After a career as a teacher, education researcher, and policy specialist, Raegen Miller is now developing a small Custer farmstead. His productive rural oasis is complete with a salmon bearing stream, garden, a flock of laying hens, and fiber sheep. He has his eye on a number of cottage food enterprises - keep your eye out for a limited run of his tomato jam. In addition to hosting a salmon viewing on his farm last fall, Raegen has worked with Whatcom CD for custom conservation planning, small farm grants for home improvement, and now our landowner spotlight program. Read on to learn more about Raegen and his farm planning experiences.
Q: How long have you lived here in Whatcom County?
A: Moved to Bellingham in 2015, and to the farm in 2016.
Q:What types of animals are you raising? Crops?
A: Icelandic sheep; chickens for eggs; wide assortment vegetables and fruits for our consumption.
Q: How did first learn about the Whatcom CD?
A: My brother, a professor of horticulture with OSU-Extension, made me aware of conservation districts. Creating a farm plan through WCD seemed to make abundant sense from the first moment.
Q: What aspects of the Farm Planning program were you most interested in?
A: Specific knowledge to help us apply sound general principles to our specific setting, tailored to our goals, is the key. Grants and subsidies to offset the costs of ramping up our farm plan was gravy.
Q: Were there aspects of Farm Plan or prescribed practices that were surprising for you?
A: No surprises, really. It's really about good hygiene and responsible stewardship of the land and salmon stream running through it. This can only help production, long-term.