[Market-farming] FULL CIRCLE FARM WINS FARM AID FARM of the MONTH
igg at igg.com
Wed Nov 17 23:40:58 EST 2004
Carnation, Washington farm connects to their community in a family way
Over the course of the year, Andrew Stout and Wendy Munroe grow and
sell more than 75 varieties of vegetables and herbs on Full Circle
Farm, a 140-acre certified organic produce farm located in Carnation,
Washington. Through retail stores and farmers markets, restaurants
and subscribers in its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program,
chefs and consumers who want the very best and freshest produce have
come to rely on Full Circle Farm's consistent ability to provide.
Wendy Munroe & Andrew Stout grow and sell more than 75 varieties of
vegetables and herbs on Full Circle Farm.
Wendy and Andrew started farming on 3 acres in 1996 with a love of
growing and the need to get involved with their community. Throughout
the years, Full Circle Farm has steadily been able to grow more food
as the community connections have grown stronger. By working with
Harvest for Humanity and Hopelink, the farm has donated over 6,000
pounds of organic produce to those in need. They also work closely
with the local school districts, providing fresh organic produce for
school lunches through the WSDA sponsored Farm to Cafeteria
Program. Full Circle Farm is connecting to the community in a family
way. "We believe that wholesome food is the foundation necessary for
a long healthy life," an expecting Munroe states, "and you can never
start eating healthy to soon."
Full Circle has become not just a farm, but also a small-scale
distributor of sorts, teaming up with some other local growers to
provide companion crops. Full Circle supplements many of its cool
season crops with warm season crops from Alvarez Farms in Eastern
Washington. "The benefit is we can offer our customers fantastic
produce that is better grown outside our region," says Stout. "When
you add the fact that we are helping to support other family farms,
it clearly becomes a successful working relationship."
"We believe that wholesome food is the foundation necessary for a
long healthy life," an expecting Munroe states, "and you can never
start eating healthy to soon."
One of Full Circle's greatest strengths is efficiency. Duplicates of
older tractor equipment ensure that a replacement part is readily
available if something breaks. Staff are cross-trained and most now
have mud-speckled cell phones for communication from the seat of a
tractor - a sure sign that farming has come into the 21st century.
Suction-powered seeding equipment holds one seed in place for each
cell of a seedling tray, vastly reducing seed waste and sore eyes.
This year, they planted over 3 million transplants.
"You want to become the best farmer you can become," Stout says.
"Some of this is tools, and some is observation." One of his best
observations is in anticipating what local consumers want.
"Consistency is key!" he declares. That's how Full Circle has built a
reputation among many local chefs and produce lovers as the best
source for locally grown organic salad greens, vegetables and fine
Full Circle Farm is the 2003 recipient of the Department of Natural
Resources Green Globe Award for Leadership in Habitat Preservation
and the King County Wildlife Farm of the Year for 2004. They are the
first farm in Washington to become certified in the Salmon Safe
Program, demonstrating their belief in land stewardship through
action and example. To learn more about Full Circle Farm and become a
member, visit thieir website.
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