Susie Kyle has dedicated the last 24 years to issues around food and farming. In 1995, newly single, and newly on 15 acres of land in Lewis County, Washington, she decided her land was her biggest resource, and took up farming at the age of fifty. Though she had been gardening for years and loved to grow food, she had never seriously considered becoming a full-time farmer. Over time, however, she had also come to the conclusion that she didn't want corporations making her food choices either, and that was long before the social awareness of the threat of GMO's. Susie grew 2 acres of certified organic potatoes and fell in love with farming. Winlock Meadows Farm was born.
In 1998 she visited a CSA farm tour on Vashon Island and decided CSA was her next step. This taught her how important the relationship is between the farmer who grows the food and the customer who eats the food, putting a "face on the food."
Later witnessing the disappearance of small family farms in her area, Susie turned to activism, testifying at city, county and state hearings as an advocate for preserving farmland and protecting our food supply. She helped preserve 50,000 acres of farmland in Lewis County during the county’s agriculture resource land zoning process.
What the farming experience taught her though, was that she couldn't support herself just by selling potatoes by the pound. She learned about the concept of value-added products, a product that helps you raise the value of a farm product, a potato, into potato salad enabling you to increase your profit margin. Thus, she began designing stand-out, local, delicious and good-for-you products. “Food Designing” has become her passion and something she’s innately good at and she continues selling products today at the co-op in Yelm and the farmers market in season. (continues)
Susie shown with her family farmer sprouts!
(left to right Susie, son John, daughter Mari and son-in-law Tim, farmers all!)
Food Prosperity Central –
Armed with the abundance of wisdom gained and still not satisfied with the state of the currently available local food supply, Susie decided to launch a community effort around food and farming, hence the birth of Food Prosperity Central. Food prosperity is at the core of its mission, bringing our local community together in a true grassroots way with the goal of increasing local healthy food availability (and affordability), increasing local food production whether it be a back-yard garden or farm, and stimulating the production of locally made value-added food products – with the end goal, of course, of sustaining a strong healthy community, one founded on solid local food security and a prospering food economy.
Susie has teamed up with Amy Malik in this grassroots effort, and they are a perfect match of skills and shared passion around food and farming. Susie's the farmer, food producer and community builder/networker. Amy brings, along with website building and technology skills, a deep passion for preserving the natural world around us, restoring the sense of community where we live, and building a healthy local food economy which supports that.
We hope you will join us in our efforts in strengthening a healthy, abundant and self-sufficient food supply in our local community of Yelm and the surrounding areas of Rainier, Tenino, McKenna and Roy.