QUILCENE — Farmers Marko Colby and Hanako Myers have permanently protected their 29-acre Quilcene farm, with the help of donations from the community, in a deal with Jefferson Land Trust.
The husband-and-wife pair operate Midori Farm, which sells its plant starts, produce and kimchi widely on the Olympic Peninsula, and in Seattle and the Skagit Valley.
Colby and Myers worked with Jefferson Land Trust to protect their farmland’s rich soil and remove the potential for future subdivision and development.
The costs of the project, finished in July, were covered by donations from community donors and a grant from the Jefferson County Conservation Futures Fund.
Colby and Myers purchased their Quilcene property in 2013, upgrading from just 5 acres in Port Townsend where they had launched Midori farm in 2008.
The pair immediately began working with local conservation group Jefferson Land Trust to establish permanent protection of their property.
“Out of the experience of our own search for land, we recognize the need for good, affordable farmland in Jefferson County, and the lack thereof,” said the farmers in a press release.
“If we as a county are to make an effort toward greater food security, this issue is one that needs continued support. We feel a deep satisfaction knowing that, through this conservation agreement, our land will remain farmland beyond our lifetimes, and will be passed onto future generations of farmers in an economically feasible way,” they said in the release.
”Our particular piece of farmland is blessed with rich soils, an ideal growing climate and good water, which makes its preservation incredibly valuable.”
It took four years to garner adequate funding to protect Midori Farm. Matching dollars were required to unlock a Conservation Futures grant from Jefferson County. Two years of attempts for state farmland preservation grants were not funded, and Colby and Myers turned to the local community to help fill the gap.
“Beyond the daily operation of our organic farm and short-term stewardship plans, our long-term goal is to preserve Quilcene valley farmland, with its well-drained soils, steady irrigation water and first-rate growing conditions,” they said in the release.
“We decided to turn to the community for help with this long-term farmland conservation project as this goal extends beyond our lifetimes.”
Community supporters turned up in force, donating $48,000 to complete the project.
Midori Farm is a certified organic producer and processor of market vegetables, stew hens, eggs, seeds and vegetable starts.
Jefferson Land Trust is an accredited land trust, a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving Jefferson County. Since its incorporation in 1989, Jefferson Land Trust has helped landowners and communities permanently protect over 12,000 acres.
For more about Midori Farm, see http://www.midori-farm.com/.
For more about Jefferson Land Trust see https://saveland.org/.