Event volunteer Erik Kingfisher carries a platter of local foods at the 2018 Friends of the Fields Harvest Dinner. Photo courtesy North Olympic Land Trust

Event volunteer Erik Kingfisher carries a platter of local foods at the 2018 Friends of the Fields Harvest Dinner. Photo courtesy North Olympic Land Trust

North Olympic Land Trust to fete farmland conservation at 20th Harvest Dinner

‘Know the Hands That Feed You’

What: 20th-annual Friends of the Fields Harvest Dinner

When: 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15

Where: Sunland Golf & Country Club, 109 Hilltop Dr., Sequim

Cost: $125 per seat; $150 after Sept. 2 (tables seat nine; buy eight seats, get ninth free)

Buy tickets/more info: northolympiclandtrust.org

Half of the seats are already sold for Friends of the Fields Harvest Dinner, the largest event in Clallam County solely focused on local farmland conservation.

Now in its 20th year, the dinner looks to raise more funds and awareness of conservation efforts at the 2019 event set for 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Sunland Golf & Country Club.

Thanks to willing landowners and community support, North Olympic Land Trust has conserved 17 farms on more than 520 acres of working farmland since 1990.

Funds from previous Harvest Dinners have assisted these projects, Land Trust Executive Director Tom Sanford said.

Last year’s event raised more than $60,000 for local farmland conservation.

“The generosity shown at Harvest Dinner has not only helped to preserve our community’s agricultural heritage, but it has allowed it to continue to evolve and ensure farmland is accessible for the next generation,” Sanford said.

To preserve farmland and all that it provides — such as open space, wildlife habitat, jobs and access to fresh and healthy food — is an ongoing goal for the organization, Land Trust representatives say.

Farmland is one of the most threatened landscapes in Clallam County, Sanford said, because land ideal for farming is often ideal for many other purposes and thus pressures to convert farmland are ever-increasing.

Despite significant losses to its agricultural lands, farming in Clallam County — particularly in the Sequim-Dungeness area with its microclimate, best-in-the-nation soils and surface irrigation — continues to be an important a part of the local economy and its identity, NOLT representatives say.

The event

Themed “Know the Hands That Feed You,” the upcoming Harvest Dinner will feature the flavors of many local farms. Additionally, the North Olympic Peninsula’s most prominent farm-to-table chefs, bakers and butchers are coming together to make the multi-course meal.

“Thanks to the sponsors, donations from local grocers, businesses and farms, and the help of many dedicated volunteers, including the chefs, all proceeds from the dinner directly benefit farmland conservation,” Sanford said.

“At the rate farmland is being converted, we need to be able to move quickly. The community’s support at events like Harvest Dinner is key to successful farmland conservation.”

Harvest Dinner seats are on sale now. Cost is $125 per person, or $150 after Sept. 2. Tables seat nine guests. Buy eight seats and get the ninth one free. Seats are not sold at the door.

Purchase seats at www.northolympiclandtrust.org or by calling 360-417-1815 ext. 4.

About North Olympic Land Trust

North Olympic Land Trust is “dedicated to the conservation of open spaces, local food, local resources, healthy watersheds and recreational opportunities.” Its mission is to conserve lands that sustain the social, ecological and economic vitality of Clallam County.

Since 1990, the Land Trust has conserved more than 3,300 acres across the North Olympic Peninsula for farms, fish and forests.

For more information, visit northolympiclandtrust.org.

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