathers experts and farmers

Just as regular as the harvest, the time has arrived for the annual Skagit Ag Summit. It will convene Friday, Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Washington State University’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center. The meeting is an e...

 By Adam Sowards    News    January 17, 2024

Bird enthusiasts to land at Maple Hall for Birding Festival

Bird lovers will flock to Maple Hall Feb. 3 and 4 for the La Conner Birding Festival. The festival marks the local return of the Skagit community’s celebration of winter birds. Art, education and family activities promise to inspire residents and vis...

 By Adam Sowards    News    January 10, 2024

Helping Hands reach out to help meet neighbors' needs

Food security remains a concern locally, so organizations and volunteers are expanding their efforts to meet the need. Helping Hands at Swinomish is one such enterprise. It received 850 visits in 2023 after starting in late 2022. On Thursday...

 By Adam Sowards    News    December 20, 2023

Managing food insecurity key to a strong local food system

Local grocery shoppers pause and compare prices. They add up the rising costs of food and wonder how they will afford their next meal. This is how Arin Magill, director of the La Conner Sunrise Food Bank, defines food insecurity: concern about where...


Skagit County Historical Museum's holiday fundraiser is this Saturday

Head up the hill in La Conner to the Skagit County Historical Museum on South Fourth Street Saturday, Dec. 2, to celebrate the holidays. The museum is The combined holiday party and annual appeal kickoff is 6-8 p.m. The museum is decorated for the ho... Full story

 By Adam Sowards    News    November 22, 2023
Gary Brown stands next to large tulip festival 2024 poster.

2024 Tulip Festival poster unveiled, plans underway

New Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Executive Director Nicole Roozen attended her first festival event last Tuesday, Nov. 16, the unveiling of the official poster and branded merchandise. The ceremony ju...

 By Adam Sowards    News    November 15, 2023

Skagit County water outlook complicated, challenging

Although these days some area fields are muddy with standing water in furrows, Skagit County remains in drought conditions. Future water supply is a critical question. Nick Bond, the state climatologist, visited Skagit County last Wednesday to speak...

 By Adam Sowards    News    October 25, 2023
The farm stand at Hedlin's Family Farm has sprouted a field of colorful signs.

Farm stand neighbors seasons closing

Autumn has arrived and settled in. The leaves are falling, the snow geese are returning and farm stand stock is thinning. The fresh produce season is transitioning. The farm stand at Hedlin's Family...

Close up of 3 snow geese landing in a farm field with more in background.

Birds' return requires people to 'Be Bird Wise'

Snow geese have returned to Skagit Valley, the flocks growing daily. Many welcome this seasonal pattern, but the spectacle of the thousands of wintering birds generate conflict, too. Several local...


Barbers as historians new museum exhibit

Ed Marlow brought some old photos into his barbershop many decades ago. People starting adding to his collection. Even when he changed locations, customers kept bringing them; he pinned them to the wall. “It just mushroomed,” said Marlow. He thi...

 By Adam Sowards    News    October 4, 2023

Gov. Inslee comes to Anacortes for housing discussion

Gov. Jay Inslee visited Anacortes last week to listen to locals discuss housing supply challenges. He left saying, “I got some good ideas here today,” while also noting, “We have more work to do.” The Tenant’s Housing Roundtable, in Anacortes...

 By Adam Sowards    News    October 4, 2023
Aerial view of lots purchased by Habitat for Humanity.

Skagit Habitat for Humanity buys La Conner property

Skagit Habitat for Humanity recently purchased the property on the corner of Caledonia and Third streets in La Conner. The Town of La Conner plans to change its comprehensive plan to allow...

A barber cutting a customer's hair.

Cutting hair and keeping history: Barbers as local story keepers

Sometimes, at the center of a community's history is a barber's chair, swiveling this way and that and gathering up stories. Barbers are "always a repository of the past, because so much day-to-day...

A tractor plowing a field with dust billowing out behind it.

Drought persists, requires adjustments and acceptance

"We know we're contending with Mother Nature every year," said Michael Hughes, a partner in Hughes Farm. That knowledge does not make farming any easier, especially when the river is low and the...


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