Husband and wife duo Louis Sukovaty and Jennifer Argraves are farming on Louis's childhood homestead in the Methow Valley of north central Washington. These former engineers both had the pleasure of growing up on small, self-sufficient farms as children and wanted to provide the same rich experience for their kids. So they left the concrete and long-hours of the city (Seattle) and joined the soil and long-hours of the country. Their dedication to long-term planning, intensive research, and a willingness to experiment has created a successful, diverse farming business and a model of sustainability.
On 150 acres of pastures, crop fields, and forest they are raising several species of livestock and poultry, grains and hay crops, as well as organic vegetables, rotating them around in a 7 year cycle. In their farmstand cooler you might find grassfed beef, grassfed lamb, pastured pork, pastured turkey, and pastured chicken and eggs. You can also find organic vegetables and new ready-to-eat meals such as tamales, shepherds pie, or chicken soup all with their homegrown ingredients. You don't have to drive all the way out to the farm though because Crown S Ranch delivers around the Puget Sound region with an innovative meat CSA, as well as to a few small retailers and a couple farmers markets. They have no intention to "feed the world", just feed families in their region with really good, healthy food. In their minds, the 150 acre farm model that they are creating can create food security and food safety around the country, and help get more people into farming while creating sustainable livelihoods. They invite customers and wanna-be farmers out to their farm through internships and a small little cabin they renovated for their unique "Haycation" program. Unlike a traditional B&B experience, they encourage their "Haycationers" to get involved on the farm, help collect eggs, and learn a little about where their food comes from. Creating those connections with consumers helps them better understand the food system and want to become more invested in it.
Listen to my interview with Jennifer as we talk about their families's committment to soil health, humane animal care, teaching the next generation, and creating resilient systems of production that produce more food per acre while building fertility for the future.
Photos above courtesy of Crown S Ranch- www.crown-s-ranch.com