Smith Brothers Farms Delivers Fresh, Local Milk to Yelm and Beyond

Smith Brothers Farms Delivers Fresh, Local Milk to Yelm and Beyond

smith brothersYelm is a rural community, and there’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you a) own a cow b) have a neighbor who owns a cow or c) frequently see cows while driving home from work. If the latter is true, you may not have direct access to fresh milk, unless you’ve made friends with that neighbor. While such relations are encouraged, you have another option: Smith Brothers Farms.
 
Located in Kent, Smith Brothers has been delivering milk for over 90 years. In 2006, after legislation was passed that forced the company to choose between dairy farming and processing and delivering milk, they chose to stick with the second option. “All of our milk comes from about five or six family farms,” says Sean Flaherty, Director of Public Relations and Marketing. “It comes in on a daily basis. We process it and deliver it within 48 hours.”
 
Increasingly, says Flaherty, customers care about values the company embodies. “Our milk has always been hormone free,” he says. “We’re local and we’re fresh. There’s more awareness and because of the internet, there’s so much information about products. We find that particularly in the Puget Sound area, people really like to support local business.”
 
Recently, the company has been getting a lot of attention. In 2014, Smith Brothers was selected Dairy Plant of the Year out of 12 processing plants throughout the U.S. by Dairy Foods Magazine.  That same year, Seattle Business magazine gave them aLegacy Award for “a company promoting multiple generations of family leadership.” In 2015, CEO and fourth generation family member Dustin Highland was recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 “top business leaders who excel in their industry and show dynamic leadership” by the Puget Sound Business Journal.
 
“I want the legacy to be that the idea of neighborhood and community still exists,” says Flaherty. “We make milk, but we’re also serving people. The milkmen are the face of what we do. They represent that community local spirit.”
 
Smith Brothers Farms milk is delivered fresh to the Yelm Co-op. The company also has a both every other week at the Yelm Farmers Market where you can sign up to have milk delivered to your door.
 

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Mari’s Farm: Fueling Yelm With Fresh Produce

Mari’s Farm: Fueling Yelm With Fresh Produce

maris farm 1The first things you’ll notice on Mari’s Farm are the rocks. They’re everywhere – huge, ponderous obstructions-turned fence posts and mini-mounds throughout the property. When Mari Mankamyer and her husband Tim Mann started the farm in Yelm’s Bald Hill region, “You couldn’t even get into the soil with a rototiller,” says Mari. “You’d break it.”

Once you understand that the lush, vibrant gardens you’re viewing were the original home of those rocks, you’ll view your hosts with newfound respect and even admiration. After three years of solid work, the farm provides a weekly supply of  fresh produce to the Yelm Co-op, Garden to Gourmet Restaurant, Ricardo’s Restaurant, The Yelm Farmers Market, and Local Flavors Market and Country Kitchen.

For Mari, the idea was born while she was working for her mother Susie Kyle at her kitchen in Centralia.  “I was helping her cut up kale, and it dawned on me that I could grow this,” she says.  “I know how to garden. As soon as I realized that, it wasn’t about selling it, it was just about how much we could produce.” From the beginning, the farm has been her full-time job, with Tim helping on weekends. “Now the farm is paying him for two days a week,” she says.

When they first started, the only thing standing on the property was an old telephone pole. Today, aside from the ever-expanding growing area and the couple’s home, the farm contains two greenhouses, one standard and one aquaponic, to help them grow year-round. “Everything out here is an experiment,” says Tim. “We’ve been testing different methods with making the greenhouses energy efficient and helping the plants grow.”

The aquaponic greenhouse includes three large fish tanks full of tilapia. “We feed the fish non-GMO food,” explains Mari. “Their waste in the water gets recycled through the grow trays, and that’s what feeds the lettuce.”

Despite the labor-intensive nature of their work, both Tim and Mari clearly love what they do. “What’s inspiring is that everyone loves my stuff,” she says. “I haven’t had one complaint about any one of my products because we’re always about quality, quality, quality. I try to pick and deliver in the same day so it’s as fresh as can be. People will have a bag of lettuce that sits in the back of their refrigerator for ten days or so and it’s still good. It holds up for a long time.”

“The other thing we both really like is watching things grow,” adds Tim. “That’s definitely a point of inspiration for us.”

For the future, rather than expanding the number of clients they serve, Mari prefers to focus on growing more of what her current clients need. Ricardo’s needs more spinach, she says, and Garden to Gourmet requires a great deal of beets. In the meantime, she’s grateful for the progress they’ve made. “It’s taken a community to get us here” she says. “If it were just me and Tim, we’d probably still be renting. It’s taken a lot of help from very dear friends and family to make all of this happen for us.” View Photos

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Meyenberg Milk

Meyenberg Milk

We had a request for Goats Milk so here it is. Meyenberg evaporated goat milk is a concentrate made by removing half the water from our fresh whole goat milk. Cooks love it for the special flavor nuance it adds to recipes like fudge and caramels. It’s also a rich creamer that’s great in coffee. A wholesome natural treat.

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Beyond Sausage

Beyond Sausage

Beyond Sausage is the world’s first fresh, vegan sausage that looks, sizzles, and satisfies like pork. It has all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional sausage, but comes with the upsides of a plant-based meal! With even more protein than real non-vegan pork sausage, no cholesterol, 3 grams of healthy fiber and half the fat, these incredibly flavorful sausages are perfect for the grill, stovetop, or slicing up to add to your favorite dishes. Toss one on a bun, load it up with your favorite toppings, and you’ll know why Beyond Sausage is taking the vegan world by storm with amazing flavor and texture unlike any other!

Soy-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free, each package of Original Brats is 14 oz. (400g) and contains 4 individual sausages.

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Essential Baking from Seattle

Essential Baking from Seattle

At last, we’re able to bring you this Organic bread. “Our oxygen-free, Essential FreshSEAL™ packaging allows you to keep your unopened, partially baked, organic Take & Bake bread fresh in your pantry for months without freezing it. You can enjoy fresh baked organic bread when you want it. Now that’s revolutionary, and you won’t find it anywhere else.
Our oxygen-free, Essential FreshSEAL™ packaging allows you to keep your unopened, partially baked, organic Take & Bake bread fresh in your pantry for months without freezing it. You can enjoy fresh baked organic bread when you want it. Now that’s revolutionary, and you won’t find it anywhere else”.

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