Opinion

Island’s back-to-the-farm movement is promising | Our Opinion | May 13

It appears the current movement for more natural and/or organic food grown locally is becoming a serious one as more and more groups and individuals are networking to make it happen on a long-term basis.

With 60 acres of public land now available and an increasing amount of private land being designated for farming, the time is ripe for a management group to be placed in the position to orchestrate this movement so this rural island can take a step back into its rich history of agriculture.

It won’t be easy nor inexpensive, but the people at Friends of the Farms have the knowledge and the will to make it happen. They are currently negotiating to take over management of several public farmlands spread around the island from the city, though any such agreement would need to be properly vetted during the next year or so.

There are two driving forces for the need to create more farmland, beginning with the fact that islanders and people living in the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas want more homegrown food. It’s a fact that is clear with a growing number of farmers and the public markets cropping up in the West Sound area.

With more homegrown food, a distributor (Sound Food) has been created to move the products to retail outlets, such as Bay Hay & Feed and others shops on Bainbridge. And there’s promise that this is clearly a movement, not a fad.

Secondly, many graduates of agricultural colleges are more interested in small farms than taking jobs with the agribusinesses that have dominated our food sources for so many years. An increasing number have found Bainbridge Island and its lush environment, looking for land to buy or simply to ply their trade. It’s exciting.

Correction

Bill Knobloch is a retired US Airways captain, not a former United Airlines pilot as was written in last week’s story about his decision not to run again for City Council.

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