Chrysalis Ostrander

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since Aug 27, 2015
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Recent posts by Chrysalis Ostrander

Ecology Ignores Call for Sewage Sludge Moratorium

It is unfortunate that the Dept. of Ecology has decided not to honor the call for a statewide moratorium on further sewage sludge land application permits made by Protect Mill Canyon Watershed and hundreds of our supporters around the state. On Oct. 24 , Ecology instead granted a permit to Bio Recycling Corporation, a very troubled sludge application company in Centralia, WA. Some of the groundwater in fields where Bio Recycling has been dumping sludge for years have reached unsafe levels of nitrate contamination. The company has inadequate storage facilities and has been told to bring them into compliance or curtail operations. Neighbors of the sludge facility are very concerned. This article from Mason County Life, published on Nov. 6, describes the issues involved. Here's a quote from a concerned neighbor from the article: "'This was an ill-conceived idea from the very beginning with applying toxic things into the ground,' said Union resident Pat Vandehey at the March hearing. 'They never thought about what happens when it’s reached a saturation point and they’re not going to be able to put it on anymore. Something has to be done at that point, but nobody seems to look ahead to the future.'”

Below the link to the article is a link to a copy of the permit Ecology granted. The permit includes numerous "conditions" that belie a history of poor management practices on the part of Bio Recycling. These "conditions" also expose how high risk the practice of dumping sewage sludge is that it requires such complex rules and conditions, further eroding the validity of Ecology's assertions that dumping sewage sludge on agricultural land is safe. It should be noted that Ecology is, in this permit, mainly concerned with one pollutant contaminant, nitrates, out of the hundreds of pollutant contaminants know to occur in sewage sludge (Ecology only monitors 10 contaminants-- nitrogen and nine heavy metals, which Protect Mill Canyon Watershed asserts is dangerously inadequate oversight). 

With the issuance of this permit, defenders of a clean, safe environment need to redouble our efforts calling for a sludge moratorium and end sewage sludge dumping on ag land once and for all.

"Ecology grants Webb Hill facility final coverage, grace period." Arla Shephard Bull, Mason County Life, published Nov. 6, 2017

"Additional conditions and final coverage issuance to Bio Recycling Corporation (Bio Recycling) Biosolids North Ranch General Permit Coverage." Washington State Department of Ecology Waste 2 Resources Program, Oct. 24, 2017.

Protect Mill Canyon Watershed maintains a page of documents related to sewage sludge and the progress of our campaign. It's at:

Protect Mill Canyon Watershed asks that you consider donating to our legal fund as we ready ourselves to battle the Department of Ecology in court if they continue to threaten us by allowing sewage sludge dumping in our watershed. You may donate here:

1 year ago
Learn the skills needed to convert your pruning burn pile into a source of valuable charcoal, the type commonly referred to as biochar. You can use biochar to amend your chicken and livestock feed, your compost, and your garden soil. Household uses of clean, home-made charcoal include odor control, water purification, artist charcoal, first aid for ingested poison, digestive aid, and even for brushing your teeth. At the April 1st work party we will be pruning a windbreak, making fuel bundles from the prunings, and stacking them to dry.  At a follow-up in August, we will burn the bundles using advanced smokeless techniques and tuning them to make a soil-friendly, environmentally clean, low ash, high quality charcoal. We will demonstrate the principles of nearly smokeless charcoal production in April, but at a smaller scale using an open cone kiln, similar in shape to a cooking wok. The instructor, Phil Small, has been making biochar since 2005.  Event will be hosted at Heartstead Farm by Tawnya Rourke Kelly.  Bring your favorite loppers and some work gloves!

Class takes place in Evergreen, MT, and will go from 12-4pm Saturday April 1.  Please call 471-0022 or email to RSVP.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.
1 year ago
Seattle Permaculture Design Course 2016

With instructors: Michael “Skeeter” Pilarski, Jacqueline Cramer. Guest Speakers including Arthur Lee Jacobson, Albert Postema, Patrick Loderhose and others.

LOCATION - Spring Street Center
1101 15th Avenue, Seattle (Central District)

DATES - March 4-6, March 11-13, April 1-3, April 22-24, May 6-8, May 20-22

Design productive and beautiful yards, farms and properties. This 6-weekend course will impart permaculture principles and methodologies through lecture, discussion, field trips and hands-on activities. Permaculture Design students will develop the practical skills and knowledge necessary to plan, design, and implement sustainable systems that are in harmony with the natural world. These skills can be applied anywhere in the world, focusing specifically on the Maritime Pacific Northwest.

For more details and to register, go here:

Heartsong is accepting applications for an apprenticeship position which will begin in April, 2016 and last through October, 2016. We seek a motivated, neophyte permaculturist willing to commit to 4 hours of work and study, five days per week. Room and board provided in exchange.

For more details and to fill out an application, please go to:

Photo by Estar
Pruning Workshop with Jeff Herman and Wakan Burrows - March 5 - Tumtum, WA
10am to noon.

Come learn pruning and tree care from two of our region’s most knowledgeable tree people.
Jeff Herman planted his certified organic orchard
in 1982 and his fruit is renowned throughout the region.
Wakan Burrows is a practicing permaculturist and arborist who has a keen eye for good technique.
Bring your own, sharp hand clippers, loppers and pruning saws.
Workshop: $35 per person, 16 yrs. and younger, $5. Please pre-register.
Workshop followed by a potluck lunch.
Contact Chrys Ostrander
Phone: 914-246-0309
Workshop participants will need to sign a liability waiver.
2 years ago
Be a good neighbor! Why not buy this beautiful 20 acres right across the road from Heartsong in Tumtum, WA.

Real Estate Listing
2 years ago