Well after 2 full years on The Shyre we had our most exciting Spring yet.
Our dairy goats (Dwarf Nigerians) had kids in late January, February and early March. 3 Does had 10 kids. 3 are does that we will keep here on The Shyre. We now have 5 does. We really enjoy our fresh raw goat milk. In fact the milk feeds not only the farmers but the pigs and puppies as well. See goat milk is the only universal milk, it can be feed to any other animal even a bunny or squirrel. This has obvious benefits. When we have an animal that needs extra milk or protein be it a goat kid or a turkey hatching, we can feed it goat milk. We fattened our yearlings (year old pigs) with it when our farm had little else as extra. (February and March). A ruminates ability to turn grass into protein is “Awesome” and a foundation of the homesteads / American agrarian past alike. Also raw milk has probiotics and healthy enzymes that are killed in pasteurization of conventional milk.
We also had 12 piglets born by 2 sows.
Having never farrowed any sows Roni and I learned fast. The sows did great, they co-raised the 12 piglets. These American Guinea Hog piglets will all be sold once they reach weaner age.
After keeping these sows and 3 other yearlings for about a year it is time for them to move to another farm. We used them systemically to plow pasture into gardens for growing some annuals. We are still focused on pasture productivity but wanted some additional gardens for annuals. Now their work is done we will need to find them a suitable new home.
Additionally, our Dakota had a litter of 10 puppies.
She is a second time mom who did great during her 12 hours of labour, 9pm to 9am that was along night. Roni and I have never helped a bitch whelp before so again we learned many things and fast. The puppies have been a delight and a royal pain all at once. We breed Dakota because Avalanche is so terrific. She and Aves are both 50/50 Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd. These are both Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD) which have been breed of centuries to guard livestock. A good LGD is invaluable to a farm or homestead.
Our ewe Suri with lamb in the next few weeks (we hope). We have a turkey hen setting on a nest of 14 eggs. We also have pheasant and chicken eggs incubating. Busy time on the Shyre.
After a long Winter with few eggs are ladies are back! We have many dozens in the fridge, drop by the farm stand.
We feed our hens organic feed and they are pasture raised. $7 a dozen
Our farm stand is open daily during daylight hours. Exact change only please, sorry.
Our feed “Scratch and Peck” is sourced within our bio-region “Cascadia” this is important to us a local food advocates.
Late last summer our turkey hens all disappeared together 28 days later they came out with chicks in tow. These unplanned turkeys would not be ready for Thanksgiving, thus we are offering an Easter Harvest of our heritage breed and raised local turkeys.
Easter Turkey? Yea!
Special Easter Harvest very limited quantity. Whole & fresh, pasture raised, non-certified Organic Turkey. Our birds retail for $10.00 a pound ($80-$140). We are currently taking deposits on turkeys 8 to 14 pounders. Our next harvest is days before Easter 2016. * This is a deposit.*
These Easter Turkeys will be harvested March 24th and 25th to be picked up Friday (3/25) or Saturday (3/36). These will sell out fast, don’t miss out!
As Edg3 FUND (a small business award) finalist this high production video was produced on our behalf. Our experience with Edg3 FUND was rewarding, exciting & disappointing. No regrets just a deeper commitment to our farm. Thanks Kitsap Bank.
The Smithshyre is changing the way we raise chickens this year, 2016. We are only going to grow chickens for those who pre-ordered them. We will have 2 harvest, not 5 as usual. A Spring and Fall harvest. Believe it or not it is time to order our chicks for 2016.
We are going to collect $10 deposits for our pasture raised chickens, in 2016.
We are streamlining our chicken production so we can grow more produce. We hope you all will find this system just as convenient as our old harvest system. Check out all the details on our pastured poultry page.
The “Carlson Barn” on the “Old Foss Farm” @ “The Smithshyre” is officially listed by Washington State’s Department of Architecture and Historic Preservation as a Heritage Barn.
What does this mean for the barn, it has protected status. We are now eligible to apply for a grant to preserve the barn. We are very excited about this designation. Someday we hope to offer a multi-course farm to table dinner in our registered heritage barn.
Update as of November 19th, we are no longer taking deposits
Whole, fresh, pasture raised, non-certified Organic Turkey.
We are no longer taking deposits, sorry. Our birds retail for $10.00 a pound. We currently (as of October 12th) are taking deposits on small turkeys 8 to 12 pounds ($80-$120). Our larger birds (12 to 18) are spoken for, sorry. Our next harvest is days before Thanksgiving 2015. Only about 10 birds left, don’t miss out on this seasonal traditional harvest. We breed these turkeys right here on the Shyre. They are loving raised for 30 weeks on fresh pasture.
We at The Smithshyre love the history we were blessed to buy into. We have applied to have our 1930’s barn register as a Heritage Barn. If we make the listing we will be eligible for a grant to preserve the barn. Here is part of the application.
The Carlson’s and later the Foss’ made important contributions to Kitsap Counties early settlement and agricultural heritage.
It was 1882, Frank Carlson of Sweden came to the New World for a better life. Once in the Seattle area, he found friends from the old world “The Johnson’s”; Andrew, Oscar and Clara. In 1883, Frank and Clara were married and started a 160 acre homestead. They planted many fruit trees which still bear substantial fruit today. Frank and his brother Alfred cleared land and built a one room cabin right away. They then started work on a proper home. It was a log hewn building 2 stories with 2 large rooms. They had 5 children by 1903.
In the 1930’s the dairy barn was built. It had 10 milking stanchions. Most of the barn seemed to be dedicated to a hay shed. The hay grapple fork, hood and rail system are still in place. The hay shed floor is made of large logs split and placed unevenly as if to promote ventilation via the floor. The dairy half has a floor of large milled 12 x 4s. When we took possession in 2013 there were several vintage milking stools still in the barn. By 1940 the Carlson’s had all moved on and the farm was rented out for $25 a month.
In 1915 Victor Foss married Hilma Sundberg, as a wedding present her grandfather bought them 40 acres from a lumber company near Poulsbo. They had 5 children by 1925, Russell was the second born, it was 1918. Victor became the communities favorite butcher and Russell helped his father often. They offered house call butchering.
Annie Jensen and Russell Foss got married in 1940 and moved into the “Old Carlson house” that was now empty. The place was in bad shape but rent was only $25. They fixed it up and by 1947 they had 4 children of their own. They were able to buy the house, barn and orchards with 40 acres from Mrs. Clara Carlson for $1,800 in 1942. Russell was exempted from the draft because their butchering service was so important to the community.
After the war in 1948 Foss and sons built a large slaughterhouse, “Foss Packing”. The business had an excellent reputation. By 1953 the county road on which the packing house was situated was formally named Foss Rd. N.E. The Foss’ ran cattle on their 40 acres and offered beef finishing services as well. The whole family worked at the packing house and it was a going concern until the late 1970’s. In the 1990’s the packing house became the Thomas Kemper Brewery, which is closed.
The “Old Carlson house” is a pile of weathered wood and other homesteading implements. Some 20 fruit trees still bear fruit and we love to share their story with guest and visitors. Roni and I bought 5 acres, the “Old Foss Farm” as locals call it, in December of 2013 from Nancy Foss (Russell and Annie Foss first born) to help pay for her assisted living.
Two Foss sons and their children remain on Foss land, each on five acres. Gordy Foss leases to us five adjacent acres. They all appreciated what we have done. We have returned vivacity and a fresh agricultural hue to the old farm. We have a pastured poultry business and a large market garden, we call it, “The Smithshyre”. We also keep Dwarf Nigerian dairy goats, American Guinea hogs, Narragansett turkeys and Finnish sheep. The Carlson’s and later the Foss’ made important contributions to Kitsap Counties early settlement and agricultural heritage. We are proud to continue this history.
Dear friends of the Shyre – you have done it!
We are finalist in the Kitsap Bank’s edg3 FUND! The next step will be a presentation event on Thursday, November 12th at The Kitsap Conference Center at Harborside, 100 Washington Avenue, Bremerton, WA.
Networking starts at 5:30. Presentations start at 6:15 with the winner announced at 8:15!
We’d love to have you there to cheer us on! And we know you’ll be cheering for us at home if you can’t make it.
Tickets are $10 and include Heavy Hors d’oeuvres and two drinks provided. http://edg3fund2015.brownpapertickets.com/
Business Attire requested.
We are incredibly excited! Now, time to get going on the presentation.
We love you all!!
This is it folks last chicken harvest for 2015. This is your last chance to get some premium pastured raised birds FRESH.
When: October 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Noon til 6pm
Where: The Smithshyre
Why: Last chance for premium fresh whole chicken