King County joins West Coast states and cities to reduce food waste

According to the nonprofit ReFED, over a third of food products in the U.S. went to waste in 2019. From crops that are unharvested, to grocery stores that stock excess inventory, to shoppers who buy more than they can use, food waste propels climate change and harms the budgets of key players in our food system.

South Delridge Farmers Market launches with special focus on BIPOC communities

A new farmers market opened earlier this month with a special purpose: to provide culturally relevant, locally sourced food for the African Diaspora and immigrant community, and to uplift BIPOC farms and food businesses. It takes place the second Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., June to November, at the Hope Academy in South Delridge.

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.

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.

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.”

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.