Our Mission

Carnation Farms is a nonprofit organization on a mission to transform the way that people want to eat. We celebrate delicious and nutritious food produced in a sustainable manner by providing inspirational and educational experiences that positively affect the health, the environment, and local economies. We develop the next generation of food citizens and grow new farmers.

Farming Philosophy

Food Philosophy

Nutrition

History

The Farm

Meet our Team

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Farming Philosophy

From farm to forest to river, we believe that growing and harvesting food must be done in ways that contribute to a healthier environment. And we’re big believers that sustainable food is good food. Your mom would be proud: being responsible eaters and growers brings its own tasty reward.

Soil Management: It all starts with the soil. If we don’t build good soil…the rest doesn’t matter. How do we build great soil?

  • We promote biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels.
  • We have an extensive crop rotation plan to protect soil fertility and prevent soil diseases.
  • We plant cover crop to prevent soil erosion and to protect soil microbial communities.
  • We practice limited and timely tillage.
  • We incorporate fallow periods to “rest” the soil.
  • We conduct regular soil analysis…all under the watchful eye of a farmer with an advanced degree in soil science. This analysis measures soil health as defined by nutrient, organic matter, and biological life levels.

Growing Methods:

  • We are certified Organic by the USDA. This is an important designation for us as it provides third party objectivity and transparency.
  • We plan for and execute crop diversity.
  • We save seed to responsibly grow future healthy crops.
  • We practice timely watering which reduces environmental impact.
  • We incorporate perennials into annual production to ensure protection against soil erosion.

Animal Husbandry: We believe in transparency and avoid using marketing terms that are misleading to the public. We encourage you to know your farmer and the source of eggs and meat. We are proud of our animal husbandry practices and ensure that guests can see how they are treated as part of a visit to the farm.The Animal Welfare module outlines five freedoms for animal welfare, we abide by and exceed these standards, which include:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviors by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

 

We also look to create areas that provide living areas that more closely resemble natural habitat.

Our poultry are outside every day with direct access to pasture. They are provided mobile coops with plenty of space and are frequently cleaned…and moved regularly to new pasture. They are fed certified organic grains and treats culled from our garden.

  • Environmental Stewardship: We consider environmental stewardship a core responsibility.  We aren’t perfect, but we have built a responsible foundation and take pride in our annual plan to improve the environment.  Examples of our environmental efforts include:
    • We have been a Game Reserve since 1974 and create wildlife corridors to ensure minimal impact to our wildlife residents.
    • We are Salmon Safe certified and actively involved with regional conservation groups to improve habitat in the river and our land that borders the river. We also measure the size, diversity, and health of our riparian residents and take steps to improve their habitat.
    • We enhance and measure pollinator habit and have partnered with Washington State since 2015 to increase the population, species variety, and health of our local pollinator population. Our natural beekeeping policies include no use of high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics.
    • We are actively engaged in a forest management plan to ensure a healthy future for our 335 acres of forest on the property.
    • We are proud operators of an award winning onsite waste water treatment facility that has been in operation since 1975. This aerobic process allows us to recycle and then apply reclaimed Class C water on fields that produce hay.

Local Economy

Local ingredients don’t just taste good. They also contribute to the local economy, assuring both better food and more profitable farming for future generations. They also help address issues of food access and affordability. It’s a beautiful thing: local farmers grow the food, and our entire community benefits. That’s why we are committed to changing the demand curve for sustainably grown local food and building a value chain that is equitable for all. Why is this critical?

King County Facts

  • The average farmer losses $2,700 per year.
  • 56% of our farmers rely on additional income outside of farming in order to support their family and farm operations.
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households.

Doing good never tasted so good.

Food Philosophy

Choosing your food doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

What we mean by “Local”:

  • We encourage everyone to grow some food. Grow your own. It doesn’t get more local than this.
  • How we prioritize “Local” when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
    • Our Farm:
      • The vast majority of what we serve comes directly from our farm. Hyper local is our best choice.
    • Our Neighbors:
      • We believe that supporting our neighbors means buying local product. This supports ensure fresh product, grows local economy and reduces food miles.
      • Snoqualmie Valley: There are more than 100 farms in the Snoqualmie Valley. We’re proud to support our neighbor farmers.
      • King County: There are 1,837 farms in King County. Plenty of great options to choose from.
      • Washington State: This supports regional economy and seasonality.
    • Domestic Production: When we can’t find an ingredient that is locally sourced.
    • Globally Sourced: For ingredients that are not readily available in domestic production.
  • Organic Whenever Possible:
    • We grow in a certified organic manner and encourage others to do so when possible.
    • How we prioritize when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
      • Certified Organic
      • Grown Using Organic Practices
      • Non GMO
      • Other Growing Methods only when it is the only source available and transparently disclosed when used.In Season for Our Location: 

        As Alice Waters said, “Nine tenths of cooking is understanding farming and seasonality.” The vast majority of what we serve our guests is produced on property or by our neighbors. We have award winning chefs on our team and their focus is on celebrating seasonal bounty, coaxing great flavors though time honored techniques, and sharing their knowledge with our guests so that they can reproduce this at home over 300 nights per year.

Nutrition

At Carnation Farms we advocate for a balance of whole foods.

We love to show how we grow nutritious, delicious food on our farm and how to easily prepare it at home. Eating better and eating together are such healthy pleasures!

Good nutrition isn’t about a rigid prescription or list of do’s and don’ts. It’s about the enjoyment of a broad variety of farm-fresh foods, minimally processed, without a ton of added sugar and salt.

Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, flavor! Most Americans don’t eat enough veggies, but with a few good cooking tips, they can boost color on their plate and nutrients in their diet.

Fruits, such as blueberries, melons, and apples grown on our farm, are nourishing and sweet. And they’re a healthier and more satisfying snack than candy or chips.

Grains, especially whole grains like the wheat we grow in our fields, provide needed fiber and phytochemicals.

Meats from animals responsibly raised outdoors, such as our chickens and pigs, don’t just taste better, they also have a richer nutrient profile. We grow an array of beans, from unusual orca beans to the familiar pinto, which are rich sources of protein and fiber, and much easier to prepare than most people imagine.

Dairy foods we serve include cheese and milk from local pasture-raised cows, and are delicious sources of calcium and protein.

It’s not that complicated to eat right to prevent disease. The same diet – including these natural ingredients – can cut the risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and poor bone health. And, they taste great, especially in your kitchen or at your table, which we believe are the most important parts of any home.

History

 

There was a purpose for Carnation Farms. Elbridge Amos Stuart came to the grim realization that there were not enough cows in the world to produce the volume of milk he thought he needed for his fledgling Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company (Carnation Milk).

Carnation Farms was created in 1908, when founder E.A. Stuart purchased the original 360 acres of farmland—sight unseen because of a tip from his childhood friend, Sam Hill, that the railroad would soon connect to this part of the world. In purchasing this farm his first priority was to increase the productivity of dairy herds. Another task was to get the milk to one of his milk plants in Monroe though his friend Sam would solve this problem for him in 1911. Stuart’s ideas fundamentally changed milk production, starting with the cows themselves.

To increase milk production, he embarked on a selective breeding program of Holstein cows which would dramatically increase the volume of milk that his cows produced on the farm and eventually around the world. Stuart was increasingly paying attention to the bloodlines of his animals and instituted a policy which would ensure the cows were happy as well as healthy. Carnation Farms built their dairy operations around the concept of well treated cows. EA fostered the idea that cows which avoided stress and mistreatment would be able to produce more milk. In a 1906 marketing meeting in Chicago, he described the treatment of the cows, how they were fed and the farm that they lived on. A lady from the marketing firm absent mindedly commented that “they must be very contented cows”. This was the light bulb moment in which the tag line for the company was born.

In the breezeway of the main barn, where many of the milking cows were housed, there remains to this day a sign which lays out guidelines for how to treat the cows:

“The RULE to be observed in this stable at all times, toward the cattle, young and old, is that of patience and kindness….

Remember that this is the home of mothers. Treat each cow as a mother should be treated. The giving of milk is a function of motherhood; rough treatment lessens the flow. That injures me as well as the cow. Always keep these ideas in mind in dealing with my cattle.”

In fact, there was also no bad language allowed around the Carnation herd, both at home and when the cows would occasionally travel for exhibitions. In some of the early photographs of the barns, one can see signs that say “no swearing”.

Another way to encourage milk production and contented cows was to ensure that the best milk cows were paired with the best workers. This proved to be a winning combination in 1921 with a cow named Segis Pietertje Prospect, lovingly known as “Possum Sweetheart”, and a milker named Carl Gockerell. In 1900, the average milk production for a cow was 1,500 -1,900 pounds of milk per year. The combination of “Possum Sweetheart” and Gockerell resulted in a record-shattering 37,000 pounds of milk produced in one year. When “Possum Sweetheart” died, both Stuart and Gockerell were so deeply grieved that they constructed the world’s earliest known statue to a Holstein cow. The  cow statue still remains on display at the farm today.

It wasn’t just a few superior cows which increased the fame and fortune of Carnation Farms. The foundation herds cultivated by Carnation became breeding stock the world over. The farm eventually moved, from milk production to breeding and then into genetics research. The results and their cows remained famous throughout the world for holding the world milk production record for 36 consecutive years. The legacy Carnation cows can still be seen in dairy herd bloodlines to this day.

In 1929, Carnation acquired the Albers Milling Company which allowed the company to enter the cereals and animal feeds market. Palatability and nutritional research was expanded at the farm to a larger variety of animals. The largest and most profitable group were dogs and later cats. The research here opened a variety of consumer products including the Friskies brand.

Since its founding in 1908, Carnation Farms has gone through a few transitions. The Stuart family sold the company and the farm to Nestle in January of 1985. Nestle ran the farm until 2008 when a non-profit bought it. The family repurchased the farm in 2010. October of 2016 began a new start for the historic farm when the Stuart Family founded a new non-profit called Carnation Farms. The new mission aims to go back to the farm’s roots. They intend to share the 818-acre organic farm with the community. The mission is to promote environmentally sustainable practices that connect people and communities to the land through farm based and culinary education. It is hoped that these efforts will inspire healthy and balanced lifestyles and an appreciation of the history of past generations of the Carnation valley.

The organization is working to create many different programs including summer camps, workshops, family retreats, farm-to-table dinners, and more. The farm is also working to find innovative and creative ways to keep the farm working.  Examples include providing programs for farmer interns, culinary programs, showing how the farm can be an example of environmental sustainability,  the use of recycling reclaimed water for farming, and on-farm sourcing of certified organic produce for local consumption. The farm, and its founding family, hope to keep its rich history front and center with behind-the-scenes history tours.

Farm Facts

Nestled in the picturesque Snoqualmie Valley, Carnation Farms’ 818-acre organic property is a hub of sustainable and healthy practices. Serving as both a working farm and an outdoor classroom, Carnation Farms’ promotes innovative practices that support healthy living and a stronger appreciation and deep respect for the land.

Certified Organic Garden

Carnation Farms’ 8-acre certified organic garden serves as an outdoor classroom while growing a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries and flowers. Over 100+ different plant varieties provide a backdrop to hands-on education through field trips, camps, and workshops. The garden design and operation demonstrates sustainable soil management and optimal water use, and supports beneficial insects and pollinators, local bird populations, and wildlife habitat. At Carnation Farms we save seed, grow green manures in the summer, use mulches to conserve water, and compete against weeds, recycle and reuse found materials, as well as using renewable materials such as bamboo for trellising. The Carnation Farms’ garden is so popular we even have 10 different types of bumblebees living in the garden.

Beehives

In 2017 Carnation Farms installed 16 hives on our upper property, with 2 hives in our garden for educational purposes. All hives are Langstroth hives, with a mixture of Italian, Carniolan, and some hybrid bees. Nectar is sourced from our garden cover crops, flowers, native shrubs and trees, and blackberries. Harvested honey will be used in our kitchen. We use integrated pest management, including drone-brood trapping, screen bottom boards, and selection of mite resistant traits. Along with our certified organic production, Carnation Farms’ natural beekeeping policies includes no high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics. Fun fact – it takes nectar from 2 million flower blossoms to produce 1 pound of honey!

Chickens

Carnation Farms is home to 16 different breeds of chickens, including Belgian D’Uccle, Barred Rock, Barnevelder, Black Silkie, Rhode Island Red, Sex-link, Salmon Faverolle, Jersey Giant, Auracana, Easter Egg Bantee, Japanese Silkie, Cuckoo Maran, Delaware, Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex, and Brahma.  As chicks, each bird is handled with care by our farm team, fostering a bond between human and chick. This leads to incredibly social chickens that support our farm-based curriculum rooted in observation, mindfulness, and diligence. Our chickens have their very own coop built on site, and matching many of the of the historic buildings. Carnation Farms is USDA Certified Organic for farm fresh eggs, and follows national husbandry guidelines. The smallest of our roosters (Bantam) was the first to crow in our flock.

Hiking Trails

In total, Carnation Farms is home to approximately 7 miles of wandering trails through a lush forest with multiple streams, habitats, and more. Currently Carnation Farms only has a 2-mile round trip trail in operation, known as the Trout Pond Trail. Departing from behind the Dining Center hikers will move .5 miles uphill to our gazebo, then rest in the shade while enjoying a scenic view of the farmlands below. After the break, hikers continue .5 miles down to the trout pond and visit our rustic cabin and dam with mid-span gazebo. Along the way, hikers can explore our managed forest including old growth cedar stumps, multiple generations of managed timber, and an abundance of plant and animal life including deer, elk, river otters and many birds. The trail is mostly single track; sturdy shoes are advised. Guided hikes are available, check our calendar for details.

Forestry

For over 50 years, 335 of our acres have served as a Certified Organic Washington State Tree Farm. Multiple generations of sustainably harvested timber keep our land in use, while meeting the needs of the community.

Certified Organic Hay

Since the early 1900s Carnation Farms has grown hay and hay-lage for local farm animals. Carnation Farms dedicates over 100 acres to growing certified organic hay, averaging three or more harvests per year, for 500 tons per year average. With multiple sustainable practices in place, Carnation Farms is the only farm in Washington State that uses class C reclaimed water for irrigation. Our history of innovative farming practices and care for the land has ensured a consistent harvest for over 100 years using the same production fields. Hay is available for sale, please contact the Farm.

Water Treatment Facility

In 1974 Carnation Farms installed a wastewater treatment facility to increase sustainable practices at the Farm. The plant started operation the following year, utilizing an Extended Aeration Activated Sludge process. The process removes solids, pathogens and organics that may affect our environment and reduces our waste stream through water reuse practices. Our class C reclaimed water is stored in the winter, then land applied to our organic hay fields in the dry season where crops utilize any available nutrients. Our waste stream does not enter any receiving steam in the way that most municipalities. Carnation Farms is the only organic certified farm that is using class C reclaimed water in Washington State. The WWTP ST-0005139D requires two operators that are certified through the Washington State Department of Ecology. Carnation Farms received Outstanding Performance Awards from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015 for the management of our wastewater treatment facility.

Cattle

Beginning in 2012 Carnation Farms leased 90 acres of pasture to Skagit River Ranch. The pasture is home to sixty cows and sixty calves, all certified organic grass-fed Wagyu. As certified organic producers, Carnation Farms and Skagit River Ranch do not use antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, or animal by-products. A variety of grasses, legumes, and herbs are grown to provide the animals with a balance of natural nutrients essential for maintaining good health. The Farm practices certified organic rest rotational pasture grazing to promote health and sustainability.

Meet Our Team

 

 

 

Food Philosophy

Choosing your food doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

What we mean by “Local”:

  • We encourage everyone to grow some food. Grow your own. It doesn’t get more local than this.
  • How we prioritize “Local” when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
    • Our Farm:
      • The vast majority of what we serve comes directly from our farm. Hyper local is our best choice.
    • Our Neighbors:
      • We believe that supporting our neighbors means buying local product. This supports ensure fresh product, grows local economy and reduces food miles.
      • Snoqualmie Valley: There are more than 100 farms in the Snoqualmie Valley. We’re proud to support our neighbor farmers.
      • King County: There are 1,837 farms in King County. Plenty of great options to choose from.
      • Washington State: This supports regional economy and seasonality.
    • Domestic Production: When we can’t find an ingredient that is locally sourced.
    • Globally Sourced: For ingredients that are not readily available in domestic production.
  • Organic Whenever Possible:
    • We grow in a certified organic manner and encourage others to do so when possible.
    • How we prioritize when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
      • Certified Organic
      • Grown Using Organic Practices
      • Non GMO
      • Other Growing Methods only when it is the only source available and transparently disclosed when used.In Season for Our Location: 

        As Alice Waters said, “Nine tenths of cooking is understanding farming and seasonality.” The vast majority of what we serve our guests is produced on property or by our neighbors. We have award winning chefs on our team and their focus is on celebrating seasonal bounty, coaxing great flavors though time honored techniques, and sharing their knowledge with our guests so that they can reproduce this at home over 300 nights per year.

Nutrition

At Carnation Farms we advocate for a balance of whole foods.

We love to show how we grow nutritious, delicious food on our farm and how to easily prepare it at home. Eating better and eating together are such healthy pleasures!

Good nutrition isn’t about a rigid prescription or list of do’s and don’ts. It’s about the enjoyment of a broad variety of farm-fresh foods, minimally processed, without a ton of added sugar and salt.

Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, flavor! Most Americans don’t eat enough veggies, but with a few good cooking tips, they can boost color on their plate and nutrients in their diet.

Fruits, such as blueberries, melons, and apples grown on our farm, are nourishing and sweet. And they’re a healthier and more satisfying snack than candy or chips.

Grains, especially whole grains like the wheat we grow in our fields, provide needed fiber and phytochemicals.

Meats from animals responsibly raised outdoors, such as our chickens and pigs, don’t just taste better, they also have a richer nutrient profile. We grow an array of beans, from unusual orca beans to the familiar pinto, which are rich sources of protein and fiber, and much easier to prepare than most people imagine.

Dairy foods we serve include cheese and milk from local pasture-raised cows, and are delicious sources of calcium and protein.

It’s not that complicated to eat right to prevent disease. The same diet – including these natural ingredients – can cut the risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and poor bone health. And, they taste great, especially in your kitchen or at your table, which we believe are the most important parts of any home.

History

 

There was a purpose for Carnation Farms. Elbridge Amos Stuart came to the grim realization that there were not enough cows in the world to produce the volume of milk he thought he needed for his fledgling Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company (Carnation Milk).

Carnation Farms was created in 1908, when founder E.A. Stuart purchased the original 360 acres of farmland—sight unseen because of a tip from his childhood friend, Sam Hill, that the railroad would soon connect to this part of the world. In purchasing this farm his first priority was to increase the productivity of dairy herds. Another task was to get the milk to one of his milk plants in Monroe though his friend Sam would solve this problem for him in 1911. Stuart’s ideas fundamentally changed milk production, starting with the cows themselves.

To increase milk production, he embarked on a selective breeding program of Holstein cows which would dramatically increase the volume of milk that his cows produced on the farm and eventually around the world. Stuart was increasingly paying attention to the bloodlines of his animals and instituted a policy which would ensure the cows were happy as well as healthy. Carnation Farms built their dairy operations around the concept of well treated cows. EA fostered the idea that cows which avoided stress and mistreatment would be able to produce more milk. In a 1906 marketing meeting in Chicago, he described the treatment of the cows, how they were fed and the farm that they lived on. A lady from the marketing firm absent mindedly commented that “they must be very contented cows”. This was the light bulb moment in which the tag line for the company was born.

In the breezeway of the main barn, where many of the milking cows were housed, there remains to this day a sign which lays out guidelines for how to treat the cows:

“The RULE to be observed in this stable at all times, toward the cattle, young and old, is that of patience and kindness….

Remember that this is the home of mothers. Treat each cow as a mother should be treated. The giving of milk is a function of motherhood; rough treatment lessens the flow. That injures me as well as the cow. Always keep these ideas in mind in dealing with my cattle.”

In fact, there was also no bad language allowed around the Carnation herd, both at home and when the cows would occasionally travel for exhibitions. In some of the early photographs of the barns, one can see signs that say “no swearing”.

Another way to encourage milk production and contented cows was to ensure that the best milk cows were paired with the best workers. This proved to be a winning combination in 1921 with a cow named Segis Pietertje Prospect, lovingly known as “Possum Sweetheart”, and a milker named Carl Gockerell. In 1900, the average milk production for a cow was 1,500 -1,900 pounds of milk per year. The combination of “Possum Sweetheart” and Gockerell resulted in a record-shattering 37,000 pounds of milk produced in one year. When “Possum Sweetheart” died, both Stuart and Gockerell were so deeply grieved that they constructed the world’s earliest known statue to a Holstein cow. The  cow statue still remains on display at the farm today.

It wasn’t just a few superior cows which increased the fame and fortune of Carnation Farms. The foundation herds cultivated by Carnation became breeding stock the world over. The farm eventually moved, from milk production to breeding and then into genetics research. The results and their cows remained famous throughout the world for holding the world milk production record for 36 consecutive years. The legacy Carnation cows can still be seen in dairy herd bloodlines to this day.

In 1929, Carnation acquired the Albers Milling Company which allowed the company to enter the cereals and animal feeds market. Palatability and nutritional research was expanded at the farm to a larger variety of animals. The largest and most profitable group were dogs and later cats. The research here opened a variety of consumer products including the Friskies brand.

Since its founding in 1908, Carnation Farms has gone through a few transitions. The Stuart family sold the company and the farm to Nestle in January of 1985. Nestle ran the farm until 2008 when a non-profit bought it. The family repurchased the farm in 2010. October of 2016 began a new start for the historic farm when the Stuart Family founded a new non-profit called Carnation Farms. The new mission aims to go back to the farm’s roots. They intend to share the 818-acre organic farm with the community. The mission is to promote environmentally sustainable practices that connect people and communities to the land through farm based and culinary education. It is hoped that these efforts will inspire healthy and balanced lifestyles and an appreciation of the history of past generations of the Carnation valley.

The organization is working to create many different programs including summer camps, workshops, family retreats, farm-to-table dinners, and more. The farm is also working to find innovative and creative ways to keep the farm working.  Examples include providing programs for farmer interns, culinary programs, showing how the farm can be an example of environmental sustainability,  the use of recycling reclaimed water for farming, and on-farm sourcing of certified organic produce for local consumption. The farm, and its founding family, hope to keep its rich history front and center with behind-the-scenes history tours.

Farm Facts

Nestled in the picturesque Snoqualmie Valley, Carnation Farms’ 818-acre organic property is a hub of sustainable and healthy practices. Serving as both a working farm and an outdoor classroom, Carnation Farms’ promotes innovative practices that support healthy living and a stronger appreciation and deep respect for the land.

Certified Organic Garden

Carnation Farms’ 8-acre certified organic garden serves as an outdoor classroom while growing a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries and flowers. Over 100+ different plant varieties provide a backdrop to hands-on education through field trips, camps, and workshops. The garden design and operation demonstrates sustainable soil management and optimal water use, and supports beneficial insects and pollinators, local bird populations, and wildlife habitat. At Carnation Farms we save seed, grow green manures in the summer, use mulches to conserve water, and compete against weeds, recycle and reuse found materials, as well as using renewable materials such as bamboo for trellising. The Carnation Farms’ garden is so popular we even have 10 different types of bumblebees living in the garden.

Beehives

In 2017 Carnation Farms installed 16 hives on our upper property, with 2 hives in our garden for educational purposes. All hives are Langstroth hives, with a mixture of Italian, Carniolan, and some hybrid bees. Nectar is sourced from our garden cover crops, flowers, native shrubs and trees, and blackberries. Harvested honey will be used in our kitchen. We use integrated pest management, including drone-brood trapping, screen bottom boards, and selection of mite resistant traits. Along with our certified organic production, Carnation Farms’ natural beekeeping policies includes no high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics. Fun fact – it takes nectar from 2 million flower blossoms to produce 1 pound of honey!

Chickens

Carnation Farms is home to 16 different breeds of chickens, including Belgian D’Uccle, Barred Rock, Barnevelder, Black Silkie, Rhode Island Red, Sex-link, Salmon Faverolle, Jersey Giant, Auracana, Easter Egg Bantee, Japanese Silkie, Cuckoo Maran, Delaware, Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex, and Brahma.  As chicks, each bird is handled with care by our farm team, fostering a bond between human and chick. This leads to incredibly social chickens that support our farm-based curriculum rooted in observation, mindfulness, and diligence. Our chickens have their very own coop built on site, and matching many of the of the historic buildings. Carnation Farms is USDA Certified Organic for farm fresh eggs, and follows national husbandry guidelines. The smallest of our roosters (Bantam) was the first to crow in our flock.

Hiking Trails

In total, Carnation Farms is home to approximately 7 miles of wandering trails through a lush forest with multiple streams, habitats, and more. Currently Carnation Farms only has a 2-mile round trip trail in operation, known as the Trout Pond Trail. Departing from behind the Dining Center hikers will move .5 miles uphill to our gazebo, then rest in the shade while enjoying a scenic view of the farmlands below. After the break, hikers continue .5 miles down to the trout pond and visit our rustic cabin and dam with mid-span gazebo. Along the way, hikers can explore our managed forest including old growth cedar stumps, multiple generations of managed timber, and an abundance of plant and animal life including deer, elk, river otters and many birds. The trail is mostly single track; sturdy shoes are advised. Guided hikes are available, check our calendar for details.

Forestry

For over 50 years, 335 of our acres have served as a Certified Organic Washington State Tree Farm. Multiple generations of sustainably harvested timber keep our land in use, while meeting the needs of the community.

Certified Organic Hay

Since the early 1900s Carnation Farms has grown hay and hay-lage for local farm animals. Carnation Farms dedicates over 100 acres to growing certified organic hay, averaging three or more harvests per year, for 500 tons per year average. With multiple sustainable practices in place, Carnation Farms is the only farm in Washington State that uses class C reclaimed water for irrigation. Our history of innovative farming practices and care for the land has ensured a consistent harvest for over 100 years using the same production fields. Hay is available for sale, please contact the Farm.

Water Treatment Facility

In 1974 Carnation Farms installed a wastewater treatment facility to increase sustainable practices at the Farm. The plant started operation the following year, utilizing an Extended Aeration Activated Sludge process. The process removes solids, pathogens and organics that may affect our environment and reduces our waste stream through water reuse practices. Our class C reclaimed water is stored in the winter, then land applied to our organic hay fields in the dry season where crops utilize any available nutrients. Our waste stream does not enter any receiving steam in the way that most municipalities. Carnation Farms is the only organic certified farm that is using class C reclaimed water in Washington State. The WWTP ST-0005139D requires two operators that are certified through the Washington State Department of Ecology. Carnation Farms received Outstanding Performance Awards from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015 for the management of our wastewater treatment facility.

Cattle

Beginning in 2012 Carnation Farms leased 90 acres of pasture to Skagit River Ranch. The pasture is home to sixty cows and sixty calves, all certified organic grass-fed Wagyu. As certified organic producers, Carnation Farms and Skagit River Ranch do not use antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, or animal by-products. A variety of grasses, legumes, and herbs are grown to provide the animals with a balance of natural nutrients essential for maintaining good health. The Farm practices certified organic rest rotational pasture grazing to promote health and sustainability.

Meet Our Team

 

 

 

Farming Philosophy

From farm to forest to river, we believe that growing and harvesting food must be done in ways that contribute to a healthier environment. And we’re big believers that sustainable food is good food. Your mom would be proud: being responsible eaters and growers brings its own tasty reward.

Soil Management: It all starts with the soil. If we don’t build good soil…the rest doesn’t matter. How do we build great soil?

  • We promote biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels.
  • We have an extensive crop rotation plan to protect soil fertility and prevent soil diseases.
  • We plant cover crop to prevent soil erosion and to protect soil microbial communities.
  • We practice limited and timely tillage.
  • We incorporate fallow periods to “rest” the soil.
  • We conduct regular soil analysis…all under the watchful eye of a farmer with an advanced degree in soil science. This analysis measures soil health as defined by nutrient, organic matter, and biological life levels.

Growing Methods:

  • We are certified Organic by the USDA. This is an important designation for us as it provides third party objectivity and transparency.
  • We plan for and execute crop diversity.
  • We save seed to responsibly grow future healthy crops.
  • We practice timely watering which reduces environmental impact.
  • We incorporate perennials into annual production to ensure protection against soil erosion.

Animal Husbandry: We believe in transparency and avoid using marketing terms that are misleading to the public. We encourage you to know your farmer and the source of eggs and meat. We are proud of our animal husbandry practices and ensure that guests can see how they are treated as part of a visit to the farm.The Animal Welfare module outlines five freedoms for animal welfare, we abide by and exceed these standards, which include:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviors by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

 

We also look to create areas that provide living areas that more closely resemble natural habitat.

Our poultry are outside every day with direct access to pasture. They are provided mobile coops with plenty of space and are frequently cleaned…and moved regularly to new pasture. They are fed certified organic grains and treats culled from our garden.

  • Environmental Stewardship: We consider environmental stewardship a core responsibility.  We aren’t perfect, but we have built a responsible foundation and take pride in our annual plan to improve the environment.  Examples of our environmental efforts include:
    • We have been a Game Reserve since 1974 and create wildlife corridors to ensure minimal impact to our wildlife residents.
    • We are Salmon Safe certified and actively involved with regional conservation groups to improve habitat in the river and our land that borders the river. We also measure the size, diversity, and health of our riparian residents and take steps to improve their habitat.
    • We enhance and measure pollinator habit and have partnered with Washington State since 2015 to increase the population, species variety, and health of our local pollinator population. Our natural beekeeping policies include no use of high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics.
    • We are actively engaged in a forest management plan to ensure a healthy future for our 335 acres of forest on the property.
    • We are proud operators of an award winning onsite waste water treatment facility that has been in operation since 1975. This aerobic process allows us to recycle and then apply reclaimed Class C water on fields that produce hay.

Local Economy

Local ingredients don’t just taste good. They also contribute to the local economy, assuring both better food and more profitable farming for future generations. They also help address issues of food access and affordability. It’s a beautiful thing: local farmers grow the food, and our entire community benefits. That’s why we are committed to changing the demand curve for sustainably grown local food and building a value chain that is equitable for all. Why is this critical?

King County Facts

  • The average farmer losses $2,700 per year.
  • 56% of our farmers rely on additional income outside of farming in order to support their family and farm operations.
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households.

Doing good never tasted so good.

Nutrition

At Carnation Farms we advocate for a balance of whole foods.

We love to show how we grow nutritious, delicious food on our farm and how to easily prepare it at home. Eating better and eating together are such healthy pleasures!

Good nutrition isn’t about a rigid prescription or list of do’s and don’ts. It’s about the enjoyment of a broad variety of farm-fresh foods, minimally processed, without a ton of added sugar and salt.

Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, flavor! Most Americans don’t eat enough veggies, but with a few good cooking tips, they can boost color on their plate and nutrients in their diet.

Fruits, such as blueberries, melons, and apples grown on our farm, are nourishing and sweet. And they’re a healthier and more satisfying snack than candy or chips.

Grains, especially whole grains like the wheat we grow in our fields, provide needed fiber and phytochemicals.

Meats from animals responsibly raised outdoors, such as our chickens and pigs, don’t just taste better, they also have a richer nutrient profile. We grow an array of beans, from unusual orca beans to the familiar pinto, which are rich sources of protein and fiber, and much easier to prepare than most people imagine.

Dairy foods we serve include cheese and milk from local pasture-raised cows, and are delicious sources of calcium and protein.

It’s not that complicated to eat right to prevent disease. The same diet – including these natural ingredients – can cut the risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and poor bone health. And, they taste great, especially in your kitchen or at your table, which we believe are the most important parts of any home.

History

 

There was a purpose for Carnation Farms. Elbridge Amos Stuart came to the grim realization that there were not enough cows in the world to produce the volume of milk he thought he needed for his fledgling Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company (Carnation Milk).

Carnation Farms was created in 1908, when founder E.A. Stuart purchased the original 360 acres of farmland—sight unseen because of a tip from his childhood friend, Sam Hill, that the railroad would soon connect to this part of the world. In purchasing this farm his first priority was to increase the productivity of dairy herds. Another task was to get the milk to one of his milk plants in Monroe though his friend Sam would solve this problem for him in 1911. Stuart’s ideas fundamentally changed milk production, starting with the cows themselves.

To increase milk production, he embarked on a selective breeding program of Holstein cows which would dramatically increase the volume of milk that his cows produced on the farm and eventually around the world. Stuart was increasingly paying attention to the bloodlines of his animals and instituted a policy which would ensure the cows were happy as well as healthy. Carnation Farms built their dairy operations around the concept of well treated cows. EA fostered the idea that cows which avoided stress and mistreatment would be able to produce more milk. In a 1906 marketing meeting in Chicago, he described the treatment of the cows, how they were fed and the farm that they lived on. A lady from the marketing firm absent mindedly commented that “they must be very contented cows”. This was the light bulb moment in which the tag line for the company was born.

In the breezeway of the main barn, where many of the milking cows were housed, there remains to this day a sign which lays out guidelines for how to treat the cows:

“The RULE to be observed in this stable at all times, toward the cattle, young and old, is that of patience and kindness….

Remember that this is the home of mothers. Treat each cow as a mother should be treated. The giving of milk is a function of motherhood; rough treatment lessens the flow. That injures me as well as the cow. Always keep these ideas in mind in dealing with my cattle.”

In fact, there was also no bad language allowed around the Carnation herd, both at home and when the cows would occasionally travel for exhibitions. In some of the early photographs of the barns, one can see signs that say “no swearing”.

Another way to encourage milk production and contented cows was to ensure that the best milk cows were paired with the best workers. This proved to be a winning combination in 1921 with a cow named Segis Pietertje Prospect, lovingly known as “Possum Sweetheart”, and a milker named Carl Gockerell. In 1900, the average milk production for a cow was 1,500 -1,900 pounds of milk per year. The combination of “Possum Sweetheart” and Gockerell resulted in a record-shattering 37,000 pounds of milk produced in one year. When “Possum Sweetheart” died, both Stuart and Gockerell were so deeply grieved that they constructed the world’s earliest known statue to a Holstein cow. The  cow statue still remains on display at the farm today.

It wasn’t just a few superior cows which increased the fame and fortune of Carnation Farms. The foundation herds cultivated by Carnation became breeding stock the world over. The farm eventually moved, from milk production to breeding and then into genetics research. The results and their cows remained famous throughout the world for holding the world milk production record for 36 consecutive years. The legacy Carnation cows can still be seen in dairy herd bloodlines to this day.

In 1929, Carnation acquired the Albers Milling Company which allowed the company to enter the cereals and animal feeds market. Palatability and nutritional research was expanded at the farm to a larger variety of animals. The largest and most profitable group were dogs and later cats. The research here opened a variety of consumer products including the Friskies brand.

Since its founding in 1908, Carnation Farms has gone through a few transitions. The Stuart family sold the company and the farm to Nestle in January of 1985. Nestle ran the farm until 2008 when a non-profit bought it. The family repurchased the farm in 2010. October of 2016 began a new start for the historic farm when the Stuart Family founded a new non-profit called Carnation Farms. The new mission aims to go back to the farm’s roots. They intend to share the 818-acre organic farm with the community. The mission is to promote environmentally sustainable practices that connect people and communities to the land through farm based and culinary education. It is hoped that these efforts will inspire healthy and balanced lifestyles and an appreciation of the history of past generations of the Carnation valley.

The organization is working to create many different programs including summer camps, workshops, family retreats, farm-to-table dinners, and more. The farm is also working to find innovative and creative ways to keep the farm working.  Examples include providing programs for farmer interns, culinary programs, showing how the farm can be an example of environmental sustainability,  the use of recycling reclaimed water for farming, and on-farm sourcing of certified organic produce for local consumption. The farm, and its founding family, hope to keep its rich history front and center with behind-the-scenes history tours.

Farm Facts

Nestled in the picturesque Snoqualmie Valley, Carnation Farms’ 818-acre organic property is a hub of sustainable and healthy practices. Serving as both a working farm and an outdoor classroom, Carnation Farms’ promotes innovative practices that support healthy living and a stronger appreciation and deep respect for the land.

Certified Organic Garden

Carnation Farms’ 8-acre certified organic garden serves as an outdoor classroom while growing a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries and flowers. Over 100+ different plant varieties provide a backdrop to hands-on education through field trips, camps, and workshops. The garden design and operation demonstrates sustainable soil management and optimal water use, and supports beneficial insects and pollinators, local bird populations, and wildlife habitat. At Carnation Farms we save seed, grow green manures in the summer, use mulches to conserve water, and compete against weeds, recycle and reuse found materials, as well as using renewable materials such as bamboo for trellising. The Carnation Farms’ garden is so popular we even have 10 different types of bumblebees living in the garden.

Beehives

In 2017 Carnation Farms installed 16 hives on our upper property, with 2 hives in our garden for educational purposes. All hives are Langstroth hives, with a mixture of Italian, Carniolan, and some hybrid bees. Nectar is sourced from our garden cover crops, flowers, native shrubs and trees, and blackberries. Harvested honey will be used in our kitchen. We use integrated pest management, including drone-brood trapping, screen bottom boards, and selection of mite resistant traits. Along with our certified organic production, Carnation Farms’ natural beekeeping policies includes no high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics. Fun fact – it takes nectar from 2 million flower blossoms to produce 1 pound of honey!

Chickens

Carnation Farms is home to 16 different breeds of chickens, including Belgian D’Uccle, Barred Rock, Barnevelder, Black Silkie, Rhode Island Red, Sex-link, Salmon Faverolle, Jersey Giant, Auracana, Easter Egg Bantee, Japanese Silkie, Cuckoo Maran, Delaware, Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex, and Brahma.  As chicks, each bird is handled with care by our farm team, fostering a bond between human and chick. This leads to incredibly social chickens that support our farm-based curriculum rooted in observation, mindfulness, and diligence. Our chickens have their very own coop built on site, and matching many of the of the historic buildings. Carnation Farms is USDA Certified Organic for farm fresh eggs, and follows national husbandry guidelines. The smallest of our roosters (Bantam) was the first to crow in our flock.

Hiking Trails

In total, Carnation Farms is home to approximately 7 miles of wandering trails through a lush forest with multiple streams, habitats, and more. Currently Carnation Farms only has a 2-mile round trip trail in operation, known as the Trout Pond Trail. Departing from behind the Dining Center hikers will move .5 miles uphill to our gazebo, then rest in the shade while enjoying a scenic view of the farmlands below. After the break, hikers continue .5 miles down to the trout pond and visit our rustic cabin and dam with mid-span gazebo. Along the way, hikers can explore our managed forest including old growth cedar stumps, multiple generations of managed timber, and an abundance of plant and animal life including deer, elk, river otters and many birds. The trail is mostly single track; sturdy shoes are advised. Guided hikes are available, check our calendar for details.

Forestry

For over 50 years, 335 of our acres have served as a Certified Organic Washington State Tree Farm. Multiple generations of sustainably harvested timber keep our land in use, while meeting the needs of the community.

Certified Organic Hay

Since the early 1900s Carnation Farms has grown hay and hay-lage for local farm animals. Carnation Farms dedicates over 100 acres to growing certified organic hay, averaging three or more harvests per year, for 500 tons per year average. With multiple sustainable practices in place, Carnation Farms is the only farm in Washington State that uses class C reclaimed water for irrigation. Our history of innovative farming practices and care for the land has ensured a consistent harvest for over 100 years using the same production fields. Hay is available for sale, please contact the Farm.

Water Treatment Facility

In 1974 Carnation Farms installed a wastewater treatment facility to increase sustainable practices at the Farm. The plant started operation the following year, utilizing an Extended Aeration Activated Sludge process. The process removes solids, pathogens and organics that may affect our environment and reduces our waste stream through water reuse practices. Our class C reclaimed water is stored in the winter, then land applied to our organic hay fields in the dry season where crops utilize any available nutrients. Our waste stream does not enter any receiving steam in the way that most municipalities. Carnation Farms is the only organic certified farm that is using class C reclaimed water in Washington State. The WWTP ST-0005139D requires two operators that are certified through the Washington State Department of Ecology. Carnation Farms received Outstanding Performance Awards from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015 for the management of our wastewater treatment facility.

Cattle

Beginning in 2012 Carnation Farms leased 90 acres of pasture to Skagit River Ranch. The pasture is home to sixty cows and sixty calves, all certified organic grass-fed Wagyu. As certified organic producers, Carnation Farms and Skagit River Ranch do not use antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, or animal by-products. A variety of grasses, legumes, and herbs are grown to provide the animals with a balance of natural nutrients essential for maintaining good health. The Farm practices certified organic rest rotational pasture grazing to promote health and sustainability.

Meet Our Team

 

 

 

Farming Philosophy

From farm to forest to river, we believe that growing and harvesting food must be done in ways that contribute to a healthier environment. And we’re big believers that sustainable food is good food. Your mom would be proud: being responsible eaters and growers brings its own tasty reward.

Soil Management: It all starts with the soil. If we don’t build good soil…the rest doesn’t matter. How do we build great soil?

  • We promote biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels.
  • We have an extensive crop rotation plan to protect soil fertility and prevent soil diseases.
  • We plant cover crop to prevent soil erosion and to protect soil microbial communities.
  • We practice limited and timely tillage.
  • We incorporate fallow periods to “rest” the soil.
  • We conduct regular soil analysis…all under the watchful eye of a farmer with an advanced degree in soil science. This analysis measures soil health as defined by nutrient, organic matter, and biological life levels.

Growing Methods:

  • We are certified Organic by the USDA. This is an important designation for us as it provides third party objectivity and transparency.
  • We plan for and execute crop diversity.
  • We save seed to responsibly grow future healthy crops.
  • We practice timely watering which reduces environmental impact.
  • We incorporate perennials into annual production to ensure protection against soil erosion.

Animal Husbandry: We believe in transparency and avoid using marketing terms that are misleading to the public. We encourage you to know your farmer and the source of eggs and meat. We are proud of our animal husbandry practices and ensure that guests can see how they are treated as part of a visit to the farm.The Animal Welfare module outlines five freedoms for animal welfare, we abide by and exceed these standards, which include:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviors by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

 

We also look to create areas that provide living areas that more closely resemble natural habitat.

Our poultry are outside every day with direct access to pasture. They are provided mobile coops with plenty of space and are frequently cleaned…and moved regularly to new pasture. They are fed certified organic grains and treats culled from our garden.

  • Environmental Stewardship: We consider environmental stewardship a core responsibility.  We aren’t perfect, but we have built a responsible foundation and take pride in our annual plan to improve the environment.  Examples of our environmental efforts include:
    • We have been a Game Reserve since 1974 and create wildlife corridors to ensure minimal impact to our wildlife residents.
    • We are Salmon Safe certified and actively involved with regional conservation groups to improve habitat in the river and our land that borders the river. We also measure the size, diversity, and health of our riparian residents and take steps to improve their habitat.
    • We enhance and measure pollinator habit and have partnered with Washington State since 2015 to increase the population, species variety, and health of our local pollinator population. Our natural beekeeping policies include no use of high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics.
    • We are actively engaged in a forest management plan to ensure a healthy future for our 335 acres of forest on the property.
    • We are proud operators of an award winning onsite waste water treatment facility that has been in operation since 1975. This aerobic process allows us to recycle and then apply reclaimed Class C water on fields that produce hay.

Local Economy

Local ingredients don’t just taste good. They also contribute to the local economy, assuring both better food and more profitable farming for future generations. They also help address issues of food access and affordability. It’s a beautiful thing: local farmers grow the food, and our entire community benefits. That’s why we are committed to changing the demand curve for sustainably grown local food and building a value chain that is equitable for all. Why is this critical?

King County Facts

  • The average farmer losses $2,700 per year.
  • 56% of our farmers rely on additional income outside of farming in order to support their family and farm operations.
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households.

Doing good never tasted so good.

Food Philosophy

Choosing your food doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

What we mean by “Local”:

  • We encourage everyone to grow some food. Grow your own. It doesn’t get more local than this.
  • How we prioritize “Local” when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
    • Our Farm:
      • The vast majority of what we serve comes directly from our farm. Hyper local is our best choice.
    • Our Neighbors:
      • We believe that supporting our neighbors means buying local product. This supports ensure fresh product, grows local economy and reduces food miles.
      • Snoqualmie Valley: There are more than 100 farms in the Snoqualmie Valley. We’re proud to support our neighbor farmers.
      • King County: There are 1,837 farms in King County. Plenty of great options to choose from.
      • Washington State: This supports regional economy and seasonality.
    • Domestic Production: When we can’t find an ingredient that is locally sourced.
    • Globally Sourced: For ingredients that are not readily available in domestic production.
  • Organic Whenever Possible:
    • We grow in a certified organic manner and encourage others to do so when possible.
    • How we prioritize when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
      • Certified Organic
      • Grown Using Organic Practices
      • Non GMO
      • Other Growing Methods only when it is the only source available and transparently disclosed when used.In Season for Our Location: 

        As Alice Waters said, “Nine tenths of cooking is understanding farming and seasonality.” The vast majority of what we serve our guests is produced on property or by our neighbors. We have award winning chefs on our team and their focus is on celebrating seasonal bounty, coaxing great flavors though time honored techniques, and sharing their knowledge with our guests so that they can reproduce this at home over 300 nights per year.

History

 

There was a purpose for Carnation Farms. Elbridge Amos Stuart came to the grim realization that there were not enough cows in the world to produce the volume of milk he thought he needed for his fledgling Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company (Carnation Milk).

Carnation Farms was created in 1908, when founder E.A. Stuart purchased the original 360 acres of farmland—sight unseen because of a tip from his childhood friend, Sam Hill, that the railroad would soon connect to this part of the world. In purchasing this farm his first priority was to increase the productivity of dairy herds. Another task was to get the milk to one of his milk plants in Monroe though his friend Sam would solve this problem for him in 1911. Stuart’s ideas fundamentally changed milk production, starting with the cows themselves.

To increase milk production, he embarked on a selective breeding program of Holstein cows which would dramatically increase the volume of milk that his cows produced on the farm and eventually around the world. Stuart was increasingly paying attention to the bloodlines of his animals and instituted a policy which would ensure the cows were happy as well as healthy. Carnation Farms built their dairy operations around the concept of well treated cows. EA fostered the idea that cows which avoided stress and mistreatment would be able to produce more milk. In a 1906 marketing meeting in Chicago, he described the treatment of the cows, how they were fed and the farm that they lived on. A lady from the marketing firm absent mindedly commented that “they must be very contented cows”. This was the light bulb moment in which the tag line for the company was born.

In the breezeway of the main barn, where many of the milking cows were housed, there remains to this day a sign which lays out guidelines for how to treat the cows:

“The RULE to be observed in this stable at all times, toward the cattle, young and old, is that of patience and kindness….

Remember that this is the home of mothers. Treat each cow as a mother should be treated. The giving of milk is a function of motherhood; rough treatment lessens the flow. That injures me as well as the cow. Always keep these ideas in mind in dealing with my cattle.”

In fact, there was also no bad language allowed around the Carnation herd, both at home and when the cows would occasionally travel for exhibitions. In some of the early photographs of the barns, one can see signs that say “no swearing”.

Another way to encourage milk production and contented cows was to ensure that the best milk cows were paired with the best workers. This proved to be a winning combination in 1921 with a cow named Segis Pietertje Prospect, lovingly known as “Possum Sweetheart”, and a milker named Carl Gockerell. In 1900, the average milk production for a cow was 1,500 -1,900 pounds of milk per year. The combination of “Possum Sweetheart” and Gockerell resulted in a record-shattering 37,000 pounds of milk produced in one year. When “Possum Sweetheart” died, both Stuart and Gockerell were so deeply grieved that they constructed the world’s earliest known statue to a Holstein cow. The  cow statue still remains on display at the farm today.

It wasn’t just a few superior cows which increased the fame and fortune of Carnation Farms. The foundation herds cultivated by Carnation became breeding stock the world over. The farm eventually moved, from milk production to breeding and then into genetics research. The results and their cows remained famous throughout the world for holding the world milk production record for 36 consecutive years. The legacy Carnation cows can still be seen in dairy herd bloodlines to this day.

In 1929, Carnation acquired the Albers Milling Company which allowed the company to enter the cereals and animal feeds market. Palatability and nutritional research was expanded at the farm to a larger variety of animals. The largest and most profitable group were dogs and later cats. The research here opened a variety of consumer products including the Friskies brand.

Since its founding in 1908, Carnation Farms has gone through a few transitions. The Stuart family sold the company and the farm to Nestle in January of 1985. Nestle ran the farm until 2008 when a non-profit bought it. The family repurchased the farm in 2010. October of 2016 began a new start for the historic farm when the Stuart Family founded a new non-profit called Carnation Farms. The new mission aims to go back to the farm’s roots. They intend to share the 818-acre organic farm with the community. The mission is to promote environmentally sustainable practices that connect people and communities to the land through farm based and culinary education. It is hoped that these efforts will inspire healthy and balanced lifestyles and an appreciation of the history of past generations of the Carnation valley.

The organization is working to create many different programs including summer camps, workshops, family retreats, farm-to-table dinners, and more. The farm is also working to find innovative and creative ways to keep the farm working.  Examples include providing programs for farmer interns, culinary programs, showing how the farm can be an example of environmental sustainability,  the use of recycling reclaimed water for farming, and on-farm sourcing of certified organic produce for local consumption. The farm, and its founding family, hope to keep its rich history front and center with behind-the-scenes history tours.

Farm Facts

Nestled in the picturesque Snoqualmie Valley, Carnation Farms’ 818-acre organic property is a hub of sustainable and healthy practices. Serving as both a working farm and an outdoor classroom, Carnation Farms’ promotes innovative practices that support healthy living and a stronger appreciation and deep respect for the land.

Certified Organic Garden

Carnation Farms’ 8-acre certified organic garden serves as an outdoor classroom while growing a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries and flowers. Over 100+ different plant varieties provide a backdrop to hands-on education through field trips, camps, and workshops. The garden design and operation demonstrates sustainable soil management and optimal water use, and supports beneficial insects and pollinators, local bird populations, and wildlife habitat. At Carnation Farms we save seed, grow green manures in the summer, use mulches to conserve water, and compete against weeds, recycle and reuse found materials, as well as using renewable materials such as bamboo for trellising. The Carnation Farms’ garden is so popular we even have 10 different types of bumblebees living in the garden.

Beehives

In 2017 Carnation Farms installed 16 hives on our upper property, with 2 hives in our garden for educational purposes. All hives are Langstroth hives, with a mixture of Italian, Carniolan, and some hybrid bees. Nectar is sourced from our garden cover crops, flowers, native shrubs and trees, and blackberries. Harvested honey will be used in our kitchen. We use integrated pest management, including drone-brood trapping, screen bottom boards, and selection of mite resistant traits. Along with our certified organic production, Carnation Farms’ natural beekeeping policies includes no high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics. Fun fact – it takes nectar from 2 million flower blossoms to produce 1 pound of honey!

Chickens

Carnation Farms is home to 16 different breeds of chickens, including Belgian D’Uccle, Barred Rock, Barnevelder, Black Silkie, Rhode Island Red, Sex-link, Salmon Faverolle, Jersey Giant, Auracana, Easter Egg Bantee, Japanese Silkie, Cuckoo Maran, Delaware, Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex, and Brahma.  As chicks, each bird is handled with care by our farm team, fostering a bond between human and chick. This leads to incredibly social chickens that support our farm-based curriculum rooted in observation, mindfulness, and diligence. Our chickens have their very own coop built on site, and matching many of the of the historic buildings. Carnation Farms is USDA Certified Organic for farm fresh eggs, and follows national husbandry guidelines. The smallest of our roosters (Bantam) was the first to crow in our flock.

Hiking Trails

In total, Carnation Farms is home to approximately 7 miles of wandering trails through a lush forest with multiple streams, habitats, and more. Currently Carnation Farms only has a 2-mile round trip trail in operation, known as the Trout Pond Trail. Departing from behind the Dining Center hikers will move .5 miles uphill to our gazebo, then rest in the shade while enjoying a scenic view of the farmlands below. After the break, hikers continue .5 miles down to the trout pond and visit our rustic cabin and dam with mid-span gazebo. Along the way, hikers can explore our managed forest including old growth cedar stumps, multiple generations of managed timber, and an abundance of plant and animal life including deer, elk, river otters and many birds. The trail is mostly single track; sturdy shoes are advised. Guided hikes are available, check our calendar for details.

Forestry

For over 50 years, 335 of our acres have served as a Certified Organic Washington State Tree Farm. Multiple generations of sustainably harvested timber keep our land in use, while meeting the needs of the community.

Certified Organic Hay

Since the early 1900s Carnation Farms has grown hay and hay-lage for local farm animals. Carnation Farms dedicates over 100 acres to growing certified organic hay, averaging three or more harvests per year, for 500 tons per year average. With multiple sustainable practices in place, Carnation Farms is the only farm in Washington State that uses class C reclaimed water for irrigation. Our history of innovative farming practices and care for the land has ensured a consistent harvest for over 100 years using the same production fields. Hay is available for sale, please contact the Farm.

Water Treatment Facility

In 1974 Carnation Farms installed a wastewater treatment facility to increase sustainable practices at the Farm. The plant started operation the following year, utilizing an Extended Aeration Activated Sludge process. The process removes solids, pathogens and organics that may affect our environment and reduces our waste stream through water reuse practices. Our class C reclaimed water is stored in the winter, then land applied to our organic hay fields in the dry season where crops utilize any available nutrients. Our waste stream does not enter any receiving steam in the way that most municipalities. Carnation Farms is the only organic certified farm that is using class C reclaimed water in Washington State. The WWTP ST-0005139D requires two operators that are certified through the Washington State Department of Ecology. Carnation Farms received Outstanding Performance Awards from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015 for the management of our wastewater treatment facility.

Cattle

Beginning in 2012 Carnation Farms leased 90 acres of pasture to Skagit River Ranch. The pasture is home to sixty cows and sixty calves, all certified organic grass-fed Wagyu. As certified organic producers, Carnation Farms and Skagit River Ranch do not use antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, or animal by-products. A variety of grasses, legumes, and herbs are grown to provide the animals with a balance of natural nutrients essential for maintaining good health. The Farm practices certified organic rest rotational pasture grazing to promote health and sustainability.

Meet Our Team

 

 

 

Farming Philosophy

From farm to forest to river, we believe that growing and harvesting food must be done in ways that contribute to a healthier environment. And we’re big believers that sustainable food is good food. Your mom would be proud: being responsible eaters and growers brings its own tasty reward.

Soil Management: It all starts with the soil. If we don’t build good soil…the rest doesn’t matter. How do we build great soil?

  • We promote biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels.
  • We have an extensive crop rotation plan to protect soil fertility and prevent soil diseases.
  • We plant cover crop to prevent soil erosion and to protect soil microbial communities.
  • We practice limited and timely tillage.
  • We incorporate fallow periods to “rest” the soil.
  • We conduct regular soil analysis…all under the watchful eye of a farmer with an advanced degree in soil science. This analysis measures soil health as defined by nutrient, organic matter, and biological life levels.

Growing Methods:

  • We are certified Organic by the USDA. This is an important designation for us as it provides third party objectivity and transparency.
  • We plan for and execute crop diversity.
  • We save seed to responsibly grow future healthy crops.
  • We practice timely watering which reduces environmental impact.
  • We incorporate perennials into annual production to ensure protection against soil erosion.

Animal Husbandry: We believe in transparency and avoid using marketing terms that are misleading to the public. We encourage you to know your farmer and the source of eggs and meat. We are proud of our animal husbandry practices and ensure that guests can see how they are treated as part of a visit to the farm.The Animal Welfare module outlines five freedoms for animal welfare, we abide by and exceed these standards, which include:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviors by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

 

We also look to create areas that provide living areas that more closely resemble natural habitat.

Our poultry are outside every day with direct access to pasture. They are provided mobile coops with plenty of space and are frequently cleaned…and moved regularly to new pasture. They are fed certified organic grains and treats culled from our garden.

  • Environmental Stewardship: We consider environmental stewardship a core responsibility.  We aren’t perfect, but we have built a responsible foundation and take pride in our annual plan to improve the environment.  Examples of our environmental efforts include:
    • We have been a Game Reserve since 1974 and create wildlife corridors to ensure minimal impact to our wildlife residents.
    • We are Salmon Safe certified and actively involved with regional conservation groups to improve habitat in the river and our land that borders the river. We also measure the size, diversity, and health of our riparian residents and take steps to improve their habitat.
    • We enhance and measure pollinator habit and have partnered with Washington State since 2015 to increase the population, species variety, and health of our local pollinator population. Our natural beekeeping policies include no use of high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics.
    • We are actively engaged in a forest management plan to ensure a healthy future for our 335 acres of forest on the property.
    • We are proud operators of an award winning onsite waste water treatment facility that has been in operation since 1975. This aerobic process allows us to recycle and then apply reclaimed Class C water on fields that produce hay.

Local Economy

Local ingredients don’t just taste good. They also contribute to the local economy, assuring both better food and more profitable farming for future generations. They also help address issues of food access and affordability. It’s a beautiful thing: local farmers grow the food, and our entire community benefits. That’s why we are committed to changing the demand curve for sustainably grown local food and building a value chain that is equitable for all. Why is this critical?

King County Facts

  • The average farmer losses $2,700 per year.
  • 56% of our farmers rely on additional income outside of farming in order to support their family and farm operations.
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households.

Doing good never tasted so good.

Food Philosophy

Choosing your food doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

What we mean by “Local”:

  • We encourage everyone to grow some food. Grow your own. It doesn’t get more local than this.
  • How we prioritize “Local” when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
    • Our Farm:
      • The vast majority of what we serve comes directly from our farm. Hyper local is our best choice.
    • Our Neighbors:
      • We believe that supporting our neighbors means buying local product. This supports ensure fresh product, grows local economy and reduces food miles.
      • Snoqualmie Valley: There are more than 100 farms in the Snoqualmie Valley. We’re proud to support our neighbor farmers.
      • King County: There are 1,837 farms in King County. Plenty of great options to choose from.
      • Washington State: This supports regional economy and seasonality.
    • Domestic Production: When we can’t find an ingredient that is locally sourced.
    • Globally Sourced: For ingredients that are not readily available in domestic production.
  • Organic Whenever Possible:
    • We grow in a certified organic manner and encourage others to do so when possible.
    • How we prioritize when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
      • Certified Organic
      • Grown Using Organic Practices
      • Non GMO
      • Other Growing Methods only when it is the only source available and transparently disclosed when used.In Season for Our Location: 

        As Alice Waters said, “Nine tenths of cooking is understanding farming and seasonality.” The vast majority of what we serve our guests is produced on property or by our neighbors. We have award winning chefs on our team and their focus is on celebrating seasonal bounty, coaxing great flavors though time honored techniques, and sharing their knowledge with our guests so that they can reproduce this at home over 300 nights per year.

Nutrition

At Carnation Farms we advocate for a balance of whole foods.

We love to show how we grow nutritious, delicious food on our farm and how to easily prepare it at home. Eating better and eating together are such healthy pleasures!

Good nutrition isn’t about a rigid prescription or list of do’s and don’ts. It’s about the enjoyment of a broad variety of farm-fresh foods, minimally processed, without a ton of added sugar and salt.

Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, flavor! Most Americans don’t eat enough veggies, but with a few good cooking tips, they can boost color on their plate and nutrients in their diet.

Fruits, such as blueberries, melons, and apples grown on our farm, are nourishing and sweet. And they’re a healthier and more satisfying snack than candy or chips.

Grains, especially whole grains like the wheat we grow in our fields, provide needed fiber and phytochemicals.

Meats from animals responsibly raised outdoors, such as our chickens and pigs, don’t just taste better, they also have a richer nutrient profile. We grow an array of beans, from unusual orca beans to the familiar pinto, which are rich sources of protein and fiber, and much easier to prepare than most people imagine.

Dairy foods we serve include cheese and milk from local pasture-raised cows, and are delicious sources of calcium and protein.

It’s not that complicated to eat right to prevent disease. The same diet – including these natural ingredients – can cut the risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and poor bone health. And, they taste great, especially in your kitchen or at your table, which we believe are the most important parts of any home.

Farm Facts

Nestled in the picturesque Snoqualmie Valley, Carnation Farms’ 818-acre organic property is a hub of sustainable and healthy practices. Serving as both a working farm and an outdoor classroom, Carnation Farms’ promotes innovative practices that support healthy living and a stronger appreciation and deep respect for the land.

Certified Organic Garden

Carnation Farms’ 8-acre certified organic garden serves as an outdoor classroom while growing a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries and flowers. Over 100+ different plant varieties provide a backdrop to hands-on education through field trips, camps, and workshops. The garden design and operation demonstrates sustainable soil management and optimal water use, and supports beneficial insects and pollinators, local bird populations, and wildlife habitat. At Carnation Farms we save seed, grow green manures in the summer, use mulches to conserve water, and compete against weeds, recycle and reuse found materials, as well as using renewable materials such as bamboo for trellising. The Carnation Farms’ garden is so popular we even have 10 different types of bumblebees living in the garden.

Beehives

In 2017 Carnation Farms installed 16 hives on our upper property, with 2 hives in our garden for educational purposes. All hives are Langstroth hives, with a mixture of Italian, Carniolan, and some hybrid bees. Nectar is sourced from our garden cover crops, flowers, native shrubs and trees, and blackberries. Harvested honey will be used in our kitchen. We use integrated pest management, including drone-brood trapping, screen bottom boards, and selection of mite resistant traits. Along with our certified organic production, Carnation Farms’ natural beekeeping policies includes no high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics. Fun fact – it takes nectar from 2 million flower blossoms to produce 1 pound of honey!

Chickens

Carnation Farms is home to 16 different breeds of chickens, including Belgian D’Uccle, Barred Rock, Barnevelder, Black Silkie, Rhode Island Red, Sex-link, Salmon Faverolle, Jersey Giant, Auracana, Easter Egg Bantee, Japanese Silkie, Cuckoo Maran, Delaware, Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex, and Brahma.  As chicks, each bird is handled with care by our farm team, fostering a bond between human and chick. This leads to incredibly social chickens that support our farm-based curriculum rooted in observation, mindfulness, and diligence. Our chickens have their very own coop built on site, and matching many of the of the historic buildings. Carnation Farms is USDA Certified Organic for farm fresh eggs, and follows national husbandry guidelines. The smallest of our roosters (Bantam) was the first to crow in our flock.

Hiking Trails

In total, Carnation Farms is home to approximately 7 miles of wandering trails through a lush forest with multiple streams, habitats, and more. Currently Carnation Farms only has a 2-mile round trip trail in operation, known as the Trout Pond Trail. Departing from behind the Dining Center hikers will move .5 miles uphill to our gazebo, then rest in the shade while enjoying a scenic view of the farmlands below. After the break, hikers continue .5 miles down to the trout pond and visit our rustic cabin and dam with mid-span gazebo. Along the way, hikers can explore our managed forest including old growth cedar stumps, multiple generations of managed timber, and an abundance of plant and animal life including deer, elk, river otters and many birds. The trail is mostly single track; sturdy shoes are advised. Guided hikes are available, check our calendar for details.

Forestry

For over 50 years, 335 of our acres have served as a Certified Organic Washington State Tree Farm. Multiple generations of sustainably harvested timber keep our land in use, while meeting the needs of the community.

Certified Organic Hay

Since the early 1900s Carnation Farms has grown hay and hay-lage for local farm animals. Carnation Farms dedicates over 100 acres to growing certified organic hay, averaging three or more harvests per year, for 500 tons per year average. With multiple sustainable practices in place, Carnation Farms is the only farm in Washington State that uses class C reclaimed water for irrigation. Our history of innovative farming practices and care for the land has ensured a consistent harvest for over 100 years using the same production fields. Hay is available for sale, please contact the Farm.

Water Treatment Facility

In 1974 Carnation Farms installed a wastewater treatment facility to increase sustainable practices at the Farm. The plant started operation the following year, utilizing an Extended Aeration Activated Sludge process. The process removes solids, pathogens and organics that may affect our environment and reduces our waste stream through water reuse practices. Our class C reclaimed water is stored in the winter, then land applied to our organic hay fields in the dry season where crops utilize any available nutrients. Our waste stream does not enter any receiving steam in the way that most municipalities. Carnation Farms is the only organic certified farm that is using class C reclaimed water in Washington State. The WWTP ST-0005139D requires two operators that are certified through the Washington State Department of Ecology. Carnation Farms received Outstanding Performance Awards from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015 for the management of our wastewater treatment facility.

Cattle

Beginning in 2012 Carnation Farms leased 90 acres of pasture to Skagit River Ranch. The pasture is home to sixty cows and sixty calves, all certified organic grass-fed Wagyu. As certified organic producers, Carnation Farms and Skagit River Ranch do not use antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, or animal by-products. A variety of grasses, legumes, and herbs are grown to provide the animals with a balance of natural nutrients essential for maintaining good health. The Farm practices certified organic rest rotational pasture grazing to promote health and sustainability.

Meet Our Team

 

 

 

Farming Philosophy

From farm to forest to river, we believe that growing and harvesting food must be done in ways that contribute to a healthier environment. And we’re big believers that sustainable food is good food. Your mom would be proud: being responsible eaters and growers brings its own tasty reward.

Soil Management: It all starts with the soil. If we don’t build good soil…the rest doesn’t matter. How do we build great soil?

  • We promote biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels.
  • We have an extensive crop rotation plan to protect soil fertility and prevent soil diseases.
  • We plant cover crop to prevent soil erosion and to protect soil microbial communities.
  • We practice limited and timely tillage.
  • We incorporate fallow periods to “rest” the soil.
  • We conduct regular soil analysis…all under the watchful eye of a farmer with an advanced degree in soil science. This analysis measures soil health as defined by nutrient, organic matter, and biological life levels.

Growing Methods:

  • We are certified Organic by the USDA. This is an important designation for us as it provides third party objectivity and transparency.
  • We plan for and execute crop diversity.
  • We save seed to responsibly grow future healthy crops.
  • We practice timely watering which reduces environmental impact.
  • We incorporate perennials into annual production to ensure protection against soil erosion.

Animal Husbandry: We believe in transparency and avoid using marketing terms that are misleading to the public. We encourage you to know your farmer and the source of eggs and meat. We are proud of our animal husbandry practices and ensure that guests can see how they are treated as part of a visit to the farm.The Animal Welfare module outlines five freedoms for animal welfare, we abide by and exceed these standards, which include:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviors by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

 

We also look to create areas that provide living areas that more closely resemble natural habitat.

Our poultry are outside every day with direct access to pasture. They are provided mobile coops with plenty of space and are frequently cleaned…and moved regularly to new pasture. They are fed certified organic grains and treats culled from our garden.

  • Environmental Stewardship: We consider environmental stewardship a core responsibility.  We aren’t perfect, but we have built a responsible foundation and take pride in our annual plan to improve the environment.  Examples of our environmental efforts include:
    • We have been a Game Reserve since 1974 and create wildlife corridors to ensure minimal impact to our wildlife residents.
    • We are Salmon Safe certified and actively involved with regional conservation groups to improve habitat in the river and our land that borders the river. We also measure the size, diversity, and health of our riparian residents and take steps to improve their habitat.
    • We enhance and measure pollinator habit and have partnered with Washington State since 2015 to increase the population, species variety, and health of our local pollinator population. Our natural beekeeping policies include no use of high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics.
    • We are actively engaged in a forest management plan to ensure a healthy future for our 335 acres of forest on the property.
    • We are proud operators of an award winning onsite waste water treatment facility that has been in operation since 1975. This aerobic process allows us to recycle and then apply reclaimed Class C water on fields that produce hay.

Local Economy

Local ingredients don’t just taste good. They also contribute to the local economy, assuring both better food and more profitable farming for future generations. They also help address issues of food access and affordability. It’s a beautiful thing: local farmers grow the food, and our entire community benefits. That’s why we are committed to changing the demand curve for sustainably grown local food and building a value chain that is equitable for all. Why is this critical?

King County Facts

  • The average farmer losses $2,700 per year.
  • 56% of our farmers rely on additional income outside of farming in order to support their family and farm operations.
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households.

Doing good never tasted so good.

Food Philosophy

Choosing your food doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

What we mean by “Local”:

  • We encourage everyone to grow some food. Grow your own. It doesn’t get more local than this.
  • How we prioritize “Local” when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
    • Our Farm:
      • The vast majority of what we serve comes directly from our farm. Hyper local is our best choice.
    • Our Neighbors:
      • We believe that supporting our neighbors means buying local product. This supports ensure fresh product, grows local economy and reduces food miles.
      • Snoqualmie Valley: There are more than 100 farms in the Snoqualmie Valley. We’re proud to support our neighbor farmers.
      • King County: There are 1,837 farms in King County. Plenty of great options to choose from.
      • Washington State: This supports regional economy and seasonality.
    • Domestic Production: When we can’t find an ingredient that is locally sourced.
    • Globally Sourced: For ingredients that are not readily available in domestic production.
  • Organic Whenever Possible:
    • We grow in a certified organic manner and encourage others to do so when possible.
    • How we prioritize when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
      • Certified Organic
      • Grown Using Organic Practices
      • Non GMO
      • Other Growing Methods only when it is the only source available and transparently disclosed when used.In Season for Our Location: 

        As Alice Waters said, “Nine tenths of cooking is understanding farming and seasonality.” The vast majority of what we serve our guests is produced on property or by our neighbors. We have award winning chefs on our team and their focus is on celebrating seasonal bounty, coaxing great flavors though time honored techniques, and sharing their knowledge with our guests so that they can reproduce this at home over 300 nights per year.

Nutrition

At Carnation Farms we advocate for a balance of whole foods.

We love to show how we grow nutritious, delicious food on our farm and how to easily prepare it at home. Eating better and eating together are such healthy pleasures!

Good nutrition isn’t about a rigid prescription or list of do’s and don’ts. It’s about the enjoyment of a broad variety of farm-fresh foods, minimally processed, without a ton of added sugar and salt.

Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, flavor! Most Americans don’t eat enough veggies, but with a few good cooking tips, they can boost color on their plate and nutrients in their diet.

Fruits, such as blueberries, melons, and apples grown on our farm, are nourishing and sweet. And they’re a healthier and more satisfying snack than candy or chips.

Grains, especially whole grains like the wheat we grow in our fields, provide needed fiber and phytochemicals.

Meats from animals responsibly raised outdoors, such as our chickens and pigs, don’t just taste better, they also have a richer nutrient profile. We grow an array of beans, from unusual orca beans to the familiar pinto, which are rich sources of protein and fiber, and much easier to prepare than most people imagine.

Dairy foods we serve include cheese and milk from local pasture-raised cows, and are delicious sources of calcium and protein.

It’s not that complicated to eat right to prevent disease. The same diet – including these natural ingredients – can cut the risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and poor bone health. And, they taste great, especially in your kitchen or at your table, which we believe are the most important parts of any home.

History

 

There was a purpose for Carnation Farms. Elbridge Amos Stuart came to the grim realization that there were not enough cows in the world to produce the volume of milk he thought he needed for his fledgling Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company (Carnation Milk).

Carnation Farms was created in 1908, when founder E.A. Stuart purchased the original 360 acres of farmland—sight unseen because of a tip from his childhood friend, Sam Hill, that the railroad would soon connect to this part of the world. In purchasing this farm his first priority was to increase the productivity of dairy herds. Another task was to get the milk to one of his milk plants in Monroe though his friend Sam would solve this problem for him in 1911. Stuart’s ideas fundamentally changed milk production, starting with the cows themselves.

To increase milk production, he embarked on a selective breeding program of Holstein cows which would dramatically increase the volume of milk that his cows produced on the farm and eventually around the world. Stuart was increasingly paying attention to the bloodlines of his animals and instituted a policy which would ensure the cows were happy as well as healthy. Carnation Farms built their dairy operations around the concept of well treated cows. EA fostered the idea that cows which avoided stress and mistreatment would be able to produce more milk. In a 1906 marketing meeting in Chicago, he described the treatment of the cows, how they were fed and the farm that they lived on. A lady from the marketing firm absent mindedly commented that “they must be very contented cows”. This was the light bulb moment in which the tag line for the company was born.

In the breezeway of the main barn, where many of the milking cows were housed, there remains to this day a sign which lays out guidelines for how to treat the cows:

“The RULE to be observed in this stable at all times, toward the cattle, young and old, is that of patience and kindness….

Remember that this is the home of mothers. Treat each cow as a mother should be treated. The giving of milk is a function of motherhood; rough treatment lessens the flow. That injures me as well as the cow. Always keep these ideas in mind in dealing with my cattle.”

In fact, there was also no bad language allowed around the Carnation herd, both at home and when the cows would occasionally travel for exhibitions. In some of the early photographs of the barns, one can see signs that say “no swearing”.

Another way to encourage milk production and contented cows was to ensure that the best milk cows were paired with the best workers. This proved to be a winning combination in 1921 with a cow named Segis Pietertje Prospect, lovingly known as “Possum Sweetheart”, and a milker named Carl Gockerell. In 1900, the average milk production for a cow was 1,500 -1,900 pounds of milk per year. The combination of “Possum Sweetheart” and Gockerell resulted in a record-shattering 37,000 pounds of milk produced in one year. When “Possum Sweetheart” died, both Stuart and Gockerell were so deeply grieved that they constructed the world’s earliest known statue to a Holstein cow. The  cow statue still remains on display at the farm today.

It wasn’t just a few superior cows which increased the fame and fortune of Carnation Farms. The foundation herds cultivated by Carnation became breeding stock the world over. The farm eventually moved, from milk production to breeding and then into genetics research. The results and their cows remained famous throughout the world for holding the world milk production record for 36 consecutive years. The legacy Carnation cows can still be seen in dairy herd bloodlines to this day.

In 1929, Carnation acquired the Albers Milling Company which allowed the company to enter the cereals and animal feeds market. Palatability and nutritional research was expanded at the farm to a larger variety of animals. The largest and most profitable group were dogs and later cats. The research here opened a variety of consumer products including the Friskies brand.

Since its founding in 1908, Carnation Farms has gone through a few transitions. The Stuart family sold the company and the farm to Nestle in January of 1985. Nestle ran the farm until 2008 when a non-profit bought it. The family repurchased the farm in 2010. October of 2016 began a new start for the historic farm when the Stuart Family founded a new non-profit called Carnation Farms. The new mission aims to go back to the farm’s roots. They intend to share the 818-acre organic farm with the community. The mission is to promote environmentally sustainable practices that connect people and communities to the land through farm based and culinary education. It is hoped that these efforts will inspire healthy and balanced lifestyles and an appreciation of the history of past generations of the Carnation valley.

The organization is working to create many different programs including summer camps, workshops, family retreats, farm-to-table dinners, and more. The farm is also working to find innovative and creative ways to keep the farm working.  Examples include providing programs for farmer interns, culinary programs, showing how the farm can be an example of environmental sustainability,  the use of recycling reclaimed water for farming, and on-farm sourcing of certified organic produce for local consumption. The farm, and its founding family, hope to keep its rich history front and center with behind-the-scenes history tours.

Meet Our Team

 

 

 

Farming Philosophy

From farm to forest to river, we believe that growing and harvesting food must be done in ways that contribute to a healthier environment. And we’re big believers that sustainable food is good food. Your mom would be proud: being responsible eaters and growers brings its own tasty reward.

Soil Management: It all starts with the soil. If we don’t build good soil…the rest doesn’t matter. How do we build great soil?

  • We promote biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels.
  • We have an extensive crop rotation plan to protect soil fertility and prevent soil diseases.
  • We plant cover crop to prevent soil erosion and to protect soil microbial communities.
  • We practice limited and timely tillage.
  • We incorporate fallow periods to “rest” the soil.
  • We conduct regular soil analysis…all under the watchful eye of a farmer with an advanced degree in soil science. This analysis measures soil health as defined by nutrient, organic matter, and biological life levels.

Growing Methods:

  • We are certified Organic by the USDA. This is an important designation for us as it provides third party objectivity and transparency.
  • We plan for and execute crop diversity.
  • We save seed to responsibly grow future healthy crops.
  • We practice timely watering which reduces environmental impact.
  • We incorporate perennials into annual production to ensure protection against soil erosion.

Animal Husbandry: We believe in transparency and avoid using marketing terms that are misleading to the public. We encourage you to know your farmer and the source of eggs and meat. We are proud of our animal husbandry practices and ensure that guests can see how they are treated as part of a visit to the farm.The Animal Welfare module outlines five freedoms for animal welfare, we abide by and exceed these standards, which include:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviors by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

 

We also look to create areas that provide living areas that more closely resemble natural habitat.

Our poultry are outside every day with direct access to pasture. They are provided mobile coops with plenty of space and are frequently cleaned…and moved regularly to new pasture. They are fed certified organic grains and treats culled from our garden.

  • Environmental Stewardship: We consider environmental stewardship a core responsibility.  We aren’t perfect, but we have built a responsible foundation and take pride in our annual plan to improve the environment.  Examples of our environmental efforts include:
    • We have been a Game Reserve since 1974 and create wildlife corridors to ensure minimal impact to our wildlife residents.
    • We are Salmon Safe certified and actively involved with regional conservation groups to improve habitat in the river and our land that borders the river. We also measure the size, diversity, and health of our riparian residents and take steps to improve their habitat.
    • We enhance and measure pollinator habit and have partnered with Washington State since 2015 to increase the population, species variety, and health of our local pollinator population. Our natural beekeeping policies include no use of high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics.
    • We are actively engaged in a forest management plan to ensure a healthy future for our 335 acres of forest on the property.
    • We are proud operators of an award winning onsite waste water treatment facility that has been in operation since 1975. This aerobic process allows us to recycle and then apply reclaimed Class C water on fields that produce hay.

Local Economy

Local ingredients don’t just taste good. They also contribute to the local economy, assuring both better food and more profitable farming for future generations. They also help address issues of food access and affordability. It’s a beautiful thing: local farmers grow the food, and our entire community benefits. That’s why we are committed to changing the demand curve for sustainably grown local food and building a value chain that is equitable for all. Why is this critical?

King County Facts

  • The average farmer losses $2,700 per year.
  • 56% of our farmers rely on additional income outside of farming in order to support their family and farm operations.
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households.

Doing good never tasted so good.

Food Philosophy

Choosing your food doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

What we mean by “Local”:

  • We encourage everyone to grow some food. Grow your own. It doesn’t get more local than this.
  • How we prioritize “Local” when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
    • Our Farm:
      • The vast majority of what we serve comes directly from our farm. Hyper local is our best choice.
    • Our Neighbors:
      • We believe that supporting our neighbors means buying local product. This supports ensure fresh product, grows local economy and reduces food miles.
      • Snoqualmie Valley: There are more than 100 farms in the Snoqualmie Valley. We’re proud to support our neighbor farmers.
      • King County: There are 1,837 farms in King County. Plenty of great options to choose from.
      • Washington State: This supports regional economy and seasonality.
    • Domestic Production: When we can’t find an ingredient that is locally sourced.
    • Globally Sourced: For ingredients that are not readily available in domestic production.
  • Organic Whenever Possible:
    • We grow in a certified organic manner and encourage others to do so when possible.
    • How we prioritize when selecting food for ourselves and our guests:
      • Certified Organic
      • Grown Using Organic Practices
      • Non GMO
      • Other Growing Methods only when it is the only source available and transparently disclosed when used.In Season for Our Location: 

        As Alice Waters said, “Nine tenths of cooking is understanding farming and seasonality.” The vast majority of what we serve our guests is produced on property or by our neighbors. We have award winning chefs on our team and their focus is on celebrating seasonal bounty, coaxing great flavors though time honored techniques, and sharing their knowledge with our guests so that they can reproduce this at home over 300 nights per year.

Nutrition

At Carnation Farms we advocate for a balance of whole foods.

We love to show how we grow nutritious, delicious food on our farm and how to easily prepare it at home. Eating better and eating together are such healthy pleasures!

Good nutrition isn’t about a rigid prescription or list of do’s and don’ts. It’s about the enjoyment of a broad variety of farm-fresh foods, minimally processed, without a ton of added sugar and salt.

Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, flavor! Most Americans don’t eat enough veggies, but with a few good cooking tips, they can boost color on their plate and nutrients in their diet.

Fruits, such as blueberries, melons, and apples grown on our farm, are nourishing and sweet. And they’re a healthier and more satisfying snack than candy or chips.

Grains, especially whole grains like the wheat we grow in our fields, provide needed fiber and phytochemicals.

Meats from animals responsibly raised outdoors, such as our chickens and pigs, don’t just taste better, they also have a richer nutrient profile. We grow an array of beans, from unusual orca beans to the familiar pinto, which are rich sources of protein and fiber, and much easier to prepare than most people imagine.

Dairy foods we serve include cheese and milk from local pasture-raised cows, and are delicious sources of calcium and protein.

It’s not that complicated to eat right to prevent disease. The same diet – including these natural ingredients – can cut the risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and poor bone health. And, they taste great, especially in your kitchen or at your table, which we believe are the most important parts of any home.

History

 

There was a purpose for Carnation Farms. Elbridge Amos Stuart came to the grim realization that there were not enough cows in the world to produce the volume of milk he thought he needed for his fledgling Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company (Carnation Milk).

Carnation Farms was created in 1908, when founder E.A. Stuart purchased the original 360 acres of farmland—sight unseen because of a tip from his childhood friend, Sam Hill, that the railroad would soon connect to this part of the world. In purchasing this farm his first priority was to increase the productivity of dairy herds. Another task was to get the milk to one of his milk plants in Monroe though his friend Sam would solve this problem for him in 1911. Stuart’s ideas fundamentally changed milk production, starting with the cows themselves.

To increase milk production, he embarked on a selective breeding program of Holstein cows which would dramatically increase the volume of milk that his cows produced on the farm and eventually around the world. Stuart was increasingly paying attention to the bloodlines of his animals and instituted a policy which would ensure the cows were happy as well as healthy. Carnation Farms built their dairy operations around the concept of well treated cows. EA fostered the idea that cows which avoided stress and mistreatment would be able to produce more milk. In a 1906 marketing meeting in Chicago, he described the treatment of the cows, how they were fed and the farm that they lived on. A lady from the marketing firm absent mindedly commented that “they must be very contented cows”. This was the light bulb moment in which the tag line for the company was born.

In the breezeway of the main barn, where many of the milking cows were housed, there remains to this day a sign which lays out guidelines for how to treat the cows:

“The RULE to be observed in this stable at all times, toward the cattle, young and old, is that of patience and kindness….

Remember that this is the home of mothers. Treat each cow as a mother should be treated. The giving of milk is a function of motherhood; rough treatment lessens the flow. That injures me as well as the cow. Always keep these ideas in mind in dealing with my cattle.”

In fact, there was also no bad language allowed around the Carnation herd, both at home and when the cows would occasionally travel for exhibitions. In some of the early photographs of the barns, one can see signs that say “no swearing”.

Another way to encourage milk production and contented cows was to ensure that the best milk cows were paired with the best workers. This proved to be a winning combination in 1921 with a cow named Segis Pietertje Prospect, lovingly known as “Possum Sweetheart”, and a milker named Carl Gockerell. In 1900, the average milk production for a cow was 1,500 -1,900 pounds of milk per year. The combination of “Possum Sweetheart” and Gockerell resulted in a record-shattering 37,000 pounds of milk produced in one year. When “Possum Sweetheart” died, both Stuart and Gockerell were so deeply grieved that they constructed the world’s earliest known statue to a Holstein cow. The  cow statue still remains on display at the farm today.

It wasn’t just a few superior cows which increased the fame and fortune of Carnation Farms. The foundation herds cultivated by Carnation became breeding stock the world over. The farm eventually moved, from milk production to breeding and then into genetics research. The results and their cows remained famous throughout the world for holding the world milk production record for 36 consecutive years. The legacy Carnation cows can still be seen in dairy herd bloodlines to this day.

In 1929, Carnation acquired the Albers Milling Company which allowed the company to enter the cereals and animal feeds market. Palatability and nutritional research was expanded at the farm to a larger variety of animals. The largest and most profitable group were dogs and later cats. The research here opened a variety of consumer products including the Friskies brand.

Since its founding in 1908, Carnation Farms has gone through a few transitions. The Stuart family sold the company and the farm to Nestle in January of 1985. Nestle ran the farm until 2008 when a non-profit bought it. The family repurchased the farm in 2010. October of 2016 began a new start for the historic farm when the Stuart Family founded a new non-profit called Carnation Farms. The new mission aims to go back to the farm’s roots. They intend to share the 818-acre organic farm with the community. The mission is to promote environmentally sustainable practices that connect people and communities to the land through farm based and culinary education. It is hoped that these efforts will inspire healthy and balanced lifestyles and an appreciation of the history of past generations of the Carnation valley.

The organization is working to create many different programs including summer camps, workshops, family retreats, farm-to-table dinners, and more. The farm is also working to find innovative and creative ways to keep the farm working.  Examples include providing programs for farmer interns, culinary programs, showing how the farm can be an example of environmental sustainability,  the use of recycling reclaimed water for farming, and on-farm sourcing of certified organic produce for local consumption. The farm, and its founding family, hope to keep its rich history front and center with behind-the-scenes history tours.

Farm Facts

Nestled in the picturesque Snoqualmie Valley, Carnation Farms’ 818-acre organic property is a hub of sustainable and healthy practices. Serving as both a working farm and an outdoor classroom, Carnation Farms’ promotes innovative practices that support healthy living and a stronger appreciation and deep respect for the land.

Certified Organic Garden

Carnation Farms’ 8-acre certified organic garden serves as an outdoor classroom while growing a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries and flowers. Over 100+ different plant varieties provide a backdrop to hands-on education through field trips, camps, and workshops. The garden design and operation demonstrates sustainable soil management and optimal water use, and supports beneficial insects and pollinators, local bird populations, and wildlife habitat. At Carnation Farms we save seed, grow green manures in the summer, use mulches to conserve water, and compete against weeds, recycle and reuse found materials, as well as using renewable materials such as bamboo for trellising. The Carnation Farms’ garden is so popular we even have 10 different types of bumblebees living in the garden.

Beehives

In 2017 Carnation Farms installed 16 hives on our upper property, with 2 hives in our garden for educational purposes. All hives are Langstroth hives, with a mixture of Italian, Carniolan, and some hybrid bees. Nectar is sourced from our garden cover crops, flowers, native shrubs and trees, and blackberries. Harvested honey will be used in our kitchen. We use integrated pest management, including drone-brood trapping, screen bottom boards, and selection of mite resistant traits. Along with our certified organic production, Carnation Farms’ natural beekeeping policies includes no high-fructose corn syrup, plastic frames, or antibiotics. Fun fact – it takes nectar from 2 million flower blossoms to produce 1 pound of honey!

Chickens

Carnation Farms is home to 16 different breeds of chickens, including Belgian D’Uccle, Barred Rock, Barnevelder, Black Silkie, Rhode Island Red, Sex-link, Salmon Faverolle, Jersey Giant, Auracana, Easter Egg Bantee, Japanese Silkie, Cuckoo Maran, Delaware, Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex, and Brahma.  As chicks, each bird is handled with care by our farm team, fostering a bond between human and chick. This leads to incredibly social chickens that support our farm-based curriculum rooted in observation, mindfulness, and diligence. Our chickens have their very own coop built on site, and matching many of the of the historic buildings. Carnation Farms is USDA Certified Organic for farm fresh eggs, and follows national husbandry guidelines. The smallest of our roosters (Bantam) was the first to crow in our flock.

Hiking Trails

In total, Carnation Farms is home to approximately 7 miles of wandering trails through a lush forest with multiple streams, habitats, and more. Currently Carnation Farms only has a 2-mile round trip trail in operation, known as the Trout Pond Trail. Departing from behind the Dining Center hikers will move .5 miles uphill to our gazebo, then rest in the shade while enjoying a scenic view of the farmlands below. After the break, hikers continue .5 miles down to the trout pond and visit our rustic cabin and dam with mid-span gazebo. Along the way, hikers can explore our managed forest including old growth cedar stumps, multiple generations of managed timber, and an abundance of plant and animal life including deer, elk, river otters and many birds. The trail is mostly single track; sturdy shoes are advised. Guided hikes are available, check our calendar for details.

Forestry

For over 50 years, 335 of our acres have served as a Certified Organic Washington State Tree Farm. Multiple generations of sustainably harvested timber keep our land in use, while meeting the needs of the community.

Certified Organic Hay

Since the early 1900s Carnation Farms has grown hay and hay-lage for local farm animals. Carnation Farms dedicates over 100 acres to growing certified organic hay, averaging three or more harvests per year, for 500 tons per year average. With multiple sustainable practices in place, Carnation Farms is the only farm in Washington State that uses class C reclaimed water for irrigation. Our history of innovative farming practices and care for the land has ensured a consistent harvest for over 100 years using the same production fields. Hay is available for sale, please contact the Farm.

Water Treatment Facility

In 1974 Carnation Farms installed a wastewater treatment facility to increase sustainable practices at the Farm. The plant started operation the following year, utilizing an Extended Aeration Activated Sludge process. The process removes solids, pathogens and organics that may affect our environment and reduces our waste stream through water reuse practices. Our class C reclaimed water is stored in the winter, then land applied to our organic hay fields in the dry season where crops utilize any available nutrients. Our waste stream does not enter any receiving steam in the way that most municipalities. Carnation Farms is the only organic certified farm that is using class C reclaimed water in Washington State. The WWTP ST-0005139D requires two operators that are certified through the Washington State Department of Ecology. Carnation Farms received Outstanding Performance Awards from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015 for the management of our wastewater treatment facility.

Cattle

Beginning in 2012 Carnation Farms leased 90 acres of pasture to Skagit River Ranch. The pasture is home to sixty cows and sixty calves, all certified organic grass-fed Wagyu. As certified organic producers, Carnation Farms and Skagit River Ranch do not use antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, or animal by-products. A variety of grasses, legumes, and herbs are grown to provide the animals with a balance of natural nutrients essential for maintaining good health. The Farm practices certified organic rest rotational pasture grazing to promote health and sustainability.

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