Saturday, January 13, 2018


Well, as you can maybe surmise by my previous posts is the pig project mostly failed. but not for trying.
After spending time reflecting on just went wrong I have distilled it down to 3 conditions

1. Expensive feed: I was not able to procure enough cheap feed like many other pork producers do.

2. Got in to Pig Breeding/ Rasing instead of starting slow and just rasing feeders.

3. Transportation. After the Truck broke down, I was spending so much money on feed that I could never get enough money to get the truck fixed... Everything spiraled down from there.

On the upside, the pigs did a fabioulous job of clearing the land so there's that.

I have now decided to get started (slowly) into the garden market business.
I just started learning the strategies from Curtis Stone, you can find out more about Curtis on
I am currently taking his online course and hope to replicate what he has done but on a smaller scale
his plan is based on a 1/4 acre..... more to come

Monday, February 13, 2017

Herd Reduction

Due to Health Problems I must Reduce my Herd size to a more manageable number.




Curley Joe 2-9 (intact Male) was born on March 17th 2014
He Sired 4 litters last year He is already proven and can
be registered, great for someone who wants to
continue breeding Registered Stock
ASKING $ 700.00
Reduced to $ 500.00

Spot- (intact Male)

Spot was born July 17 2015, Spot is very Friendly he
will come up to me in the field just to get a
scratch behind the ears, He would make a great herd
sire for someone who wants to X-breed possibly
with a Herford, GOS, Large Black would be
my suggestions
ASKING 200.00

 Unnamed intact male
 ASKING $ 200.00

Un named  INTACT male
no picture yet, coming soon
Litter mate of Spot,

Guinerevere , one of our orginal herd sows
she is Regestered with Tamworth Assn.
ASKING $ 200.00

Savanna, the other original  herd sows,
she is a older sow but in the right conditions
could produce you a couple litters
ASKING $ 200.00
Lucy, Curley Joe's Sister, she had one litter of 11
last year in June
 ASKING 350.00

Ruby, Curley Joe's and Lucy's Sister and litter
mate, She Farrowed 13 Last year, a excellent mother
will produce many litters for you, keep her for
several litters and still sell her for the same as
you Paid  ASKING $ 400.00

This is Pickeles and Grapes, I sold them last August to a local farm
They are from Lucy and Sampson they will be butcherd next week
we will see what the weigh out to be... Just a example of what
you will get from Lucy

Born in July 2015 Probably is
2-9  Asking $ 250.00

Unnamed Female, Dark Red born July 2015
2-9  Asking $ 250.00

Friday, November 27, 2015

More of My Family's Farming History part 3, Paul S and Edna Bean

In my Last Post, I spoke of my Great Grand Father Charles Bean, in this post I will tell you about my Grandfather Paul S. Bean Sr.

Paul was born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA on Nov. 13, 1889.
Paul S Bean in Cotati, Ca

Paul was born on Nov 13 1989, in 1901 Paul Moved with his family from Ohoma, NE. Paul took to Farming quite naturally and like most farming families started at a young age.

Paul went to school and helped on the farm until he was 15, he then quit school and helped his family run the farm, as they were tenant farmers they had rented farm land in several locations in Sonoma county, so often times, Paul would "camp" at the "other" farm and take care of the livestock there.

In 1915 he married Edna Simmons, together, they had eight children, My father, Wallace, was the next to youngest.

In 1929, the family fell upon hard times, not due to the Depression, but due to the fact that
the land they farmed and lived, was sold. As it turned out the woman who owned the land
died, and her sons did not want to keep it. They did not waste any time evecting my grand parents, so short of notice was given that they were forced to sell all their prized herd of Dairy stock.

Shortly there after the great depression hit making things much worse.
The family was broke up, found jobs, Paul spent many months away
from the family, Edna moved to Petuluma, starting a daycare.
Eventually Paul and Edna divorsed.

Paul worked as a ship builder in the Naval Ship Yard in Vallejo,

In 1945 things started to get better, and Paul took a trip to Oregon to look
for land to buy. Ultimately they purchased 160 acres in Drain, OR
With the help of his eldest sons, they were able to build a small home
before  winter set in. At some point in the construction, Edna, came to
Drain, and Paul and Edna reconsiled, and remarried.

Bill of sale for Drain Ranch
Partially finished Home of Paul S and Edna Bean

A year later his son Paul jr (kick) was discharged from the army, and in a letter
to his suprise most of the Bean family was no longer living in california, however
two of the daughters had married one, Elenoir was living in Oakland with her husband
Dallas, and Francis, was in Palo Alto with husband Paul.

Paul jr briefly visited with both and then made his way to Drain

Happier times in Cotati

Edna's daycare business card

In 1948, Wallace moved to Drain, with his wife Virginia, and 6 month old daughter
Claudia, having tired quickly of city life. 

Both Paul jr and Wallace were given one acre each, subdivded off of the original
160 acres.

With the continued support of his newly returned sons they quick work of building
building barns, milk parlors etc.

They soon had a fully functioning Dairy, selling milk,
butter, heavy cream and sometimes ice cream to the local
residents of Drain, Yoncalla, Scotts Valley and Loraine

My grandfather, my father Wallace, and uncle Paul, wife Edna
ran a successful dairy, a realization of a dream started in
Cotati, CA 18 years earlier.
Two of my cousins in front of main barn/milking parlor

The dairy continued until Grandpa Bean fell ill in 1965. Unfortunately,
he was not able to pass any of the land to either my father or uncle
thus ended the legacy of the Bean dairy.

Next chapter, My Father Wallace Bean

Saturday, November 21, 2015

How We Farm and More

Many Have asked what are our farming Practices are and why?

First I''l try to answer the "why" First,

As many of my blog readers may know, (see my Posts, My Family's Farming History") I come from
multi generation farming family, But Unfortuineatly, due to family disputes etc. I have not have had the luctury of other Family Farmers like Joel Salatin, (Polyface Farm) who's farm has been in the family for 3 generations now. or like Craig Floyd of Footsteps Farm in Stonington, CT who's farm has been in his family since 1712, however, those setbacks have not deterred me.
In 2006  i purchased 5.5 acres in Packwood,Wa 1 acre is wooded and the other 4 is flat grass land.

Main  4 acre Field
Since Purchasing this property i have agonized on how best to use it. At First it was to just a place to
pitch a tent, build a Fire Pit and use it a jump off point for other Recreationl activities with my Family
and we have used it for that, at least a few times, but clearly not to it's full potenial, primarly due to it's distance (3 hr drive). Now that my children are grown, we don't camp as a family as much which leads me to it's secondary purpose. A FARM !!. But there again, being a 3hr drive from home base it's hard to manage. hence the aganizing I have had many ideas, one was to plant corn, but then came the issue of the hoards of Elk that roam the area and i fugured corn would be just a appetizer for the Elk.
Next came Blueberries but  it takes 5-7 years to start getting a profitable crop and  although not as tasty as corn, elk would still most likley like blueberry plants as a nice browse also. As of this wrighting, I am now considering considering planting pumpkins, other types of squash etc. I have found pigs love pumpkins and would be a excellent food source for the pigs.

but i digress...

When I first decided i wanted to get back into farming, I decided early on that i wanted to have a grass based, pastured  based farming model. Much like the one my grandfather use on his dairy farm. Once i made that decision i need to re-educate myself

Read the artcle, on grass based Farming

I started researching  breeds of animals that thrived the best  in that type of system. that is why  we are using hardy old-breed animals, or more commonly know as Heritage  Breeds and we are following farming practices that my ancestors followed in the 18th century Grass Fed systems.

Read the Report on How how pigs being raised in a Free Range Enviroment Improves meat Quality

Our farm is not certified organic but we think of Phoenix Farm as  (read about what this means). All our animals have free range all day, every day. We do not use herbicides, antibiotics, nor other chemicals on the animals or the farmland. We believe that because they are giving their lives for us, we owe it to them to see they lead happy, healthy, stress-free lives.

More than that, we truly believe in the health benefits of eating products from grass-fed animals.

And now to the how.....

At this time we Raise only Tamworth Pigs. I Raise both Registered Pigs for Future breeding stock for my own farm and also for other farmers who want a registered pig as replacement boar (a boar is usually only useful on any one farm for 2-3 years so as not to get a too inbred herd) or sow. We also raise Weiner pigs (usually 34-45 days old) for someone to raise a pig of their own, Feeder Pigs, ( A feeder pig is a young pig usually 6-12 weeks old that is purchased to raise (feed) to slaughter weight. And CSA Butcher Hogs.  Heritage breed pigs are older breeds that were abandoned by commercial farmers as more modern breeds were developed. There are two reasons that I prefer heritage breeds. First, the meat tastes better because it has not had the fatty marbling bred out of it. Second, I think it is important to preserve genetic diversity. The commodity pig market is based on the genetics from just a couple of breeds, and I think so drastically reducing genetic diversity is a recipe for disaster.

Living Conditions

All the Pigs at the farm, Live in a Free Range environment.  To me, The ideal pasture is a good stand of actively growing (or stockpiled  Hay for grazing after the growing season ends) green grass, legumes, and/or weeds are preferred However, at current farm development the conditions are less than ideal  This next year I hope to have the entire property fenced and cross fenced so . I can rotate the pigs off of one section of pasture to another section of pasture when they have grazed down most of the green stuff, or if they have started rooting up the pasture too badly. The purpose of pasture is three-fold, it permits the expression of the pigs’ instinct to root and forage, it provides essential nutrition, and wandering around it gives the pigs exercise.
The material essentials for pigs on pasture are food, water, shelter, and a wallow to cool off in, all of which I provide. The non-material essentials are a low-stress environment and calm conscientious handling and/or herding, both on the farm and at the slaughterhouse


I feed the pigs a commercial grain mash produced at a local mill (with mostly imported grains), cull vegetables from a local vegetable farm (when available), and farm-grown forage, which is grown with no synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. I do not use hormones (saying this is superfluous as hormones are not allowed for use in pigs or poultry). I do not use antibiotics unless required by the presence of an infection that cannot be resolved by non-synthetic chemical means.
Currently, I either hand feed the pigs two times a day, using pig feed troughs, or the pigs are self-fed from a range feeder. According to Morrison in Feeds and Feeding, self-fed pigs consume slightly fewer pounds of grain per hundred pounds of gain, so the self-feeders pay for themselves over time, even not taking into consideration any labor savings.

When they are in the front 1/3 pasture we have water trough and or pipes with nipple drinkers attached to a t-post  in the back pasture I haul  275-gallon totes, fill them with water and they are watered out of the totes via pig nipples piped out the totes. The system is gravity fed.

For shelter I either use homemade wooden shelters. The shelters provide shade and protection from the rain, wind, cold, etc.  The shelters are built on skids, so as I rotate the pigs from pasture section to pasture section, I use the tractor to drag the shelters along, some are fixed structure usually attached to tree(s)


Pigs do not sweat and they cannot shed heat adequately by panting like dogs do, so they need to have a way to cool off when it is above seventy degrees. In nature, they use wallows, either streams, naturally occurring pools of water, or they dig deep holes until they hit the water table. If no water is available, they spend the hot hours of the day lounging in the shade of woods/forest. On a farm, wallows and/or woods must be provided. I dig a wallow for the pigs with the bucket on the tractor and then fill it and keep it filled with water. For a wallow to do its job, there must be liquid water in it, not just mud.
Environment and Handling

The pigs have plenty of space and everything they need or want right in front of them, so their environment is low-stress. To make handling easier, I spend time walking amongst the pigs, petting and talking to them. When I need to move the pigs, I do my best to set it up so they will want to go where I want them to go, I try to do so without making them too anxious. I work them slowly and deliberately. For the most part, pigs (like other animals) happily move to where the best grass or food is, so I just take advantage of this natural tendency but if all else fails, usually coaxing them with their favorite food, which is bread to lead them to where I need them to be.


my preferred method for loading pigs on a trailer is to entice them with grain. However, if there is a loading chute set up, I do not mind driving them through it and onto the trailer as long as the driving is done slowly and the pigs are given a chance to get over whatever has them frightened when they balk. Given that chance, a gentle nudge with a knee is usually enough to get them moving again. If all hell breaks loose, I try to get things squared away as quickly as possible. If things completely break down, I walk away and to calm down and catch my breath, and then try again in a few minutes.


If the pigs I raise are treated poorly at the slaughter time, then I have failed in my effort to raise pigs according to the highest welfare standards. At the present time, I plan to use a Mobile butcher who will come right to the farm and this way there is no stress whatsoever, one minute the pig is happily eating a tasty meal, and the next he is dead.


Farrowing in pig husbandry terms is a pig giving birth.  Unlike commercial operations, we do not us farrowing crates.  When the sow appears to be ready to give birth we put her in a 16 X 16 pen with Shelter and a bed of straw, Feed and water. We take shifts watching them until the sow is done giving birth and then make sure all the piglets get a turn at a teat to make sure they get that very important colostrum after the pigletts are a few weeks old we let the sow and her pigletts go into a common area with other Sows who have farrowed previously .