In 2013, South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) of Thurston County, WA completed the purchase of its first permanently affordable working farm. Together with Heernett Environmental Foundation Creekside Conservancy (HEF/CSC) and Kirsop Farm they acquired a 147-acre former dairy to establish the multi-use Scatter Creek Community Farm.
SSCFLT owns 99 acres of the farm, 66 of which they have leased long term to Kirsop Farm, an organic produce grower that markets through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, farmers markets, and direct sales. Kirsop farmers Colin Barricklow and Genine Bradwin simultaneously bought the farmhouse and three other farm buildings on the land, to gain ownership of the infrastructure essential to their business.
SSCFLT will lease most of their remaining 33 acres to Enterprise for Equity, a nonprofit that will use the land for a “farm incubator” farmer education and training program. Some SSCFLT land and farm buildings will also be leased to other area farmers. Meanwhile, HEF/CSC purchased and will manage the remaining 48 acres along the Chehalis River to protect salmon habitat and other wildlife.
Equity Trust is proud to have been among the many partners who contributed to this success, by providing technical assistance related to the agricultural ground lease and other aspects of the shared ownership agreement. We congratulate SSCFLT and all involved on the launch of a wonderful community resource for Thurston County.
For more information, check out this article, “Saving fertile land – one farm at a time.”