Building forever farms
This article was originally published in April 2014
15 years of operation, 13 farms protected, a total of 1,264 acres: Those are the numbers behind the ongoing efforts of the PCC Farmland Trust, now in their second decade of Washington farmland preservation.
One of the primary tools of PCC Farmland Trust is something called a conservation easement. Once this easement is obtained (it can be a lengthy and expensive process), it means the land can never be developed: no cul-de-sacs, no office buildings. PCC Farmland Trust’s version of this easement further narrows the land uses, requiring it to be farmed or foraged for food, using certified organic and sustainable methods. Additional work happens in cooperation with numerous governmental and nonprofit programs to connect protected farmland with suitable farmers.
Current PCC Farmland Trust farms include two in Walla Walla, and several more located within the Dungeness, Snoqualmie and Puyallup River valleys. If you’ve visited any of these areas, you know how remarkably beautiful Washington farms can be, with glorious glacial peaks in the background of the western farms, and the rolling hills, striking bluffs and endless blue skies of the southeast corner of the state. The preserved land might house anything from alfalfa seed to the locally famous Nash’s Best Carrots, or pastured egg operations and heritage pigs.
There are also fantastic opportunities to connect with the organization as a non-farmer. The annual event series includes everything from on-farm workshops for photography, birding, yoga and hedgerow planting to agriculture-themed movie nights and Local Chefs for Local Farms dinners that include four delicious courses and a thoughtful discussion with a local farmer. Find details on events and other ways to get connected at pccfarmlandtrust.org or facebook.com/pccfarmlandtrust.
Restore farm habitat
Join PCC Farmland Trust in the Puyallup Valley on April 12, to restore farm habitat through removal of invasive species. pccfarmlandtrust.org
Earth Day tips
Challenge your household
Shorter showers? Zero food waste? Challenge your family to set an eco-friendly, money-saving goal not just for Earth Day, but for all of April.
Build a food forest
The world-famous Beacon Food Forest hosts a work party on the western slopes of Jefferson Park on April 19. Dig in! beaconfoodforest.org