An old-fashioned 'farm-raising': neighborhood event gathers $1,100

by Jody Aliesan, Director Farmland Fund

This article was originally published in November 2003

PCC Farmland Fund logo

(November 2003) — Janine VanSanden, her neighbors, co-workers and friends got together in her back yard on a Saturday night. They ate home-cooked food, listened to live music, and raised $1,138 to save farmland. She tells the story:

“I asked a couple of friends to help me with ideas and to get the food together. We chose the date, September 13, and began menu planning in August. We asked friends if they would share their musical talents for a worthy cause. One woman designed the invitation on her computer and we printed four to a page.

“The evening before the event six of us got together and did some food preparation. Next morning we began cooking and cooked all day, from scratch — that kept our costs down. We served barbecued boneless chicken thighs, chicken legs, boneless pork steaks, beef kabobs, Chinese noodle salad, ceviche, Asian pasta salad, humus with fresh vegetables, grilled vegetables, black beans and rice, assorted appetizers and a homemade plum cake for dessert. Attendees provided their own beverages. We served about 70 people at a cost of $135.00.

“We invited all of my neighbors, many co-workers, and other folks from all parts of the greater Seattle area. We scheduled live music throughout the entire event to help people relax and get to know one another. A neighbor girl played three pieces on her violin, the neighbor woman and some friends sang a capella arrangements with simple percussion instruments, the neighbor man and his pals played rhythm and blues cover songs, and a duo from work played acoustic guitar and sang. People raved about the homemade food and the live music. It was a winning combination.

“We charged each person $15.00 to attend. Many gave more. The Farmland Fund provided us with receipts for tax purposes. We raised just over $1,100. I felt it was a very successful event, since our goal was to raise $1,000, but even more so because everyone learned a little more about the Farmland Fund and had a really good time contributing to it.”
— Janine VanSanden, Seattle

Thank your local organic farmer: help keep our food close to home

In this season of gratitude, we thank our Washington organic farmers. They do the work and take the risks to provide us with sustainable sources of fresh, clean local produce.

Send a gift to the Farmland Fund and we’ll mail this card to the farmer of your choice or choose a farmer for you from the Washington Tilth Producers Directory. Let us know what you’d like to say. All contributions will be used to preserve organic farmland.

Last year local organic farmers opened nearly 200 cards with our messages written on them. The card’s image of harvest bounty was contributed by artist Marion Keen. Colors are green and brown on cream woven card stock with matching envelope.

Apotheosis of the Kitchen Goddess II

There is a goddess and I know her.
Her hands are not clean,
And she is large and strong and not too young. She wears
A sweatshirt with a hood and jeans, and sells black purple
Eggplant, spinach, bright broccoli, sixty cents
The pound at the Greenmarket at Union Square. Her slat-side truck
Has Pennsylvania plates, and she says she lives near Lancaster.
But I know the truth, because her calloused hands turn earth
To things good to eat, and green, and lovely.

— Teresa Noelle Roberts

From the anthology In Praise of Fertile Land (Whit Press, 2003), winner of the 2003 Bumbershoot Literary Award. All proceeds from copies sold in PCC Natural Markets benefit the Farmland Fund.

Donor Roster (September 1-30, 2003)

Anonymous: 2
Andrea Bolliger
Nancy Gagnat
Sharon Garrity
Mary Jane Helmann
Betty H. Hughes
Kevin Knoepp & Mary Williams
Ronald D. Long
Allen Olson & Laura Hunter
Steve Robinson & Leigh Ann Wolfe
Susan C. Robinson
Sue Schuttpelz
Mimi Simmons
Elin Smith
Jay Tarler & Claudia Apfelbaum
Mark and Nancy Tucker
Susan Weinstein
Cynthia Wold
and everyone who attended the event at Janine VanSanden’s house.

PCC Staff
More than 100 PCC staff members make voluntary payroll deductions twice a month.

Businesses and Organizations
Choice Organic Teas
Norman Wildlife Consulting
OGC/Ladybug Produce
TalkingRain Beverage Company
Washington State Employees
Combined Fund Drive
Wildwood Harvest Foods

The PCC Farmland Fund works to secure and preserve threatened farmland in Washington State and move it into organic production. For more information, see the PCC Farmland Fund.

Also in this issue

Your co-op, November 2003

Bill Nye at PCC Fremont, Talk to the Board, Looking for a few good leaders, and more