“Like the Amish without the religion”

by Tim Fry, originally published November 9, 2014 on Project 468

My brother and his wife visited us on Lopez this weekend. They insisted on cooking dinner for us one night. In search of something local for them to cook, we visited a produce and meat farm I’d been meaning to check out on the north end of the island – The Horse Drawn Farm. I really didn’t know what to expect. My only knowledge of the farm before today had been seeing one of the owners, Ken Akopiantz, plow his field with a team of horses.

468 horse-drawn-farm

I didn’t get a chance to speak to the owners, Kathryn Thomas and Ken. That’s because the Horse Drawn Farm’s products for sale – frozen meat and all kinds of vegetables – are sold via the self-serve honor system. With nobody to ring you up, you simply calculate the total cost of a purchase using the scale and calculator, and leave cash or a check on the counter.

468 horse-drawn-payment

While adding up the cost of our broccoli and squash, I introduced myself to another patron who told me he used to work there. He described the operation as “being Amish without the religion.” Like so many endeavors on Lopez, the Horse Drawn Farm is the epitome of sustainable innovation. Leftover produce is fed to the livestock, and livestock waste is used as fertilizer to grow produce. It is so inspiring to see a team of horses pulling the plow that tills the soil. The result of all of this is not just a self-sustaining farming operation. The food is amazing. The broccoli we bought there was the highlight of my brother’s dinner. And there is so much more grown right there on the farm from which to choose: beef, lamb, pork, and a wide variety of vegetables.

468 horse-drawn-vegis-and-meat

Horse Drawn Farm is a must-visit on Lopez if you want to taste locally grown food. Look for it in the Mixby app within Lopez Island.

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