The 178th recipient is Lorna Velasco of Sariwa Farm @sariwafarm in Kirkland, WA. Lorna writes, “I am the owner and operator of Sariwa Farm, a half-acre farm on Coast Salish land. Sariwa means fresh in Tagalog, one of 200 languages in the Philippine archipelago. I come from a long line of farmers and fisherman. My practice is one of bayanihan (mutual support) focus on limiting carbon footprint and retaining cultural heritage. I grow vegetables that I can incorporate in dishes that I know will make my ancestors giddy, this includes bittermelon, garlic, tomatoes, luffa, okra, eggplant, bottle gourd, saluyot, and moringa.
Being a farmer was not in the plan, I am part of a generation that left our farmland and home to pursue education instead. When my parents found out I started farming, they thought I was hit on the head hard. Now, farming has become an extension of my love for my family, my heritage and greater community. I feel really good to be able to grow and share food that is nutrient dense and grown without pesticides. This to me is part of healing, an added bonus are the stories that come with every seed, every fruit and vegetable. Stories that I can proudly pass on to my kids.”