Colleen Turner and the Pedersen clan were able to visit Elk Run Farm this past Saturday and get a first-hand look at a remarkable example of Rotary action right here in our area. Elk Run Farm, built on a former golf course, now grows and distributes vegetables for distribution to hungry families and individuals through the 12 members of the South King County Food Coalition.
After Elk Run Golf Course closed in 2014, Elk Run Farm was born on 4.5 acres of the former golf course. The urban farm project broke ground in October 2015 with support from South-end Rotary clubs and Rotary District 5030. Rotary First Harvest, through its Harvest Against Hunger program, has placed AmeriCorps VISTA and National Civilian Community Corps resources to develop the farm. The farm started harvesting vegetables in September 2016 and continues to operate its mission, while providing these benefits:
• Produce and distribute roughly 60,000 lbs. of fresh, organic produce to the South King County emergency food system, increasing the food security of some of our region's most vulnerable residents.
• Host a field trip program and introduce thousands of pre-k through high school students to hands on organic farming and gardening, nutrition, and environmental stewardship.
• Host employment training programs for youth, elders, immigrant and refugee communities, and other groups with higher than average barriers to employment or those experiencing food insecurity.
• Introduce elements of local food system economic growth into Kentlake, Kentwood, and the future Tahoma High Schools as well as the community learning center campus planned for the land across the street from the potential farm site.
• Improve the public safety of the area in which the farm is located through community stewardship, increased eyes on the property, and community connection with the land.
The farm has become a showcase for organic, community based farming, and recently received an award from the King Conservation District and King County Executive (and fellow Rotarian) Dow Constantine for its work. To learn more about the farm and opportunities to support this endeavor please click on the yellow button to be taken to their Facebook page.