The mission of The Chimacum Center is to cultivate relationships, sow sustainability and grow more equitable and resilient rural community through land-based interconnection, arts, advocacy and education.
We are a grass-roots fertilizer of transformation working for change at the convergence of equity, ecology, arts and agriculture.
We work in partnership and collaboration with land and farming partners and with grassroots and organizational allies around the region to nurture creative, collaborative and restorative rural projects in liberation arts, food justice and land access.
Questions and Aspirations
We acknowledge the complexity of our social and environmental challenges and, because we are located at a geographic and cultural/ideological intersection in this rural community, we work at the complex confluence of social change, ecological restoration and consciousness shift— within a framework of collective resilience, healing and flourishing.
As a multi-racial coalition, we are clear that social justice and human rights movements must center the voices and needs of those communities most impacted by oppression. We seek to shift and direct resources in this way. The Chimacum Center works in collaboration with local grassroots social justice activists and organizers at Jefferson County Anti-Racist Fund, Black Lives Matter Jefferson County, Mandala Center for Change, Native Connections Action Group and beyond.
We work with the sense that we can only meaningfully affect that which we are in relationship with.
That we need to be responsive, vigilant and committed to the human core function of Love. (adrienne maree brown)
That we need to keep seeking and asking transformative questions such as:
- How can we be rural bridge builders and change makers at the same time?
- How do we resist and withdraw support from what is harmful, while working to build healthier liberating alternatives?
- How can we embody more authentic and empowered inclusivity in our lives, organizations and community?
- Can we balance short term efforts and long range strategy to seed growth and transformations that serve our mutual flourishing here?
- How can we most respectfully learn from indigenous wisdoms of belonging to place?
- How can we acknowledge and respond to the traumas of our times with courage, compassion and healing justice?
- And all of the other questions we have not known to ask yet...
16 years ago, Finnriver Farm was started in the Chimacum Valley, traditional lands of the S’Klallam and Aqokúlo (Chemakum) poeples. The farm’s intention was to convert historic dairy land into diversified small-scale models of organic agriculture, with the aspiration of ‘sustainability'. The vision was to grow nourishing food for the community while caring for the soil and kindling a reconnection between people and the earth that sustains us. There was a lot to learn, un-learn and re-learn about these aspirations.
After five years of growing organic vegetables, produce and grains, the farm was expanded in 2009 to include hard cider fermentation and this launched Finnriver Cidery, which relocated to the 50 acre Bishop/Brown dairy farm at the Chimacum corner in 2015. The Cidery has remained committed to the core founding mission and has continued to pursue a people-planet-purpose farm model— growing a Certified Organic Orchard, with B Corp and Salmon Safe certifications, and working to embody and role model viable practices and solutions in land and watershed conservation, alternative energy, local living economies; and moving forward with enacting our commitments to racial justice and social equity.
The 2020 covid pandemic, the movement for Black Lives, and a cognizance of the harmful impacts and legacies of colonization and systemic racism and exploitation, has prompted a continual evaluation of the farm's mission and business model review — to acknowledge and challenge oppressive systems and to question the pathway forward. In the Fall of 2020, amidst the disruption of the pandemic and inspired by the necessity and possibilities of the Social Justice and Climate Action movements, Finnriver Farm & Cidery established The Chimacum Center, a non-profit project fiscally sponsored through the 501(c)(3) Social Good Fund.