About Us and the Farm

Evening Sunset 1850's barn

About Sweet Home Farms

Our farm is nestled in the Cascade foothills in the Mid-Willamette Valley, near the Calapooia River, in the ’town’ of Holley just a few miles from downtown Sweet Home, OR. We farm sustainably and holistically, taking care of our land, water, and local wildlife, while raising healthy and happy animals that are treated naturally and humanely. Our farm has been in active use as a ranch for over 160years, having only 3 owners in that time.

We are committed to informing you about what we have fed the animals you purchase, and about their exposure to any medications or pesticides. We use natural, organic products for fly control, livestock guardian dogs for predator prevention, antibiotics only when animals are sick, and limit our use of wormers to the extent possible.  We use no growth hormones.

We graze our livestock intensively to improve pasture health, increase organic matter in soil, and promote plant diversity. This requires short grazing periods (1-3 days) in small paddocks, followed by recovery periods long enough to allow healthy re-growth of grasses and legumes.

We use integrated pastures with a leader-follower system that helps reduce parasites and control flies. Sheep follow cattle, and laying hens, with their mobile house, follow sheep, spreading manure and consuming fly larvae.

In addition to following these grazing practices, we take care of our land, water, and wildlife to help sustain the natural environment for future generations. To this end, we have enrolled over 10% of our property in the federal Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which entails fencing our streams and ponds to restrict livestock access, and planting the stream sides and adjacent areas with native hardwoods and conifers.

Our Farm is located on the Historic Anna Splawn Donation Land Claim from 1850. On their way across the country on the Oregon Trail, Anna Splawn’s oldest son and husband died. But that didnt stop them from settling near the community of Sweet Home, settled by the Ames. With help of neighbors, they erected a Barn in 1855 that we still use today. It is marked with a state recognized plack indicating this rich heritage, just in case the hand hewn beams and square nails arn’t proof enough. We would love to show you around our Farm.

This farm has fulfilled our vision, and we are happy to be able to share it with our customers. There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that others are benefiting from our animals and the work we put into them.

– Carla Green and Mike Polen, Owners

 

 

Bert and Beau Smiling

Beau and Bert:  Great Pyrennes Guardian Dogs

Satellite View of Management Intensive Grazing at one of our Pastures

MIG

MIG stands for Managment Intensive Grazing, also referred to as Strip Grazing, and its at the core of what we do at Sweet Home Farms. In the photo above you can see several bands (or paddocks as we call them) of green in varying degrees of darkness. The darkest areas have grown back (bottom right hand corner) or are waiting to be grazed next (solid area above the strips in the image). You can even see the cattle grazing in the top most paddock on the left. This is one of the biggest reasons that our Grass-fed Beef is of higher quality than other grass-fed products. MIG allows us to provide only the most most nutrient rich and tender grass to the cattle, resulting in them gaining weight faster and having a healthier, more nutirent rich muscle mass that contributes to their amazing flavor. If you’ve never seen the difference between MIG and typical ‘open range’ grazing, we strongly encourage you to come check it out in person!

Get In Touch!

Many of the initial questions you may have are answered in this website. But we welcome your calls and emails. In fact, as you place your first order we think a phone call is the best way to do it. We can help you make sure to get exactly what you want, when you want it.

Part of the joy of having a small farm is that we get to meet our customers and hear what they want, so do get in touch!

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- ©2014 Sweet Home Farms -   - 40524 Highway 228, Sweet Home, OR 97386 -   - sweethomefarms@centurytel.net -   - 541.367.0687 -