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Overview

We are moving towards a truly sustainable farming system.  We now have solar electricity and solar hot water panels that meet our farm's needs.   We have a very small tractor and still do a lot of work by hand.  All our animals except the very young babies forage for part of their food year-round in our organic pastures and woodlot. We use portable electric fencing to move the animals frequently, a system known as Management Intensive Grazing. In this system, the animals graze the plants evenly and spread their manure evenly, leading to greater productivity and more nutritious forage. By raising a mixture of livestock species, we can use them to eliminate each others parasites naturally, maintain diversity in our forage plants, and maximize our land’s productivity.  In order to avoid supporting the widespread unsustainable practices of importing organic soybean meal from China or depleting fisheries for fish meal, we are now using chicken feed from Modesto Milling which is made from certified organic US grown plant products as we also seek more ways to feed our chickens off our own land.  We are also improving our pastures for our sheep in order to reduce our dependence on hay from eastern Oregon.

 

We prevent illness in our livestock by providing them with a spacious healthy environment, reducing stress, and giving them nutritious food and supplements.  We treat their illnesses and manage their parasites with homeopathy and herbs instead of drugs whenever possible.  It is important to us that our animals live happy lives. Our animals are always kept together with at least one other of their own kind, with plenty of room to run around outside, a variety of healthy food choices, adequate shelter, and clean water. We also strive to find ways to use our animals' natural behaviors to benefit our farm, such as having the pigs till up the garden, letting the goats eat poison oak and invasive weeds, and keeping chickens in the barnyard to eat fly larvae and parasites. We think of our farm as an ecosystem and try to make it self-contained, with as little waste as possible.  Our own composted barn bedding is our major source of fertilizer for the crops, and crop remains (cornstalks, pea vines, carrot tops, etc.) are used as feed for the livestock.

 

We care about the wildlife on our farm. We are working to restore native plants and wildlife habitat on part of our land. We are removing invasive non-native plants with organic methods. We have installed birdhouses which are being used by two species of swallows. Our list of bird species seen or heard from our farm is now up to 131 species. We fence out wildlife from our cultivated crops rather than killing or scaring them away and we keep our dog in a fenced yard.  By using electric netting, night-time housing, and guard animals, we protect our livestock without the need for predator control.

 

We are working to create an organic farm where the people can get connected with the food they eat. We want to grow most of our own food and extra to share with others. We want our customers to feel a part of our farm community by reading our newsletters and website, coming to visit on Open Farm Days, and by bartering their labor in exchange for food. We also host school tours and other educational opportunities.

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