Food, farms and public policy

KITSAP COUNTY — Kitsap County officials will seek input from residents on its draft strategic agricultural plan at two meetings coming up next week.

The county recently received a $25,000 Washington State Conservation Commission Farm Preservation Grant to develop the plan.

Kitsap County has a long history of farming, and there’s been a recent resurgence in growing and consuming local foods. Yet Kitsap food products still make up less than 1 percent of the $1 billion county residents spend each year on food.

Kitsap County code allows agricultural uses in rural and urban areas, but does not specify how to preserve and enhance agricultural land. The 37-page draft agricultural plan lists a current inventory of farmland as well as recommended strategies for preserving it and getting the most benefit from it.

The county’s recently established Food and Farm Policy Council helped develop the plan, along with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, the Kitsap Community Agricultural Alliance and other groups.

The county will hold public two forums on the draft plan. The first is 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Island Lake Community Center, 1087 NW Island Lake Road, Silverdale; the second is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Kitsap County Administration Building, 619 Division St., Port Orchard.
For more information visit the board of commissioners special projects page on the county website, www.kitsapgov.com.

One thought on “Food, farms and public policy

  1. I’m happy our local government is taking action to protect our communities. It’s essential that Kitsap become self sufficient in terms of food production soon. As the price of oil continues to raise the current process of shipping food across the globe will no longer be economical. As heat waves and drought reduce global food production there will be less food to ship, raising prices even further. Local food production based on sustainable practices that doesn’t drain our aquifers is essential to any realistic vision of a hopeful future. Again I’m thankful we are taking action now.

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