The Joys of Living on a Small Farm
By Karen Pickering
In the Pacific Northwest it’s sometimes difficult to appreciate the beautiful greenery we enjoy in the spring and summer months. The seemingly endless days of rain and darkness have us wishing for warmer and drier weather. However, I love where we live and appreciate the fact we rarely have really bad weather. Our climate is pretty mild and certainly great riding in the summer months. And there’s no doubt why we have so many covered arenas in our region. Our biggest challenge is mud.
Thankfully we have great resources to help us plan and manage our horse properties. In 2018 I was able to take advantage of a generous grant from Whatcom Conservation District and have two O2 compost bins built. The forced air system processes the manure much faster and leaves me with beautiful mulch for gardens and spreading on the fields. It also protects the water by keeping the bins covered in rainy weather so the nutrients don’t wash away or pollutants enter the nearby streams. It’s certainly a great way to manage manure. I look forward to sharing the experience and what I’ve learned in an upcoming issue. Feel free to call me if you’d like to stop by for a visit and see the system.
The thing I love most about my acreage is the location. I’m close enough to town to walk or ride to the bank. I have a beautiful park minutes from my house and I still feel like I’m in the country. It’s the best of both worlds! Shoot me an email at email@example.com and let me know what you like best about your acreage if you live on a farm. I’ll share the results!
March is full of great events. I will be at an event nearly every weekend in March. We start off with the Washington State Horse Expo, March 1-3, followed by the Small Farm Expo on March 9, then the Northwest Horse Fair & Expo, March 22-24. Stop by our booth for a chance to win an assortment of fun prizes, horse care products, books, shopping bags and more! I will also have a Haygain steamer on display. My horses love the steamed hay. So many health benefits too!
I look forward to seeing you on the trail! Have a great time at all these horse events! And remember to send me an email or message letting me know what you like best about your horse property.
Quote: “Dreams come a size too big so that we can grow into them.” – Josie Bisset, Actress
Owner/Publisher Karen’s lifelong love of horses began at a very early age when she wore out a couple of rocking horses before convincing her parents to get her the real thing. That ill-tempered bay gelding, Brandy, was a challenge for the young horsewoman, but it drove her ambition to become a horse trainer. After attending Canyonview Equestrian College’s Horsemanship Program, Karen realized she needed work that was a little more lucrative than training, so she took a job with Customs Brokerage to pay the bills. There, she discovered an affinity for computers and a talent for creating informative, entertaining newsletters. The Northwest Horse Source began as such a letter in December 1995, with a distribution of 1000 copies for its 12 black and white pages. Since then, it has grown into beautiful, all-gloss magazine with the largest coverage of any free equine publication in the Northwest – a distribution of over 16,000 copies and over 600 locations monthly. Not bad for the results of one woman’s dream to work with horses!
Today, Karen remains involved with every aspect of the magazine and treasures the community of thousands who share a common passion. Somewhere in the wee hours of the early mornings and late evenings, she still finds time to care for April, her gorgeous and sweet-tempered Quarter Horse.