September 5, 2013
We have a cousin in the York Neighborhood of Bellingham. Mary Loquvam and Byron Bagwell are the instigators of York Farm and this year they are harvesting storage vegetables: potatoes, beans and winter squash. The farm has taken the place of a fallow piece of land along the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) I-5 right-of-way.
The early discussions with WSDOT were about solar panels, but instead, the vegetable harvest became this year’s priority.
Their food-sharing plan includes the Bellingham Food Bank and they are thinking of a BerkShare Dollars pattern where volunteers are paid in dollars that are redeemable for food.
The local food Co-Op and other local businesses chipped in so the founders could offer two paid internships this year. The interns are learning skills to re-enter the job market. Mary hopes that the freeway garden can provide pathways to employment, in addition to the harvest.
They are working on their 200 square foot shed, which will be the beginning of their water catchment system. They landed a huge cistern system from the City of Bellingham and now have storage capacity for 3,000 gallons, about what they need in the summer. (This amount is also what FECO needs in the summer!)
Their goal is intensive food production but they also created a community space. In June, the neighbors celebrated the Solstice at the farm.
Congratulations to WSDOT; they now host two food forests on their property.
For more information, contact Mary at farm”at”yorkneighborhood.org