Greenbank Farm: The Farm that was Saved

Greenbank Farm, in Washington State, is a community supported farm that teaches the importance of saving seeds, food supply, and cultivating land through local self-governance.

| Winter 2013-2014

The community gathers regularly on Greenbank Farm on Washington State’s beautiful Whidbey Island. They learn about seed saving and sustainable farming. They may also walk its nature paths, enjoy its demonstration gardens, or purchase food or art from several local businesses that generate income for the farm.

Not so long ago, though, this historic former-loganberry farm was about to succumb to residential development. But the local citizens rallied to save it, and turned it into a Mecca for nature lovers, sustainable farmers and gardeners instead.

History of Greenbank Farm

In the early 1900s, the farm encompassed 522 acres. The owners harvested its woodland trees and ran their dairy in the fields. It was eventually sold to John Molz in the 1940s. By 1970, Molz had turned the property into the largest loganberry farm in the country. In the early 70s, a wine company purchased ownership of the property. But in 1995, that company revealed plans to sell the property for residential lot development.

Between 1995 and 1997, locals and friends of locals rallied to make a plan to rescue the farm from development. By 1997, a consortium was formed made up of Island County (the county in which the farm resides) the Nature Conservancy, and the Port of Coupeville (Coupeville is a town near the farm). Together, they purchased the entire 522-acre property. To be exact, the Port of Coupeville acquired the 151-acre operating farm, while Island County and the Nature Conservancy now own the remaining woodlands.

By 2008, the Greenbank Farm Ag Training Center was established. And in 2009, community volunteers developed a new Master Site Plan which was approved by officials; they call it their “road map to the future.” Today, the farm’s main barn dates from 1904. The former farmhand’s house is still in use and is called the “Jim Davis House.” The rest of the buildings repliĀ­cate those of early 1900s farms.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!


Subscribe today

Heirloom GardenerCultivate your love of historic plant varieties and traditional recipes with a subscription to Heirloom Gardener magazine today!

Don’t miss a single issue of Heirloom Gardener. Published by the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Heirloom Gardener provides decades of organic gardening experience from the most trusted voices in the field. Subscribe today and save as much as 38% off the newsstand price! Get one year (4 issues) for only $24.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265