The idea of the farm started on a hike. The three of us were on very different paths (Ben planning to attend medical school, Grace planning to go to veterinary school, and Matt working for his family's wedding business). We talked about the possibility of starting a small farm and farm to table restaurant but spoke as if it was only a dream.
But we kept talking. And dreaming. Each of us had always been passionate about sustainable living and knew the terrible destruction to our environment that conventional agriculture was causing. So we started researching small scale sustainable market farms, regenerative agriculture, and permaculture. We visited inspiring farms, read countless books and articles, and eventually came to the conclusion that this is something we wanted and valued in our lives now, rather than just something we could explore in the future.
We began leasing property in Chimacum and immediately fell in love with the land and the community. Starting in May 2016, we lived out of a tent and began our farming career. We started building infrastructure (with no prior construction knowledge) that was immediately necessary such as a goat house, chicken coop, and a geodesic dome greenhouse. We made countless mistakes but learned quickly. Grace began working at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand while Matt and Ben worked for a local contractor for some income while we built the farm.
During this process, we spent an embarrassing amount of time deciding on a name. There were close seconds, but we eventually landed on Kodama Farm & Food Forest. "Kodama" are tree spirits in Japanese folklore that watch over and protect forests. It is thought that if one cuts down a tree inhabited by a Kodama, they will be cursed forever (and ever).
We chose this name because we often look to old growth forests as inspiration. Due to their diversity, health, and interconnectedness, we strive to model our farm and food forest after these ecosystems. We even created our own Kodama to inhabit the Spruce tree in our logo!
After a year and a half, we have cultivated half an acre of garden space, began planting our food forest, started raising goats and chickens, and are in the process of converting an old barn into a commercial kitchen.
We have many exciting plans for the future of Kodama including a small farm-to-table restaurant overlooking the farm. Our dream is to provide delicious, healthy meals to the community and show what can be done with local, sustainably grown food.
We are also in the process of working with the Jefferson County Land Trust and the Salmon Coalition to implement a large conservation project along a portion of Chimacum creek that runs through our land. The project will entail remeandering the creek and planting thousands of native plants to bring back essential salmon rearing habitat and to build a healthier ecosystem. Eventually, boardwalk trails will wind through the conservation site for the public to enjoy.