–Charlotte Madsen, Development & Administrative Assistant
Nobody loves their first day at a new job. It’s difficult to be impressive as you flounder in a sea of unfamiliarity, bumbling around the office searching for paperclips and asking endless questions. And so, although I was really looking forward to being the new Development & Administrative Assistant at PCC Farmland Trust, I was a little apprehensive about the First Day.
But a pleasant surprise was in store! I was temporarily spared the trials of navigating a new office to spend my first day out at beautiful Orting Valley Farms for the Farmland Sustaining Circle members’ annual appreciation event. What better introduction to the Farmland Trust than to experience first-hand the land that it has helped to preserve!
I drove down to the farms with Kelly Sanderbeck, our Communications & Development Director. As we came along the valley towards Orting, we passed several small picturesque farms evidently busy with bringing in the harvest. But Kelly pointed out the threat of vast housing developments looming on the hills above. The urgency of this situation is not lost on me. Having grown up in Scotland in an area once rich with family owned farms, I have seen how the fabric of a community is negatively affected with the neglect or disappearance of local agriculture.
We pulled up to the old barn at Tahoma Farms and were greeted by a bountiful display of fresh produce – a testament to the value of that precious agricultural land. It is wonderful to know that harvest after harvest, those farms will continue to nourish their land and community.
Throughout the day I met some of our donors and heard why they had started supporting the Trust. We enjoyed a fall feast prepared by PCC Cooks, much of which was harvested from the fields around us, and the crisp air was filled with the warm scents of the barn and wood smoke. If I hadn’t already been sold on the cause, that day would’ve been the turning point!
Starting in the office the following week was made much easier after a real experience of what it is we’re working for. I’m very excited to be a part of this remarkable team of people and will look forward to meeting more of our donors and supporters in time. Most of all, I’m grateful to know that places like Orting farms exist and hope to see the preservation of many more.