by Felipe Contreras
In my role as an associate producer on the Storytelling team at Nia Tero, I have a bit of a reputation. Whenever there’s a photo or video shoot on a farm, they call me — “the farm guy.” So when I was asked to do a photoshoot on an Indigenous-run farm in Tacoma last fall, I accepted the assignment with glee.
That I’m “the farm guy” at Nia Tero might be a surprise to people I grew up with in Los Angeles, including my blended Latine family and community. The only farms I knew during my childhood were the ones our family car passed while driving on the 5. Before I would see the farms, I would smell the stench. And then we would see thousands of cows crammed in the isolated confines of what I now understand were factory farms. Once my dad saw me looking at the cows, and he said, “Those are not happy cows. Those are sad cows.” This was in stark contrast to commercials about “happy cows” from the same time period.
Continue reading Seedcast: An Environmental Storyteller Reconnects to His Farming Heritage
by Sharon H. Chang
It’s early morning when vans from eight different Hmong farms pull up to unload spring bouquets across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Bins and boxes, filled with vibrant flowers wrapped in white paper, are placed on the ground or on tables. Gold and red tulips, cream and maroon peonies, blue violet irises and pink lupines. Volunteers move the flowers into the shade to avoid wilting, careful to keep the blooms brilliant for later, when they’ll be picked up by families and gifted to hundreds of beaming mothers in the area.
Continue reading Mother’s Day #SolidarityFlowers Support Hmong Farmers and People Excluded From Coronavirus Relief
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Onda Origins Cafe & Roastery has turned their flagship cafe into a general store for local farmers, whose revenues have been hit hard by the closure of Seattle’s farmers markets. Although COVID-19 has shut down all but essential businesses, Onda remains open for take-out beverages and wholesale coffee, initiating partnerships with other local producers to sell their products. The company’s mission of connecting consumers to coffee producers has broadened to include connecting local farmers with the Hillman City community.
Continue reading Hillman City’s Onda Origins Cafe & Roastery Serves Food and Flowers from Local Farmers
by Ben Adlin
With the city’s farmers markets having been shuttered for weeks and only recently beginning to reopen, some regional farmers have been stuck with produce they can’t sell. Now a collaboration between local businesses, farmers markets and food banks is working to redirect those fruits and vegetables to hungry communities across the Seattle area.
It’s an effort to respond on the fly to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic and ensure food banks have what they need during the coming months. It also keeps much-needed income flowing to the Northwest’s small farms.
Continue reading Farmers Market Program Funnels Fresh Produce to Local Food Banks