Tag Archives: small scale farming

What is a CSA, and who is Adalyn Farm?

First, we are Adalyn Farm.  Adam and Joscelyn Stevens (along with our daughters and extended family).  We are a small farm (5 acres) in Stanwood Washington.  The calling on our hearts is to care for our planet, locally and through community.  There is more about that, and our story here.  And here are a couple videos from last year on the farm….

So there you go, that’s us.

So what is a CSA?  Well, here’s another video!  It’s way better than me trying to explain it.

And that’s what we are doing this year!  Here’s a link to the Flickr gallery of all 25 weeks last year.  Last year was a pilot year with Adam still working full time off farm, and we expect the shares to be even more bountiful this year as we plan on transitioning to full time farming!  We are offering on farm pick up and delivery.  You can get Hayton Farms fruit with your share this year, and Deanna is doing flowers if you want local beauty on your table all summer long!


Things not yet seen.


Oregano. We trimmed this several weeks ago for our CSA, and today I was thinking about how it’s grown back stronger and better since we trimmed it. Although at the time it looked rough.  We feel the same way right now, rough.

Hebrews 11:1 talks about faith in things not yet seen. While that perspective fits with farming on any given day, it is especially true for us right now. We are at the point on our transition to farming, that we need to step out in faith, towards our goal. Right now, that means opening the order forms to start accepting deposits and orders for 2016. It also means making the go/no go decision on a winter CSA/Farm Share. We think our community would like access to local fresh vegetables through the winter, but we can’t be sure. We are also not sure that enough folks would find out in time to put us at the threshold to go for it.  The winter CSA/Farm Share decision is also complected by my full time job. If we offered it, I would need almost all of the daylight hours to get the planting done in August and September, to be able to have the veggies grown for the winter. I have a very understanding boss, but I’m not going to ask him to pay me while I do a bunch of fall planting.

Having faith doesn’t mean making poor decisions though, and there are just a few more details to work out, before we open the store.

If you want to support us, please keep your eyes on our social media. We also will be doing some kind of capital campaign. We have some problems that we need to address before we go full scale.  We are a resourceful people, the Apollo 13 astronauts were able to fix their doomed craft with tape, socks, the cover to the flight plan, some parts from flight suits, a bungie cord and some lithium hydroxide canisters. We are no less resourceful, and although not a space ship, a covered wash station would be really nice.  We have also had folks who are not close enough to be customers ask how they could support us, and be part of the farm.  We want to serve our community, but in truth, the community we are part of stretches from Stanwood to Puyallup, to California, Mexico and New York.  So stay tuned!  If you have questions, please feel free to get in touch!  Farmers(at)adalynfarm.com

Time to mow.




Have gas, will mow.image


It’s a little daunting, but it needs to be done.  Although we run chicken tractors, rotationally grazed dairy goats and children on the farm, there are some areas where a tight close urban style cutting is required.  Specifically to keep pests out.  Weed and rodent.  Around the house (especially in the fall) we cut the grass close, to create a bit of moat to keep the rats at bay.  Around the garden, we mow during the summer, to reduce wind blown seed, and to discourage rabbits and voles from hiding in the tall grass to wonder in and much on the tubers, greens and young plants…  Works like a charm.  When it gets done.  When it doesn’t, we have trouble.  Last year, we lost 80% of our bean crop, and 75% of our potatoes to voles.  This year, I have gas, a non bagging mower and will power.  Now I just need the time….

Own your own dairy goat herd!!! *Update*

*The good news is all of the girls are sold (pending pickup in a couple of cases), the other good news is that we will have more to sell next year!!! We do still have a Hopps the buck, and one of the weathers avalable*

It’s never easy to say good by, but if we don’t we are going to end up being eaten off our land.  We are excited to see these girls go to good homes, and hope to hear back on how well they milk for you!  I’m no Dairy Goat judge, so I’m not going to wax poetic about their lines or dairy character (too much) come out and see them for yourself!!  All our goats are bottle raised, disbudded, and given CDT and booster.  Other than that, they are fed organic feed and hay, and we only medicate if they are sick, or show an intolerable parasite level in their fecal samples.

We have a one year old Buck for sale, “Adalyn Farm’s Hopps”.  He’s a sweet fella, but not one we can use for breeding (because of his relationship to our other girls).  He’s been on pasture, and is probably a bit on the “well fed” side of life.  He is registered, Sire is here, Dam is here.  We are asking $250.

** Picture to follow **

Next we have Yonkers (we call her Ruth) info here.  She wasn’t in shape to freshen for us this fall, but she is ready now, and should do well for you!  We purchased her in a group from a goat dairy herd on one of the San Juan Islands, she is unbelievably friendly, and eats anything!  Asking $125. SOLD PENDING PICKUP


Goldie aka Goldielocks or “The Tank” has a great personality, her info is here.  She was a first freshener for us, and has been giving a steady 4# per day.  She threw a beautiful doeling, and came from the same great Whidbey Island goat dairy.  You need to be careful, if she likes you, she’ll climb in the car before you leave.  Asking $175 in milk. SOLD PENDING PICKUP


“Adalyn Farm’s Orchid” is one of our babies from this year.  She is out of “Marbles” one of our best behaved milkers.  She is a sweetheart, and had beautiful lines.  $175 or $200 registered.  SOLD PENDING PICKUP AFTER WEANING


We also have several weathers for sale.  We are careful with them, as we don’t want someone to buy them to steak out on brush (we call goats staked out meat on a rope, because they have no protection from predators).  We would rather they be sold for meat than end up neglected in a back pasture for the 10-15 years that they can live.  It can be helpful to have a weather in a heard of does, as they will often let you know when one of the does is in season, or for folks who only want one or two milk does, they can be a good friend and heard mate for the doe.  On the concept of meat, if you are interested, we require that you use Del Fox to  butcher the goat.  That way we know they have had a fun, relaxed life, right up till the last second.  And Del Fox does a great job on farm butchering (they do all our pigs and beef).

Want to know more?  Shoot us an e-mail farmers (at) adalynfarm.com or give us a call on the farm phone 36zero 474 742Seven.


Success so far. …


Farming, really growing anything, even kids, is a gamble.  Ask any farmer, gardener, or parent.  I’ve had two perennial areas of frustration for me.  One is tomatoes.  We plow through loads of ketchup, tomato sauce and salsa.  We use LOTS of tomatoes.  Ripening them has been a bad bet (at best) for years for me.  Two years ago, we built a hoop house, and this year finally, I’m getting ripe tomatoes before they all freeze solid.  To say I was excited was an understatement.  I was showing people the picture like I had a new baby…  Pathetic. 🙂





The other product has been cherries.  I planted 5 trees back in 2007, two died (I’m not nor have I ever pretended to be a orchardist), and any time there has been a hope, when I go out to pick, I’m greeted with bird poo in the trees, and no cherries.  This year, it looks like not only will we get a bunch of Rainiers but also Sweethearts.  I’m stoked.  We got about 3# off the Rainier tree and the Sweethearts look like they are ready to go now.

imageHope your garden is full of success this year!!



Ice Camp.

That was fast.  I’m not saying easy, just fast.  This last Tuesday as we were moving the meat chickens out on pasture, we sang ‘happy birthday to you’.  They were 8 weeks old.  Thanks to a number of different factors, they will get an extra 3 days.  Then it’s Ice Camp.  The folks who bought in on this will be on hand to lend a hand, and to take their birds home when we are done.  We have 88 birds to do, and we plan on getting an early start, I’m hoping we are cleaning up before lunch.  Oh, how far they have come.

The pens have made the turn, and are headed back to the processing area.


And here they are at just a little over 7 weeks.



Food. (what goes in, comes out, and gets eaten)

Food.  It’s what builds everything.  Plants, animals, fungi, even those little things swimming in the bottom of puddles we can’t see without a microscope. Like one of our favorite suppliers says, ‘you are what you eat’, and for us that extends to our animals. As a family, we have made some big changes to allow us to eat about 90% organically. There are a few treats, a tiny bit of dining out, and one or two quick meals that we are loath to give up, but in truth, 7 days a week we are scratch cooking out meals. Our meals come mostly from either our farm, or another in the area. It occurred to us several years ago that spending money on organic food, but feeding conventionally grown feed to the animals that make things we eat (milk, meat and eggs) was silly. Then we got to thinking about the few animals we don’t eat (pet bunnies, llama….) but who’s poop amends our garden, that grows food we eat… There is a point where this gets a bit crazy, as for us animal health trumps our desire to live ‘chemical free’. We will administer antibiotics to sick animals. Just like we do to ourselves and our kids. Cause we love them all.

So, on this vein, we have tried lots of different feeds in our animals. Our chickens get organic pellets, and scratch grain. Our other poultry also gets similar treatment. Last year our goats were a bit of a challenge. We had access to pelleted organic goat feed for a while, but then it’s availability became iffy. We ended up getting organic grain from a mill up in Burlington, which was cool, only that the milk goat was not fond of it. In fact, she didn’t like it. We tried mixing some watered down molasses, and that worked for a time, but in the end the go-to amendment for her feed was alfalfa pellets. We ended up getting Standlee alfalfa pellets (similar to alfalfa hay, but easier for us to handle), which are non-GMO (big plus) but were not certified organic. And that’s about the only rub with it. This year we picked up a bag of the alfalfa pellets just in case we ran into picky girls (we have three in milk this year, not just the one). We also were able to get reliable organic goat pellets. One of the girls isn’t a fan, but with a couple handfuls of the alfalfa she will suck it down (if their beet pulp was organic, we’d give that a shot, it would probably work better too). In fact, her milk production went up by about 10% when she started getting the pellets, so we added them to our older girls ration (we have to watch her as she puts all she has into her milk). We are happy with the results, but again, not knowing all that goes into it, once we don’t need the milk for the baby goats, we may drop it from their ration and take the cut in milk production that will follow. We also started adding a small handful of BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds) to each goats ration, and they act like we tossed candy on their plate, but it’s also non-GMO but not organic…. We’ll see how this all works out.


Handful of food/milk/meat


Meat birds on the farm.

We’ve been wanting to do this for years.  Really since we moved to the farm.  Finally this spring we took the plunge.  As this is our first time at this particular rodeo, we offered a limited number of meat birds to a very short (and we know forgiving) group of people.  Buy in, we raise, butcher and track costs like some one way thriftier than we are normally.  So far so good.  The kids refer to the birds in the singular “meat”, and although a bit cold, they aren’t trying to name each different one.  We have some egg chickens for that.  And they are learning what it means to respect your food (although in some sick ways, they do get to play with their food….  I’m cringing inside.  Really.)

image  image

image  image

Out to pasture, and moved to fresh grass every day.  It’s funny that it bothers me that I still have a hard time leaving a ‘Mohawk’ of untouched grass between the path of the two pens.  I used to catch it when I did that back home mowing the lawn.  It took them about three days to realize the place to be was at the leading edge, that’s where all the bugs were.  It’s cool to see them really forage for a portion of their feed.

And they are eaters, although now that they are on grass, they aren’t as voracious.  Feeding time was getting to be a bit like feeding a shark tank.

Here’s what they were like a few days before they went out on pasture.


Getting Ready!

We went to one of those cool events that just sort of ‘comes together’ in the winter.  A seed exchange.  This year was a trial run, and we are hoping to grow (no pun intended) it every year.

It was a wonderful time with some good friends, sharing local gardening knowledge, coffee, seeds, and stories.


Flashy Troutback seed.

Anyone else starting to think about their garden yet?


Magic Winter…

My DSLR died several weeks ago, and I’ve fallen onto the cell phone camera for much of my quick, in the moment, and documentary image capture. I shared this on my facebook wall a little over a week ago, and wanted to share it here as well.

Our property is wet (long pause for impact), very wet. This makes some for some wicked mud if we don’t manage the pastures and animals well, but it also makes for an extended, almost magical time in the mornings. Fog and steam rise off the land from dawn till well into the morning, and I often find myself, staring at some beautiful scenery. It’s the kind of moment that my daughters might call ‘fairy time’ (thanks Disney), and I can imagine other worldly beings flitting about too. It is truly beautiful, and makes the wet socks, and cold fingers melt away in wonder, at the beautiful world we are stumbling through.