Our goal is to live out sustainable farming practices by treating the land as generational art. We do our best to consider the generational impact of our practices before we till the soil, choose our plant seed, and birth or buy livestock. We grow our hay and pasture without chemical pesticides and herbicides. In turn, our cattle and goats eat only what is grown at the farm. Our land is managed by rotating animals from one pasture to the next, which helps balance pests and weeds while enhancing natural beneficial insects and plants. Holding future generations in mind, we do our best to engage sustainable practices which will leave the land at least as good as we found it. Our goal is to use caring farm practices and treat the landscape as natural art. We might not get the justice right every time, but we’re working on it.
Located in the Toppenish Creek Valley, JustLivng farm is a 70-acre farm of mostly tillable ground with irrigation coming from snow run-off from the Cascade Range to our west. We provide folk with natural grass-fed beef, grass and alfalfa hay, and visitation opportunities. We also raise a few goats and chickens. We do this with the help of two cats, our dog Sage, family, neighbors and visitors.
Work at JustLiving farm is based in Artfull Land Care. Which is to say we pay attention to sustainable practices that best enhance the living conditions of the farms soil, water, plants, and animals. We manage the farm holistically while paying close attention to three sectors: crops, animals, and range. We have 20-acres in rotational pasture, 5-acres of alfalfa, and 20- acres of rotational crops. The remainder is rangeland with roughly 3-acres set aside for home, shop, and barn. Our rangeland is not land at rest but rather dynamic natural habitat for quail, pheasants, rabbits, voles, and coyotes—many who are displaced by our farming practices. Allowing natural rangeland to surround our farmable land allow our landscapes natural predators—hawks and coyotes—eat wild food for supper rather than our domestic animals. Such farming practices have led to minimal livestock loss due to predation.
Conversation at JustLiving Farm builds out of Landscape Theology. And the base of that is the tie between the landscape and the theology of people in conversation. Such conversation means the theology of whomever show up guides our conversations. At the farm, this means the theology of conversation is as broad as people imagine the mystery of creation: e.g., Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Agnosticism, Hinduism. Judaism. In other words, our conversations of creation justice at the farm are not defined, but rather grow out of each person’s exploration of the unknown. Most of all, these conversations are to be enjoyable, fun, imaginative, and exploring.
Also, we strive to care for our community by volunteering when and where we can. We also recognize we a lucky and privileged to live the life we do. So, each year we donate farm resources.
We raise our livestock using natural and rotational pasture standards. Our feeding standards are simple, animals eat grasses during the spring, summer, and fall, and farm-grown grass and alfalfa hay during the winter. Livestock have access to clean, fresh water and are allowed to roam and feed in open fields. We do not supplement our animals with growth-hormones. However, the health and wellbeing of our livestock is our highest priority—just as it is for our family and neighbors; therefore, they receive mineral supplementation, veterinarian care, and anti-parasitic drugs and vaccinations to protect their health when needed.
What We Think—From time to time
If you are interested in how we filter landscape care through the lenses of justice, creation, socially, politically, spiritually, visit our blog.
Ridge Valley Reflections