Moving Mockingbird Farm

Mockingbird Farm started in Paige, Texas in 2015. We started with Murray Grey cattle, raising registered breeding stock and beef. The pigs started as a way to raise our own pork, because we couldn't find organic pastured pork near us. We really enjoyed the pigs, and our property had so many wooded areas that were ideal for raising pigs in the Texas heat, that we expanded the pork growing part of our business rather quickly. With pigs, things can pretty easily get out of hand, and that's what happened to us. At one point, we had grown to 450 pigs, and we were entirely unable to manage that many without help, but our profits were not such that we could afford help. We downsized to a more manageable 250 pigs and brought in part time help. During all of this growth (then downsizing), Covid hit and we pivoted to offering expanded delivery throughout the Austin and San Antonio area. 

Although we had many great customers and a solid fan base, we began to long for the water and mountains of the Pacific Northwest, which we left in 2014. In 2022, I took my first vacation in 5 years and took Groot on a road trip through California and up to visit friends on the Olympic Peninsula. We played on the beach and hiked and scouted out some properties. In December, we made an offer on 40 acres of mixed pasture and forests and closed in January of 2023. The move was on! We identified the animals that we would bring with us and began the difficult process of selling breeding stock and downsizing to a manageable number of pigs and cows to move. We made the impossible decision of selling our beloved Guernsey, Josephine, because she was in milk and we just really couldn't figure out how to manage moving 2500 miles while milking a cow, and we were moving to a property with no running water or electricity, or any infrastructure at all, so it just felt like too much to figure out how to continue milking a cow. We moved 6 dogs, 2 horses (through Concierge Horse Hauling - the absolute best!), 7 Murray Greys and 34 pigs. 

I left Texas on Thursday, March 10th of 2023 and ended up driving straight through, arriving in Port Angeles, Washington on Saturday morning, March 12th. The move has shown us that we can do hard things, together. It took our whole community of friends, family, other farmers, and customers (who bought us out of meat!) to accomplish this move. We are excited to build a slightly different version of Mockingbird Farm here on the Olympic Peninsula. We've spent the last not-quite year building infrastructure and getting settled in while we plan how we will serve our new community. We remain committed to being the best stewards of our animals, the land and the community around us that we can be. Some day I may write a book about all of this, but in the meantime, if you have any questions about moving a farm, feel free to reach out. I'm happy to share what I've learned, and what did and did not work for us. Most of all, I'm happy to encourage anyone who's thinking about any of this. Thanks for joining us on this adventure.