Hello there, I’m Gina…
I live in the stunningly beautiful Skagit Valley on a little over 2 acres. My husband and I bought the place in 2012 and I became determined to turn a run down 90-year-old house and blackberry vine-laden property into a thriving homestead.
We built a glass greenhouse, recycled from our house when we upgraded the windows. The chickens had a small coop to call their own and a 3-sided shed was put up to give the horses shelter. A smaller shed with a floor was built to house my 2 rescue goats. We designated a large area for a vegetable garden and a small, mixed fruit orchard. The chickens had the run of the front yard and eliminated the ant infestation the first year they were here. I was a novice gardener and knew little about fruit trees so there was a lot of learning taking place. After a couple years, I felt we had a good start.
Fast forward to 2015, I was online asking a goat group if anyone could identify what kind of goats I had, and someone suggested a woman who could help me. As it turned out, she ran a large goat herd a little over a mile from my house and she stopped by to look. Her name was Carol of Akyla Farms, and we immediately hit it off (I am proud to call her my best friend, now). One thing friends do is introduce each other to new things. I had owned a goat in the past (Elmer, who lived at the barn where I worked and one day came home with me), and I had two rescue goats when I met Carol, but I can honestly say, she truly introduced me to goats. Now, because of her (and thanks to her) I have five goats, some with babies on the way and a young buckling as the new herd sire.
Here we are, 9 years after we started and the house has finally been completely remodeled, the property has been cleared and fenced and a bunch of outbuildings have been added, thanks to my hard working, long suffering significant other (I swore I only wanted six chickens). We have a larger garden and the fruit trees are producing apples, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, figs, and quince. A second greenhouse was added to the garden specifically for my husband’s tomatoes. The chickens now number around 30 and layer ducks are due in April. Three bossy geese run things in the orchard and I have a herd dog who long ago decided to live by the mantra, “If you can’t beat them, join them”. In other words, my goats will not be herded. And herding cats and chickens gets old when all they do is scatter in all directions.
I have learned to make goat cheese and goat’s milk soap, I can or freeze the produce from our garden, bake sourdough bread, and make endless gallons of chicken stock. My goals are to produce most of my family’s food, to raise chickens and ducks for meat and eggs, to raise geese and, of course, goats. We are also hoping to add pigs this year for meat and to help the goats with brush control. I thank God every day for the opportunity to care for this little piece of heaven on Earth!
Welcome to my farm!