Originally, I am from Norwood, MA a suburb just outside of Boston. I went to the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture and majored in Turfgrass Management. It's kind of ironic that now I am an "organic"(not yet certified) farmer. I know first hand why its important not to use chemicals and synthetic fertilizers on our soils. I have worked for the New England Patriots taking care of the game field and a couple of golf courses and each time it was eating up my conscience. I saw what was done with left over chemicals in tanks. I saw the beast that was being created by the use of insecticides for grubs (only killing 90% but that 10% created a strong insect resistance). I could go on and on but its organic farming that puts my conscience to rest. My wife, Caroline and I were previously organic farm managers in Sunol, CA and I truly believe farming is what we are supposed to be doing. I am following a dream. A shared vision with my wife of creating a place where we can build a family, community, live sustainably, grow a diversity of fresh and nutritious vegetables, produce healthy eggs, and raise great tasting meat for the local community. A place where the community can come and rest asure knowing that we have treated our animals with love and respect raised on organic pastures and organic feed. We encourage all that are interested in our farm to come by and meets us, see the farm, and share in our dream. Give us a call first or email to set up a visit, so, we will be sure to be there to greet you.
posted by Dan Swansey
I grew up in a small country town named Keerbergen on the Flemish side of Belgium. I had a difficult time leaving my life with horses and other animals behind when my family decided to move to California when I was 15 years old. We lived in the Bay Area while I finished high school before I left to college in Santa Barbara. I studied aquatic biology as an undergraduate but after taking a small scale agriculture class I realized my real passion was in plants and agriculture. This probably stems from my grandmother who had me weed and harvest her large garden and help with feeding and butchering the chickens during our weekly visit while growing up in Belgium. As a result I ended up double majoring in environmental studies which allowed me to take the plant ecology and agriculture classes. After my undergraduate degree I spent some time helping on an organic farm in Northern California before I moved back to Santa Barbara to work at the soils laboratory. I worked at the soils lab for 3 years and after showing a lot of interest and sitting in on some of the soils classes (given by my boss, the professor), my boss and advisor offered me to enter the master's program to study some of the soils I had been running multiple chemical analyses on. I wrote my master's thesis on the differences in the way phosphorus behaves in the soil in dry versus wet climates. For this study, I had a large number of soil samples taken from volcanic soils lying on a climate gradient in Hawaii. It turns out our soils here in Yacolt are also from volcanic basalt which makes me feel confident I know at least what phosphorus is doing in this soil :o). I had met my husband Dan during the beginning of my master's and from day one we shared a similar dream, one day we would be organic farmers. When I graduated with my master's I was looking for a job while spending some time helping at a local organic farm. They soon offered Dan and myself full time positions as farm managers and we worked for a year at this farm. We soon understood that we had a very particular vision of what we wanted our farm to be like and kept looking for opportunities to start our own farm where we could provide a diversity of organic food for a local community. With the help from my parents who believe in our dream and play a big part in our dream, we found this wonderful place in Yacolt, Wa where we now are to realize our dream.
Puma the cat
Moonie our Husky