by Jean Rogers, Farm Fund Administrator
Meet the 2019 Local Farmer Award Winners!
Labor Day weekend was a fitting time to celebrate and honor our farmers, and given the large turnout for the annual Community Food Co-op Farm Celebration, many people felt the same. Now, as the late harvest season arrives, we are excited to highlight the winners of the Local Farmer Awards announced at the event.
an impressive list of outstanding farmers
We received many great nominations, resulting in an impressive list of outstanding farmers. With such an exceptional group, selecting the award recipients was a tough decision.
Congratulations to all the well-deserving farms nominated by local eaters, food businesses, and fellow farmers. See the complete list of the nominees below.
We are thrilled to present the 2019 award winners and tell you a little about each one.
Silva Family Farm is a certified organic berry farm, known for the quality of their strawberries and heirloom blueberries. Just three years into their business, they have bought their own farm, one of the biggest challenges new farmers face.
This season they added berry bushes on the new land using a Farm Fund Next Step grant, and their blueberries were on the produce shelves at the Co-op. We’re excited that these skilled growers are building a resilient farm in the region.
Congratulations, Pablo and Maura! Here’s to a great future for Silva Family Farm.
Solar panels, timed irrigation, and systems to create on-farm compost are just a few examples of technological innovations developed by Chris Henderson and Mia Devine. Energy resource specialists Mia and Chris have helped other farms reduce their carbon footprint while constantly pushing the limits of small-scale farming.
A nominator summed it up by saying, “their farm is one of the best examples of small-scale sustainable agriculture done right in Whatcom County. They have been an amazing resource for other farmers and have approached their farming practices with great intention and forethought.”
Tierra y Libertad is a farmworker-owned cooperative that formed so members can have control of business decisions, build a better future for their families, and continue their cultural practice of organic farming. By working together, they provide resources to experienced growers and support their community.
Look for their delicious strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries in local markets, and check for seasonal U-pick days at the farm.
A big welcome to one of Whatcom County’s newer cooperatives! We look forward to their continued growth and success.
Roslyn’s produce is a mainstay at the Co-op, and if you’ve been to the Bellingham Farmers Market, you’ve certainly seen her bright booth full of amazing veggies.
From her cheery attitude and enthusiasm for teaching people about local produce to mentorship, potlucks, and barn dances, Roslyn goes above and beyond to bring people together and keep things fun. As one nominator said, “she’s a one-woman powerhouse, and super inspirational.”
We are fortunate to have such a talented local grower. Thanks, Roslyn!
Tom and Cheryl have been farming for over 40 years. What started as a commercial farm based around education has become a full educational nonprofit farm where people can learn everything from planting and harvesting lettuce to pruning and harvesting an assortment of tree fruit.
They share knowledge freely and have influenced everyone from aspiring farmers to well-established growers. It’s hard to understate the impact they’ve had.
Thanks, Tom and Cheryl, for your stewardship of local farming!
Support the Co-op Farm Fund
It takes a community standing with our hard working farmers to maintain and grow our supply of fresh, healthy local food. After the Farm Fund’s largest funding distribution in history this year, it’s time to refill the coffers for 2020.
Help us meet our funding goals of $10,000 for the Next Step Grant Project and $15,0000 for the low interest Farm Fund secured loan fund.
Donate online or at any cash register.
Complete list of all the 2019 Farmer Award nominees.
Innovator Farm Nominees
highlighting a farmer who has contributed innovative/sustainable practices to local farming
- Boldly Grown Farm
- Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad
- Neil’s Bigleaf Maple Syrup
- Slanted Sun Farm
- Small Acres Farm
- Southern Exposure Family Farm
New Farmer Nominees
highlighting an outstanding new farm in first 5 years of farming locally
- Alluvial Farms
- Bittersweet Family Farm
- Cabrera Farms
- City Sprouts Farm
- East of Eden Farm
- Farias Farm
- Flynn Farms
- Free Range Flowers
- Kragnes Family Farms
- Silva Family Farm
- The Crows Farm
- Wild Acres Family Farm
Mentor Farmer Nominees
highlighting a farmer who has shared experiences, skills & support with other local farmers
- Harley Soltes, Bow Hill Blueberries
- Jason and Nathan Weston, Joe’s Gardens
- Mauricio Soto, Arado Farm
- Rosyln McNicholl, Rabbit Fields Farm
- Tom and Cheryl Thornton, Cloud Mountain Farm Center
- Viva Farms
Bright Spot Nominees
noteworthy farmers who were nominated outside the other three categories
- Alluvial Farms
- Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad
- Foothills Farm
- Mama’s Garden
- Margaret Gerard, Sunseed Farm
- Roslyn McNicholl, Rabbit Fields Farm
- Well Fed Farms