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.


Advancing Farm Sustainability: Behind the Scenes with Four Elements Farm

We are excited to launch the first video in our #AFSBehindtheScenes series! Hear from Amy Moreno-Sills of Four Elements Farm about how she is using our Advancing Farm Sustainability grant dollars to build soil health on her farm.

 

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Raising a glass to preserve local farmland

Seattle — The state of Washington is a top grower of produce, yet over the next decade, seven out of every 10 farmers will retire with no successor.

There is no one to take over for them.

“The farms are disappearing. Once it’s paved, it’s gone and it’s no longer really retrievable,” said Rebecca Sadinsky, CEO of PCC Farmland Trust, an organization that works to preserve farmland and keep it from being sold for other purposes.

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The latest dirt on Advancing Farm Sustainability

Last year, PCC Farmland Trust launched Advancing Farm Sustainability (AFS), a micro-grant program that supports farmers in their adoption of new approaches to sustainable land management. The purpose of the program is to provide the financial support our farmer tenants and landowners need to protect and steward the natural resources on their farms.

One year in to the program, we have been able to award 8 grants that support projects that improve soil, air, water, and/or habitat on our conserved farms. But what does “sustainability” really mean? In order to ensure funded projects fulfill the purpose of our program, we rank them against a variety of criteria. First, we measure whether or not the project helps achieve goals outlined in the landowner’s farmland stewardship plan, which we often develop together. We then assess the scale and the length of the natural resource impact of the project. Next, we make sure the proposed project aligns with the National Organic Practices guidelines on farm practices or biodiversity. If the project institutes a change in current practices, or leverages additional funding sources or volunteer time, even better.

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Connecting land and farmers

Carefully stewarded farmland nourishes our communities, fuels our economy, and restores our soil, air, and water. Without hard-working hands, farmland isn’t farmland.

PCC Farmland Trust has partnered with Washington farmers for nearly 20 years, and we’ve come to understand their unique challenges and needs. That’s why today, we are expanding the ways in which we carry out our mission by working to better connect farmers to our conserved land. We are developing a new program called Farm2Farmer, which will strategically match food producers with prime farmland. Farm2Farmer will not only help new farmers launch their careers, it will help retiring farmers identify their successors.

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Thanks to you, Viva Farms is growing!

As if reaching the 2,000 acre mark wasn’t enough, we have even more exciting news to share. Thanks to your support, we were able to meet and exceed our goal for the down payment on the Viva Farms expansion project, which means, more Washington farmers will be supported into the future!

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Staff Spotlight: Hilary Aten, Conservation Director

Meet Hilary, the Trust’s Conservation Director, mother of one of the cutest children on the planet, and soon-to-be graduate of the Washington Ag Forestry Leadership Program.

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2,000 acres conserved and counting

We are thrilled to share the news that as of this week, our total number of protected acres passed the 2,000 mark!

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Supporter Spotlight: Kat Taylor

kat taylorTell us about yourself and your connection to sustainable food and farming.
Although I am an artist, I have had a deep connection to the land for many years.

I have early memories growing up in Georgia, watching my daddy and granddaddy tend to the garden. I remember walking out amongst the corn, okra, and squash, listening to the birds and feeling the tomato leaves prick my skin. There was a wonderful feeling of belonging and rightness that I felt there as a child. That kind of harmony has informed my path and a lot of what I value now.

In the 1990’s, I lived on Orcas Island, and my clay studio was on a beautiful property with a big organic garden. During those years, I remember taking a course on organic gardening for activists. It was then that I really solidified my interest in and commitment to creating a more sustainable food system.
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PCC Farmland Trust partners with Viva Farms

What do a farm incubator and a land trust have in common? Besides our shared love of hearty vegetables, we’re both working to build a prosperous farming future for the next generation.

Viva Farms is a non-profit farm business incubator located in the Skagit Valley, and has educated over 500 small farmers in sustainable and organic farming since 2009. Currently, Viva is incubating 12 independent farm businesses, eight of which are Latino-owned. Viva provides new or beginning farmers with five farm business start-up essentials: land, equipment and infrastructure, bilingual training, marketing, and capital. In order for Viva to continue to help launch the next generation of farmers, they are in need of a larger land base.

In 2015, PCC Farmland Trust conducted a bilingual survey to understand the needs of new and aspiring farmers in Washington. Viva Farms emerged as a key partner during that process, so when the prospect arose to help Viva purchase a new piece of land to expand their programming, we jumped at the opportunity.

By helping Viva Farms grow, the Trust hopes to create a steady flow of well-trained farmers to steward the land we’ve protected into the future.


Help PCC Farmland Trust and Viva Farms launch the next generation of farmers.We have until February 28, 2017 to secure $45,000 for Viva’s new property. Help us meet our goal and kick off this new partnership!

 

 

 

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3 tips for starting the year off right

A new year means a new opportunity to make an impact. There are so many ways to get involved with PCC Farmland Trust and support healthy food and sustainable farming. We’ve listed a few below.

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