Our Certified Organic farm is at the heart of everything we do. It’s the reason we are all here — why the land was first secured long ago as part of King County’s Agriculture Preservation Program. It is a source of inspiration for our staff, volunteers and for the entire community to embrace. Our work revolves around the food we grow, and the farm practices that we employ to regenerate soil and contribute to climate solutions.
What’s Happening on the Farm in January?
Although the weather is gray and the farm in January looks dormant, this is the time of year we spend “farm dreaming.” We have big hopes for this year’s produce and education plots, and though much of our time is spent indoors in January, we’re making plans with an eye for what’s to come.
Still, the farm looks a little messy—“spring cleaning” came early as we ransacked the sheds, pulling out what we haven’t used in order to donate or recycle it. With the high winds and wet ground, the less-healthy trees have fallen to make way for new growth. It’s muddy, though, and we’ve been unable to get a truck on the farm to haul everything away. Like much of our winters (and probably yours, too), we must be patient and wait.
But waiting is not always idle. While we put our heads down and plan, the soil is still working just beneath our feet. Our cover crops of choice, clover, rye and vetch, have started to poke their heads up, keeping our no-till soil from washing away during all this rain. These carbon- and nitrogen-fixing plants work double-time to both sequester atmospheric carbon (helping keep our air clean) and keep nutrients in the soil. Once we’re ready to plant, those nutrients will be recycled into our crops.
Overhead, the geese pass by every morning. They’ve come a long way from up north, and they’ve still got a ways to go yet. They can occasionally be spotted taking a long rest on our front lawn and chatting to each other. It won’t be long before they return to nest in the spring.
We hope your New Year is full of big plans and new growth to come. If you stop by the farm, come and say hello to see what we’re planning for the year ahead!
Where does the food go?
Much of the produce we harvest from the 21 Acres Farm is sold through the Farm Market. Some of the food goes to our kitchen to be used as ingredients in classes or for delicious meals for events. Much of it is used for food-to-go offered in our seasonal deli in the Farm Market. During the summer, the kitchen staff preserves berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other warm season crops to enjoy during the winter. Produce is also distributed a number of ways in our community. Some is donated each week to a local organization that distributes food to families in need. We sell some of the harvest produce through Farmstand Local Foods to local restaurants and businesses. We’re also happy to sell bulk produce to home canners who pre-order to make sure they have the quantities and varieties they need.