stewardship & conservation
Responsible stewardship of the forest, pasture, garden and water on the farm is our top priority. We know this land intimately and tend all of it carefully, holding central the belief that working agricultural lands and wildlands can exist in symbiosis. Hawks, eagles, swallos and owls hunt in the pasture and nest in the adjacent woods. The pigs forage in the forest, uprooting invasive himalayan blackberry and making room for oregon grape, salmon berry, thimble berry and salal, among others, to return.
In collaboration with our livestock, we are working slowly to restore pasture overtaken by invasive Himalayan blackberries years ago. Endless hours of brush-cutting to remove blackberries are followed by pigs, who use their incredible snouts to plow the earth and unearth the root balls. Two years of pigs foraging on an area and lush pasture can return. We also practice labor intensive rotational grazing with the sheep so that our pasture is not overgrazed and regenerates healthy and full of nutrients with each season.
We pay attention to the water—our most precious resource—that flows through the land and into the Henderson Inlet, a vibrant shellfish growing area . We work with the Thurston County Conservation District and participate in the Voluntary Stewardship Program, to ensure our agricultural practices are healthy and safe for wildlife, water and the soil. In collaboration with the USDA through the Natural Resource Conservation Service we established a 100-foot pollinator hedgerow which features primarily native plants to provide food and shelter for native pollinators. This hedgerow also acts as a filter, allowing runoff from the road to percolate back into the ground where rich root systems and microbial and mycorrhizal colonies clean and heal the water from various pollutants. We hope to see water pass through our land cleaner than how it arrived.