Shilofarm is a small operation that uses the fruit of the farm to sustain the farm and the farmer. It is built around what is here; a mosaic of good soils and poor soils, forest and hayfields, cows, horses, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and some Peach production.
The present stewards, Doug and Deb Boyce, have been living at Shilofarm since 2001. For 14 years the farm was built in time-available while life and an intense job consumed energy. Much was accomplished during that time. In the fall of 2013 the intense job was retired from, and the pursuit of the farm sustaining itself became the key imperative.
For the next 6 years Matt Boyce worked with Doug and Deb to put the CSA into production, and to set up the Peach covered orchard. In 2020, Matt moved on to an off-farm job, and Doug and Deb took over the whole program. The CSA is the primary engagement with members drawn from the Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater areas. The CSA members also tend to be the purchasers of Peaches and Beef.
2021 is an important year for the farm. The CSA will be ‘reaping’ the benefit of investments and learning experiences, and will likely be requiring hiring part time help during the main season (June to mid-October). Hay production should also be good, Peaches will be at or near their expected capacity and the COVID might possibly by reduced enough to permit farm gatherings.
We are grateful for the opportunity to be here. Wendell Berry, the ‘farmer poet’ wrote this: “Good farmers, who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land’s inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows. These farmers produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, they conserve scenery.”