Seven small farms in Snohomish County are participating in an art project to showcase what it's like to grow local food amid today's challenges.
8-year-old Peter Caruso is featured in it, along with his family. He's in charge of the chickens on their farm in Monroe, and plans to use the money he saves for college.
"And the only thing I don't do is feed them because their feed bags are like 50 pounds," he said, admitting he also weighs 50 pounds.
The new book featuring Caruso is called "Photovoice for Agricultural Resilience." The Nature Conservancy and Snohomish Conservation District wanted to tell the stories of the people who grow Western Washington's food.
"What we really wanted to do is have farmers talk about their own issues and for them to take their own pictures and really to see these issues through the farmer's lens," said Heather Cole, The Nature Conservancy community relations manager.
Farmers who are faced with flooding, drought, development pressure, and economic challenges have a lot to teach the rest of us, said Cole. That is why the book showcases 21 pictures taken by seven local farm families, with short stories that tell the tale of resilience.
"In the end, I picked photos that had people in them because that's the heart of farming," Caruso said.
Peter’s mother Anna Caruso, and her husband started farming before Peter was born, but already had his future in mind.
"When we're growing things, we're preserving the soil and this land for future generations," she said.
Several groups are also working on an Agricultural Resilience Plan for Snohomish County. The goal is to help farmers deal with climate change, land cost, and other risks while helping to purchase and preserve land for agricultural purposes.
"Looking at how we create a vision of how to work together really helps our communities thrive," Cole said.
For more information on the book or the Agricultural Resilience Plan, contact The Nature Conservancy or the Snohomish Conservation District.