Glendale Farm nears 'permanent' farmland designation —

Glendale Farm nears 'permanent' farmland designation

Kristin Axtman, Nov 14, 2007, Pt. Townsend and Jefferson Co. Leader

Glendale Farm, a historic 180-acre organic farm near Chimacum, is one step away from being permanently preserved as farmland.

Last week the state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board approved a new list of recommended Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Farmland Preservation projects. Glendale Farm is No. 2 on the list of projects proposed to receive funding, with a grant of $546,737. This list now goes to the governor and Legislature for approval during the 2008 session.

Kirk Salvatore, owner of the farm, raises organic beef and is working with Jefferson County groups to ensure that his farm is preserved forever, allowing him to keep farming and pass the farm on to his family.

The farm is one of the largest parcels in East Jefferson County that is still in active agricultural use. Glendale Farm has been a farm since 1857, with a long history of dairy and cheese operations. The farm was originally 880 acres until 1909, when Glendale sold 700 acres.

The grant would allow Jefferson County to purchase a conservation easement that will forever preclude development of the property and will be added to $239,000 in county Conservation Future Funds approved June 5 by the Jefferson County commissioners.

The final piece needed to complete the easement is a federal farmland preservation grant. Jefferson Land Trust applied for the federal grant last year but was turned down "because we didn't have matching funds in place," said Sarah Spaeth, conservation director for the Land Trust.

Now all the pieces of the puzzle are ready to be put together.

A formal appraisal will establish the value of the conservation easement and determine the maximum amount that can be paid to Salvatore to maintain the farmland. Securing the conservation easement for Glendale Farm will be the first time Jefferson County and the Jefferson Land Trust have worked together to protect farmland, Spaeth noted.

"This is a key property," said Spaeth. "It has a long history of agriculture use, since 1857 when it started as a dairy farm. It is at the confluence of Beaver and Central valley, both vital agriculturally zoned areas."

The property currently includes 150 acres of pasture, 23 acres of forest, and one-half mile of Chimacum Creek. The land contains habitat for salmon, trumpeter swans, eagles, hawks and many other species.

Glendale Farm is primarily an organic beef operation featuring grass-fed Black Angus cattle. Salvatore has also leased some of his acreage to local vegetable growers in need of additional farmland to grow their crops.

Farms in and around Chimacum, which has the most productive agricultural soils in Jefferson County, are threatened with subdivision for residential use, but county officials say they hope to save the key farmlands in the county. In addition to the $546,737 grant for Glendale, Jefferson County and the Jefferson LandWorks Collaborative received notification that they were selected for a $25,000 technical assistance grant through the new state Office of Farmland Preservation. This grant will be used for continuing work with landowners throughout the county.

LandWorks is a consortium of interest groups including Jefferson County Conservation District, Jefferson County Farmers Market Association, Jefferson Land Trust, Northwest Natural Resource Group, ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, Sunfield Farm & School, The Food Co-op, and Washington State University Extension. It works directly with landowners and potential farmer/foresters on a case-by-case basis to determine the needs of their operations.

For more information about the consortium, contact Kate Dean of LandWorks at 379-5610, ext. 206, or Heidi Eisenhour of the Land Trust, at 379-9501.


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