Hidden in the lush Green River Valley is Mosby Farms, a 350-acre first generation family farm just outside of Auburn. Walk into the roadside farm stand in season and you’ll find a wealth of gorgeous produce, most of it cultivated on-site. With organic and sustainability as it’s model, the farm that’s been in business for 30 years has more recently added a selection of locally sourced gourmet foods, baked goods, cheeses, and fine Northwest brews and wines.
It’s because of the farm’s “old-fashioned” values and careful methods that co-owner Rosella Mosby was picked by the U.S. State Department’s Agricultural Trade Office to travel throughout Japan to speak about revitalizing the agricultural system. Her stops this spring in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka and beyond echoed the same message: “Agriculture: The only essential industry.”
The crux of her program is to recruit the next generation in Japan, particularly women, to engage in rural agriculture. Her focus is providing youth with advice on starting out in agriculture and emphasizing how the industry contributes to local revitalization.
“If there is an abundance of growers, the pricing stays lower because the inventory is plentiful,” Mosby said.
Farmers should know their markets, wherever they are in the world, she continued. This means thinking beyond the farm stand to retailers, chefs, and other resources that can sustainably utilize a farm’s individual specialties.
Ultimately, Mosby stressed that farming builds community. The majority of dollars or yen spent at local farms stays local. Through farms the community stimulates the local economy.
“When people buy local, they’re not only helping a small farm, they’re also creating a direct relationship with their grower,” said Mosby. “They’re making a connection with the food they eat, as well as with the land on which it is grown.”
HOLLY SMITH PETERSON
12754 SE Green Valley Rd, Auburn