Tag Archives: cidery

Pressing Cider and Raising Kids with Finnriver Farm

18 Jul

Living on a farm is the ultimate dream, am I right? Ok, maybe it’s not for everyone, but I urge you to find someone who has not, even for one nanosecond, fantasized about farm life. Farms bring dinner to the table people! What is not to like about that? Today, I am thrilled to share with you a couple who did decide to live on a farm and in doing so, created a thriving business.

Crystie and Keith live on a farm, with their two sons, that boasts berries upon berries, veggies, fruit trees and also honey bees, layer and meat chickens, and, sometimes, cows, pigs, sheep or goats. Now this is a full-fledged working farm my friends. But the best part about it? It is home to Finnriver Cider! For someone who doesn’t drink a fair amount of beer, cider is my go-to beverage of choice for BBQs, boat rides, camping…you get the idea. I love me some cider. Finnriver makes some of the best ciders I have tasted and its local (to me at least) to boot. Here I am excited to share with you some insight as to how one runs a farm, a cidery and a business all while raising two young boys. Enjoy!

Q: Please introduce your family and where you live.

Our family includes parents Keith and Crystie Kisler and boys River (9) and Coulter (4).  We live on a 33 acre organic farm called Finnriver in the Chimacum Valley on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula.  River was named both for Keith’s love of wild rivers and my sense of how birthing him carried me into the ‘flow’ of something much larger than myself.  Our farm was named “Finnirver” when River was a toddler, in honor of him and our then partners’ son Finn.  And Coulter was named for the ‘coulter blade’, which cuts the sod in front of the plough.  After he was born, we realized that Keith and I feel in love living on Old Coulterville Road.  At Finnriver, we live with a community of farmers who grow mixed berries and vegetables and raise chickens, goats, pigs and ducks for meat and eggs.  We also have a small-scale craft Cidery where we ferment hard ciders and fruit wines.

Q: How did you decide to live in the country and specifically on a farm?

Keith was raised on a farm family in eastern Washington (he was 4th generation born to the farm and his nephew, the 5th generation is now farming there) that was very connected to their place and their livelihood on the land. I, on the other hand, moved a lot as a child and lived in some major metropolitan areas, New York City, LA, Phoenix, San Francisco…Keith and I met working in Yosemite National Park in California doing environmental education with kids as we hiked up and down the Sierra Nevada mountains.  After we fell in love, we began to explore what kind of life we hoped to have together.  We wanted to continue the work of helping to re-connect people and nature and, in considering Keith’s farm background, we realized that people eat “nature” three times a day.  You don’t have to go into the wilderness to discover ‘the environment.’  We consume earth, air, water and light with each meal!  We began to dream of our own farm and ways to build community on the land.

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