Founded in 2011, Cloud Mountain Farm Center is a 501c3 nonprofit agricultural education center, based in Everson, WA, and dedicated to expanding regional food systems. Located on a 45-acre working farm, Cloud Mountain Farm Center operates as a living laboratory, training new crop and nursery farmers, and expanding educational opportunities for home gardeners and commercial farmers. Programming at the Farm Center fosters experimentation and the development of diverse, collaborative growing and marketing strategies.
Cloud Mountain focuses on training the next generation of farmers. The Center operates an intensive 8-month farm internship program. The hands-on curriculum covers vegetable and ornamental production, tree fruit management, soil fertility, direct marketing, business planning, equipment maintenance, and more. In three years, 21 interns have graduated; 18 now operate their own farms or work for other farms. After graduating from the internship program, new farmers have the opportunity to lease land, equipment, and storage space to launch their businesses at the Center's incubator farm.
Cloud Mountain strives to make growing information and resources accessible to as many people as possible. Each year, the Center offers over 30 free and low-cost workshops to the community, covering topics ranging from seed starting to cider making. In 2015, these workshops served over 460 participants.
Cloud Mountain is dedicated to improving the sustainability not just of its own farming operations, but of the local farm economy, through research and innovation. The Center manages 8 active crop trials, all intended to identify the most efficient and cost-effective ways to grow vegetables, fruits, and berries locally and organically. These research projects, and others, contribute to a large body of knowledge and expertise, benefiting the regional agricultural community.
Cloud Mountain also serves as the Whatcom County host site for the Puget Sound Food Hub, a regional food aggregation and distribution network. In 2015, the Center aggregated and stored produce from 13 Whatcom County farms, enabling their access to 223 institutional buyers in the region, and facilitating nearly $285,000 in sales of local food.
Cloud Mountain Farm Center is shaping the future of the local food system, but our success depends on you. Help us keep growing food, growing farmers, and growing community by making a donation today.