Aug 26

Harvest's Farm Programming Expanding in 2022

Posted on August 26, 2021 at 9:39 AM by Allan Warren

Farm Foundations

Above: Harvesting, irrigation repair, and weeding with different hand tools are all skills cohort members practice over the season with Farm Foundations. Photo Credit: Saiyare Refaei

HPC is excited to say that applications for our Farm Foundations program will be opening again starting October 1st. It has been two years since new applications were accepted for the program and we are happy to offer this opportunity to our community again. Our current Farm Foundations cohort will be wrapping up their season with us at the end of October and we have loved working with them. The crew this year was small but mighty and we're so appreciative to them for sticking it out with us through these two rollercoaster seasons. 

The new year will also bring new farm programming to HPC, taking place at the WSU Extension Goss Research farm. We have recently secured a longterm lease to develop 4.5 acres there into an incubator farm for beginning farm businesses. We are excited to have this space as a resource for the farm community as we know land access is an ever present obstacle for new farmers. More information about this new program will be shared when program details and dates are finalized. You are welcome to reach out to Madeleine Spencer,, with any questions about either program in the meantime.

Below: Members of the Farm Foundations cohort learn about growing tomatoes in a high tunnel system.


Jun 01

Multiple Community Groups Collaborate to Pull Over 7 Tons of Tires from Swan Creek Park

Posted on June 1, 2021 at 11:49 AM by Allan Warren

SwanCreekEarthDay_PierceCountyStaffersInspired by the Swan Creek Limpieza in 2020, the Puyallup Tribe Sustainability Team hosted their own Swan Creek Cleanup as a part of the Puyallup Tribe’s multi-site Earth Day 2021, and as a finale of the Swan Creek Limpieza team’s week long cleanup in the days leading up to Earth Day. Pierce Conservation District and Tacoma Solid Waste were backbone supporters of the week long cleanup effort. Pictured here are volunteers who are colleagues at Pierce County, who helped recover thousands of pounds of tires from Swan Creek.

The East Tacoma Community Leadership Team (ETC CLT) got together again this year for another Swan Creek Limpieza Cleanup, this time in honor of Earth Day 2021.

Armed with trash pickers, the Brian Abbott Above & Beyond award winning team led multiple socially-distanced shifts of volunteers through some of Swan Creek’s most impacted areas. This year, the focus was finding hidden areas harboring aging, degrading tires that have been out of sight and out of mind for decades.

On Earth Day itself, the Puyallup Tribe Sustainability Team (PTST) took lead to host the cleanup’s finale, bringing shovels to dig up sunken tires, heavy duty carts, and most importantly, a tremendous spirit of collaboration. There’s a reason these tires have been in Swan Creek for so long: it’s incredibly hard to move them out! There are no roads close to the river, so every tire needs to be individually carried for miles through uneven terrain.

It’s a difficult job, but the PTST was up to the task. While the ETC CLT focused on trash along the trails and moved tires to places along the trail that are easier to reach, the PTST skillfully hoisted hundreds of pounds of tires up and out Swan Creek’s infamously steep ravines, then moved them through the narrow trails all the way to the park entrance.SwanCreekEarthDay_TIREd

GCR Tires’ Sustainability Team donated their services to dispose of the recovered tires so that they can be recycled instead of brought to the landfill. In addition to the tires recovered from the ravines, the GCR Team was also able to remove a network of abandoned industrial tires in Swan Creek’s Lister uplands. Some of the tires were so big, their removal required a crane! In the end, GCR Tires was able to help the community cleanup groups responsibly dispose of nearly 8 tons of tires that have been degrading and polluting Swan Creek’s waterways since the 90’s. We know tires emit substances that are especially dangerous for salmon populations, so this was an especially impactful and collaborative cleanup, showing what’s possible when people move together in the spirit of community and collaboration.

Special thanks to the agency partners who came together to support the community groups to make this happen, including the Puyallup Tribe, Tacoma Solid Waste, Pierce County Parks, Pierce Conservation District, and Tacoma Pierce County Health Department multi-agency collaborative Step it Up.
Jun 01


Posted on June 1, 2021 at 11:42 AM by Allan Warren

Seed Sow Share

For Pierce County to have a resilient local food system, we want to ensure our food is local and accessible to the community at every stage, from seed to table, and back to seed again. It is important that we support and learn together. In partnership with Emergency Food Network’s Grow Your Food Program we are ensuring free plant starts make it to gardeners around the county each Friday. From April to mid-June 15,000 vegetable starts will be shared for community gardens and local growers. The drop off sites each week alternate from McCarver/Bamford Park Community Garden and University Place Garden to Mountain Community Garden and Evergreen Community Garden. Find the distribution times and the community garden nearest you on our website:
Grow Your Food Final-01