More faces of small farms
Meet more of Washington state’s small farmers here — from the godmother of the modern small farms movement to the owner and operator of a 100-percent grass-fed dairy and more.
Introducing: Lora Lea Misterly (Quillisascut Farm), Jill Smith (Pure Éire Dairy), Martin and Charlotte Frederickson (One Straw Ranch), and Jason and Margaret Parsley (Omache Farm)
Read about small farmers and WSU support.
Lora Lea Misterly
Quillisascut Farm, Rice
Lora Lea Misterly was a 4-H kid. Growing up on a small farm near Leavenworth, she raised dairy calves and livestock … » More …
Hardship to Homeland: Pacific Northwest Volga Germans
Barnyards and Birkenstocks: Why Farmers and Environmentalists Need Each Other
First Words for Fall 2013
Uncle Sam took the challenge in the year of ’33
For the farmers and the workers and for all humanity
Now river, you can ramble where the sun sets in the sea
But while you’re rambling, river, you can do some work for me
—Woody Guthrie, “Roll, Columbia, Roll”
In the early 1950s, Washington State College and the Bureau of Reclamation published a Farmer’s Handbook for the Columbia Basin Project. Written for new farmers breaking ground in the newly irrigated Columbia Basin Project, the handbook offered advice on everything from what crops to grow to what kind … » More …
A Feast of Good Things
Fall was a fortunate season at the Tonnemaker farm in Royal City, Washington. A warm October provided brothers Kurt ’84 and Kole a few extra weeks of squash, tomatoes, and peppers to load into their trucks and deliver to farmers markets and restaurants around the state.
This family farm has changed since the current generation took charge of it. It was established by WSU extension agent Orland Tonnemaker ’22 and his wife Pearl. In 1962 they planted orchards of cherries, pears, and apples. Like many of the farms around them, they sold their fruit to area warehouses.
During cherry harvest in 1981, Orland died, and … » More …
A Cattle Drive
Penn Cove may be known for its mussels, but just across the Whidbey Island bay from Coupeville is another operation—the Muzzall family farm, known to local grass-fed beef fans as the Three Sisters Cattle Company.
The farm was founded in 1910 by Ron Muzzall’s great-grandparents. For generations it was a dairy. When Ron ’86 returned from college, the farm had 50 cows. With his wife, Shelly, who grew up with family farming in Eastern Washington, he planned to follow in his parents’ footsteps.
But the dairy business was changing so fast. To keep up, the Muzzalls had to continuously add to their herd—something … » More …
There was a time, not so long ago, in our great Northwest when boundaries were not a great concern. When the first non-Indian settlers reached the Palouse and the Columbia Plateau, they could look to the distant horizon and see nothing but blue sky and virgin prairie and shrub-steppe, potential farmland as far as they could imagine. And as they learned to know the land, they reveled in what the college scientists told them, of seemingly endless topsoil, of windblown loess 200 feet deep. But even as that soil washed and blew away at an unsettling rate, they also learned to ignore the worries of … » More …