Farm tours mark the 10th anniversary of the PCC Farmland Trust

by Kelly Sanderbeck, Communications & Development Director

This article was originally published in March 2009

It started in 1999 when Nash Huber, of Nash’s Organic Produce in Sequim, needed more land to rotate his carrots. He was desperate because organically grown carrots can be grown on the same land only once every five years to avoid pests, and he had run out of land for rotation.

In Nash’s words, “I heard the Delta Farm was up for sale and, after many sleepless nights, I called Joe Hardiman (PCC Natural Markets’ Produce Merchandiser) and had him come out and visit the farm.

We walked down the river levy and I put to Joe the challenge of buying the farm. Lo and behold, he and PCC’s CEO at the time, Jeff Voltz, looked at maps and talked about the quality of the land at stake.”

However, it was staff member Jody Aliesan, who brought the PCC Farmland Trust into existence. After two years of hard work, the 98-acre Delta Farm became the trust’s first property.

To mark the Trust’s 10th anniversary, we’ll host farm tours over the next year — our own “Chautauqua.”

“Chautauqua” was an adult education movement popular in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Entertainment and culture were brought to rural communities with speakers, teachers, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day. 

Our Chautauqua will take city folks out to three very different Trust properties in the coming year to learn about the land and the source of our food. We’ll begin in Walla Walla in June at Bennington Place (home of Thundering Hooves); then we’ll go to Carnation in September to visit Ames Creek (home of Full Circle Farm, Growing Things Farm and Children’s Garden Farm).

We’ll end in Sequim in January 2010 where it all began at the Delta Farm. With luck we’ll have a new farm to add to the mix!

What will you do to participate in our Chautauqua? Host a house party or arrange a presentation at your office? Have a neighborhood auction or speak at your church or temple?

Give us a call and we’ll be happy to brainstorm and get you started. We’d like to hear your ideas and stories. This is our time — when public attention is turning toward local, organic, energy-saving, person-to-person business, smaller and slower, quality once again.

Also in this issue

A rowdy year in agriculture

Events related to food and farming, both organic and otherwise, have been somewhat astounding over the past year and a half. From world food riots to frantic price fluctuations for fertilizers and bold language by leaders at home and abroad, the first decade of the 21st century is on its way to leaving an indelible mark.

News bites, March 2009

Washington continues to lose farmland, School principal bans sugar, High fructose corn syrup contains mercury, and more

Insights by Goldie: The pleasures of the seasonal plate

During the popular Walk, Talk and Taste tours given in PCC stores, we nutrition advisors frequently encourage eating mostly “seasonal” foods, especially produce. Shoppers often are confused about what the term “seasonal” actually means, however, and why it is important.