Cascade Harvest Coalition Programs
Puget Sound Fresh (www.pugetsoundfresh.org), our local farm product branding and consumer education program, gives consumers the tools they need to make informed food buying decisions. We maintain a searchable database of farms, farmers markets, and locally-grown and produced food; produce a regional farm guide and Community Supported Agriculture directory; and conduct a variety of popular 'eat local' campaigns aimed at raising awareness about local farms and food and supporting local farm viability.
Washington FarmLink addresses the critical issues of getting the next generation of farmers on the land and farming. We provide beginning and established farmers with help accessing land, information, training, markets and the resources they need to be sustainable.
Farm-to-Table Workshops connect local farmers with local food buyers. By bringing together farmers, food processors, restaurateurs, grocers, and school, hospital, and nursing home food service representatives interested in direct marketing opportunities, we collaboratively tackle problems facing our regional food system and create innovative solutions. These workshops are an excellent opportunity for networking and building successful sales relationships.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Cascade Harvest Coalition received the 2009 Advocate of the Year Award by Tilth Producers of Washington. The award recognizes our years of building awareness of regional farm issues, promoting farmland preservation, enhancing community food security and working collaboratively to improve the local food system.
The greatest challenge we face today is a significant loss of funding support in 2009 and 2010 due to an increasingly weak economy. While we have been successful in diversifying funding away from local government grants, the reductions are large and present a significant challenge to our ability to carry out meaningful programming. We are looking for creative ways to diversify funding sources, analyzing program delivery, and how to most effectively utilize the resources we do have.