Skeeter’s Newsletter

2023 Fall Barter Faire

WOW! It is the 50th anniversary of the Okanogan Barter Faire! May the angels continue to watch over us.  Little did I know when I started the barter faire in 1974 that it would become one of the largest and longest-running counter-culture events on the West Coast.  What a great ride it has been! Thanks to everyone who helped put it on over the years.  I still have an unbroken record of attending every fall and spring faire.

Barter Faire History Book.

I have been wanting to do this for years. I would like to see hundreds of color photos taken over the years. Written history. Anecdotes.  We need a team to pull this together.  Who wants to help? Contact Skeeter.  I would like the Okanogan Family Faire to finance the history book with the money being paid back through sales of the book.

The coldest barter faire was about 10 years ago when it hit 9 degrees fahrenheit.  Thank goodness no one froze to death. The 10th anniversary on the Kettle River above Curlew had an ice storm that coated everything in thick ice.  I remember a barter faire up Tunk Mountain where we had 8 inches of snow on Sunday. But we have had a lot of perfect weather at the Okanogan Barter Faires too.  2023? we will see.


Okanogan Barter Faire Zine

Leone Reinbold debuted the Zine at the 2023 Fall Faire.  Ask me how to get yours.


Other Notes

* 2023 has been a good year so far.  

* Most of my time was taken up by the Friends of the Trees Botanicals business, our Chimacum herb farm, and Twisp Medicinal Forest.  

* I taught about 10 workshops in 2023.

*  I only put on one gathering in 2023, the Northwest Wildcrafting Rendezvous in the Methow Valley.

Friends of the Trees Botanicals has been supplying fresh and dried medicinal plants to the herb trade for 25 years and has grown a lot in the last 4 years since my son Ashley joined the business.  I am thrilled to be part of a family business.


For 7 years my primary residence and office has been in Port Hadlock, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.  The last 3 years I have also had a residence in the Methow valley during the growing season. I am looking for options in the Methow valley for the 2024 growing season.


Still looking for intentional community/educational center in Washington state.  

Permaculture, restoration, farming. Joining existing situation or starting something new.


Skeeter Michael Pilarski
PO Box 1133
Port Hadlock WA 98339
[email protected]


I have four Youtube channels.  Links can be found in the resources section of


I have lots of international material at


Get on my email lists

* Olympic Peninsula

* Okanogan

* Methow Valley

* National/international

Let me know which list(s) you want to be on.


Here are some of the things in the works for the next year


Skeeter’s Botanical Book Sale

December 3rd, 10644-B Rhody Drive, Port Hadlock, Wa 98339

Hundreds of botanical/plant books for sale. New & used.  


Sandy, Oregon, April 11-14. 

April 11: Thursday evening: Climate Solutions.

April 12 - Growing Medicinal Plants for Commercial and Home-use.

April 13 - Medicinal Forests.

April 14 - Wildcrafting Medicinal Plants.


Medicinal Herb Micro-Farming Workshops

A 3-season series in both Chimacum and Twisp. Spring Summer, Fall.  April, July, October.


Northwest Herbal Faire & Northwest Wildcrafting Rendezvous

August 16-18, Quilcene, WA. Expecting 600 + people. Education, Community, Fun.


Creating Medicinal Forests: An Online Workshop Series.

Winter 2023/2024. How to design and establish medicinal forests. Building an international network of medicinal forests.  


Spring Permaculture Workshop.

Spring weekend campout at White Lotus Farm, Chimacum, WA, near Port Townsend. Date to be announced.


Quimper Barter Circle.

For 4 years, we have been putting on spring and fall barter faires in Jefferson County/Port Townsend area.  These have been small community events.


Global Earth Repair Conference

Our 2019 Global Earth Repair Conference at Fort Worden in Port Townsend was a great success with 500 people.  Our October 2022 online Global Earth Repair Summit had programs on 4 continents, over 100 presenters and 500 participants.  It was by donation. It ended up being $20,000 in the hole.  I will have that debt paid off as of January 2024 and will start working towards another in-person conference in 2024 or 2025.  


Okanogan Tribe Recognition

* In recognition and thanks to the Okanogan tribal peoples of the past, present and future for their great work of stewarding the Okanogan region.

* The Okanogan people have been separated by the boundary between Canada and the USA. Spelled Okanagan in Canada. The Okanogan on the US side of the border lost most of their land in 1855 when entering a treaty which established the Colville Reservation for 12 confederated tribes.

* On July 1, 1892, the north half of the Colville Indian Reservation (1.5 million acres) was taken away from them by an Act of the United States Congress, reducing the reservation to 1.4 million acres. The Barter Faire is held on the North Half.  

* In spite of this sorry history, Okanogan tribal people continue to attend and participate in the barter faire.  I propose they should always get free admission.   





MICHAEL “SKEETER” PILARSKI is a life-long student of plants and earth repair. His farming career started in 2nd grade and his organic farming career began in 1972 at age 25. Michael founded Friends of the Trees Society in 1978 and took his first permaculture design course in 1982. Since 1988 he has taught 36 permaculture design courses in the US and abroad. His specialties include earth repair, agriculture, seed collecting, nursery sales, tree planting, fruit picking, permaculture, agroforestry, forestry, ethnobotany, medicinal herb growing, hoeing and wildcrafting. He has hands-on experience with over 1000 species of plants. He is a prolific gathering organizer and likes group singing.