Blog

Follow along for updates about our conserved farms, stories about our community partners, and the latest events and volunteer opportunities. To receive these stories in your inbox monthly, sign up for our e-newsletter, The Latest Crop of News.


A Heartfelt Thank You

As we reflect back on this year, we feel so grateful for each of you, our community. Your support of Washington’s farmland has provided a livelihood for the people who grow our food, revitalized rural economies, sustained our environment, and enabled us to feed our families. We couldn’t do this work without you.

From all of us at PCC Farmland Trust, thank you. 

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PCC Farmland Trust leads the Farming in the Floodplain Project

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Crop rows at Early Bird Farm in the Clear Creek area of the Puyallup Valley.

At PCC Farmland Trust, we know that farmland conservation has long-term, far-reaching impacts. In addition to keeping healthy, local food on our plates, protecting farms has the potential to improve soil quality, keep our air and water clean, revitalize local food economies, and sustain the agricultural character of our state.

That’s why, after protecting farmland and building relationships in the Puyallup Valley for nearly a decade, we signed on to lead the Farming in the Floodplain Project (FFP) – a pilot project in the Clear Creek area aiming to meet multiple community and environmental needs in response to flooding. As development and land use pressures continue to increase in the Puyallup Valley, flooding has become a challenge for many. In Washington, some of the highest quality farmland sits in the valley-bottom floodplain. And yet, historically, human safety and fish habitat have taken precedent over agriculture in conversations around flood impacts. The FFP aims to illuminate the unique challenges farmers face in the flood-prone area of Clear Creek, and incorporate them into projects that support a safe, vibrant community for all.

As we continue to deepen our engagement in the Puyallup Valley, leading the FFP was a natural expansion of our work. We saw it as a unique opportunity to support the continued viability of critical farmland in our focus area, and better understand what farmers need to keep farming in a world of competing floodplain interests.

Funded by the statewide Floodplains by Design program, the FFP is led by PCC Farmland Trust and includes a committee of Floodplains for the Future members – a partnership of public, non-profit, and private stakeholders concerned about the health of the Puyallup Watershed.

Over the last year, we have been working to engage and collaborate with farmers in the Clear Creek area, while our partners at Environmental Science Associates have been conducting a technical analysis of current and future conditions that may affect local agriculture. We have also been regularly convening a group of technical and agricultural experts to report out on our progress, and analyze information we have uncovered about agriculture, climate change, and hydrology in the area. Through this work, we are elevating the voices of farmers in order to clarify and support their needs and interests.

Over the coming year, we hope to provide Clear Creek farmers with the technical information they need to improve the long-term viability of their farm businesses, and influence policy-makers to support them in those efforts.

Learn more at farminginthefloodplain.org.

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Staff Spotlight: Sydni Baumgart

A recent graduate of the University of Washington, Sydni is PCC Farmland Trust’s new Community Engagement Coordinator. From interning at IslandWood and Taylor Shellfish Farms, to serving as a project assistant for Bellingham’s first annual seafood festival, Sydni brings her enthusiasm for environmental science and passion for sustainable food systems to her role at the Trust. With a long family history of farming and fishing in the Puget Sound region, Sydni is thrilled to help the Trust get people excited about local, sustainable agriculture in Washington.

Here’s Sydni…

Tell us about yourself. I grew up in Bellingham in a family of commercial fisherfolk. We spent much of our time outdoors, clam digging along the Sound and exploring the San Juan islands. That’s why pursuing an Environmental Studies degree at the University of Washington felt like a natural fit for me. During my two-year stint volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium, however, I discovered the Fisheries Program at UW, and was drawn to the smaller classes and more focused content. It was there that I really found “my people.”

Continue reading

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Conserved Farmland & Your Local Food

Have you ever bitten into a slice of sweet, nutty bread, fresh from the oven, and wondered: “who made this deliciousness possible?” Many are responsible for the food that we eat, but it all starts with the farmer.

All over our community, local purveyors and food businesses are sourcing ingredients from sustainable and organic farms right here in our backyard. We’re lucky to live in a place where so many business buy local to support the farmers who work so hard to keep food on our plates. The result? A thriving, local food system. Continue reading

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Four Elements Farm: A farmland success story

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Four Elements Farm in Orting, WA

 

In 2010, when we learned of a prized 120-acre piece of land for sale in Pierce County, we saw an opportunity. Although it wasn’t in organic production at the time, we knew we couldn’t sit by and watch the farm sell to the highest bidder – especially in an area that has lost more than 70 percent of its farmland since 1950. So we got creative, secured funding, collaborated with the County, and purchased the farm outright.

Continue reading

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Farmland Stewardship: Unpacking the Practice

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Our Farmland Stewardship Manager, Rusty, walking the fields with Farmer Amy Moreno-Sills of Four Elements Farm.

Once we successfully conserve a farm, our work is far from over. To ensure the land we protect thrives into the future, we support our farmer partners in their pursuit of sustainable and organic farming practices through our stewardship program. From annual monitoring to stewardship planning and restoration, this program reflects our commitment not only to the land itself, but to our collaboration and partnership with farmers for the long haul.

Continue reading

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Join us for Pumpkin Picking and Fall Fun at Bailey Farm!

pccfarmlandtrust_98840237Didn’t get a chance to join us for the conservation celebration at Bailey Farm this summer? Not to worry! Join in for a free, family-friendly day on the farm while supporting local, sustainable agriculture with PCC Farmland Trust.

WHEN: Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
WHERE: Bailey Farm – 12711 Springhetti Rd , Snohomish, WA 98296

Festivities include U-Pick pumpkins, gourds, squash, and corn, PCC Farmland Trust’s signature pumpkin painting station, wagon rides, hot cider and kettle corn, and a play area in the barn, including rideable toy tractors, rope swings, hay climb, and more!

Visit our events page to register. Sign-up by Wednesday, October 19th for a chance to win prizes.

kuow_npr_4c_300Special thank you to our media sponsor, KUOW. 

 

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Join us for Yoga at Four Elements Farm

pccfarmlandtrust_56067135_FullIt’s that time of year again! It’s yoga on the farm time.

Start your day off right with fresh air, sunshine, and a gentle outdoor practice led by the yoga experts from Samdhana-Karana Yoga (SKY) studio in Tacoma. After class, snack on some treats, chat with the farmers from Four Elements Farm, and learn about their organic products and sustainable farming practices.

Class is free and open to all skill levels and ages. We will have only 10 mats available, so please bring your own if you have one. A towel works too! And don’t forget a water bottle!

Join us at 9:30am for coffee or tea with PCC Farmland Trust staff and learn how we are working to preserve more farms like Four Elements. Class will begin promptly at 10am.

Learn more on our Events page, and RSVP here

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We’re Hiring! Community Engagement Coordinator

WE'RE HIRING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR Community Engagement Coordinator

 

Position Overview

We are seeking a self-motivated, organized, and enthusiastic coordinator to support our community engagement program. The successful candidate will play a crucial role in our work, gaining on-the-ground experience in volunteer coordination, event planning, innovative communications tactics, and land stewardship. This is a great opportunity for someone who is passionate about farmland preservation and sustainable agriculture and is looking for hands-on experience in this sector. Continue reading

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Staff Spotlight: Rusty Milholland

Rusty MillholandRusty recently joined our team as the new Farmland Stewardship Manager. Hailing all the way from Utah, Rusty most recently served as the Stewardship Director for Utah Open Lands, and is thrilled to have finally made it to the Pacific Northwest.

Here’s Rusty…

Tell us about yourself. I like to say that my career in conservation started as a young child when my family served as the caretakers of a 140-acre bird sanctuary in southern Maine where we lived on the property. Every summer, we maintained the trails, lead volunteer parties, and engaged with our community. It was a really fun way to grow up, and laid the groundwork for much of my personal and professional interests.

Continue reading

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