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Letter To The Editor: Community Supported Agriculture In Renton

Send letters to the editor to jenny.manning@patch.com. Please include your first and last name and city of residence.

I was invited to speak at the Board meeting for the on behalf of Sustainable Renton and our work around community gardens, education, and supporting a healthy, local food system. They are currently looking at different ways of addressing issues surrounding hunger in our community. The Foundation is an important supporter of local non-profits and charities in our community, and I felt privileged to be able to speak with them.

While speaking with the Board, there were conversations around the impact community gardens have on a community, how livestock and poultry fit into the picture, and how education is a pivotal piece in people eating healthier lifestyles. I shared with them the inspiring story of 21 Acres (http://21acres.org/). 21 Acres, located just outside downtown Woodinville, is an agricultural and environmental learning center that has a community garden, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), a community food kitchen, classes on sustainability, and a farmer’s market.

This got me to thinking-What would a center like this look like in Renton? Would it have livestock-like chickens or goats or rabbits? Would it have a community garden? How about a community food kitchen? What about a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)? How about a meeting space for classes on gardening, canning, food drying, cooking with vegetables? The possibilities for creating an inspiring, community-building center like this are limitless.

A bigger question is: what would it take to make this happen? Who are the stakeholders in a project like this? Could partnerships with the Salvation Army Food Bank, King County Conservation District, and other local organizations pull together a project of this scale? Is there land available to support a farm of this nature in our suburban town?

What are your thoughts? How would you like to be involved with a sustainable community model like 21 Acres in Renton? Please share your thoughts!

Let’s see where this idea takes us.

Chris Conkling
Renton
Trevor Duncan April 27, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I am so happy to see this conversation getting started! Now is the time to start working together as a community and putting ideas for sustainability on the table. I don't have much $$ to contribute to something like this right now, but I have two working hands, a phone and lots of hours I can put towards volunteering. I would LOVE to see a center where people can learn about urban gardening (for apartment dwellers like myself), as well as community gardens. I would like to see Renton be a role model for other communities to adopt ideas from. There are too many families and children with empty tummies around us. What better way to help them by providing the tools to grow their own food. Please keep us posted on developments as they come!

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