We have lived on our farm since May 1993. It is a wonderful old farm along the Chehalis River in Lewis County, Washington. Originally it was settled by a German immigrant who bought the farm, built a barn , found a wife and then had to build a home for her to move into. Or so the story goes. We purchased the farm from that Immigrant’s son when he was 92 years old. He visited us as often as his health would allow him to until he was 97 years old. He sold the place to us with the understanding that we would be farming the piece of land he had lived on all but two years of his life. We miss him and his stories!
Originally they grew hops here, we had a rich hop industry in the valley, but time and pests changed it into other rotations. Two of the three sons of the first settler had a cow dairy here until the 70’s when one brother passed away. Since then it has been planted with Wheat, Peas, Sweet corn, Barley , Grass seed, and Hay to name a few of the uses for the land.
When we moved here we had planned to grow crops for a local “cannery”, the place where they freeze food. We grew corn and peas. We also grew some wheat, barley, and fescue grass seed. That left us a lot of straw and hay to sell as well. Then along came our need to produce an alternate source of milk for our son. We purchased our three original ewes from some folks in Idaho and have slowly expanded the operation.
Brad is a Manufacturing Engineer by degree. He has worked several jobs and learned several skills that led to building a very fine sheep dairy and cheese processing plant from an old cow dairy. All the machines work well and the plant has a very good flow. If you had told him he would be milking sheep 20 or 30 years ago I wonder what the expression would have been?
Meg has a degree in Nutrition and Nursing. Her first desire way back when she went to college was to major in Business and Home Economics in order to open a restaurant. After many years in various roles and jobs, mostly in the Public Health field, she will finally have that type of adventure.
We have three sons who help out on the farm. Sometimes it is fun and sometimes it is work….We do hope and pray they will learn the benefits of hard work and always make it fun.