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A Resource List for the Farm Curious

San Juan Islands Ag Summit 2024 was a great weekend for farmers, homesteaders and the farm-curious. We networked, attended workshops and generally got to know each other and share notes. This year Lum Farm hosted an in-depth tour of the farm, highlighting the different areas that we have leaned into over the past years. At the end of the workshop, Amy asked a participant what her biggest takeaway was, and she responded "How much work can be done when a group of people work well together." We were delighted that this was clear from our tour!

As part of the workshop, we compiled a list of our favorite resources -- websites and books offering instruction, supplies and resources for farming in Washington state. We often get calls from folks asking for mentorship and advice -- and since we usually are too busy trying to keep our own farm up to speed, sharing this list feels like a good start.



Washington State Dept of Agriculture

All the nitty gritty details essential for running a farm business in Washington state: licensing, information about agriculture/dairy and grant opportunities.

WASCA:  Washington State Cheesemakers Association

Washington State Cheesemakers Association works to support Washington cheese and cheesemakers through education, promotion, and collaboration.

Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program Facebook page

Excellent information and resources for raising and managing sheep and goats.  

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Excellent resource for information about raising livestock.

Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

Need testing for your herd/flocks?  They are very helpful when you call. 

Islands Grown Farmers Cooperative and Northwest Local Meats

The farmers cooperative has a mobile slaughter unit that comes to farms in the region and the San Juan Islands for USDA meat processing. 

Microdairy Designs

“Committed to small dairies with big dreams”

Hamby Dairy Supply

Everything you need to start milking.

Street Cheese Seattle

The cheese business of the executive director of WASCA, and a great resource if you want to learn more about cheese and the art of cheesemongering.

Premier Fencing Supply

Where we buy our electronet fencing, shearing equipment and some animal veterinary supplies

Backyard Chickens

We get a lot of inquiries for advice about raising chickens. This online community is where to start.

Powerscrub Egg Washer

The magic egg washing machine! And before we had the Powerscrub, we used the Little Egg Scrubber, which served us well:



The following list of books are used by all of us here at the farm quite often, as there is always something new to research.  We have endless gratitude for a good book and a good veterinarian! Head to your library or favorite local bookstore:

Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep

Breeding - Care - Facilities

By Paula Simmons and Carol Ekarius

Hands down the best reference book we have on the farm for raising sheep; the basics of raising them, housing them, and pregnancy and lambing.  I refer to it for goat pregnancy too sometimes.

Storey’s Guide to Raising Goats

Breeds - Care - Dairying - Marketing

By Jerry Belanger and Sara Thomsen Bredesen

A helpful guide for the beginner.

Sheep and Goat Medicine, second edition

By D.G. Pugh and A.N. Baird

An essential handbook for figuring out what is going on with the health of your sheep and goats.  We reference this book very often.  

The Veterinary Book for Sheep Farmers

By David C. Henderson

This book has a ton of very helpful information, but it is written for farmers in Great Britain, so some of the information and medicines are different than how we manage our flocks in the US. 

Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle

Health - Handling - Breeding

By Heather Smith Thomas

An excellent reference for raising cattle.

The Chicken Health Handbook

By Gail Damerow

Very helpful when you are trying to figure out what might be wrong with your chickens! 

The Small Scale Dairy: The Complete Guide to Milk Production for the Home and Market

… and… 

The Small Scale Cheese Business: The Complete Guide to Running a Successful Farmstead Creamery

By Gianaclis Caldwell

Very helpful books that gave direction to this farmstead creamery dream

Humane Livestock Handling

By Temple Grandin

Anything written Temple Grandin is gold.


Two Amazing Books about how to cook with the meats we raise here on the farm:

The River Cottage MEAT Book

By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

MEAT: Everything You Need to Know

By Pat LaFrieda and Carolyn Carreno

Wonderful reads for the end of the workday:

The Shepherd’s Life

By James Rebanks

The Farmer’s Wife: My Life in Days

By Helen Rebanks

So many books, so little time!!  We could keep going but don’t want to overwhelm you. You’ll find them!



Examples of farmers and producers who have found the sweet spot of farming and marketing (links are for Instagram): 

With all these resources at your fingertips all you need to do now is begin!


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