Hanako Myers and Marko Colby have permanently protected 29-acre Midori Farm in Quilcene.
Farmers Marko Colby and Hanako Myers have just permanently protected their 29-acre Quilcene farm, with the help of donations from the community. The husband-and-wife pair operates Midori Farm, which sells its plant starts, produce and award-winning kimchi widely on the Olympic Peninsula, and in Seattle and the Skagit Valley.
Marko and Hanako worked with the Land Trust to protect their farmland’s rich soil and remove the potential for future subdivision and development. The costs of the project were covered by donations from community donors and a grant from the Jefferson County Conservation Futures Fund.
Marko and Hanako purchased their Quilcene property in 2013, upgrading from just 5 acres in Port Townsend where they had launched Midori farm in 2008. The couple immediately began working with the Land Trust to establish permanent protection of their property.
Midori Farm has ample water, good growing conditions and rich agricultural soils on 100% of the property.
“Out of the experience of our own search for land, we recognize the need for good, affordable farmland in Jefferson County, and the lack thereof,” said Hanako.
“If we as a county are to make an effort towards greater food security, this issue is one that needs continued support. We feel a deep satisfaction knowing that, through this conservation agreement, our land will remain farmland beyond our lifetimes, and will be passed onto future generations of farmers in an economically feasible way. Our particular piece of farmland is blessed with rich soils, an ideal growing climate and good water, which makes its preservation incredibly valuable,” said Marko.
It took four years to garner adequate funding to protect Midori Farm. Matching dollars were required to unlock a Conservation Futures grant from Jefferson County. Two years of attempts for state farmland preservation grants were not funded, and Colby and Myers turned to the local community to help fill the gap.
”Beyond the daily operation of our organic farm and short-term stewardship plans, our long-term goal is to preserve Quilcene valley farmland, with its well-drained soils, steady irrigation water and first-rate growing conditions… We decided to turn to the community for help with this long-term farmland conservation project as this goal extends beyond our lifetimes” said Hanako.
Community supporters turned up in force, donating $48,000 to complete the project.
“It’s been an honor to work with everyone at Jefferson Land Trust who has helped make this project happen. We’re endlessly grateful for the incredible amount of work that went into this,” said Marko.
“We also give great, great thanks to all the amazingly generous people who contributed to our fundraiser. With the successful closing of a project that started four years ago, we have much to celebrate,” said Hanako.
Midori Farm is a certified organic producer and processor of market vegetables, stew hens, eggs, seeds and vegetable starts. Co-owners Marko Colby and Hanako Myers are dedicated to the long-term sustainability of local agriculture, a philosophy which is reflected in farming practices designed to sustain and enhances the land’s productivity over time. They work hard to build their farm’s soils, implement sustainable systems, and plan to expand their fresh produce selection to include a number of perennial tree and vine fruits. Marko and Hanako certainly take the long view. They recently planted a chestnut orchard that will need to grow and mature before it begins to produce in marketable quantities.
Midori Farm has been in business since 2008. Both Marko and Hanako worked on other farms locally and out of state for several years before meeting at the Port Townsend farmers market and opening their business together. Midori Farm grows and sells more than 100,000 seedlings every year. They grow fresh organic vegetable for sale through farmers markets, local retailers, caterers, restaurants and a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. They also produce traditionally fermented sauerkraut and kimchi, sold locally and regionally to specialty food stores, food co-ops and restaurants.