We can’t think of a better way to ring in a new season than with a newly protected farm in the Puyallup River Valley.
Located on 21 acres just outside of Tacoma, Wild Hare Organic Farm is a treasured piece of farmland due to its proximity to market, prime soils, and rich history. In 2015, Mark and Katie Green became the next generation of farmers and stewards of land that Dick and Terry Carkner cultivated as Terry’s Berries for more than 30 years. During their farming tenure, the Carkners developed a loyal following of customers in the community, and have been recognized for their leadership in sustainable farming both locally and statewide.
After working as farm managers on the Carkner’s property for two years, Mark and Katie were able to purchase the land at an affordable rate due to our removal of the farm’s development rights through a conservation easement. This means we were not only able to preserve this iconic farm in perpetuity, but we helped facilitate the transfer of land from one generation to the next.
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.
Though they are Puget Sound natives, Katie and Mark fell into organic farming on the East End of Long Island selling to chefs and eaters in New York. After bringing their daughter Hazel into the world, they decided to put down roots in Western Washington. With the support of family, friends, and fellow farmers, they established Wild Hare Organic Farm shortly after Hazel’s first birthday. Today, Mark and Katie aim to protect the family-farm tradition of their historic property, promote the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, 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.”
Learn more about Wild Hare Organic Farm and read what this milestone means to the farmers. A special thank you to our partners at the Department of Ecology for making this conservation effort possible.