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Growing Things Farm is located in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley, 30 miles from downtown Seattle. We grow organic produce, eggs, poultry, beef, and pork. The farm has fed our community for over 20 years and we are committed to producing high-quality, nutritious food. Beginning in 2006, the Snoqualmie Valley was inundated with intense flooding. Since then, farmers in the region have been faced with many challenges. Our farm was especially hard hit, and, due to flooding, the farmhouse on the property is currently uninhabitable.
Today, the house stands, perched on an old block-and-pier foundation. Building codes in the past did not allow for new homes to be constructed in the valley nor did they allow for the restoration of existing structures if damaged beyond 50% of their value. This code kept us from repairing the house initially after it had become so damaged by flooding. To our great joy, King County has provided a grant to raise the house and build a new foundation that is engineered for seasonal flooding. During this process most of the framing of the house will need to be reinforced, as well. While the grant covers the cost of raising the house and pouring a new foundation, it does not account for repairs to the structure. By nature of the construction techniques required, it is critical to repair the structure of the house during the process of lifting it.
My family cannot afford to do this project ourselves, which is why we are reaching out to the community. We feel blessed to be a part of a dynamic and conscientious community who value the importance of local farms. Our mantra has always been to leave the world a place better than when we arrived, and we strive to live up to that standard every day. But today, we are asking for your support to keep this farm viable for future families to grow and provide delicious, organic food.
Why is this important?
The world needs more small family farms and less large scale farming. Growing Things Farm is a certified organic farm that is sustainable and feeds the community wholesome, nutritious food. Farms like ours deserve the opportunity to continue that legacy for generations to come. A farmhouse that is elevated to sustain flood waters would make this possible.
In addition, it is very difficult to practice diversified farming when farmers don’t live on the property. Diversified farming means that we grow a variety of crops and raise a variety of animals. Livestock require farmers on-site for good care. When we go to bed at night the squawks of the chickens alert us to predators. Being on the farm 24-7 keeps us in touch with the general happiness of our animals. This kind of hands-on work cannot be done unless farmers live on their farm.
The Snoqualmie Valley is one of the richest agricultural valleys in the nation, in part due to seasonal flooding. The floods are a blessing and a curse; without flooding the land would not be as fertile. A good percentage of farmland in our area is now subject to seasonal floods and farmers are creating innovative ways to overcome them. We want to make sure that our family can pass this farm on to the next generation of farmers, and that they will be able to live here safely.
Growing Things Farm is protected by both King County and by PCC Farmland Trust. It will always be protected for organic agricultural use (meaning it will not be lost to property developers, nor will it ever have much commercial value). Our farm has key streams running through it, as well as river frontage, that is in the process of being restored for valuable fish habitat. Nevertheless, the integrity of the farm could be compromised if there isn’t a house for a family to live in; integrity created by the people that know of this land as home, and care for it as such. This is important not only for farming but also for the environment.
What will my contribution do?
Amazing things! We are happy to have secured the grant from the county to raise the house. We also need to repair the structure, replace the roof, and fix the extensive damage done by inclement weather over the years. Contributions toward our $20,000 goal will be used to replace compromised lumber, replace the roof, and generally weather-proof the structure. Your generous donations toward our $20,000 goal will make crucial updates to the integrity of the structure, but it wouldn’t yet be habitable. The flooding damage was extensive enough that repairs to plumbing and wiring are also necessary. If we exceed our goal (which we are hoping we will!) we will use any additional funding to repair wiring and plumbing, and complete essential renovations that would make the structure a working farmhouse again. Each donation will go a long way to making this house a functional part of the farm. Thank you for your support and contribution to the future of Growing Things Farm.
Our Family’s Farm - a note from Michaele
Growing Things Farm has been a family farm for more than 20 years. Over the years, I’ve farmed the land with my late husband, my sons, Blake, Brandon, Rian, and Morgan, as well as interns who come to learn about sustainable, organic farming methods. In 2006, the farm moved to its current location as part of the PCC Farmland Trust, which protects this land for organic agriculture in perpetuity.
As the children grew up, they moved on to start their own lives and families. My son Blake now runs his own organic farm in the San Juan Islands with his fiancée Julie; my son Brandon works as a landscape designer with a focus on native plantings; my son Morgan works in internet technology, but finds time to grow organic hops for brewing craft beer; and my son Rian is studying renewable energy engineering. They all make an effort to source local, organic meats and produce for their families. In addition, more than half of the interns who spend a summer at Growing Things Farm move on to pursue farming. This is the legacy of Growing Things Farm.
Even though I now run and operate the farm on my own, the community in the Snoqualmie Valley and Seattle areas have inspired me to keep this farm alive through their patronage at local farmer’s markets, community events, and even gestures as simple as a warm “hello” and inquiry into what’s growing at Growing Things Farm. It’s never easy to ask for help, but the encouragement from my fellow farmers, customers, and friends has made me realize that, just as a plant requires sunshine and rich soil to flourish, a farm needs the support of its community to thrive.
Risks and challenges
The main challenge will be the fact that the house raising and re-building will be happening during the farm's busiest time. I feel fortunate that the contractor who will be raising the house on behalf of the county will also be the one doing the re-building. He has successfully raised many houses in the valley and knows the ins and outs quite well.
Thank You! Together, we can ensure that this fertile land remains a local family farm that will sustain future generations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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