Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming from Field to Table

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2004: $57,220.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Debra Kollock
WSU Stevens County Extension

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, hops, potatoes, rye, wheat
  • Fruits: apples, apricots, berries (other), cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, plums
  • Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts
  • Vegetables: beans, beets, cabbages, carrots, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), lentils, onions, sweet corn, tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, ornamentals
  • Animals: bees, bovine, poultry, goats, sheep


  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling
  • Education and Training: demonstration
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, marketing management, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Soil Management: organic matter, composting, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, urban/rural integration, social networks, sustainability measures


    This project provided an in-depth experience of the small farm “field to table cycle” for extension faculty and other agricultural professionals. Participants from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington attended two weeklong retreats that featured farm tours, on-farm activities, discussions on issues of sustainability, and evening programs on small farm marketing opportunities. Taste education and learning to prepare local and seasonal foods was a central theme of the retreat and one that had a lasting and profound impact on the participants. A strong sense of community quickly emerged among the participants that tended to intensify and enliven the many discussions.

    Project objectives:

    The goal of the Farm-to-Table Project is to provide an in-depth experience of the flow of product from the field to the table for agricultural professionals. This understanding will help these professionals initiate and support healthy community food systems in their respective regions.

    Participants will know how to incorporate seasonal foods into a menu.

    Participants will have a better understanding of nutritional benefits of eating local and seasonal foods.

    Participants will be able to connect with local farmers in their communities.

    Participants will be able to incorporate their experience and learning into their own educational programs.

    Participants will have an understanding of sustainability issues faced by small farms.

    Participants will have an understanding of how approaches to sustainable food production offer unique challenges and opportunities to small farms.

    A network among university, agency and culinary personnel will be created.

    Participants will have a well-developed model of the movement from a producer system to a community food system.

    Show participants that a small farm with a sound business and marketing plan can be sustainable.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.