Thursday, June 22, 2006


After hours of hard labor under the mid-afternoon sun there comes a time to stop for a break. Depending on the day, there could be any a number of refreshing treats prepared by one of my doting big sister. But one especially refreshing and enjoyable snack is a large, cool, crisp, sweet slice of watermelon filled with black seeds. You might not understand why it would be appealing to have a slice of watermelon filled with black seeds. I am sure that it is very nice for Sunday socials or evening parties to have those new and improved seedless watermelons where people have no need of spiting and spurting. Although, in the eyes of a farm boy watermelon seeds are not inconvenient interruptions to your enjoyment of a watermelon, but essential ammunition to protect yourself until the end of break time.

An afternoon break on the farm is not only an essential thing, but something that is greatly looked forward to. After downing a hardy snack and a few cups of cool water its time to head back to the project at hand. And when we come to the end of the day it always make for a good laugh to find a little, sticky black seed stuck behind someone’s ear or in someone’s hair.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wholesome, Healthy Meat = Thankful, Happy Customers

"...Thank you and know that we appreciate all the work you go through to bring us such wonderful meat."

Mary K.

Friday, June 16, 2006


When some one asks me what my favorite sport is I sometimes like to tell them fencing. For me that has a double meaning because I enjoy both fencing and fencing.

But on the farm we spend a great deal more time building fences then playing with swords. Every spring we have the rather large project of getting the entire farm’s fences up and ready to contain frisky animals. Now if you are thinking of the cedar fence that may surround your yard, you are mistaken.

And, we are not talking about a few feet of fence but a few miles of it. On the farm we have three types of fence— permanent fence, semi-permanent fence, and temporary fence.

Permanent fence: We have a mesh wire fence called a “hog wire” fence surrounding our entire property and dividing our two main fields. Because our sixty acres stretches a half a mile in length, that makes approximately two miles of perimeter fence. This is held up by sturdy wooden posts and makes a strong and mostly impenetrable border.

Semi-permanent fence: Our sixty acres are divided into two main fields—the east field and the west field. Each of these fields is about 30 acres. In the west field, we have three fences dividing it into four long runs.(much like a bowling alley) We move the cows down these runs so that each day they have a new cuisine of fresh greens. This fence is made up of “pound in” iron posts (called T-posts) and smooth electric fence wire.

Temporary fence: When moving the cows daily, we need some type of temporary fence to move in front and behind them. This is why we have our handy reels of polywire (this is an electrifiable woven plastic/wire string) and step in posts.

During this busy season of getting the fences up to par, my little Ford Ranger gets dubbed the fencing mobile. And it is driven and manned by this happy, hardy crew. So that fills you in on one of the big spring projects that keeps us busy.

Friday, June 09, 2006

As I start this new blog it is only fair that I give you some old history—history of why we are farming and when it all began. It all began with the desires and dreams of a young couple by the name of Michael and Susan Bradrick. Years ago, Michael (my father) was an air force pilot and he, my mother, and the “older kids” in our family became accustomed to frequently packing the household goods up and moving across the country to a new station.

In the mid 70’s they moved to Ohio and, instead of staying in base housing, they purchased a small house on two acres of land. As they began discovering the wonders that their two acres of flourishing flowerbeds, fertile gardens, flowing trees had in store for them, they began to become more and more attached to a life of working with plants and animals and enjoying God’s creation. Just this evening, over a sink-full of dishes, my father was telling me of the time that he had planted all the corn seeds that they had purchases in their garden on the “Ohio Homestead”. When it came around harvest time, he found himself with the huge job of putting up all that corn because my mother was greatly expectant with their number fourth.

Eventually those enjoyable days slipped by and again my family packed their bags, but this time they were headed for a postage stamp sized lot in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. Although the yard was filled to bursting with bustling little people, they again planted a garden in the back yard and enjoyed harvesting fresh greens for the table. It was in this happy, busy family that I made my first appearance.

As a toddler, it was all I could do to transport my chubby self from one side of the yard to the other, but soon the yard was only a canvas for my little mind to dream up images of rolling range land and long cattle drives. I remember well, during a visit from my grandparents, my brother and I walking with my grandfather to get a morning paper. We stopped by a small park and enjoyed the greater distance to exercise our eager legs. On the way home we dubbed that little park the “South Forty”.

The dream of living on some acreage and raising plants and animals was for my parents a dream of sinking our roots down and working together as a family. And for us children it was a dream of adventures, animals, and excitement. In the early 90’s, at the age of five, I moved with my family to Northwest Washington. I quickly learned what a real mountain looked like, why not to pick up a crab, and how to play in the rain without an umbrella. In 1995 the Lord opened up a wonderful rental home on eight acres. We wanted to do more than just hobby farm, so we started raising meat chickens for market. It was in 1996 that we finally saw many dreams come true in the launching of a small business named Bradrick Family Farms.

Our eight-acre little farm began to burst at the seams with a growing number of animals. We realized that it was time to look for a larger spread and began praying that the Lord would open up the perfect farm for us. In the early summer of 2000 we were told of a wonderful farm in the Wynoochee Valley that was for sale. Although we had looked at countless farms, this one was clearly the right fit. After remodeling the house, we moved over—lock, stock and chicken coop—and began enjoying the sixty-two acres of fertile pasture land, the half mile of river frontage, and the cozy little farm house—the hub of the farm’s activities.

Six years have passed since we settled into this wonderful farm, and today we still enjoy it just as much and are just as thankful to the Lord for His wonderful provision. Today fifty cows graze the rolling green pastures, a flock of sheep nibble at the lush green grass, a couple of cow ponies await being saddle for their days’ work. No longer do I have to dream about rolling ranges and cattle drives because now that is the dream I live.