Every time I open up one of my backwoods, farming, rural living, and/or gardening magazines, there is often a hobby farm being talked about. The quaint farms often have eye rolling names like “Blessed Sunny acres“, “Bountiful Acres” or “Petunia Hills“. Usually the lady of the farm is wearing a crisp and flowing white dress of the finest cotton. With nary a dirt smudge on it. The children are helpful, with rosy cheeks, and the gentleman has a 2 day beard and the cleanest britches ever seen on a farm.
No farm or garden is free in the literal sense. You’ll give a lot of sweat, time, blood, broken nails and probably a lot of money, to get it where you want. Just don’t me started on the meme floating out on Facebook of “Growing your own food is like printing your own money“. My rebuttal to that one is here. Don’t get me wrong, you WILL eat better with the hard work and time put in, but it won’t be easy. You will, though, sleep soundly. You probably won’t be tending your garden in a clean, billowy cotton dress, with perfect mother earth curls in your hair. You might even fall repeatedly into blackberry brambles, trying to snag a last berry, with a rotting wooden board against your chest to keep the stabs down.
So Never~Free Farm was born. Guarded over by a clacking and talkative murder of crows, the farm/homestead is producing many interesting edibles. There is weeding, digging, hoeing, watering, but when the berries are ripe, I won’t want to be anywhere else.
Our dream started in 2014 when we bought our property we converted into the first farm. We had a large, sun-filled lot that allowed gardening. The soil was far from perfect (if anything, it was nearly dead and hard packed as urban land often is). With a lot of work, our dream has been coming to fruition. We were in the center of town, in Maple Valley, Wa, living along a protected greenbelt. Our goal is to have self-sufficiency for us, and to offer unusual and uncommon edible plants and produce for sale, so others can enjoy them, through our farm part of the homestead.
Never Free Farm’s first version sat on a 1/3 of an acre, in an urban setting.
We practiced organic methods, with recovering the soil to health. Our farm featured a greenhouse, in ground beds, raised beds, and a number of experimental growing containers. We ran our greenhouse on all solar energy, and our water was reclaimed rain. We had a varied orchard, many berry plants (with a focus on blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries), and herb plants. Our farm also hosted two beehives.
Farm 2 came in the late winter of 2018, as spring was coming. We sold the property, and moved to Freeland, Washington which is a rural town, on the south end of Whidbey Island. We are currently converting 5+ acres into a homestead farm. We are duplicating things we did on the first land, and making it even bigger. Our new farm sits in growing zone 8A, which is considered temperature but can be challenging due to the constant winds off of the Salish Sea. Our ecoregion is 2d – Olympic Rainshadow. We don’t get as much rain as our previous farm did, however we pick up clouds from the Olympic Mountains. Summers are dry though and pleasantly warm.
Everyone is pitching in, even our youngest, to get the land ready.
Our goal is to be back into full production by late summer and selling next year in 2019 produce and our alpine heritage strawberry & medicinal herb plants again!
Kirk, Sarah, Walker & Alistaire at Mount Rainier in 2016.
We are not responsible for republished content from this blog, on other blogs, or websites without our permission.