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Iconic farm in Tacoma lives on with new generation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Seattle, Washington | As of October 1, 2017, PCC Farmland Trust protected its 20th farm.

Located right on the outskirts of Tacoma, Wild Hare Organic Farm is a treasured piece of land due to its proximity to market, prime soils, and rich history. For more than 30 years, Dick and Terry Carkner cultivated this land as Terry’s Berries, developing a loyal following of customers in the community. They have been recognized for their leadership in sustainable farming both locally and statewide.

After working as farm managers on the property since 2015, Mark and Katie Green, owners of Wild Hare, were able to purchase the land at an affordable rate due to our removal of its development rights. In collaboration with partners under the Puyallup Floodplains for the Future Initiative, PCC Farmland Trust secured $125,000 in easement funding through the Department of Ecology’s Floodplains by Design grant with Pierce County to protect the property. By using a conservation easement, PCC Farmland Trust is able to both preserve the farm in perpetuity, and facilitate the transfer of land from one generation to the next.

“We are beyond honored to be one of PCC Farmland Trust’s Forever Farms,” said farmer Katie Green. The conservation easement made our purchase of the property within reach.”  

As you drive by Wild Hare Organic Farm on Highway 167, it is clear that Mark and Katie are carrying forward the Terry’s Berries legacy with their rows of blueberries and raspberries as far as the eye can see. In addition to berries, Mark and Katie grow hundreds of varieties of vegetables and herbs on Wild Hare.

“After protecting farmland in the Puyallup River Valley for over a decade, we are thrilled to place this land in the hands of a new generation,” said Rebecca Sadinsky, PCC Farmland Trust’s Executive Director. “At the same time, we are celebrating the legacy of the Carkners, who have been such an anchor in this community.”

Though they are Puget Sound natives, Mark and Katie fell into organic farming selling to chefs and eaters in New York. After bringing their daughter Hazel into the world in 2010, they decided to put down roots in Western Washington.

Today, Mark and Katie aim to protect the family-farm tradition of their historic property, promote the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model – of which they have 250 members — and grow uncommonly delicious and nutritious food.

“It’s really exciting to know that the farm we are all harvesting from and visiting today will remain a farm,” said Katie. “PCC Farmland Trust is who we owe that to.”

Related images. Please credit Molly Goren, PCC Farmland Trust.

Media Contact: Molly Goren | molly.goren@pccfarmlandtrust.org | 206-777-4053


PCC Farmland Trust works to secure, protect, and steward farmland in Washington, ensuring that local farmers productively farm using sustainable and organic growing methods. Wild Hare Organic Farm will be the Trust’s 20th protected farm, bringing its total number of conserved acres to 2,040. PCC Farmland Trust was founded in 1999 by PCC Community Markets, and has been an independent nonprofit ever since.