PCC Farmland Trust

by Alicia Guy, Director, Farmland Trust

This article was originally published in November 2006

Thanksgiving for good works

As I sat next to Nash Huber recently at the Vim Wright Stewardship Award dinner in his honor, he turned to me and stated simply, “You know, if it wasn’t for you folks, I don’t think we would be farming anymore.”

Even though Nash was expressing his appreciation for the supporters of the PCC Farmland Trust, I was the one struck with thankfulness. Thankfulness for the farmers who work seven days a week, rain or shine, bringing the bounty on the table from seed to harvest.

It is so easy to forget in the course of our busy lives how much effort goes into a head of lettuce, a dozen eggs, or a sun-gold carrot. Behind the scenes, farmers are working, working, working — tired or not — tilling the soil, feeding the chickens, tending the cattle and harvesting.

It is a leap of faith on their part, trusting that the earth is going to take care of them if they take care of it. Their particular brand of fortitude, in spite of all the worries of farming, is a regular source of inspiration.

Our involvement in their adventure is critical to the success of local, small-scale organic agriculture. Nash recalled, “I spent many nights not sleeping, worrying if I was going to have land to farm. I would have to get up and take a walk.”

This worrying led him to approach PCC with the proposal to buy 100 acres of fertile Dungeness Delta soil that was coming up for sale. The Farmland Trust was born, the Delta Farm was saved, and Nash Huber and his crew had some guaranteed farmland.

“That project set the trend here,” says Nash. “It has set an example and made a big difference in our area.” Other local landowners have put conservation easements on their farmland. But by any standard, development and growth in the Sequim area is alarmingly rapid.

Nash is working now with the Inter-agency Council for Recreation to secure a matching grant to preserve the last 28-acre parcel that remains unprotected in the area surrounding his farmland. If the grant is approved, it means the entire village of Dungeness would be saved from the pressures of development — a living, thriving, agricultural museum.

I feel a deep sense of gratitude to be a part of the PCC Farmland Trust, a program that brings the community, the land and the farmers together. Farmers supported by the local community offer the most promising future for local agriculture.

This Thanksgiving, I will sit down and enjoy a meal replete with fresh, local ingredients from my favorite farmers. Those farmers will be a big part of my giving thanks, as will each and every one of you who support the PCC Farmland Trust. Thank you!

Also in this issue

Letters to the editor, November 2006

Notes from the Cellar, Big organic vs. local, Wild mushrooms, and more

Your co-op, November 2006

Board meeting report, Talk to the board, Board candidate application deadline next month, and more