Fresh water availability is a growing concern as snowpack storage and rainfall decrease during our dry summer months. Access to a stable water source is important for farmers who rely on river water during the summer months to irrigate their crops. Yet this use, impacts the habitat of the aquatic life that rely on the river streamflow to survive and thrive. Continue readingNew study examines potential for recycled water to address irrigation needs
The King County Agriculture Commission is an opportunity for people with a background and interest in commercial agriculture to advise the county in developing and evaluating policies that affect agriculture. We talked with Commission Chair Kevin Scott-Vandenberge, and Patrice Barrentine, staff liaison to the commission and the Agriculture Policy and Economic Development Specialist with King County DNRP WLRD. Continue readingKing County Agriculture Commission offers opportunities to take an active, advisory role in the development and evaluation of policies affecting agriculture
“It’s not just enough to want people to get free things, we also want people to get high-quality things and to be inspired to look at food slightly differently,” said Moyo Tornai, one of the co-founders of the Black Star Food Collective. Continue readingBlack Star Food Collective: Increasing food access through food buying clubs
“Being able to share the different cultures of our diverse student body through our food in the cafeteria is really important,” said Seattle Public Schools Executive Chef Emme Collins.
Collins has led a new district initiative to introduce culturally relevant meals with locally sourced ingredients into the school’s lunch menus. This initiative has pushed culinary services to test out new recipes, collaborate with local farms and food vendors, and engage the 52,381 students enrolled at Seattle Public Schools.
Continue readingSeattle Public Schools: Serving culturally responsive meals for students with local ingredients
King County restaurants were some of the businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Global supply chain disruptions and restrictions
Snoqualmie River Farm – still known to some as Beyers Farm – sits along the Snoqualmie River in the heart of the Snoqualmie Valley’s farming community. When the Beyers family decided to sell the land, they wanted to ensure it stayed in agricultural production. King County purchased the site as part of the Farmland Preservation Program in 2019, and it includes 20 acres of rich farming land that are now available to beginning growers who have their sights set on commercial agriculture.Continue readingMore farmers on more farmland: SnoValley Tilth preparing growers for success at Snoqualmie River Farm
Right along the Duwamish River is a vibrant and resilient neighborhood named South Park, which is full of passionate, caring, and hardworking community members who are dedicated to creating a space for connecting and celebrating the gifts the neighborhood offers.Continue readingCultivate South Park: Expanding food access and food justice though neighborhood led projects
“I want to see small gardens all over the city,” says Victoria Plumage, coordinator at Sovereignty Farm. The farm launched this year with the goals of providing a space for Native American residents of King County to grow culturally significant foods and employing several members of the Chief Seattle Club as apprentices.Continue readingSovereignty Farm’s Victoria Plumage reflects on the project’s first year
As many farmers markets across King County wind down until next summer, the Local Food Initiative team wanted to share another way you can source fresh, local produce, and even have it delivered to your doorstep. We spoke with Chris Teeny, co-owner of Pacific Coast Harvest (PCH) and Farmstand Local Foods, about what these brands are doing to make it easy for individuals – and for larger customers such as restaurants – to support local growers.Continue readingPacific Coast Harvest and Farmstand Local Foods: Sending out and scaling up local food
Rows of kale, eggplant, corn, and other late summer vegetables extend for nearly 5 acres across one corner of Horseneck Farm in early September, located just a few miles south of downtown Kent. On a clear day, Mt. Rainier towers behind the trees in the distance. This setting – a small, green retreat within a hub of manufacturing – is just one of five King County-owned farms leased to area farmers through its Farmland Leasing Program. The goal is for marginalized and beginning farmers to have land access to grow their agricultural businesses despite increasingly expensive property prices across the county.Continue readingHorseneck Farm: Preserved for agriculture, now increasing access for diverse growers