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

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

Farmstand Local Foods: Addressing barriers to small-scale farmers through distribution efforts

Farmstand Local Foods is an organization that links urban commercial customers to a diverse range of local ingredients through the use of a modern, convenient ordering and delivery system. Farmstand focuses on facilitating and maintaining connections between producers and consumers to demonstrate the value and importance of viable local farms.

The Local Food team interviewed Austin Becker, Farmstand Local Foods manager, to better understand how Farmstand serves small-scale farmers through farm-to-restaurant connections and distribution efforts. … More Farmstand Local Foods: Addressing barriers to small-scale farmers through distribution efforts

The story of The Grange restaurant: why investing in local food matters to restaurants, farmers, and consumers

Many organizations in King County exist to support the farm-to-restaurant pipeline. The Seattle Good Business Network (SGBN) is an organization that connects and inspires people to buy, produce, and invest locally, so that everyone has a meaningful stake in the local economy. The Local Food team interviewed Andrea Porter, SGBN Seattle Made Program Manager, to learn more about why local food matters to restaurants and consumers.

After better understanding why local food matters to restaurants and their customers, the Local Food Team interviewed Luke Woodward, farmer, owner of The Grange restaurant, and part-time program manager of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center, to better understand how his extensive farming experience has influenced his restaurant decisions to source locally. … More The story of The Grange restaurant: why investing in local food matters to restaurants, farmers, and consumers

Year-round farmers markets bring creativity, connections, and enjoyment to King County

There has been an increase in year-round farmers markets in King County over the past decade that provide shoppers with access to local food and new varieties of fruits and vegetables throughout the year. There are also challenges that come with the choice to farm year-round.

The Local Food Initiative team recently spoke with Jennifer Antos, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Farmers Markets (NFM) to learn more about why farmers choose to sell year-round; the challenges and opportunities of year-round markets; and what’s next for year-round markets in King County. … More Year-round farmers markets bring creativity, connections, and enjoyment to King County