We have always sought adventure.
Adventure and self-sufficiency are values that both of us, Sam and Andrea Roper, have always held close and they are values that we wanted to instill in our children. But these are values of actions, not words. So, as our life happily snuggled around our small children, our neighborhood life, and our newly remodeled home, we thirsted for a change. A risk. An adventure.
We had always had dreams of living off the land, and this was our chance. So in 2010 we bought an old dairy – over 100 years old – that needed some help. It was a wreck with seven charming falling-down buildings, a home with no heat, and fields that were so saturated and compacted that tractors feared them. But it also had a resident barn owl, a stunning view of Mt. Baker, and 27 acres of potential. It felt like a farm should. It felt like home.
So we spent that first summer living with our two boys, 2 and 4, in the barn while we rebuilt the house. By winter we were cold and we moved in, ready or not. That’s when the farming could begin.
That first year we bought our first sheep, built up our layer flock, repaired, uncovered, and discovered. The following year we opened for business with a CSA, lambs, eggs for sale, and a couple of free bull calves. Did I mention that our only experience with farming was our backyard garden and a quaint coop of layers?
Our first year was a success & we were hooked.
We have come a long way in our business, but it has been a lifestyle choice as much as anything. We work hard…every day…like it or not…even when we really don’t. We cope with the constant drama of life and death and natural forces that we can’t control. At middle age, we have learned a new way to live and to earn a living. It has been a true adventure for our family – complete with laughter, learning, tears, sore muscles, and lots of love.