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The Original Farmland Champion

20100117_pccFarmlandTrustNashFarmTour-425The Story of Nash and PCC Farmland Trust

In more than 20 years of farming in Sequim, Nash Huber had been stuck hundreds of times. Whether a tractor in the deep mineral-rich mud, or an outbreak of grain rust, problem solving had become second nature to this life-long producer. But when a 97-acre parcel of his long-leased farmland came in danger of being developed into small housing lots for a growing retiree market, he was truly stuck.

It had never been in his business plan to own very much of the land that he farmed. Most farm businesses of his size have extremely thin profit margins, huge infrastructure costs, and more variables than almost any other enterprise, so the $600,000 required to buy the land outright was a pipe dream.  But the thought of his precious Dungeness soil—some of the best in the world—being paved over permanently, was an unacceptable outcome for this organic agriculture pioneer.

He approached one of his largest local buyers, PCC Natural Markets. “If you want to keep selling my famous carrots” he said, “you’re going to have to help me protect the soil that makes them famous. “

In 2000, Jody Aliesan at PCC rallied its members and supporters, and Nash and Patty Huber rallied their community.  The money was raised, and PCC Farmland Trust was born. The non-profit bought the land and barns and farmhouse, leased it all back to Nash, and established an easement that requires 74 acres always remain a farm, with 23 acres protected as critical wildlife habitat.  Nash can rest assured that the land he and his predecessors stewarded for decades will never be paved over.

Nash Huber solved not only his own problem, but designed a model that can help farmers across Washington ensure that their land will stay farmland, forever.  PCC Farmland Trust has now protected 15 family farms on over 1300 acres that will contribute to our vibrant local food community for generations to come.

Nash’s Organic Produce farms 450 acres in Sequim, Washington and is considered a local and national leader in organic production. Learn more about Nash’s story, practices, properties, and awards.