Access to farmland is a significant barrier for many farmers, especially Black and Indigenous farmers and farmers of color, whether they are just starting out or have extensive experience growing food. Recently, King County partnered with the Black Farmers Collective to assist in expanding their farm operation, Small Axe Farm, on property in the Sammamish Valley, to grow more healthy and nutritious food.
Creating a community-based organization at the beginning of a pandemic may sound like an impossible feat, but Plant Based Food Share was created in order to show King County residents that it is possible, necessary, and, in fact, a recipe for hope and success.
The creative and efficient ways that farm businesses have responded to the COVID-19 crisis have been inspirational and transformative. The Vashon Island Growers Association (VIGA) has expanded their efforts to support farm businesses online and promote collaboration between farmers and food access organizations.
After decades of working tirelessly supporting the local food and farm system, Josh Monaghan will be leaving his position as Director of Stewardship Programs at King Conservation District (KCD). The Local Food Team would like to thank Josh for his many years of service and dedication.
The King County Council has allocated $1,380,000 to help King County farmers and farmers markets comply with public health and safety operating requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to overcome losses due to COVID-19.
Numerous studies across the Puget Sound region have confirmed that there is insufficient kitchen, processing, packaging, storage space, and transportation capacity to adequately and efficiently connect local food producers with target markets. Much of the regional infrastructure needed to grow our local food economy no longer exists, is in need of improvement, or is not adequate to meet the needs of small and medium farms and food businesses in our region.
All aspects of the local food economy have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and farmers are on the frontline
Many King County farmers are impacted by the temporary suspension of farmers markets due to COVID-19. Flower growers in particular experience unique challenges because they rely heavily on farmers markets for sales.
At a time when our community connections are strained and food security is of concern, it is inspiring to look at a program that is cultivating not just crops, but leadership. At Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands (RBUFW), young people are taking active roles to build a just and abundant food future that is vital to our sustenance and economy. They are working to develop connections with their community and farming through meaningful learning experiences in fields, farms, and kitchens.
Improving the productivity of existing farmland and bringing more land into food production are two of the main objectives of a new Snoqualmie Valley Agriculture Land Resource Strategic Plan that is being developed as part of the historic and innovative Fish, Farm, Flood process.