Stone-Buhr is proud to work with small family wheat farmers like Read and Jeremy Smith of Cherry Creek Farm in St. John, Wash., who are committed to sustainable agriculture and to making native plants and wildlife part of their farming practices.
The father-son team of Read and Jeremy Smith has never strayed too far from their land. With six generations of farmers in the family, both 31-year old Jeremy, and his father, Read, are committed to farming and land management practices that challenge the norm.
Located 55 miles from Spokane, WA along the Palouse River, the Smith’s Cherry Creek Farm is Food-Alliance certified. Food Alliance third-party certification means Cherry Creek adheres to certain requirements in their farming practices and stewardship of the land. “My duty is to go beyond conventional farming and be concerned with how everything on my land is interconnected,” says Read. He refers to Cherry Creek Farm’s natural resources as SWAPA, or soil, water, air, plants and animals. Their holistic approach to farming costs the Smiths extra time and money, and demands a true commitment to weaving together all aspects of farm life, right down to the deer, elk and moose who also call the farm “home.”
Their focus on sustainability is best demonstrated by the Smith’s direct-seeding crop system, implemented 30 years ago to help maintain soil quality. The Smiths are also proud of the work they’ve done to restore the indigenous plants to more than five miles of stream banks on their property. “Native plantings like willows and cottonwoods stabilize the stream banks against erosion and recreate the landscape from more than a century ago,” says Read.
Water quality and conservation are two of the main challenges the Smiths face living in a region with less than 15” of annual rainfall. With most of the rain falling during the winter and early spring, capturing the rainfall on the steep hillsides of the Palouse is difficult. A combination of direct seeding, grass buffers, divided slopes and strips and precision spray systems contains the rainfall where it falls and protects water quality. “I am trying to be responsible by using all available technology to grow the best, most nutritional crops I can while protecting and preserving our precious and fragile topsoil.”
Read and Jeremy also built 14 wildlife water stations and planted 100,000 trees and shrubs to provide the animals who live on their land with winter protection and summer shade. “If I provide food, water and shelter for animals, they will come,” says Read. “Every time we make a decision about this farm, we consider all our resources.”
Meet all the farmers who grow the wheat in every bag of Stone-Buhr All Purpose Flour at www.findthefarmer.com