Recently my husband and I visited and toured a local farm in our region. Foothills Farm, located on Hoehn Road in Sedro Woolley, is not only a multi-generational family owned farm but they are also practicing innovative and organic methods for growing healthy food.
The 500 pastured, egg producing chickens plus the 1.5 acres of seasonal veggies and berries were begun in 2013 by the latest generation of Steinman farmers.
We were impressed by Matt’s knowledge, enthusiasm and desire to educate people on how it’s done. His very happy and healthy hens move frequently via chicken tractors (see photo!) on converted flatbeds to new places in the garden and grassy fields below the market garden in the summer. He is currently using hailage that he rolls out over his 1.5-acre garden plot. The chickens are out all day and scratch through the hay (great spreaders!), eating the weed seeds and fertilizing the soil. THEN he told us he would add a layer of composted soil, which is made on the farm from horse manure and peat; cover it for warmth for a few weeks and PRESTO. There will soon be rich vital organic soil ready for planting. It’s brilliant and he’s passionate about it. I can hardly wait to taste the vegetables.
It sounds like he is using many of the guiding principles of Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm in Virginia. He also turned us on to another farmer-educator and author named J.M. Fortier who inspires many with his intensive cropping practices.
You can find Foothills Farm on Facebook and see where he will be selling this season. He currently supplies Woolley Market with pastured eggs and does farmer markets in the Seattle area.
After meeting Matt and seeing his farm, I can honestly say that he is putting into action ‘healthy soil creates healthy food’. Thanks for inspiring us and we wish you a lot of success!