Farming, Food, and Nutrition Philosophies

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.

Decades of factory farming, monocultural farming, and industrialization have led to a badly-managed and damaged food system. This not only has significant implications for human and community health, but we are also contributing to dire ecological and climate conditions, hollowing out rural economies, and squandering our water and soil, maybe the most precious resources on earth. 

Transforming our food system is some of the most important work of our time. The quality of what we put on our fork can transform our world. Carnation Farms has a sense of urgency to make the biggest possible contribution we can to avert a negative future and help create positive changes in our food system.

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 incorporate fallow periods to “rest” the soil.
  • We conduct regular soil analysis…all under the watchful eye of a Director of Regenerative Agriculture. 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 are beginning work on our Regenerative Organic certification.
  • 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 you eat. While we are beginning the work towards Certified Humane certification for our animals, 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 freshwater 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.

Our poultry are outside every day with direct access to pasture. Their mobile coops provide plenty of space and are moved regularly to new pasture. They are fed certified organic grains and treats culled from our farm.

  • 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 on 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 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, regeneratively grown local food and building a value chain that is equitable for all. Why is this critical?

King County Facts

  • The average farmer loses $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.


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

What we mean by “Local Food” 

  • We encourage everyone to 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. Hyperlocal 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 our 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.

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 cattle, 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.

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.