King County Land Conservation Brings Refugee Farmers Together

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King County Executive, Dow Constantine, Celebrates with the African Farmers during the land transfer ceremony in Kent, Washington. 

By Doug Williams for Runta News-Seattle 

King County has transferred a portion of farmland that it owns near Kent from a corporate farm to relief organizations that find refugees who farmed in their homelands before settling here and who want to farm again.

Horseneck Farm in the Green River Valley now has numerous refugees from African nations farming small plots to grow culturally appropriate foods for themselves, for community foodbanks, and even for local farmers markets. We just produced a short video and blog that describe some of this work and introduces people to a few of the refugee farmers.

It’s a great story – the farmers’ personal stories are inspirational… coming here from civil war, famine, or other calamities, and growing culturally relevant produce for themselves, their friends and neighbors, and even the public.

It’s a good example of what can happen when rich farmland is saved from development and dedicated to better uses, which is something we’re hoping to continue doing through our Conservation Futures program.

 

 

By Doug Williams (he/him/his)

Media Relations Coordinator

King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks