stewardship & conservation
We prioritize conservation and responsible stewardship of the forest, pasture and garden. We know this land intimately and tend all of it carefully. Silverwell Farms works with the Thurston County Conservation District and participates in the Voluntary Stewardship Program, to ensure our agricultural practices are healthy and safe for wildlife, water and the soil. From a day-to-day perspective, this looks like a whole lot of brush-cutting to remove the invasive Himalayan blackberry that would take over every inch of pasture if it could. It looks like using a weed wrench to pry Scots broom from the roadside ditches. It looks like a dozen pigs, digging up the roots of these invasive plants and turning them into bacon. It looks like a flock of sheep eating the leaves off the thorny blackberry canes with their bare lips, slowing their growth while we scramble to keep ahead (or in reality, keep up) with power tools. The collective efforts of the farmers and livestock here have cleared acres of invasive species and returned them to healthy, nourishing pasture.
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 . In collaboration with the USDA through the Natural Resource Conservation Service we planted 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. It is quite marvelous, the flow of water. We hope to see water pass through our land cleaner than how it arrived.