Posts By Oliver Lazenby
“It’s all based on developing sustainable strategies. It has to be in this day and age or it’s just not feasible,” said Kim Kidwell, associate dean of WSU’s College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resources Sciences. “The mindset with all these students is long term viability.”
Large-scale agriculture dominates the Columbia Basin in Central Washington. Circle-irrigated fields of wheat, alfalfa, potatoes and other commodity crops stretch as far as the eye can see. Situated amidst 1000-acre fields and endless orchards near Royal City, Wash., is Cloudview EcoFarm, a unique small-scale organic vegetable farm that clearly stands out.
It’s not only the small plots containing a diversity of vegetables not typically found in the area that are unique at Cloudview, but also the farm’s approach to strengthening the local food system. Instead of trucking produce to Seattle – where it sells faster and at higher prices – Cloudview EcoFarm prefers to sell locally and cultivate a regional market for their food. They have even started selling shares of their 85-member CSA program to some neighboring commercial-scale farmers.
18,000 Subscribers Strong, Washington-based Farm-to-Table Delivery Service Blankets West Coast with Organic ProduceMarch 6, 2012 | Oliver Lazenby
In the last 16 years, Andrew Stout went from farming three acres of rocky dirt to becoming the CEO of one of Western Washington’s largest organic produce businesses. His company Full Circle, a farm and organic food broker in Carnation, Wash., has 18,000 subscribers in four states, sells at 10 farmers markets, and has plans to begin distributing in more states by the end of the year.
Stout started out as an intern at an organic farm with a CSA program in Minnesota in 1995. The next year, he started his own farm with his now-wife, Wendy Munroe, and college friend John Huschle. They couldn’t find land in Minnesota, so they moved to the Northwest in search of land closer to an urban center with a large population.
Tim and Lisa Meyers, owners of Meyers Farm, a sustainable farming operation in Bethel, Alaska, are in the process of opening up a new field to plant. In Bethel, 100 miles from the Bering Sea, that means scraping away topsoil and waiting a year or two for the permafrost to thaw.
Meyers farm is the region’s first and only farm. It started in 2003 as a small garden meant to feed the Meyers family and has since grown to 17 acres that feed the community. They grow a wide range of vegetables with an emphasis on cold weather crops that store well.