Event volunteer Erik Kingfisher carries a platter of local foods at the 2018 Friends of the Fields Harvest Dinner. (North Olympic Land Trust)

Event volunteer Erik Kingfisher carries a platter of local foods at the 2018 Friends of the Fields Harvest Dinner. (North Olympic Land Trust)

Harvest dinner tickets available now

SEQUIM — Tickets for the 20th annual Harvest Dinner are selling quickly, North Olympic Land Trust organizers said.

Themed “Know the Hands That Feed You,” the dinner set for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 15 at Sunland Country Club, 109 Hilltop Drive will feature the flavors of many local farms. Additionally, the North Olympic Peninsula’s most prominent farm-to-table chefs, bakers and butchers are coming together to make the multi-course meal.

“Thanks to the sponsors, donations from local grocers, businesses and farms, and the help of many dedicated volunteers, including the chefs, all proceeds from the dinner directly benefit farmland conservation,” said Tom Sanford, Land Trust executive director.

“At the rate farmland is being converted, we need to be able to move quickly. The community’s support at events like Harvest Dinner is key to successful farmland conservation.”

Seats cost $125 per person, or $150 after Sept. 2. Tables seat nine guests; buy eight seats and get the ninth one free. Seats are not sold at the door.

The community support raised at the popular Friends of the Fields Harvest Dinner has had a vast and permanent impact on the county, organizers said.

Since 1990, thanks to willing landowners and community support, North Olympic Land Trust has conserved 17 farms on more than 520 acres of working farmland.

Funds from previous Harvest Dinners have assisted these projects, Sanford said.

Last year’s event raised more than $60,000 for local farmland conservation.

“The generosity shown at Harvest Dinner has not only helped to preserve our community’s agricultural heritage, but it has allowed it to continue to evolve and ensure farmland is accessible for the next generation,” Sanford said.

Farmland is one of the most threatened landscapes in Clallam County, Sanford said. Land ideal for farming is often ideal for many other purposes and thus pressures to convert farmland are ever-increasing.

Already Clallam County has lost more than 75 percent of its agricultural lands, he said.

The majority of the farmland lost has been in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley, which once was known for hundreds of dairies.

Still, farming in Clallam County, especially in the Sequim-Dungeness continues to be an important a part of the local economy and its identity, Sanford said, pointing to the annual Sequim Irrigation Festival as a reminder of the lasting impact of the ability to irrigate the Dungeness prairie and farm.

To buy tickets, go to www.northolympicland trust.org or call 360-417-1815, Ext. 4.

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