“Rooted in Community” Event a Success

North Olympic Land Trust was pleased to present “Rooted in Community – Celebrating our Local Bounty” on the evening of September 30th. The virtual event featured several elements connected to the incredible diversity of local conservation opportunities and benefits that we on the North Olympic Peninsula are so lucky to enjoy.

The Land Trust’s 22nd Annual Farmer of the Year award was presented to eight local farms with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. Farms receiving the award included Bent Gate Farms, Chi’s Farm, Griffith Farm CSA, River Run Farm, Salt Creek Farm, SisterLand Farms, Wild Edge Farm and Wild Forks Farm. On hand to present the award was Clea Rome, Director of WSU Extension Clallam County. A recipient of this award in 2017, Rome delivered an informative and impassioned message highlighting the many community benefits of CSA programs. Describing the CSA system of shared risks and rewards, Rome reminded us that “we are all in it together, and we are invested in our local farms and the food that they grow.” Rome was also very clear about the value of CSAs in times of economic hardship, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. When food supply chains are disrupted and frontline food workers are put at risk, “investing in a CSA, investing in a local farm business, investing in the conservation of farmland is an insurance policy for the future of our community.” At the conclusion of Rome’s remarks, viewers were treated to a Farmer of the Year slide show featuring a selection of beautiful photos that had been generously shared by each of the farms. Accepting the award on behalf of the eight farms was Anna Swanberg of Bent Gate Farms. “What I love about being part of this family-farming community is the web of connections we have weaved here on the Peninsula. It can be hard here on the Peninsula to be successful with economy of scale, so farms often build their successes together, with the help of organizations like the Land Trust, the greater community, and each other.” Swanberg’s inspirational acceptance remarks included an enthusiastic “CSA members truly are the best!”

Following the celebration of local farms and CSA programs, the Land Trust was thrilled to share the premiere of a brand new video by local videographer John Gussman. Celebrating thirty years of community conservation, “North Olympic Land Trust – Farms, Fish, Forests” provides a beautiful reflection on the past, present, and future of the Land Trust. Those who were unable to attend the event, or whose Zoom video quality was less than ideal, are strongly encouraged to take a moment to enjoy this video on the Land Trust’s YouTube channel.

Many thanks to all of those who joined us virtually for this event, as well as to speakers Clea Rome and Anna Swanberg, the always-amazing John Gussman, Land Trust support staff, and the entire community for the your continued enthusiasm as we work together to conserve this place that we love.

The entire event recording is currently available on the Land Trust’s YouTube channel.