We are Chris and Heather Forthofer
Chris works in the aerospace industry and I (Heather) quit my job as a Nurse in 2018 to farm full time. Neither of us had any previous experience, or family history in farming, but here we are!
Chris wanted chickens as soon as we moved into our last house, however, I was dead set against it! After all, who has time for all of that extra responsibility???
I finally caved in, over the summer of 2013, and told him we could have 3 hens and a rooster. Little did I know at the time, but chickens are like the gateway drug to farming! Before the week was up, our little flock of 4 had already increased to 6.
In 2014 we had well over 20 chickens and added in 9 turkeys.
By 2015 we had 50+ chickens, 16 turkeys and somehow 2 pigs got added to the farm!
2016 brought us 40+ chickens, almost 30 turkeys, 2 miniature donkeys, 8 pigs, and our first farrowing .
We started 2017 at the same crazy pace! We had 4 gilts farrow, added a few chickens, ducks and turkeys, joined the North Cascade Meat Producers Cooperative, and learned a lot of hard, but valuable, lessons about life and death on the farm.
Just when we thought it couldn't get any crazier, 2018 took us on a wild adventure. We purchased a 25 acre farm and almost overnight our resident pig polulation went from 30 to 75. We also added some Highland Cows, just to keep us on our toes. Our farm had so many huge milestones and we couldn't be happier.
2019 is just starting, but its already proving to carry on at the same pace. We are in the process of building a new home, a barn and a shop on our property. We also hope to fence in an additional 6 acres for the pigs and cows. Vegetable gardens, orchards and greenhouses are also on our list this year, along with the possibility of a public pumpkin patch and a catering business on the horizon.
We have grown to love each and every one of the animals here on our little farm. They all have a name and a personality all their own. It is so very important to us that our animals are loved and respected. It really is bittersweet to love our animals so much, and then to feel the profound loss when they move on to the next step in this great circle of life. We shed tears for every one of them, and we miss them when they are gone.
All of our animals are raised humanely, with love and respect. They are honored for the sacrifice they make. We do our best to raise them as nature intended, and to give them the best life we possibly can. They never have to leave our farm. They are with us from birth until death, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Their "one bad day" happens here, with their favorite snack and lots of belly rubs (and tears from me).
We are so excited to see what the future has in store for us. It seems that our little farm is growing in leaps and bounds, and has a momentum all of it's own. I just hope we can keep up!