Elk Run Farm Cherishes Volunteers, Veggies and Varied Food Production
With over 9,000 different families using the food banks of South King County, a local farm of necessity near Four Corners is producing.
The former Elk Run Golf Course is now Elk Run Farm. While it’s still making the transition from tidy and trimmed grass, the four and a half acres are currently growing the likes of garlic and rhubarb.
Elk Run Farm is a new partnership, between a variety of organizations, designed to provide fresh produce for those who use food banks of South King County.
The grounds are being leased from the Elk Run Golf Course owners, according to the farm manager who said, ”They sought us out.”
Maria Anderson manages the farm and conducts tours of the grounds while also plotting the work of both individual and group volunteers.
She trained for the job through Seattle Farm Works. She believes in organic production and is concerned about the state of the planet.
On a recent Saturday two separate groups were part of her volunteer entourage.
A dozen workers came from Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church as part of their ELCA synod’s Day of Service.
Decked out in “God’s Work. Our Hands.” yellow shirts, the group ranged in age from 11 to 70.
Anderson said she will be organizing volunteers every Saturday throughout the winter (or other days by arrangement) for productive infrastructure and growing. Rotary Club has agreed to “at-cost” help build a double fence five feet apart to accommodate deer restraint.
Potential volunteer groups can view their options online through Elk Run Food Bank Farm, Americore, Facebook and Instagram.
During Saturday’s farm tour, Anderson began her presentation with a triangular section containing rhubarb starts and other perennials and moved to new garden benches which contained worm bens concealed under the box seats.
Veggies in the children’s garden can be picked from the fence, she said, and features tall growing boxes for planting and harvesting with kids standing up.
It is surrounded by an area for future berry production. The old golf course driving range shed will become a greenhouse.
There is a tunnel set up for seed propagation, a vegetable garden, and a quadrant for peas, radishes, salad turnips, kale, broccoli and cabbage.
The “baby” greenhouse contains two caterpillar looking tunnels, for providing much more heat under the tunnel and black plastic.
The farm will not be growing potatoes, winter squash, or pumpkins where size is a factor, or onions.
All the fresh produce is donated to one of 12 county food banks, going to people who can’t afford nutritious food.
Elk Run Farm is located at 22500 SE 275th Place in Maple Valley.