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

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

Making food go further through waste reduction and innovation

Impact Bioenergy™, a startup company that was formed in 2013 in Seattle, converts restaurant compost bin waste and spent yeast from breweries into renewable energy and organic plant food. Impact Bioenergy’s mission is to change the paradigm and get food “waste” to be recognized as a valuable renewable resource, which empowers communities by making renewable energy and organic plant food locally through organic materials recycling. 

King County Solid Waste Division (SWD) has supported Impact Bioenergy through their commercial food waste grants for projects that aim to reduce food waste generated by the commercial sector (non-residential) within King County.

The Local Food team spoke with Srirup Kumar, Community Engagement Officer at Impact Bioenergy, to learn more about why bioenergy is valuable to King County farmers and residents and how a circular economy is being created on Vashon Island. … More Making food go further through waste reduction and innovation

All King County farmers markets are now open for the season!

With more than 40 farmers markets spread across King County you are never far from farm fresh, local food. All of the King County farmers markets are now open for the summer season.

Read about farmers market fun facts, how you can find the closest farmers market to you, and market tips and tricks to help you prepare for your next visit in this blog post! … More All King County farmers markets are now open for the season!

2017 Census of Agriculture: Main takeaways for King County

The Census of Agriculture, conducted once every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a voluntary mail survey that counts the number of U.S. farms and ranches, and looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income, and expenditures.

The Census of Agriculture provides comprehensive agriculture data for every county in the nation. There are limitations to the Census due to the voluntary nature of the Census survey. Census surveys do not capture every farmer in the U.S., and the survey questions present categories that may not be relevant or applicable to every farmer.

However, the Census is currently the one of the best ways to glean countywide data about producers and the economic role of agriculture, which can influence decisions that will shape the future of agriculture in King County. … More 2017 Census of Agriculture: Main takeaways for King County

Cascadia Cooperative Farms: Connecting farmers to new markets in King County

Cascadia Cooperative Farms (CCF) is an egg and pastured poultry cooperative in King and Snohomish counties that brings together small local farms raising pastured poultry to help connect member farmers to new markets, help them earn fair compensation for their products, and alleviate some of the administrative burden related to producing poultry products.

The Local Food team spoke with Libby Reed, farmer at Orange Star Farm, to learn more about the cooperative farm model and why she believes cooperative farms work well for farmers with small businesses. … More Cascadia Cooperative Farms: Connecting farmers to new markets in King County

Mental Health Awareness Month: Learn about how you can support mental health for farmers

In 2019, Washington farmers and their families are facing tough challenges – increased development pressures, economic uncertainties, and spring weather challenges have added to the normal stresses of farming. Barriers to getting help may be equally challenging. Where can farmers go for support to deal with these stressful times?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and King County is dedicated to supporting mental health for farmers this month and every month. Farmers are a high-risk population, with suicide rates consistently above those of the general population. Read this blog post to read about the resources that may help if you are a farmer who needs to talk to someone, or you are someone who is worried about a farmer. … More Mental Health Awareness Month: Learn about how you can support mental health for farmers