FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seattle Tilth Farm Works Welcomes Media and Public for Visit to the Farm
Farm Incubator Program Cultivates Local Farmers and Farm Businesses in AuburnOct 06, 2011
Farming has many challenges – like finding affordable land, managing crops and navigating markets. For immigrants, refugees and low income families, the challenges are nearly insurmountable. Did you know there is an educational farm in South King County that provides training and financial support to traditionally underserved families? Put on your boots and come see for yourself! The media and public are invited to an open house at our Seattle Tilth Farm Works on Saturday, October 22, 10-11:30 a.m.
During the open house, visitors will be guided on a tour of the farm and have the opportunity to meet the farmers and staff while they are busy harvesting, planting and preparing the fields for winter. Seattle Tilth’s Executive Director Andrea Platt Dwyer will be making an announcement about exciting news for the future of the Seattle Tilth Farm Works. This event is part of Food Day 2011 activities.
Seattle Tilth is training immigrants, refugees and low-income families in farming skills and business development through a “farm incubator” program known as Seattle Tilth Farm Works (aka United People’s Farm). Farmers gain hands-on experience growing food on ¼ acre and larger plots on land in Auburn, WA. Access to land, equipment, and utilities is subsidized for program participants, with subsidies decreasing over time as farmers grow their businesses. Farmers also go on educational field trips to tour other farm operations, get support to sell food at local markets and events and take classes on creating a business plan as well as other farming and business topics. Somali Bantu, Ethiopian, Burundian and other low-income families have participated in the program. The program is currently accepting applications for new participants.
While Seattle Tilth has been teaching gardeners to grow organic food in urban and suburban areas for 32 years, this farm program is a new foray into small-scale market farming. Partnering organization Burst for Prosperity piloted the program in 2009 and passed the reins to Seattle Tilth in 2010. Produce from the farm, under the name Seattle Tilth Produce, is sold to area restaurants, small grocery stores, corner stores and at South King County farmers markets.
This farmer training program is made possible by funding from Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) through the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, managed locally by King County Public Health. CPPW aims to achieve broad reaching, highly impactful and sustainable change to reduce chronic disease morbidity and mortality associated with obesity and tobacco use. The land belongs to Seattle Parks and Recreation and they are making it available as part of their Parks Urban Food Systems program.
Find out more about Seattle Tilth Farm Works: http://seattletilth.org/about/farmincubatorprogram.
About Seattle Tilth: Begun in 1978, Seattle Tilth is an educational organization with community learning gardens and farms throughout Seattle, in Issaquah and in South King County offering classes and programs that serve adults and children. Seattle Tilth’s mission is to inspire and educate people to grow food organically, conserve natural resources and support local food systems in order to cultivate a healthy urban environment and community. Find out more at www.seattletilth.org.