Agriculture Program

Silk banner by Tara GreggThe Methow Conservancy has worked with willing local landowners since 1996 to permanently protect nearly 1,700 acres of irrigated farmland and another 1,700 acres of open rangeland in the Methow from Pateros to Mazama.

In recent years, however, we have heard increasingly from our community that protecting farmland from development may not be enough to ensure a vibrant, viable future for our farmers and farming landscape. We recently created an Agricultural Program, with the intent of better understanding the needs of our local farms and ranches, and with the hope to explore ways in which the Methow Conservancy can offer meaningful support to our farming community.

Here are just a few of the ways we will be supporting local farms in 2017:

Online Directory of Active Methow Farms
Looking for ways to source more farm-grown products?  Check out this webpage with a comprehensive list of active Methow farms, whose products are available through a variety of retail outlets, or directly off the farm.  Product offerings are delicious and diverse: including local meats, eggs, honey, grains, veggies, fruits, fiber, milk, cheese, and a variety of value-added products.

Matchmaking Methow Farmers and Landowners
Access to affordable farmland in the Methow Valley is a struggle for our local farmers.  And like most challenges, our producers tackle this one creatively.  Many of our Methow farmers and ranchers don’t aspire to own all of the land they work.  Instead, they often own a core farmstead, reaching out from there and creating a patchwork of formal or informal lease arrangements on lands nearby.

We see the real and tangible opportunity to help our local farmers expand and strengthen their patchworks of working land. We have begun creating a database of willing landowners who would like to explore the possibility of actively supporting a local farmer and strengthening our valley’s foodshed.  If you are such a landowner, we encourage you to follow this link or to contact Alyssa directly at alyssa@methowconservancy.org.  

Tailored Workshops for Farmers
We are working to create ongoing opportunities for Methow Valley farmers to access farm-specific resources and technical expertise. To date, we have organized intimate workshops about on-farm conservation resources, soil fertility, and direct marketing. We look forward to working closely with local producers to develop high-quality and highly-relevant workshop content in the future. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71    Winthrop, WA 98862     509.996.2870