Mar 03

Eat Local First Collaborative Launches Washington Food & Farm Finder

Posted on March 3, 2021 at 7:28 PM by Nicole Warren

Local Color Farm  Fiber_Puyallup_Rylea FoehlPierce County Fresh is proud to be a part of the Eat Local First Collaborative, a group of statewide partner organizations working together to build a statewide resource dedicated to connecting consumers and farmers.


Earlier this month, the Collaborative launched the new Washington Food & Farm Finder, a comprehensive and mobile-friendly searchable database connecting Washington State residents with more than 1,700 sustainable and organic farms, farmers markets, and food businesses around the state representing 37 counties.  

Check out a Recent Story on NPR About the Washington Food & Farm Finder Here

Washingtonians are also encouraged to buy directly from local producers for the holiday season. The new website features a Holiday Food & Farm Finder with ideas on holiday meal planning and gift ideas, what’s in season and more. There’s even aMap_Screenshot Holiday Gift Guide featuring farms and local producers with online stores for easy, at-home shopping.



Collaborative members include The Local Food Trust, Pierce County Fresh, Sustainable Connections, Tilth Alliance, Washington State University Food Systems, and Washington State University Regional Small Farms Program with anticipated future participation from partners across the state including Genuine Skagit Valley, Gorge Grown Network, Island Grown in the San Juans, the Methow Conservancy, and Walla Walla Grown.

 

Funding for the Washington Food & Farm Finder was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Marketing Service through grant AM170100XXXXG123. Additional support was made possible from The Whatcom Community Foundation and Washington State Department of Agriculture Regional Markets Program.


Mar 03

Upcoming Farm Workshops & Cost Share Opportunities

Posted on March 3, 2021 at 7:27 PM by Nicole Warren

Veterans Farm - cost share cover crop seeded with no-till drillCOVER CROP COST SHARE PROGRAM 2021!

Last year nine farmers used PCD cost share support to seed 40 acres of cover crops and continue building healthy soils during a time of the year when their fields would otherwise be sitting empty and exposed. We will be offering cover crop cost share to farmers again in 2021! PCD will provide 75% cost share, up to $150/acre. Eligible expenses include seed, inoculant, fertilizer, labor and equipment rental for establishing cover crops. Please see our cover crop assistance page for information on the program and to access our list of favorite cover cropping resources.



Photo: Farmers at the Veteran’s Farm in Orting stand in a field planted with cover crops using PCD’s no-till drill and financial assistance from PCD’s 2020 Cover Crop Cost Share Program.




Contact Alison Nichols at alisonn@piercecd.org or 253.845.9770, ext. 132 for more information.

Upcoming Farm Workshops and Events

HOW DO YOU GET MORE FROM LESS? GROWING FORAGE AND ALTERNATIVE FODDERS ON SMALL ACREAGE
March 9, 2021, 6:30-7:30 pm
Via Online Zoom Webinar 

REGISTER HERE

There is a growing interest among farmers in western Washington and elsewhere to raise forage and fodder crops for local small-scale livestock production. Increased costs of feed and the desire to enhance on-farm livestock feed production have created a need for alternative fodder and forage crops.

Come learn from Maynard Mallonee, an organic dairy producer in Curtis, Washington howCome learn how to grow field turnips like these for fodder on your farm forage selection- including the introduction of alternative forages such as turnips and brassicas, different tillage methods, irrigation, grazing management, and utilizing soil testing to determine the proper type and amount of soil amendments can increase your forage production and extending your grazing season on limited acreage.

Maynard Mallonee is a graduate of WSU and was a member of the Washington State University Cooperative Dairy Students (CUDS). He has a passion for trying new technologies and management techniques. His herd is milked with robots and cows have state of the art animal housing for cow comfort and health. Each year he selects a new forage management practices to evaluate. His overall goal is to produce the most amount of high-quality forage at his dairy and minimize purchase of forages off farm.

We will also be joined by Joe Harrison, WSU Extension’s Dairy and Nutrient Management Specialist. Joe Harrison did field trials on alternative forages, such a broccoli and beets, to evaluate the production potential, nutritional value, and agroeconomic potential for producing these crops as feedstock.

GROWING YOUR FARM - HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR SITE
March 16, 2021, 7:00-8:30pm
Via Online Zoom Webinar

REGISTER HERE

Whether your farm is a commercial or non-commercial endeavor, careful stewardship of agricultural land is crucial to the vitality of farming in our county and to the preservation of water quality. Many development projects can require permits from the County, so learning more about your property is an important part of planning your farm. Come learn about Pierce County and WA State Regulations and permits that affect your agricultural activities and protect our environment. Hear how Pierce CD is available to assist you in complying with these important regulations whether you are growing crops, raising livestock, or just keeping horses for enjoyment.

FERTILIZING ANNUAL CROPS AND PASTURES WITH MANURE AND ORGANIC AMENDMENTS, PART 1 AND 2
Via Online Zoom Webinar

Meeting your crop nutrient goals with manures and organic amendments while staying balanced can be tricky! Join us for this 2-part series where we will cover how to correct nutrient deficiencies and how to develop a long-term plan for improving fertility and soil health. These workshops will feature local producers who are successfully managing soil health and fertility in their fields.

Part 1, Annual Crop Fields
April 13, 6:00pm - 7:30pm

via Online Zoom Webinar

REGISTER HERE

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, we will focus on how to manage soil with manure and organic amendments in annual crop fields. We will go in-depth on nutrient budgeting for determining crop needs.

Part 2, Pasture and Hay Fields?
April 15, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Via Online Zoom Webinar

REGISTER HERE

In Part 2 of this 2-part series, we will focus on how to manage soil with manure and organic amendments in pasture and hay fields. We will cover manure applications, managing pH, and correcting nutrient deficiencies to increase fertility and forage yields.

WSU ON-FARM COVER CROP TRIALS FIELD DAY
April 2021, Date/Time TBD

Socially Distanced In-Person Farm Tour

Interested in year-long cover crop fallow ideas? WSU Puyallup researchers and local farmers teamed up in 2020 to experiment with different mixes of summer seeded cover crops which were then over seeded with fall cover crops using PCD’s no-till seed drill. Join us in April to evaluate the results! We will also be evaluating WSU’s trial efforts to determine ideal ratios of rye-vetch cover crop mixes and comparing the performance of different rye and vetch varieties in the trials.

VIRTUAL PASTURE MANAGEMENT FARM TOUR
May 2021, Date and Time TBD

Via Online Zoom Webinar

Walk the fields of a 50-acre former dairy turned beef cattle, horse, and hay farm in Roy with owners Terry and Suzanne Smith, Marty Chaney, Agronomist with the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, Gudrun Mahrt, a sales representative from Columbia River Carbonates, Warwick Bryant, a custom farmer and sheep and hay grower from the Key Peninsula, and Rene’ Skaggs Farm Resource Specialist with the Pierce Conservation District to review the importance of soil analysis, addressing drainage or irrigation considerations, and to discuss the connection between healthy forage growth and weed competition. Learn how to correctly assess existing production levels, identify common weed species, and control methods, accurately determine nutrient application rates, and maximize forage outputs.
Recordings will be made of all workshops and will be made available for those unable to attend the original presentation.

Feb 23

“Local, national organizations pool resources to conserve 1,000 acres of local farmland

Posted on February 23, 2021 at 8:17 AM by Allan Warren


In a broad partnership of local and national organizations, the District is pleased to announce the latest funding round for farmland conservation easements is open for application with a deadline of March 26, 2021. These effort help permanently conserve farms such as the Dionas Farm on the Buckley Plateau, recently conserved by our partners at Washington Farmland Trust. Video credit: Theo Monnin

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