Winter is coming: How will you continue eating local foods?

There are many ways you can continue to eat local during winter months, including shopping at year-round markets, joining a winter CSA, visiting U-Picks and farm stands, knowing what’s in season, and eating at restaurants that source locally. These options not only support local farmers and the local food economy, but also allow consumers to buy farm fresh local food year round in King County! … More Winter is coming: How will you continue eating local foods?

WA Meat Up Leadership Summit sizzles with new ideas for strengthening the local meat economy

Are you a consumer who cares about where your meat comes from? Do you know what King County and other agencies and organizations are doing to promote locally produced meats?

The WA Meat Up Leadership Summit created an alliance for further enhancing a strong local meat economy. WA Meat Up is a diverse group of collaborators and entrepreneurs along every link of the niche meat supply chain who support strengthening the local meat economy in Washington State.

In late August, staff members from King County’s Agricultural Program, Washington State University (WSU), Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), and Salumi Artisan Cured Meats worked together to create the WA Meat Up Leadership Summit to provide a space for producers, processors and policy makers to facilitate conversations and create a dialogue about the local meat economy in King County. … More WA Meat Up Leadership Summit sizzles with new ideas for strengthening the local meat economy

King County caps 1st year of Land Conservation Initiative with new tools to speed up open space protections and improve access for those that need it most

One successful year is in the books for King County’s accelerated and urgent work to conserve its last, best places within 30 years, and to make sure every community has easy access to greenspace. Conservation Futures Tax (CFT) bonding legislation adopted by the King County Council on Oct. 2, 2019, will dramatically accelerate the rate … More King County caps 1st year of Land Conservation Initiative with new tools to speed up open space protections and improve access for those that need it most

Farmer’s Share Program provides hunger relief and agricultural development opportunities in King County

Have you ever wondered how food banks access local farm fresh produce in King County?

Harvest Against Hunger, formerly Rotary First Harvest, works with farmers, truckers, volunteers and others to bring valuable skills and resources into hunger relief efforts in communities across Washington state and beyond. The Harvest Against Hunger (HAH) Farmers Share Program helps increase access to healthy fresh foods in high need populations by developing direct purchasing agreements between farmers and food banks. This new program is funded through the Regional Food System Grant from the King Conservation District.

The Local Food Team spoke with David Bobanick, HAH Executive Director, and Gayle Lautenschlager, HAH Farmer’s Share Americorps VISTA, about the Farmer’s Share program and how they are cultivating relationships with and between farmers and food banks. … More Farmer’s Share Program provides hunger relief and agricultural development opportunities in King County

Snoqualmie Valley property provides land access and growth opportunities for local farmers

Rising land costs have made finding affordable farmland a significant challenge to starting a new farm business in King County.  In order to help new farmers overcome this land access challenge, SnoValley Tilth created the Experience Farming Project (EFP), which leases farmland and infrastructure to farmers looking to start sustainable businesses and offers easy access to resources, education and community through SnoValley Tilth’s Farm Services.

Thanks to a strategic partnership between SnoValley Tilth and King County, EFP will continue to expand and offer its programming to more farmers.  … More Snoqualmie Valley property provides land access and growth opportunities for local farmers

Fresh Bucks to Go: Investing in healthy food access and local farmers

Many people are familiar with Fresh Bucks, which gives SNAP/EBT recipients and other eligible Seattle residents easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets, but have you heard about Fresh Bucks to Go? 

Fresh Bucks to Go (FBtG) provides free bags of local fruits and vegetables delivered to Seattle Preschool Program sites, so families can pick up healthy groceries at the same time they pick up their children.   … More Fresh Bucks to Go: Investing in healthy food access and local farmers

Eating local in Enumclaw: How one woman and her farming community created Enumclaw Plateau Farmers’ Market

Enumclaw Plateau Farmers’ Market opened on June 6, 2019, providing plateau area residents with farm fresh, local products for the first time in over 20 years. The Local Food team spoke with Liz Clark, Enumclaw Plateau Farmers Market manager, about how the market was created and the successes and challenges her and her team of volunteers have experienced along the way. … More Eating local in Enumclaw: How one woman and her farming community created Enumclaw Plateau Farmers’ Market

Making meat local: King County helps develop USDA meat processing in Carnation

In recent years, consumer demand for local food, including local meat and poultry, has risen. One of the barriers for livestock producers interested in meeting this demand has been the lack of processing facilities in King County that can safely prepare these products.

“USDA processing allows producers to sell sausages, steaks, burger patties, and a wide variety of other small cuts that are in high demand in King County,” said Darron Marzolf, butcher at Marzolf Meats. “The USDA mobile meat processing unit provides this service close to home for local livestock operators.” … More Making meat local: King County helps develop USDA meat processing in Carnation

King County monitoring water quality to ensure summertime beach trips go swimmingly

With a number of temporary swimming beach closures affecting King County lakes this summer – already nine in the first eight weeks of testing – King County’s Swim Beach Monitoring Program is fielding a lot of questions about what’s causing these closures. Kirkland’s Juanita Beach Park features a wide sandy beach and calm, warm waters, … More King County monitoring water quality to ensure summertime beach trips go swimmingly

Sweet Harvest Farm: Staying passionate in the face of farming challenges

Sweet Harvest Farm is a small vegetable farm located a mile outside Carnation, Washington that uses sustainable growing practices aimed at providing produce with the best taste and nutrition possible. The Local Food team spoke with Margaret Hindle, owner of Sweet Harvest, to hear about her small-scale farming operation, the challenges to small-scale farming, and how she has connected her passion for growing food to her other passions. … More Sweet Harvest Farm: Staying passionate in the face of farming challenges