Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Task Force Farm Tour Agenda: Public Invited!

The May meeting of the Farmland Preservation Task Force will include a tour of King County agriculture. The tour will feature three full stops and two roadside pauses to take in what onboard speakers are discussing.
The first full stop will be the Kirkland Farmers Market, an urban farmers market that runs May through October in beauti-ful downtown Kirkland on the shores of Lake Washington. Here we will hear from market manager Stefeny Anderson. Ste-feny wears many hats as she also manages the Renton Farmers Market and is the secretary of the Washington State Farmers Market Association. She will be discussing among other things the role the Kirkland Market has in being an outlet for area farmers and the connection it has to the local community.
Next we will head over to Full Circle Farms. Full Circle Farms currently cultivates organically over 50 crops and 200 varie-ties of produce on 400 acres employing around 125 people. Their produce can be found in Seattle restaurants, farmer's mar-kets, and specialty grocers. An incredible fact about Full Circle Farm is their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) cus-tomers which total about 8,000. Farmer Andrew Stout will discuss with us his growing operation and how the county farm-land preservation has enabled him to expand acreage.
Finally we will stop at West Valley Beef. West Valley Beef is a grass fed beef operation located in the Snoqualmie Valley near Duvall. A certified Salmon Safe Farm, West Valley Beef is managed by Chuck and Bobbi Lindemulder. Chuck was born and raised in the Snoqualmie Valley, and Bobbi has lived there since 1974. Both feel strongly about maintaining the family farm and supporting local agriculture.
Roadside stops will include Children‟s Garden and Two Sister‟s Farm.
Children’s Garden Farm is a 28 acre farm which produces vegetables, herbs and fresh cut and dry flowers, which are sold at Pike Place Market and other farmer‟s markets around Seattle. The farm, established in 1993, has two names— “Children‟s” was the name attached to the goal of the farm supporting the family‟s children to earn their college money while working on the farm. Almost 10 years ago, grandfather Shongchao passed away, and in his honor, the farm was named after him.
Located just north of Carnation, Two Sisters Dairy, which the sisters Anne Marie and Lena Magnochi own with their par-ents, is one of four dairies left in Snoqualmie Valley, and has even survived Carnation Farms — the town„s namesake — which closed in 2001.
If you would like to sign up for the tour which begins from the Kirkland La Quinta Inn and Suites May 12 promptly at 1pm and concludes between 5:00 and 5:30 (depending on traffic) please contact Lori Gonzalez at lgon461@ecy.wa.gov or Josh Giuntoli at jgiuntoli@scc.wa.gov.

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