Whenever I can include a little dirt in the course of a conversation about local and seasonal I’m happy. This time it’s about preserving some land for growing food.
“The PCC Farmland Trust secures, preserves, and stewards threatened farmland in the Northwest, to ensure that generations of local farmers productively farm it using sustainable, organic growing methods.
The PCC Farmland Trust is an independent, community-supported 501(c)(3) land trust. It was founded in 1999 by PCC Natural Markets as a separate, non-profit organization.”
Since we’re not all going to become urban farmers, small backyard plots notwithstanding, we rely upon others to grow most of our food. When my youthful grandparents arrived in eastern Washington in the mid-1920s they could buy land for a song if they were willing to do the backbreaking work required to clear it, which they were and they did. Those days are over. It’s become difficult, an understatement, for potential small farmers to compete with big name corporate real estate. Food producers can’t compete with the earning potential of retail, for example, on that same acre of land, so it’s an expensive acre. Things to use and wear vs. food for the table. Take your pick.
PCC has a remarkable commitment to social responsibility on many levels. They’ve been involved in efforts to acquire local organic farmland for a while now and fund raising for this cause is ongoing. In a recent newsletter they describe current endeavors to purchase 100 acres on the Puyallup River that can support up to five farmers, and 730 acres on the Black River in Thurston County.
I keep thinking bumper sticker: S A V E T H E D I R T, save it for farming as if our lives depended upon it. Consider PCC’s Farmland Trust program as a cause worth supporting. We might have to sacrifice another fancy shoe store, but we’ll gain, perhaps, local cauliflower and bacon. Visit PCC’s site and contribute if you can. It would be a small action toward sustainability that might keep local, seasonal food on the table. Farmland Trust Donation Form