OUR BEGINNINGS WERE HUMBLE Looking across our place today there is a variety of livestock species, an old orchard, raspberry vines, seeded asparagus, flocks of poultry everywhere, an Anatolian livestock dog sprawled across a porch, and a cat prowling a barn. The sheep graze in the back pasture and the garden is covered in a thin layer of frost this morning.
I grew up at the edge of cattle country. Backed by a cattle ranch, we raised a few pigs and a steer every year to provide meat for our family. I spent more time on horseback than a bicycle, visited more cattle ranches than malls. Which is a lot different than where we are today. We back up to thousands of acres of BLM and monument lands, and raise livestock alongside raising our family.
We both grew up in parts of California but didn't find ourselves together until we ended up in a tiny town in Oregon. We both dreamed of farming and sustaining ourselves from the land. We made those dreams a reality when we got together and bought a farm in a rural mountain community surrounded by wilderness and Oregon beauty.
Nestled alongside the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument is Crack O' Dawn Farm. We are 36 acres of silvopasture, seasonal creeks, and natural grasses. We work to repair soils, rotate pastures to keep animals on fresh grass as long as possible until the snows, and work on forest remediation. Composting is key here, as we work to create a small seasonal garden, and maintain an old apple orchard. This land all used to be a homestead back in the 40's, and the cattle areas were all cleared, the original house was taken down, but a few barns and sheds survive from the original occupants. We apply regenerative farming principles to restore top soil, replant trees, increase plant biodiversity, recycling our own farm wastes, and bring back the vitality of our farm land. We do no use any chemicals or pesticides and work on removing invasive plant species.
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