October 30, 2019
I’ve had my sights set on Whidbey Island in Washington state for a number of years now. When we got the chance to go film in the Pacific Northwest I knew we needed to make a stop there. We landed in Seattle and made our way to the island via a ferry on the south tip. From there we drove up north until we reached our destination, Three Sisters Farm. There we met Roshel, Jennifer and their mom and dad, Shelley and Ron.
Their family house sits right on Puget Sound with one of the most amazing views I have ever seen from a farmhouse. We started the day with a quick walk down the road to see a flock of sheep the family raises. As we walked, Ron explained that his family came from Michigan and settled on the island a few generations ago. They operated a dairy on the farm until they hit a point where they could no longer expand due to the constraints from living on an island. They made the decision to start Three Sisters Farm and gave each of their three daughters a stake in the business. The girls have worked at and grown the farm alongside their parents since then.
When we arrived at the sheep, Jennifer, the oldest sister and the one in charge of the livestock at the farm explained how they raise the sheep, completely on grass, and that they live out their entire lives there at the farm. This is the same as the cattle and pigs that they raise. Again, due to the unique constraints of living on an island, all of the livestock is butchered right there on the farm via a mobile slaughter unit and that works great for them. After a quick look at the pigs and cattle, we continued down the road to another piece of land where the girls and their parents had to move some cattle to a new pasture. They have been in the process of moving them as the cold weather months arrive. They set the electric fences, opened the gate and the herd was off!
From there we traveled just down the road for our last stop at the Three Sisters Market, where the family sells the meat from the livestock raised at their farm, along with a great selection of locally grown and made products.
Seeing a farm on an island was cool, learning about the constraints they have to work within to actively raise livestock on the island was also super interesting. But the real highlight of my trip to the island was the family behind Three Sisters Farm. They have worked together to recreate their farm, and are focused on growing it and making sure it remains sustainable for generations to come.
December 16, 2019
The busyness of holiday preparations, year-end closing of financial books, tax preparations, loan renewals and prepay of next year’s commodity inputs may have your snow globe resembling the topsy-turviness of a blizzard. Good health and wellbeing, including mental health, is a key factor that contributes to one’s ability to keep farming.
November 25, 2019
November 18, 2019
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