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Old 01-15-2007, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Walla Walla WA
33 posts, read 189,357 times
Reputation: 36

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I've lived in Walla Walla, WA for about 4 years now. I'm trying to live a sustainable lifestyle. I'm married, but my husband owns a local business, so I'm the farmer & rancher. I raise alpacas & Icelandic (& a few other types) of sheep, Americana chickens (aka the Easter Egg chickens), & 3 guineas (too loud to have more than that). I'm working to make our farm as sustainable & chemical free as possible so that I don't have to worry about what we're eating here. I sell wool, alpaca fiber, yarn, items I create from the yarn & fibers, skulls of the Icelandic sheep we've had to butcher, blown out egg shells for decorations, & egg shell mosaics, horn buttons, etc. I teach classes on spinning, knitting, crocheting, felting, & dyeing at the local fiber/yarn store & at home. I sell some of the manure so people can use it on their gardens. We raise vegetables for our home as well as berries (June/everbearing raspberries, everbearing strawberries, gooseberries, & red currants), cherries, apricots, peaches, & nuts (English walnuts & hazelnuts). I'm thinking about adding hardy Kiwi, aronia berries, sand plums/cherries so they're easier to harvest. We're want a value-added farm that makes use of everything we can for both our benefit & to sell to keep our animals in food & both of us in food whaterver we need. What we can't use, I sell at the local farmers market & various fairs/festivals.

We have 2 wood burning stoves where we burn local wood & trees we've had to take down (we lost half of 2 different willows in the winds this fall/winter & will need to take down the rest of both because we don't want them falling on anything else). The ashes that are left after we burn the wood goes into our garden along with the compost & manure from the alpacas. The sheep manure goes in a pile on the back part of the property to compost. The vegetables I've grown have been lovely, large, & really tasty. This year, I'll have a larger garden. Each year, it's gotten larger.

I raise farm fresh multi-colored eggs from my chickens & sell any that I can't use. The chickens are free range & fed with garden scraps, organic feed, all the bugs they can find. The yolks are a bright red-orange & taste better than anything I've had in my life being city-raised, & I'll never, ever go back to eating store bought eggs.

I raise plants for our food, but also other plants: fiber plants (flax, hemp, yucca, etc.), dye plants (aronia, sage, and others), herbs, flowers, (garden, cut, medicinal). I also raise feed vegetables for my sheep & alpacas: mangels, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, etc. Animals who eat hay & grass can eat most vegetables that we eat.

The animals also get nutritional yeast to help with B-vitamins for stress and trace minerals, onions & garlic to help worm them, diatomaceous earth (DE) to help with parasite control on skin & in their manure.

We butcher the animals that have physical problems, but healthy, are culled for our meat. The ones that have good structure & healthy are sold or kept. We only keep as many animals that are good for the land. My alpacas are only for fiber & we do not eat or breed them. They're all male & I have one Suri alpaca (white) & 3 Huacaya alpacas (cinnamon, white, rose gray). The sheep are reddish brown, white, ivory, gray, & black. 10 sheep & 4 alpacas are nice, & in the spring, we have lambs, so then we start getting ready to sell the those. I keep 1 or 2 lambs to trade up, butcher the culls, & sell the rest.

So, if there is anyone who is into sustainable agriculture or ranching or value-added farming in Eastern WA or any other part of WA, please send an email & perhaps we can help each other out with comments & suggestions.

Sincerely,
Jet
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,183 posts, read 23,592,152 times
Reputation: 3794
I am so impressed with your sustainability, I wish I could turn the clock back, take 20 years off my life and replicate much of what you are going.

I haven't met many here in NM that take sustainability as far as you have, although NM prides itself, here up North, with establishing many sustainable living communities. Much of it, however, is about water and not the wide array of sustainable choices you are making.

In fact, the only place I've lived where I was able to piggy-back on self-sufficient sustainability was the Pioneer Valley (Western Massachusetts). In the Valley, as we liked to call it, small farming is still in existence, and farm sharing crops was very common. Also with an agricultural base, one of the collages had a well-funded academic program that allowed many of us to benefit from experimental farming techniques. One of the experiments I really enjoyed was hybridizing tomatoes. For awhile I was part of the experiment, but unfortunately I lost much of the crop.

I'd love to hear if more folks in the area are doing anything similar to what you describe--and a wonderful description it is. Good for you!
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Walla Walla WA
33 posts, read 189,357 times
Reputation: 36
Default Sustainable lifestyles

Hi Ontheroad:

Well, if I hear from anyone either near or around Walla Walla, I'll let you know. I just head from someone who's trying to start a sustainability program near here, so I'll keep you informed. What I was hoping to find, was at least one person in the area who is also interested in this locally to build a larger network. The one thing I'm finding is attitude. "That's the way we've always done it," is the prevailing attitude, and not one that lends itself well to sustainability. I'll keep working to build a better way for us, then if I can find somene else who wants to do the same thing, I'll share what I've already learned with them and hope to learn from them as we both go along.

Jet
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:25 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,993 times
Reputation: 10
Default Looking to buy free range eggs

Hi lady_jet
I live in Dayton, WA and am interested in buying some of your extra eggs. Where do you sell them? Is there a local dairy that you know of? I am interested in sustainablilty but don't have the means to grow/raise food myself yet. I would just like to support people who do and eat some of that good food!!!
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:06 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,287 posts, read 10,146,303 times
Reputation: 2323
I love to try new things so I am also up for your eggs and perhaps other fare. I switched from regular eggs to range-free local eggs and I cannot tell you the difference. I too would never eat the general run of the mill eggs either.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:55 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
18,239 posts, read 33,763,034 times
Reputation: 16761
I assume you are connecting with these folks
sustainablelivingcenterDOTcom/
I really miss the Renewable energy shows they sponsored in Walla Walla

I do get to a few of these programs, but they have become pretty 'commercialized'
Sustainable Idaho Home Page
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:35 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,667 times
Reputation: 10
Default Chickens?

I too am seeking a sustainable lifestyle and am looking for chicks to raise as setting hens. I have been unable to find any in the Tri-cities area and am hoping that since it is spring that you might possible have some chicks that you would consider selling. Please contact me at [EMAIL="nixonackley@charter.net"]nixonackley@charter.net[/EMAIL] if you can assist me.
Thank you,
Delna Nixon
Quote:
Originally Posted by lady_jet View Post
I've lived in Walla Walla, WA for about 4 years now. I'm trying to live a sustainable lifestyle. I'm married, but my husband owns a local business, so I'm the farmer & rancher. I raise alpacas & Icelandic (& a few other types) of sheep, Americana chickens (aka the Easter Egg chickens), & 3 guineas (too loud to have more than that). I'm working to make our farm as sustainable & chemical free as possible so that I don't have to worry about what we're eating here. I sell wool, alpaca fiber, yarn, items I create from the yarn & fibers, skulls of the Icelandic sheep we've had to butcher, blown out egg shells for decorations, & egg shell mosaics, horn buttons, etc. I teach classes on spinning, knitting, crocheting, felting, & dyeing at the local fiber/yarn store & at home. I sell some of the manure so people can use it on their gardens. We raise vegetables for our home as well as berries (June/everbearing raspberries, everbearing strawberries, gooseberries, & red currants), cherries, apricots, peaches, & nuts (English walnuts & hazelnuts). I'm thinking about adding hardy Kiwi, aronia berries, sand plums/cherries so they're easier to harvest. We're want a value-added farm that makes use of everything we can for both our benefit & to sell to keep our animals in food & both of us in food whaterver we need. What we can't use, I sell at the local farmers market & various fairs/festivals.

We have 2 wood burning stoves where we burn local wood & trees we've had to take down (we lost half of 2 different willows in the winds this fall/winter & will need to take down the rest of both because we don't want them falling on anything else). The ashes that are left after we burn the wood goes into our garden along with the compost & manure from the alpacas. The sheep manure goes in a pile on the back part of the property to compost. The vegetables I've grown have been lovely, large, & really tasty. This year, I'll have a larger garden. Each year, it's gotten larger.

I raise farm fresh multi-colored eggs from my chickens & sell any that I can't use. The chickens are free range & fed with garden scraps, organic feed, all the bugs they can find. The yolks are a bright red-orange & taste better than anything I've had in my life being city-raised, & I'll never, ever go back to eating store bought eggs.

I raise plants for our food, but also other plants: fiber plants (flax, hemp, yucca, etc.), dye plants (aronia, sage, and others), herbs, flowers, (garden, cut, medicinal). I also raise feed vegetables for my sheep & alpacas: mangels, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, etc. Animals who eat hay & grass can eat most vegetables that we eat.

The animals also get nutritional yeast to help with B-vitamins for stress and trace minerals, onions & garlic to help worm them, diatomaceous earth (DE) to help with parasite control on skin & in their manure.

We butcher the animals that have physical problems, but healthy, are culled for our meat. The ones that have good structure & healthy are sold or kept. We only keep as many animals that are good for the land. My alpacas are only for fiber & we do not eat or breed them. They're all male & I have one Suri alpaca (white) & 3 Huacaya alpacas (cinnamon, white, rose gray). The sheep are reddish brown, white, ivory, gray, & black. 10 sheep & 4 alpacas are nice, & in the spring, we have lambs, so then we start getting ready to sell the those. I keep 1 or 2 lambs to trade up, butcher the culls, & sell the rest.

So, if there is anyone who is into sustainable agriculture or ranching or value-added farming in Eastern WA or any other part of WA, please send an email & perhaps we can help each other out with comments & suggestions.

Sincerely,
Jet
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-15-2009, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Walla Walla WA
33 posts, read 189,357 times
Reputation: 36
Hi Everyone:

Yes, I do have eggs, and yes, I do know of the Sustainable living Center here in Walla Walla. A really nice place to visit with tons of info.

I've had a couple of brain surgeries in the last few years...the latest on Feb. 9 in Seattle. It's fine...head pain is down to 60-70%, so things are going better.

My husband and I are planning on buying 40 acres and building a passive/active solar house...earth-bermed and straw bale with solar panels on top to heat hot water and will also go through pipes in the floor to keep the floors warm (my feet are always cold). There will be a solarium where I will grow things you can't normally grow in our area like oranges, limes, kumquats, and lemons, and maybe some pomegranates (my very favorite October fruit).

Something else I'm going to be doing is planting trees on a portion of the property to bring wildlife as well as wildbirds and butterflies to the area. There will be a regular variety of maples, pines/firs, and elms, as well as a variety of nuts like English walnuts, hazelnut shrubs, hickory nuts so birds have things to eat and to provide shade for us. We'll be raising a good portion of our own hay for the animals and will split the hay with whomever helps us cut it. Since so many people in the Walla Walla Valley are raising things other than hay (like corn for the government subsidy), hay prices have gone up substantially, so we need to be able to grow our own now or soon.

I'll still have chickens, and will buy semen for my Icelandic ewes so that I can continue to raise some lambs. I'll also be continuing to free range my chickens, though it will be different because they'll be more protected from neighbors dogs and cats than they have been since I've lived here. I love the Aracauna chickens due to the fact that they have Easter eggs rather than just white or brown eggs, but I'll also have a few chickens who'll lay brown eggs like the Astralorps...they lay huge dark brown eggs, almost like chocolate Easter eggs. They sure do taste great compared to store eggs. And our mosquito population has definitely decreased a lot too.

So, to let you know that I'm doing fine and as to why you haven't heard from me in a while. This is why. Talk with you all later.

Jet
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Umatilla County, OR
3 posts, read 5,716 times
Reputation: 12
Default Still Looking for Aronia Growers in Pacific NW?

Hi,
AS Ontheroad stated "I am so impressed with your sustainability"!

Have you had any luck with your aronias. I am a few miles south and have had 2 Aronia melanocarpa (Viking) for about 5 years. They are VERY HARDY/LOW MAINTENANCE with pretty good production. I am now planning to expand.
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