Carnation Farms envisions a thriving regional food system connecting farmers and culinary professionals around shared values of regenerative food, health, and equity.
Carnation Farms, a historically significant agricultural asset of the Snoqualmie Valley of King County Washington, has embarked on an evolution of its 100-year role, purpose, and mission in the broader Pacific Northwest food and farm communities. The family and Board members of this long-standing non-profit organization have embraced a strategy and plan to commit to regenerative practices throughout its farming and educational activities. It intends to evolve its primary role to serve as a community-based hub for regenerative food and agriculture that educates and empowers the work of culinary, food, and farming professionals.
Decades of widespread factory farming, monocultural practices, and industrialization throughout the region and country have led to damaged soils and rural economies, nutritionally depleted foods and work conditions that disproportionately affect food and farm workers. The conventional farming model not only has adverse implications for human and community health but also contributes significantly to detrimental climate impacts. Conversely, clear scientific evidence shows regenerative practices focused on building soil health, carbon sequestration, and community health have meaningful positive impacts on
all of those.
Although Carnation Farms has been a certified organic farm for many years, leadership will go further to fully engage in regenerative practices which build soil health, protect watersheds, and make resources and farm assets more open and available to a broader, diverse community of stakeholders, in the years ahead.
Carnation Farms has embraced a sense of urgency to make the greatest contribution possible to avert a negative future and help foster positive changes in our food system.
In the coming years, Carnation Farms will evolve its practices, facilities, and programming to support its vision and mission. Key aspects of Carnation Farms strategy include:
Farmer-Chef Collaborations: Carnation Farms is intent on establishing a culinary center of excellence that will connect stakeholders in the soil-to-meal continuum. The initiative will focus on fostering value-creating collaborations between farms and food & culinary professionals and include seasonal, farm-to-table cooking. A series of convenings is being explored with partner organizations like Seattle Culinary Academy, The James Beard Foundation, Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, and King County Local Food Initiative (for example).
Innovation Hub: As a non-profit organization, Carnation Farms intends to establish an open-source range of shared resources over the next 1-3 years, including regenerative farming and food best practices, collective testing of new technologies, processing facilities, and shared value-added product development and distribution.
Land for Farmers: Carnation Farms is exploring approaches to address critical issues of land access for regional farmers, with attention to traditionally disadvantaged communities. This may potentially include allocating portions of the farm’s 800+ acre footprint for the benefit of a diverse community of farmers.
Events, Retreats, and Community Gatherings: The Farm and its hospitality team (partnering with Seattle Theater Group and Modern Enterprises for events, and One Boss Hospitality for retreats and weddings) will be a reactivated venue for special events and local gatherings, ensuring that the unique sense of place continues to be supportive to the long-established community. Our goals are rural economic development, bringing arts & culture to eastern King County, and being an open community-gathering place, weaving in our core mission with all of these activities.
Leadership: The board has appointed Paul Shoemaker, an accomplished social entrepreneur and community leader to spearhead the organization’s new strategy and the evolution of its team and capabilities. Several new positions across the the organization will be dedicated to the new mission, including the Director of Regenerative Agriculture and the Food & Culinary Program Director, elevating
existing team members while seeking new expertise where needed.
Catalytic Convenings: The Farm’s unique facilities for supporting the gathering of committed communities will be applied for its highest and best uses. A number of signature programs including Farmpreneurship (helping farmers create and capture value in collaboration with chefs), Farm to Table PNW, and PNW Regen Summit will be developed and presented in collaboration with prominent regional partners.
If you’re interested in joining our community of regenerative practice, please contact Paul Shoemaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.