Monday, March 19, 2012


We now have ten little piggies in residence next door to our sheep.  We are so excited!  right now they're cute. They have been enjoying all the space they have to bounce around and digging little holes in the ground they've been allowed outside.  learning the fine art of dumping their water bucket until I can get another system with less room for spillage ready to go.

It's odd, with our style of farming, to think that these guys had never seen the light of day, literally.  Never seen water in a bucket as opposed to out of a sip spout.  Never seen hay or non-pelleted foodstuffs or dirt.  Never known what their noses are designed to do.  Well, that only took them about five minutes.
For now they're cute.  And a bit mischievous with their digging holes next to the fence and sticking their heads through the fence but I imagine they'll grow out of those antics in favor of bigger pig antics.  Come August, our customers will be enjoying them on their dinner tables.
Want more pictures? Follow this link to our facebook album:  Pigs

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Pat on the Back...

...To Us!

We realized something the other day.

We took a WSU extension class in the spring of 2008 and a part of it was to write up a business plan.  With no real clue as to where we would eventually end up or what exactly we would be growing, we were relatively accurate even with pretty ambitious goals!

As of this year, we've more or less reached all of our major 5-year goals. In five years!

One of our main goals included starting a 10-member CSA.  This year, we can check that one off.

Another goal was to have a 20 ewe breeding flock of sheep.  This year, we have 31 ewes we expect to drop lambs for us!

A third goal was to be selling at two farmer's markets.  Now that we know what it really takes to be selling at just one local farmer's market, we may or may not reach that one this year, but probably next year.  We are however looking at selling some specific produce to a couple restaurants and the Moscow Co-op.

Another goal was to purchase or lease a farm property.  We leased our farm property at year three in 2010!

The last goal we wrote down was to begin utilizing draft power in year five.  That won't be happening this year but I don't think we've yet ruled it out.  As we gain a handle on what needs to happen day to day in the next couple years, we'll probably be more able to figure out how to do some or all of that work with draft power.  I'm seeing things like cutting hay and pulling mobile livestock shelters from one paddock to the next for sure but who knows? maybe in the next ten or fifteen years we'll have several teams of Suffolk Punch horses doing everything from tilling and weeding veggies to baling hay to planting and harvesting grain and hauling wagons for hay rides for harvest festivals!

When we were writing all these ideas down to create a business plan so long ago, we had absolutely no idea that we would end up here on the palouse, potentially forever.  We had no idea that our delusions of grandeur might not have been quite as delusional as originally thought.  Although frankly, a flock of 150 or more Jacob ewes grazing across our hillsides might still be delusional.  We'll have to pare it down to between 60 and 100 I think.

Now that we've arrived at our fictitious five year mark in relative truthfulness, we'll have to sit down and dream up the next five years... Any suggestions?