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Inspiring Conversations with Destinee Rugar and Jake Heiner of Salty Dog Farm

Today we’d like to introduce you to Destinee Rugar and Jake Heiner.

Hi Destinee and Jake, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Five years ago, we were lucky to be offered a piece of land to rent, in the beautiful town of Boulder. This land was a blank slate and we were allowed to do with it what we pleased. Both of us have always had an interest in growing food, and after our first winter, we realized how hard it was to keep ourselves well fed out in Boulder where the nearest small grocery store is 45 minutes away, so we decided to grow a large garden.

From there, we started building our farm and have expanded greatly since then. Over the years, we have taught ourselves most of what we know through trial and error and have had many successes and lots of failures as well. Every year, our growing space has gotten bigger, and we have decided to keep a few more animals.

One of our favorite things we do is kidding season when we get to help our beloved goats give birth and raise their babies. As we learned more, we were able to grow vegetables for others in town, fresh-cut flowers for local events, and use goat milk for soap and other uses. We have been able to revive the pasture, maintain the old pioneer fruit trees, and keep bees.

While we work extremely hard most of the year, we get a few months of rest and relaxation in our favorite season, Winter, where we get outside to enjoy the snow and plan for the upcoming season. We look forward to learning more skills and to bringing new types of animals onto the farm and growing a new variety of plants as the years go on.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Our journey has definitely been far from smooth. As farmers, we are working at the mercy of Mother Nature, which can be very challenging. We are constantly working around freezing weather, dry heat, harsh winds, or lack of water. It is really a beautiful thing though, to work with the land and really be one with it.

Salty Dog Farm was built by us, in our spare time with scrapes that we salvage. We have put every ounce of extra energy and love that we have to build what we have. This though, makes everything much sweeter, when we get to sit back and enjoy the fruit of our labor.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Our small farm started as a homestead, where we grow almost all of the food. To continue this lifestyle, we decided to ramp up our growing so we could bring some money to the farm. A few of our offerings include organic vegetables, goat milk products, and fresh cut flowers.

We sell our organic, high-quality vegetables at the farmer’s market weekly as well as to local restaurants and preserve the rest for ourselves using methods like canning, freezing, and dehydrating. We are very mindful of our growing practices, using leaves and goat manure from our property and compost we make to amend our soil.

Dairy goats are another important part of our farm. With the milk, we make goat milk soap using only the best, skin-nourishing ingredients. We also use the milk to make ourselves cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, and more. At a year old, we butcher some of our goats for meat. Our goats help us maintain our property by eating the brush and weeds, as well as our garden scraps. They are also great companions and important members of our family. Right now we have seven adults and seven kids.

Another thriving part of our farm is our flowers, which we began growing for local events three years ago. Boulder, Utah is a very popular place for destination weddings, and we are very happy to offer couples who decide to get married here flowers that were grown locally and sustainably. Flowers have really been a joy to grow, and it adds an incredible amount of beauty to the farm. We also use the flowers for biodegradable confetti, edible dried flower mixes, our lovely bath mixes, pressed flower art, and dried arrangements.

We are very proud that all of our products are grown and produced with large amounts of love, care, and sustainable practice. With mindful and organic agricultural practices, we believe we are giving back to the land as much as it gives to us.

Pricing:

  • Goat milk soap $8
  • Flower bath soaks $15
  • Organic veggies, prices vary
  • Event flowers, prices vary

Contact Info:

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