Submitted by Learner Limbach.
The San Juan Farm Fund and Community Emergency Response Fund through Orcas Island Community Foundation are partnering to address the COVID-19 crisis by directing resources to producers to support immediate scaling up of production for the 2020 growing season. With funding provided by OICF, a first round of funding is available to Orcas and Waldron Island farmers. We are actively seeking funds in order to replicate this pilot program for other islands (San Juan, Lopez, Shaw) as soon as resources are available. Projects for this round of funding must be based on Orcas or Waldron. The applicant must be an active working farm business. Proposals must be within the grant range of $500 and $60,000, ready to begin (“shovel-ready”) at the time of award (May 6, 2020) and result in increased food production this growing season. While we welcome proposals for projects that address any of the goals listed below, during this initial round, funding priority will be given to projects that address food access and food insecurity goals.
• Food access and food insecurity: Increase community access to healthy, local food; possible avenues may include increasing the availability and consistency of locally produced food for food access organizations, direct-to-consumer and standard marketing channels participating in local food incentive programs such as Fresh Bucks/Market Bucks/Veggie Rx sales at grocery stores, Food Hub, and/or farmers market.
•Collaboration: Increase coordination and collaboration among local farms/food producers (e.g. planned growing coordination, group buying for inputs).
• Stewardship: build soil health and increase production of nutrient-dense food through ecological and socially responsible stewardship of our farmland.
•Infrastructure: Invest in infrastructure to increase capacity for local farms, which can include fencing, irrigation and cultivation of new land, cool/cold/dry storage, hoop houses, harvest equipment, and innovative technology.