Fresh from Our Farmers: Old Seeder Farm gets Nancy Skall scholarship

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In mid June, Meagan and Brady Schalich of Old Seeder Farm became the second recipients of the Nancy Skall Middleton Farm Memorial Scholarship. Previously, Caitlin Hachmyer of Red H Farm received a $600 scholarship, which will allow her to transition her south Sebastopol farm to a no-till operation this year.

The Schaliches will use their $750 grant to pour a concrete slab for their processing operation, located adjacent to one of the farm’s barns.

Old Seeder Farm was founded, officially, last year but has been in the planning stages for quite some time. The couple bought the bare property, located in west Petaluma on Middle Two Rock Road, four years ago. Brady Schalich, a general contractor by profession, built the home they live in with their young daughter as well as all of the out buildings.

Currently, the farm is selling pastured chickens, eggs from 200 pastured hens and chicken broth. All chickens are organically fed; the laying hens are moved daily and are Animal Welfare Approved.

There will be wool products, including felted lap blankets and wool comforters, within the next few weeks.

They are also currently taking orders for pastured pork, which will be available in the spring.

The animals raised on Old Seeder Farm spend their entire lives here, with processing taking place on the farm. This means they can sell only whole and half animals, not cut-and-wrap selections, which must be processed at USDA plants. If you have a big freezer or can go in with a group of friends, this is a great way to get local, pasture-fed meat and support new young farmers.

The farm includes a small vegetables garden, too, with an unfolding selection of seasonal produce. Customers who purchase eggs or chicken may also buy whatever is available at the time of their visit.

Old Seeder Farm may be a new operation but it has a long connection to Two Rock Valley. In the 1930s, Meagan Schalich’s grandfather arrived from Germany and purchased a large parcel of land, 30 to 40 acres, on McBrown Road, where he raised chicken and sheep. The Schaliches lived at the farm for 10 years, until they found their little patch of paradise on Middle Two Rock Road, just a mile-and-a-half from the family ranch.

Because it is a young endeavor, the farm is evolving.

“We want to expand the farm, to scale up,” Brady Schalich said earlier this week, “and maybe start a meat CSA.” They are also looking into the possibility of selling at local farmers markets, though all have waiting lists at this point.

For now, both Schaliches hold day jobs, Meagan in an equine veterinary office and Brady as a general contractor, but their goal is to farm full-time, something that has to bring a smile to your face.

Old Seeder Farm, founded in 2014 by Meagan and Brady Schalich, is on Middle Two Rock Road, west of Petaluma. For information about from-the-farm sales, call 658-2162 or email oldseederfarm@gmail. For more information, visit oldseederfarm.com.

Michele Anna Jordan has written 21 books to date, including the new “Good Cook’s” series. Email Jordan at michele@saladdresser.com. You’ll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.

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