Board & Vendor Profile: L & B Mini Ranch

In a true to life story about a woman who has extraordinary power with animals, Lisa Smith, aka the pig whisperer, is hard at work on L & B Mini Ranch in Enumclaw. Since she was a kid, Lisa has been raising livestock – first with goats, and now with husband Burt ethically raising hogs. The two of them, and their dozens of squealing “babies.” are nestled in the plains of Enumclaw off SE 196th, where well-loved pigs enjoy spacious pastures and pens. Chickens roam freely and their group of farm dogs greet you with interest. Their farm bustles with activity, with 3 to 5 sows giving birth a month. In the main barn–a literal piglet maternity ward and day care–Lisa, Burt and their helpers, busy themselves caring for babies (87 year to date), cleaning pens and caring for the groups of piglets, all while making room for the sow in labor.

L & B Mini Ranch works with a USDA certified processor so they can sell high quality and natural products to individuals or businesses. They also offer market hogs, breeding stock or small and primal cuts. Customer pick up year-round from the farm or plan to visit them on Thursday evenings at our very own Enumclaw Plateau Farmers’ Market. Lisa and Bust’s goal is to help provide a true farm-to-table experience for families, restaurants or caterers.

Aside from running the farm, Lisa works at Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce, supports King County 4-H and area Washington FFA groups, pitches in for other businesses and non-profits and leads the board as president for Enumclaw Plateau Farmers’ Market. She is busy, but no matter what is going on, Lisa will always make time for you and greet you with a smile. The friendly way about her and the ability to see the bright side is infectious and makes you want to pull up a stool around the fire and just hang out. You can tell from Lisa and Burt’s home, their farm and their style, that they work very hard, but also know how to have a good. You can know that with them, time with people matter. And you just might have to bottle feed a baby pig while you visit.

Of the hard work they put in, Lisa points to two driving passions:

  1. Support local businesses and farms
  2. Invest in the youth of our area though 4-H and FFA

Lisa is smart, bright and has her eyes on a long-term goal. “If we want farming and agriculture to survive, we have to support local farms and help train the next generation of farmers. If I could get everything I needed right here, that would be amazing. I’d never need to leave the Plateau.”

Board & Vendor Profile: Ode to Joy Farm

As a programmer for Microsoft, following a career in the Air Force, Joyce Behrendt remembers joking on stressful days in the office that she was going to leave and just become a chicken farmer. Having been raised in Auburn, Washington, she didn’t really mean it, but after retiring from Microsoft, she found herself on 10 acres, with a gorgeous view of Mt. Rainier, running Ode to Joy farm surrounded by more than one hundred geese, ducks and chickens. Her home is flanked on all sides by lovely gardens, plants and flowers, all prepared chemical free and with careful consideration to the soil, bees and pollinators.

An ode is a lyric or poem, written to praise something or someone. So “Ode to Joy” seems fitting for this happy little farm, run by this friendly woman with an easy sense of neighborly kindness. Stepping onto her farm is like a visit to a favorite place. Time slows down a bit and you are relaxed and welcomed.

As a founding member and vendor of Enumclaw Plateau Farmers’ Market’s board, it’s no surprise that her passion centers around community and people. “You get to know people as they come back each week and you kind of become family,” shares Joyce as we wander her gorgeous, nearly weed-free, no-till garlic patch. She likes knowing that her work is useful and that growing fresh, organically grown food in flavors and varieties not easily available is meaningful and valuable to the customers and our community. And if you’ve ever tasted her produce or eggs, you know they are indeed valuable.

Joyce will be bringing her fan-favorite garlic varieties (Music, Asian tempest and more), shallots and onions in flavors and varieties you can’t find in the local grocery store. Of course, she will have her eggs and other fresh produce in season. That’s one of the greatest parts of a farmers market, you can’t get fresher or even anything like it at the store.

“Joy on every living thing, nature’s bounty doth bestow.” —from original poem that inspired Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.