Category: Local Food News

Chris Homanics: Using plant breeding and preservation to increase access to plant variants 

Plant propagation is a cost-effective way to increase the number of plants in your home. It also allows growers to create new varieties of plants with unique characteristics resistant to disease. All together plant propagations support the continuation of particular plant species and ensures access to your favorite plants.  

Chris Homanics, a local plant breeder that grows in the Snoqualmie Valley, recently sat down with the Local Food Initiative team to discuss the importance and impact of plant breeding and preservation.Continue readingChris Homanics: Using plant breeding and preservation to increase access to plant variants 

Food sovereignty symposium: Bringing experts together to rebuild native food systems in Washington state and beyond

The Food Sovereignty symposium was held in June 2022 in a collaboration between Feed Seven Generations, a non-profit organization that works in tribal communities to build food sovereignty through education, advocacy, and hosting community events; and Tahoma Peaks Solutions, an organization that empowers native communities through storytelling and building food sovereigntyContinue readingFood sovereignty symposium: Bringing experts together to rebuild native food systems in Washington state and beyond

Hmong Association of Washington seeks to support farmers with development of new cooperative

Vibrant flower bouquets are one of the beloved farmer’s market items in King County, but in March 2020 as farmer’s markets temporarily closed due to the emerging coronavirus pandemic and the statewide “Stay Home Stay Healthy” order, flower growers across the region had no place to sell their bouquets.  

According to the Washington Hmong Farmers Cooperative, about 80% of the flower stands at Pike Place Market and other farmer’s markets throughout the region are owned by Hmong farmers.Continue readingHmong Association of Washington seeks to support farmers with development of new cooperative

Business Impact NW: Introducing Devra Gartenstein as the new King County Farm Business Support Specialist  

King County farms and related businesses will soon have professional support to boost their operations through Business Impact NW, an organization dedicated to supporting local entrepreneurs through coaching, classes, and access to capital. 

As the new King County Farm Business Support Specialist, Devra Gartenstein will provide direct one-on-one navigation and coaching for King County farm and food business owners through the Business Impact NW’s Food Business Resource Center (FBRC), which is expanding with the support of King Conservation District.Continue readingBusiness Impact NW: Introducing Devra Gartenstein as the new King County Farm Business Support Specialist  

EastWest Food Rescue: Reflecting on two successful years of working with farmers to feed Washingtonians experiencing food insecurity

It was April 2020 when EastWest Food Rescue main founder George Ahearn learned that onion and potato farmers in his hometown of Othello, Wash. were struggling to sell their crops because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Worried that the produce would go to waste while thousands of Washingtonians struggled to put food on the table, George posted on Facebook looking for folks to support him in diverting food from going to waste to people who were experiencing food insecurity.Continue readingEastWest Food Rescue: Reflecting on two successful years of working with farmers to feed Washingtonians experiencing food insecurity

NorthWest Share: A new approach to increasing access to free vegetarian meals

Nearly one-third of households in Washington reported they were food insecure in 2021, according to the Washington State Food Security Survey. Hunger relief organization such as NorthWest Share work to address this ongoing issue.

Harry Terhanian, founder of NorthWest Share, recently sat down with the Local Food Initiative team to discuss how food trucks serving free meals came about, and the importance of providing free vegetarian meals via food trucks.Continue readingNorthWest Share: A new approach to increasing access to free vegetarian meals

New study examines potential for recycled water to address irrigation needs

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

King County Agriculture Commission offers opportunities to take an active, advisory role in the development and evaluation of policies affecting agriculture

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

Black Star Food Collective: Increasing food access through food buying clubs

“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