1904 - Edwin and Stella Muzzall came west from Nunica, Michigan with 5 of their 6 kids and rented a farm outside of Everett, WA.
1910 - Moved to Whidbey Island and began farming with their son and daughter-in-law Lyle and Edna. Began with laying hens and milk cows.
1920 - Another son and daughter-in-law, Cortland and Edna, came West and joined the farm.
1935 - Began raising turkeys.
1946 - Lyle and Edna's son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Evee, joined the farm and bought out Courtland.
1956 - Left the poultry business and built a Grade A milking parlor.
1986 - Bob and Evee's son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Shelly, returned to the farm.
2000 - 3 Sisters was formed to market local products.
2006 - The milk cows were sold and the focus of the farm became marketing the beef, pork and eggs to the local community.
Though we have raised pretty much everything on the farm, it was a commercial dairy until 2006. It was then that we exited the dairy business and began concentrating on marketing our other products directly to the public. We currently raise grass fed beef, hogs, lambs and eggs from our laying hens. Living on an island necessitates raising our own feed for our animals (which means we can absolutely guarantee it's GMO free!).
3 Sisters Family Farms produces grass fed, grass finished beef, all natural barley fed pork, grass fed lamb and open floor, free nested eggs. We raise our animals this way because it is sustainable here on Whidbey Island. Our primary crop is grass since our climate and our soils are conducive to the production of grass. We rotate our sod crops with spring barley, usually 2 years out of 10. The barley we harvest as grain and store on our farm until we grind it to feed our hogs and chickens. During the growing season (March through October), we rotationally graze our cattle and sheep on pasture. We've been doing it this way since the 1950s!
Our beef cattle are composite, which simply means they are many different breeds put together. They are primarily black with comes from the Angus influence. We do select for disposition and pasture performance and are constantly looking for genetics which will allow us to produce the best grass fed beef possible. Our hogs are primarily Tamworth, we have selected for disposition, mothering ability and their ability to not sunburn since we pasture them as well. We select the gilts that show good disposition and stature to keep for our replacement animals. We have experimented with many different breeds of sheep and are still looking for the best breed to fit out operation. Our layer flock is comprised of many different breeds: Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, Australorp, Ameraucana, Leghorn, Buff Orpington and Wyandotte.
We belong to many agricultural cooperatives an our beef, pork and lamb is all USDA processed through a cooperative called Island Grown Farmers cooperative. We then market it though multiple channels such as direct orders and shipping, our own store, 3 Sisters Market located in San De Fuca, other grocery stores here on Whidbey, catering companies, restaurants and distributors.
Our farm has been in the family for over one hundred years. Edwin and Stella Muzzall, along with their children, were the first generation on the farm. They bought the land in 1910 and built the houses and barn in 1912. Their son Lyle and his wife Edna lived on the farm and after Edwin died, his son Courtland also moved out to the farm with his wife Edna. (Side note: three of the boys married girls named Edna and they had to use their middle names to keep them all straight!) In 1945, Bob (the fourth of Lyle and Edna's children moved back to the farm after his service in the U.S. Army Corps during World War 2. Then, in 1986 Bob's son Ron returned to the farm with his wife Shelly after his graduation from Washington State University. Ron and Shelly's three daughters, Jennifer, Jessica and Roshel, are the 3 Sisters the farm is now named after. The girls grew up on the farm and have always been involved in the production and sales on 3 Sisters Family Farms. The 3 Sisters are the fifth generation to live on our Whidbey Island farm!