Protecting Agricultural Land
|In 1999, Puget Consumers Co-op, a Seattle-based chain
of seven natural foods stores, created The Farmland Fund, an independent, self-supporting,
nonprofit land trust. Their first acquisition was the Delta Farm in Dungeness.
Right: these beautiful plaques show the names of generous donors to the fund
that protects the Delta Farm from development.
Nash also farms about 200 acres in Dungeness placed under conservation easements by two visionary and far-sighted citizens of Clallam County. Their properties are protected by the North Olympic Land Trust
The first row crop ever planted in this part of Dungeness was 10 acres of organic carrots. Until then, there was coastal forest, then the land was cleared by the old Sequim pioneers who planted hay or ran cattle on it. It had been that way for almost 100 years. The next step in its evolution was likely to be development into residences. But thankfully, the PCC Farmland Fund and North Olympic Land Trust protect many acres and they will remain in organic agriculture and habitat for may wild animal, birds and other creatures.
For further information on the PCC Farmland Fund, go to the Fund's website. For more information on North Olympic Land Trust go to its website.
Another Clallam County organization that has so far worked to protect 146 acres of prime agricultural land, including 30 acres of the old Siebens Farm, a significant parcel of the Schmidt Farm, and 38 acres of the Dungeness Valley Creamery, is Friends of the Fields. Currently Friends of the Fields is trying to raise money to protect 55 acres of the beautiful and historical Finn Hall Farm in Agnew. Please support them by sending a contribution to Friends of the Fields, P.O. Box 1201, Carlsborg, WA 98324. Visit their website for further information.
|The most important thing a concerned consumer
can do is buy local produce. Ask your produce grocer where your food is grown, and
encourage them to purchase from local growers. For your own health, and the health of the
land, you should also encourage them to buy organic. It is also important to recognize
where good agricultural land is located, and preserve it. Once good ag land is paved over,
it loses its biological components and even if the asphalt or concrete is removed, it
would be decades before it could become fertile again. Urban sprawl destroys ag land.
Only a few wealthy companies benefit when we ship the power to feed ourselves overseas. We all lose in the long run. If retaining our nation's food base is important to you, write your state and federal legislators to let them know of your concerns.
For further information, see the website for American Farmlands Trust.
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