Letters to the Editor - December 31, 2018

Farming and Education in the Sammamish Valley
Preserving and protecting the farmland and rural spaces in the Sammamish Valley has direct impact on the farms and organizations that offer their products and educational resources to the community. Farming in the Valley is a viable entity and we’ve seen growth in recent years with farm production and education programs bringing in an increasing number of young farmers growing food in the Valley. Education programs that provide increased opportunities for food access and food security. Farming practices that regenerate the soil addressing weather issues and climate challenges affecting production.
Each year thousands of youth and young adults are in the fields and on the grounds at these Valley farms learning valuable skills about how food is grown, harvested and used. These farms host school field trips, are adventure centers for farm camps, serve as homes for veterans healing, and locations for volunteering and community service. The SAgE program for example, is a collaboration of five Seattle colleges and WSU, who use their Valley farmland for hands-on curriculum in their Sustainable Agriculture degree programs. Participants continue their education working on the farm, becoming successful incubator farmers growing MORE food in the Valley for the community. They look for land to farm they can call their own. Access to affordable, useable farmland is key, it allows these farmers to remain in business, increase food production goals and support the local food economy.
Please protect this viable farmland and keep the rural buffers free from development creating additional water issues that affect production. Do NOT put our Valley farmers out of business. In fact, King County’s current Local Food Initiative has established goals for GROWING 25 NEW farmers every year and INCREASING the amount of King County acreage in food production. Please support Friends of Sammamish Valley’s amended Ordinance.
Brenda Vanderloop
Sammamish Valley Alliance

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