S&S Homestead Farm on Lopez Island is a fifty-acre (25 owned, 25 leased) family farm owned and operated by Henning Sehmsdorf and Elizabeth Simpson. In existence since 1970, the farm integrates growing vegetables, fruit, and flowers with the production of beef, dairy, pork, lamb, chicken and eggs, as well as producing animal feeds and fertilizers. The farm is:
The farm is managed biodynamically as an integrated, self-sufficient organism, using as few outside resources as possible. The farm produces its own animal feed, fertilizers and composts to produce beef, lamb, pork, chicken, eggs and dairy products as well as fruits and vegetables.
Farm environmental sustainability is assessed through emergy analysis (tracking on-farm energy flows in solar em-joules) to measure how closely the agricultural system resembles natural systems, and to what degree it depends on purchased and non-renewable inputs. Farm management decisions are made accordingly with the goal of being able to produce food forever.
Although focused on education rather than for-profit production, farm operations are economically viable and the farm is debt-free. Food and feed self-sufficiency of the farm household are primary goals, with production surplus sold to the community through CSA and custom contract. Sales of meat, eggs and vegetables, as well as educational programs, produce enough income to provide for farm expenses, and infrastructure.
The sun is the source of energy harvested through plants, animals, and an intricate water system. Through S&S Woodworks, the farm cuts and mills its own wood for farm structures. Farming procedures utilize low-cost production techniques that are environmentally friendly.