A view from the Jenson Field neighborhood


Just beyond the deer fencing, lying between this old rotting house with fruit trees just as old, between these and a dense development, lies what used to be called a “vacant lot.” It might have been called a “swamp,” also, rather than a vestige of an estuary. It did take on some water in the 2022 flood. One engineer called it a “natural catch basin.” But all that belies an amazing feature: it’s ability to grow food. Eons of decomposing salmon bodies makes this soil, like much of the Skagit Valley where I live, among the top 1% of agricultural soils in the world.

The field was “reclaimed” by Du...

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