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

    Proposal abstract:

    The purpose of this project is to provide an in-depth learning experience of the small farm "field to table cycle" for extension faculty and other agricultural professionals. Typically, these professionals are proficient at the production level but do not have direct experience with the day-to-day issues encountered by farmers who are implementing sustainable farming practices while forging direct connections with the community that buys their products and benefits from their land stewardship.

    This project is designed to build on the Quillisascut Farm School of Domestic Arts that targets culinary students for a weeklong residential experience on their farm. The 24 agricultural professionals attending this four-day immersion retreat experience first-hand the day-to-day challenges facing small farms, meet and discuss issues with a diverse cross-section of area farmers, and explore how to expand and develop new markets for small farm products. They have a better understanding of all segments of the farm to table cycle and learn how to incorporate these products into a fresh and seasonal menu.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    ·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.