21 Acres Center for Local Food, Sustainable Living, and Entrepreneurship
Since 2001, the Sustainable Business Center’s sister organization, 21 Acres has served the local community and individuals throughout the state of Washington who are interested in learning about local food, farming, and environmental stewardship. With the mission to cultivate, demonstrate and advance systems that support small-scale agriculture and sustainable living, 21 Acres provides opportunities for the public to rediscover the agricultural heritage of the region; learn about cutting-edge green design and technologies; and become active participants in the movement toward a sustainable food system.
The 21 Acres School offers continuing education classes that focus on principles of sustainable agriculture including those related not only to food and food systems, but also to home energy and water conservation, local economic development, and quality of life improvements for our community. Core courses and individual elective classes are provided in three focus areas: Growing, Eating, and Living. The 21 Acres School also offers a Sustainability Stewardship Certificate Program. Courses and classes are eligible for 21 Acres School continuing education units (CEUs).
Farmers and entrepreneurs are coming together with their creations in the new commercial kitchen at 21 Acres. Providing the vital infrastructure to help support small farms and the local economy, the 21 Acres Kitchen is a culinary incubator for farmers and others to turn seasonal foods into year-round business opportunities. One outlet, the recently opened 21 Acres Market, provides an accessible, affordable, comfortable and educational shopping experience for the local community and visitors. Produce grown on the 21 Acres Farm is brought in picked fresh every market day. In addition to fresh produce and farm products from the Kitchen, the Market also sells flour, eggs, cheeses, dried beans, hummus, and other staples, all grown sustainably and sourced locally.
Consistent with its mission for a sustainable future, the 21 Acres Center “green” building is an innovative building designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards targeting a Platinum rating. Key integrated systems include: insulated concrete form walls; thermal windows and skylights; a green roof and an earthen berm to help reduce the need for heating and cooling; radiant flooring and a ground-source heat-pump system to effectively provide heat as needed; natural ventilation supplied through large fresh-air ducts and operable windows; a 25 – kilowatt solar photovoltaic roof-mounted system to provide on-site energy; composting toilets, low-flow fixtures, and efficient commercial kitchen equipment to reduce water usage; an innovative bio-filter septic system acting as a living organism, to digest effluents through which remaining wastewater leaves the building; and, occupancy sensors and highly efficiently lighting fixtures to complement extensive day-lighting.