Spring has sprung, and ground has broken at the Veterans Farm on the campus of the Orting Soldiers Home. Up until a few years ago, nearly three acres of available grounds were choked with invasive species of non-native plants. Now half-acre plots have been allocated for several uses—this an ideal opportunity for Veterans considering taking up farming. Even aspirational green thumbs are welcome.
Half-acre plot leases are available to Veterans currently in, or willing to enroll in, an educational program that is focused on agriculture, or small business. Educational opportunities are available through Enterprise for Equity, WSU cultivating success as well as many community technical and four year colleges and we can work with you to help find the one that is best for you.
There is a $50 annual lease price that entitles Veterans to use the half acre land as they see fit, which includes irrigation, greenhouse, and cold storage. These resources allow the production of produce, orchards or even some small livestock farming. A healthy support system is provided by the Veterans Farm, such as classes, a tool library, composting, and a vast network of other resources.
Previous farmers have taken their wares to local Farmer’s Markets or provided donations to the Washington Soldiers Home and local food banks! Others have even sold shares at the beginning of the growing season on harvest speculation providing their very own CSA, which provides working capital when costs are highest.
The Veterans Farm at Orting is a program of the Veteran’s Conservation Corps, which can help small businesses get connected with grants. The farm has partnered with many organizations through sponsorships with Home Depot, WSU, Expedia, and so many others.
Veteran’s Farm Manager Carrie Little says, “the tradition of feeding those most in need will come full circle here. Inspiring new Veteran farmers into the myriad of possibilities will be endless.” But only a couple of plots remain.
If you would like more information contact Carrie Little; 253-258-1832 or at firstname.lastname@example.org