Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development
The Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) Program of the Lopez Community Land Trust is committed to strengthening our local food network by purchasing and stewarding working farms, supporting local food security initiatives and encouraging ecologically sound rural development related to water, transportation and solar energy. Through the efforts of LCLT staff, community volunteers, and local farmers, the SARD program is increasing the economic feasibility of small-scale, ecologically sound agriculture and creating new avenues for sustainable land-based livelihoods.
Our current SARD programs include managing an electric carshare, coordinating a grain Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), producing a biennial publication of the Lopez Farm Products Guide, hosting regular Harvest Dinners, coordinating interns to learn with and assist local farmers, and managing the Lopez Island Farm Trust (LIFT).
LCLT has successfully implemented numerous programs, some passed on to other community organizations. These include: the first USDA approved mobile slaughter unit, now owned by the Island Grown Farmer’s Cooperative; the Fresh Food Bank, now the Lopez Food Share; and the LIFE School Garden.
Over 30 years ago, when LCLT was first getting established, several LCLT founding members visited a farm in Vermont. The farmer was elderly with no living family. He had just sold his farm to a local community land trust. We knew then that someday LCLT would follow this model of securing land for a community-based farm enterprise.
For information on our SARD internships, click here.
- Mobile Processing Unit
- FoodMetrics Lab—food safety lab
- Lopez Island Foodshed Assessment — Can Lopez Island Feed Itself?
- 2011 Food Charrette
- Wind Energy Report
- Grain Project
In May 2017, LCLT integrated the Lopez Island Farm Trust (LIFT) into our SARD program. The primary purpose of LIFT is to hold farms in trust on Lopez Island as long-term community assets that contribute to local food security, model carbon sequestration and climate related land practices as well as economic opportunities for those who work the land. Through the LIFT program, LCLT now owns nearly 90 acres of farm and forest land, comprised of two working farms: Stonecrest Farm and Lopez Sound Road / Still Light Farm.
Stonecrest Farm is a 48-acre historic working farm, purchased in May 2017. The farm is leased to Stonecrest Farm and Graziers, LLC for 15 years.
Lopez Sound Road is a 42-acre parcel of which half is forest and half is pasture. It was the site of a historic farm that is now being brought back into production. Lopez Sound Road is leased to Still Light Farm, LLC for a term of 99 years. One acre of the property is set aside for LCLT for a farm worker related home.
Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) initiated the EV Carshare in 2022. The program encourages LCLT leaseholders and renters to reduce carbon emissions and provides access to electric vehicle use.
Every two years LCLT publishes a Farm Products Guide to local farms, farm stands, and farm products. The guide to farm products sold on Lopez Island is a biennual publication that promotes and supports local agriculture.
Use this map and guide to locate homegrown and homemade goods on Lopez Island.
GMO- Free Zone
Through the 2011 annual LCLT Food Charrette, islanders spawned a GMO-Free group which resulted in Initiative 2012-4, making San Juan County a GMO-Free zone for plants. LCLT brought in Percy Schmeiser, a renowned advocate for farmers’ rights to save their own seed, for its 2011 Harvest Dinner. Schmeiser recounted his battles with the mega-corporation Monsanto.
LCLT also facilitated establishment of a Grain CSA on Lopez. The first year the Grain CSA, grown by Horse Drawn Farms and Ken Akopiantz, had 25 subscribers. It continues today with over 60 subscriptions. LCLT possess 2 small flour mills, a hand cranked silage maker, and a small seed cleaner. LCLT used to house a seed library for use by the community, started by O.J Lougheed. For eight years, the library resided on LCLT property near the office, and in 2021, the Seed Library moved to the care of Barn Owl Bakery and Heritage Grains.
Each year LCLT hosts the Harvest Dinner with prizes for best use of local foods and best presentation of local foods. This winner made bread from homegrown wheat, grown, threshed and milled by hand and foot power, with water and sea salt, all on Lopez Island .
In 2006 LCLT co-founded the farm-to-school program at Lopez Island School District. We continue to support the program and to send interns to learn gardening and food preservation skills.
In 2016, LCLT co-published with the Lopez Locavores the book Bounty: Lopez Island Farmers, Food and Community. The book features beautiful photos and stories about Lopez farmers, as well as delicious recipes. Bounty is available for purchase at the Lopez Bookshop.
In 2001 LCLT produced the first USDA Mobile Processing Unit in the U. S. The unit was eventually sold to the local Island Grown Farmers Cooperative. This unit enabled Lopez farmers to slaughter animals on the farm without the difficult long ferry rides and trucking animals across the state. Lopez residents can now purchase local meat by the cut directly from the farmer or in local grocery stores.
Documents are in either Portable Document Format (PDF) or in Rich Text Format (RTF). The later can be opened by MS Word as well as TextEdit on a Mac or various programs on Linux.
- 2010 Grain Project Summary (91 KB Download)
- Written version of an address by O.J. Lougheed given at the Fall Grain Harvest Workshop (2009) hosted by the WSU Extension office in Friday Harbor. (16 KB Download)
- 2009 Winter Grain Data Sheet in RTF format (7 KB Download)
- “Finley Wheat, the Rest of the Story” by O.J. Lougheed, (6 KB Download)