New Years Day, 2022
The Neverstill Chapters
About three years ago we began casually searching for and discussing the possibility of a new farm property.
This may seem a little odd given that our Vashon Island farm location is a magnificent holding with stunning panoramic views of city, sound and mountains. It is extremely convenient to Seattle where we sell our farm products, with a quaint, fifteen minute ferry ride across Puget Sound as our commute. It is hard to beat as an idyllic setting for a small family farm. And yet we found ourselves increasingly pinched into a small piece of land that was not quite adequate to sustain our expanding herds of livestock. (Not to mention an increasingly cramped farmhouse for our growing family). Because pasture-based agriculture is the fundamental core of our belief system, this reality gnawed at us. We searched Vashon Island in vain for appropriately sized farmland. We even began considering other islands in the region only to find similar constraints on size and affordability.
Rose and I have most of our family located in southwest Washington and northwest Oregon, and so we naturally turned our attention to this region. Our goal was to find a farm property with appropriate infrastructure and at least one hundred acres of land. Throughout the autumn and winter of 2020, we visited several farm properties in southwest Washington that met our general criteria and budget, yet none of them struck a chord in our hearts. Our beautiful Vashon farm held a high bar in our search for the ideal setting and pastoral perfection.
On the first Tuesday of January, 2021, Rose called to tell me of a property she had discovered online. She excitedly described the sprawling 132 acre spread complete with a classic 5 bedroom farmhouse and a large timber-framed barn, nestled into a pastoral river valley. It was located a short drive from Longview, Washington in the coastal mountains of Northwest Oregon. Initially, I dismissed this possibility as being too far from our customer base in Seattle and besides, it was in the wrong state! Then I looked at the photos. I was immediately smitten.
And so it was that Rose and I bundled Roman and Madrona into their carseats in the early darkness the following morning and drove to Neverstill for the first time.