Bill Appel has long been a supporter of the Farmland Trust, both as a Board member for several years, as well as serving on our Board Development Committee. He has recently retired from service on the committee, but we know his support of sustainable farming has not lessened.
We’ve often used this eloquent quote of his:
“For over 40 years as a real estate lawyer, I have seen our community surrender our sources of local, healthy food, and become more dependent on distant energy-expensive food. The Farmland Trust is a way to participate in the recapture and preservation of what once was ours: local farms growing healthy, organic food.”
Thank you, Bill, for all of your support!
Please tell us more about yourself.
I’m a still-recovering East Coaster from Philadelphia. I practiced law there for three years, then in 1966 we moved to Seattle with two small children. That was a good move for many reasons, but the best part was finding and adopting our third child. Now, we live most of the time on Waldron Island from where I practice law part time, using wood to heat and cook. We commute to a small house in Seattle to see children and grandchildren.
Why is organic farming and/or organic food of interest to you?
We have been members of PCC Natural Markets for many decades. I was for some years its volunteer counsel, and on the board after resigning as counsel. PCC sensitized me not only to fresh produce, but also to organic foods. We have consistently bought organic foods in those categories where it matters most. Organic foods are not only important in themselves, but also in how the land is treated in growing them. Non-organic farming is intensely petrochemical in nature, a practice that organic farming limits to fuel use.
How did you first learn about the Farmland Trust?
I was aware of its formation not only from PCC’s announcement, but also because its first director, Jody Aliesan, was a close friend of ours. I would describe Jody not only as the writer and poet she was, but also as a right brain polymath, who could conceptualize far beyond the daily boundaries of life. The Trust was largely her idea, and one that a receptive PCC board and staff supported.
Did you have any experiences with farms or farming growing up, or in your family?
When I was a young teenager, I worked on Pennsylvania farms during summer vacations. Continue reading