By Jenna Dern
Exciting News! It’s spring and we’ve now got local succulent lamb from One Straw Ranch!
One Straw Ranch is shepherded by Martin and Charlotte Frederickson on rich, diverse, thoughtfully managed lands on Marrowstone Island and in Chimacum. Its name is inspired and influenced by The One Straw Revolution, a book by farmer Masanobu Fukuoka. The farm and its farmers reflect the philosophy and practices involved in supporting agriculture and respecting the natural systems of the earth and spirit. Charlotte and Martin raise a myriad of animals: Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Quails, Chickens, and Turkeys; each heritage breeds with their own unique role and purpose on the farm.
At One Straw Ranch all the animals are raised with dual purposes in mind in order to create conditions for all life to thrive. Their lambs, raised for meat and fiber production, are Romney–Texel crosses fed a 100% grass-fed diet, grown without the use of added hormones or antibiotics. Their breeding program brings together the long wool of the Romney with the remarkable muscle development and leanness of the Texel. These sheep, with their heritage originating from England and the Netherlands respectively, are readily adapted to the misty marshy climates of Marrowstone Island.
Charlotte and Martin both come from generations of ecological farmers right here in Port Townsend and the valleys where agriculture and food played significant roles in their lives. Charlotte, who’s always been an animal-oriented person, enjoys the vitality and process of new life birthing and hatching on the farm. In a similar fashion, Martin’s passion is for the inherent surprises farming brings to life. Besides the challenge of planning for the continually changing seasons, there are always daily challenges such as when an animal decides the grass is greener on the other side… and jumps over to it!
When asked “What is your sense of agriculture in the local community?”, both quickly respond that the production of good quality food plays a significant role. Small scale agriculture is a means to develop and support all the different (non-farm) communities on the Peninsula and that’s how roots grow. As we work in partnership to invest in land, sea and soil fertility, Martin and Charlotte take inspiration from their aspirational mentor, Joel Salatin. “A farm includes the passion of the farmer’s heart, the interest of the farm’s customers, the biological activity in the soil, the pleasantness of the air about the farm… A farm is virtually a living organism”.
An organism where one straw could make all the difference.
The One Straw Revolution- Masanobu Fukuoka
You Can Farm & Everything I Want to Do is Illegal – Joel Salatin
Stockman Grass Farmer – www.stockmangrassfarmer.com