Now why, you ask, would a family move from the beautiful Pacific Northwest to the Ozarks?? Though Eric grew up (as a city boy) in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, we were living on the eastern side of Washington State. In school growing up in Michigan, I was led to believe that Washington and Oregon are covered in tall pine trees with abundant rainfall. This is only a 1/2 truth...no, a 1/3 truth...because the majority of these states are actually desert -- beautiful in their own ways, but the average rainfall where we lived was 4 inches per year. Four.
When you get only 4 inches of rain per year and you want to farm or grow anything for that matter, you need to import your water. Out there, they do it by massive irrigation ditches that flow from reservoirs high in the Cascades. This works because they have electricity to run the pumps. Being a bit concerned about the future, we decided that that is not a sustainable system, and that we needed to look for a place where water still comes from the sky. So we came to the Ozarks, and had droughts 3 out of the first 6 years.....sorry, that just slipped out.
Another reason is that Eric, after raising grass-fed beef cattle for 20 years, decided he wanted less to do, so he set his sights on dairy farming. Just kidding. About the less to do part.
In Washington, you mostly find mega-cow commercial dairies. They just don't have all of these neat little farms that have dairy buildings on them. So when he went to sell the farm in Washington, there literally wasn't anywhere to go. Land on the west side of the Cascades where he'd come from was now considered paradise-value, and only the rich and famous could afford enough acreage to make a living on, so that was out. Plus....we would have to build a dairy parlor from scratch. Too expensive.
Grown just for you
So here we are....land-of-many-dairy-buildings, and a place where land prices are historically more reasonable, and, as a bonus, the people in this State are still free to purchase food from their local farmer without a State raw dairy license.
We homeschool our two children, Jake and Hannah... we're a small family by homeschooling and family farm standards. They are great helps on the farm, and good people. When they hear of a tour coming, they always want to know if the people will have children with them. They love to show off the animals, and tote children around the farm on equipment.
Farming isn't for everyone. It's a tough, don't-go-on-vacation-much kind of job, but rewarding in the sense of purpose and accomplishment.
It teaches a grittiness that causes your faith in God to grow because you learn you can't control everything and everyone around you....not the weather, not the animals, sometimes not even yourself. We struggle to live in a society that wants everything yesterday, and that has lost its compass about what real food is.
We hope to help change those notions, help people feed their families clean delicious local food, start them on a path of healing, get nourishing meals on the table without breaking the schedule, and maybe learn a new trick or two along the way.
We’re looking forward to coming alongside you on your journey.
Head out to the farm to pick up your real food (and milk a cow while you're at it!) or meet us at one of our delivery locations.