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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.