Get to know Cloudview Ecofarms!
They are constantly working on more progressive and ecological farming methods, such as integrating pastured livestock and intensive cover cropping for healthier soils. Blending permaculture and organic methods, they've developed insectary habitat into our fields for native pollinators and beneficial predatory insects.
We are so grateful to Jim McGreevy, of Cloudview EcoFarm, for taking time out of his busy farmer schedule to give us a little bit of insight about himself and his farm.
Jim, can you tell us some of the people who help make Cloudview possible?
Together with my partner Gaby we manage Cloudview Ecofarms. Through the years we’ve hosted many interns, apprentices, volunteers, and some wonderful employees. We’ve had people from all over the nation and the world come through and put their hands in the soil here. Right now we have two great individuals helping us grow the bounty this season- Katherine and Ali. Without them, we’d be much less relaxed!
Why did you start farming?
I started farming after finishing my degree in Sustainable Ag at The Evergreen State College. It was more a return to farming as I grew up in rural Northwest WA, raising animals and vegetables on the family land. It’s some of the more pivotal work a human can perform and has the ability to affect the lives of those in our community, so it seemed like a worthwhile pursuit. With some background in the study of organic agriculture, I decided to dedicate my efforts towards a career in ag production. With some luck and good timing I’ve found my way onto the land and have kept at it for the past ten plus seasons.
What time do you wake up in the morning during the growing season and what is your favorite farm task?
Depending upon the time of year we might be up around 4:30 to catch the cool of the day, otherwise we try to keep a steady schedule with sunrise as the start of our day. My favorite farm task, besides garlic harvest, is row cultivation. It’s a time I get to find my peace with the fields and crops.
Moving irrigation pipes and dealing with the inevitable blowouts.
Farming sounds like a lot of work! Why is prioritizing organic farming important to you?
We must give back more than we take, and organic systems when properly managed do just that. The health of our future selves and offspring depend on the health of our landbase.
What is your greatest challenge as a regional farmer?
As a relatively small scale producer playing the same game as some of the larger ones, we are challenged with production efficiencies and market pressures. As a farm, we are trying to build a bridge for ourselves out of small scale towards mid-level production of certain crops, so we must pay close attention to how we do so in order to survive the transition.
What, besides the cabbage we love, do you grow on your farm?
We grow specialty potatoes, carrots, beets, garlic, asparagus, vegetable seed, shallots, strawberries, onions, and broccoli too!
What is your favorite farm meal?
Always depends on what we have on hand! Right now it’s asparagus and farm raised pork chops with a nice spring kale salad.
What is your favorite OlyKraut flavor?
Your spicy garlic Kraut! Anything with garlic wins me over.
If you are not farming, what might you be doing? Hobby?
If I’ve got the chance I’m playing guitar or working with my bonsai trees.
We think farmers are the superheroes of our products. If you could have a superhero power what would it be?
To control the weather!
What else should we know about you, your farm, and what you do?
We’re doing what many have done before, but we’re in the middle of large scale production land in Central WA state. Out here we are an anomaly of sorts- not too many mixed production farms are found in the midst of vast fields of wheat and hay. We’ve developed an oasis here, supporting native beneficial insects, pollinators, predatory bird populations, as well as an intense focus on soil building practices.
If you could tell our fermented eating vegetable community one thing, what would it be?
I really want to make everyone aware we are the product of our soils! As life cycles through everything so does the soil’s health. At some point, we’ve all been soil and at another point, we will return! In the meantime enjoy the actual fruits of the farmer’s labor.