Friends of the Farms is the only local organization committed to farmland protection and creating a locally focused food system.
The past several years have brought a welcome resurgence of support for island farms, as demand for locally grown farm and food products continues to increase. Having farms and an active farm community supports food security, provides healthy food, creates jobs, sustains our rich cultural heritage, and enhances our quality of life. Our island’s rural landscape – enhanced by working farms – is attractive to residents and tourists alike.
Bainbridge Island offers one of the most sensible places to protect farmland: it has a rich multi-cultural agricultural heritage dating back nearly a century and a dedicated cadre of food and farm enthusiasts poised to shepherd farming into the next generation. The island has a rural feel, but access to a robust urban marketplace. Appreciation for local food has skyrocketed with residents beginning to make the connection with local farmland.
Friends of the Farms’ mission is to preserve and enhance local agriculture, increase farmland, and support the farming community. In accomplishing this mission, Friends of the Farms works to:
- Maintain and improve 60 acres of public farmland via a 30 year lease with the City of Bainbridge Island
- Provide affordable land access for farmers with long-term sub-leases on public farmland
- Connect farmers to landowners with our new FarmLink program, creating opportunities for emerging food producers
- Provide affordable housing opportunities for farm interns and new farmers
- Manage 14 pea patches for community members
- Provide educational opportunities for youth and adults through regular volunteer stewardship events, experiential farm walks, and community educational programs
- Offer recreational opportunities on farmland for hiking, birding, and picnicking
- Produce Harvest Fair, a family-oriented community event, focused on increasing awareness of the value of local food and agriculture