Olympic Nursery will operate much of the 70 acres of adjacent land as Woodinville Farm and Market.
by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--About 70 acres of land adjacent to their current location in the Sammamish River Valley Agricultural Production District has come under the control of Olympic Nursery, Inc., much of which has been sublet to individual farmers.
The property will operate under the trade name Woodinville Farm and Market, and cultivation has already begun, with raspberry vines, Chinese vegetables, flowers, and a small orchard.
The farm will feature access from the Burke-Gilman Trail, allowing trail users to visit the anticipated on-site stalls, which farmers have expressed an interest in opening seven days a week seasonally.
"We are working closely with King County's newly-formed Agricultural Commission to envision the best way to ensure this unique property is an available resource to local farmers and residents," said Tom Quigley, general manager of Woodinville Farm and Market.
The land extends west to the Sammamish River from Olympic's nursery on 140th Place NE. The effect on the valley is that hay fields will be replaced by cultivated fields and display gardens featured near farmers' tables, as well as a place for horticulture students to observe and study.
Quigley said the Indochinese farmers were begging for available farmland, and some owners have begun planting and harvesting. Farmers holding leases include Chadwau Gardens, Indochinese Farmers Association, Greensleaves Nursery, Olympic Nursery, Sammamish Turf Farm, Cherry Lane Co., Eastside Horticulture Resource Center, and Washington Consulting Arborists.
"When I started all this, I was amazed. There's actually quite a bit of the valley in farm production, from Woodinville all the way to 124th. Because it's low key, you're not aware of it as much."
Because the county owns the development rights to the properties and uses are restricted, Quigley doesn't foresee a Farmer's Market with crafts like the one currently at Sorenson. "This whole east side of the valley: someone was pretty sharp to have the foresight to protect this."