About Our Stewardship Farm in the Olympic Mountains
Where are we?
We are located in the mountains above Port Angeles, WA, on a 120-acre Christmas tree farm. The property has been managed as a sustainable stewardship forest for almost 20 years; the owner built his own house here 30 years ago when he and his partner bought most of the current land in order to preserve the habitat from development.
Protecting and improving the health of the forest.
Much of the land here has old growth forest still, with no plans to harvest most of it. We protect habitat for cougars, coyotes, deer, ermine, owls, hawks, ravens, and countless amphibians. Since starting their impromptu wildlife preserve-of-sorts, there have been added ponds and water retention to the land that simply wasn’t there before – and threatened species like red-legged frogs, mudpuppies and rough-skinned newts thrive in the waterways. It’s our goal that whatever we harvest from the forest or land we return at least five-fold, planting berry bushes and other wild edibles for the birds and animals.
Note: as of 9/21/2016 we are no longer in this location. Brendan and family live in an apartment where they are re-grouping and saving up for a land lease-to-own. This article is now a historical document.
Producing a wide cornucopia right at home.
Our cornucopia is modest but growing. We are growing and breeding grains and pseudocereals such as quinoa, amaranth, flax and millet, and legumes like pinto, kidney and scarlet runner beans. Our goal is to eventually provide a full diet to fill the cabinet and crisper with all the things you’d normally go to the grocery store for. As we develop more indoor, greenhouse and hothouse spaces, we hope to provide a range of produce that is not typically available in the area for the given season. From the existing tree-farm we will be providing native tree, berry, flower and shrub starts, as well as live Christmas trees, swags and wreaths for the holidays.
Using wholesome methods that work with the Earth.
The methods we use are organic and biodynamic permaculture (*not* certified… yet..) with an emphasis on square foot gardening. We have three styles of garden – a till garden with raised earth mounds, a log-built raised bed garden, and a hugulkultur terrace garden – as well as some large Earth hills which we’ve terraced and planted. All told we have a little less than 2 acres of fenced or developed beds, but are adding more rapidly.
Creating an open educational model for anybody to use.
The state of health of the Earth and its people is in such a state that we believe there is no more truck for secrets. Everything we do, successes and failures, we aim to document and publish for the sake of all concerned with food. We think more in terms of “teach one to fish” to create a shared culture of biodynamic farming knowledge and get more people started on their own – the only way in our opinion that the largest chunk of the total food consumed will become locally and wholesomely grown. This open research foundation can be used as an example anywhere by anybody.
We sold produce locally!!
We are elated to have vended at the Port Angeles Farmer’s Market this year. We ran the stand for a month and a half of markets and made around $300 all told. For various reasons, the pressure of harvest and prep for a market was too much with a short staff and little time – also we got started rather late in the season – but it was an experience we greatly enjoyed and will try again!