Farmer Spotlight: Cheryl the Pig Lady

Cheryl the Pig Lady at Reise Farm. Photo: Dennis Lussier

 

For those of you keeping an eye on things down at PCC Farmland Trust’s newest conserved property–the Reise Farm in the Puyallup River Valley—you may have noticed a few changes occurring. Just before spring’s earliest buds began to pop, a pink blur could be spotted crisscrossing the Reise Farm landscape, feverishly setting up fencing, roosting boxes, mud baths, and prepping the dormant farm for a flurry of new barnyard residents.

In early spring, donning her signature pink coveralls and a smile that could lighten up the dreariest of days, Cheryl Ouellette, fondly known as Cheryl the Pig Lady, relocated her operation from 5 acres near Tacoma to 40 acres of the Reise Farm just outside of Orting. As one can imagine, moving a farm isn’t an easy feat! But with the help of a few friends and interns, Cheryl successfully moved all of her chickens, goats, sheep, turkeys, dogs, and of course the pigs—including her 1,500 pound boar Ebony—to their new home at Reise Farm.

Cheryl’s farming roots go back to 1999, when she began raising food in a sustainable manner to support her family. Today she serves as an integral part of the local agricultural community. Cheryl brings with her a wealth of knowledge of integrated farm management practices, which will lead to increased fertility of the land and help to enhance the agricultural values. Utilizing a well-orchestrated rotational grazing system, Cheryl’s pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and sheep all work together to sustainably remove unwanted weeds, till the soil, manage unwanted pests, and of course, create nutrient rich compost.

Over the next three years, Cheryl will be working with the Trust to certify the land as organic in accordance with National Organic Standards, and will also partner with us in our efforts to enhance the riparian habitat and natural ecosystems along Ball Creek running along the western edge of the property.

PCC Farmland Trust is excited to be working with Cheryl the Pig Lady and we’d officially like to welcome her to the farm! If you’d like to contact Cheryl or learn more about her operation and where to find her products, be sure to visit her website: cherylthepiglady.com.

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