But Anthology Ranch owners Michael and Caroline Scull have elevated farming to an art form, smoothly merging beauty and elegance with the earthen bounty they cultivate with passion, care, and a lot of hard work.
Anthology Ranch is a small family farm nestled on 15 idyllic acres just outside the Monroe city limits. Established in 2016 by Michael, Caroline and their three children – Rebecca, Charlotte and Patrick – Anthology is dedicated to sustainably providing fresh, organically grown produce, eggs in several varieties, humanely bred and raised heritage livestock, plus their own line of custom-made treasures conceptualized and brought to life by Caroline’s skilled savvy at all things crafty.
From the custom labels on their cartons of eggs, to the tiny charms adorning the delicately packaged, handmade goat milk soap, beautifully crafted herbal smudge sticks, carefully harvested fruits and vegetables, the entire ranch is infused with art.
They are extremely responsive. Customers can text the farm to place an order for eggs and have confidence that the drive-through pickup system is safe. Further, Anthology offers multiple options for convenient, contactless digital payment processing, including Venmo and PayPal.
For those who love the in-person experience, you can find Anthology at the Monroe Farmers Market, which runs May through September at Galaxy Theatres, or you can visit their farm stand located at the ranch on Yeager Road. One of their goals for 2021 is gaining the ability to accept alternative forms of payment, including WIC and SNAP/EBT (food stamps), so that everyone can access fresh produce and eggs, even those with financial barriers.
They additionally offer a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, a 12-week program active June through August that assures its subscribers fresh, delicious produce on a weekly basis.
An inspiring canvas in and of itself, the bulk of the creekside land at Anthology Ranch is preserved as natural habitat. Anthology Ranch is perfectly suited for its locale, boasting a vibrant stretch of Woods Creek shoreline, lush green pastureland, woodsy forests, and various wildlife including a pair of nesting eagles, owls, hawks, and even the occasional black bear.
Since acquiring the property in 2016, the Sculls have continually worked to improve the farm. In 2018 they erected a 24-foot by 36-foot greenhouse, which has extended their growing season and enhanced their spring crops.
But before there was produce there were animals, starting with a small flock of birds. Poultry has been an underlying theme for the Scull family. Their daughter Rebecca is truly gifted when it comes to poultry, and she enjoys every aspect of caring for the feathered fowls.
Of course, one of the best things about having a farm is having all types of animals, which is one of the things that fueled the Scull’s move to Monroe. Once they were settled, it was not long before the herd began to collect and diversify.
Michael and Caroline knew they were interested in Nigerian Dwarf goats, a petite breed of goat known for its rich milk, gentle personality and adorable appearance. Soon, they welcomed Nibbles and Domino, and after that came Vincent and Mona Lisa. Mona Lisa has become the matriarch of the herd and is a charming, sweet-natured goat who greets visitors with a reassuring calmness.
The magical little creature is the proud momma of two new kids, Winston and Stanley, born in mid-February. Anthology has a plethora of newly born kids, and customers interested in acquiring a Nigerian Dwarf goat can visit the Anthology website for more information. Nigerian Dwarf goats are wonderful companion animals and take up remarkably little space.
“They're great milk goats,” Caroline said. “We make soap and cheese and just about anything else you can make out of goat’s milk because it's such wonderful stuff.”
Anthology is home to humanly-raised livestock with an emphasis on heritage breeds, which are traditional, authentic livestock breeds that have withstood the test of time. Heritage livestock breeds are pure breeds that are much more self-sufficient than livestock bred in modern agriculture. Heritage breeds are a step above, rife with sustainability and steeped in tradition. And beyond that, a visit to Anthology Ranch reveals that whether raised for meat, milk, eggs or companionship, Anthology livestock live their best lives every single day of the year.
Their Southdown sheep – a heritage breed known for its premium meat and quality fiber – are friendly and personable. The Berkshire/Duroc pigs are pasture-raised with access to muddy puddles meant for delighted rolling and splashing. They also offer meat chickens and turkeys.
Each year the Sculls seek to enhance their productivity, improve the property, and diversify their crops, sometimes based on a whim and other times based on suggestions from their customers.
Rebecca, a Special Olympics athlete, grew up showing dogs and poultry in 4-H, and still enjoys participating in 4-H alumni activities at the Evergreen State Fair.
She now shows independently and is eager for the fair to return so she can show her minipig, Allie, and her Berkshire/Duroc pig, Petunia.
Her experience caring for animals, combined with her involvement in Special Olympics and her overall advocacy for the special needs community, will be a tremendous asset to east Snohomish County. Rebecca is especially excited to provide children and adults with special needs an inclusive, safe environment to come and not only enjoy the animals, but also learn about their needs and how to take care of them.
Youth and Anthology Ranch go together hand in hand, and Michael and Caroline have opened their farm as a weekend campground for a local 4-H group. The 4-H weekend not only allows them to come, pitch tents, and enjoy the property, they get to interact with the animals and help Rebecca with farm chores.
Though they have been in Monroe a relatively short time, Michael and Caroline love to give back to the region that’s graciously accepted them as a vital part of east Snohomish County’s farming community. They’ve spearheaded two food drives, most recently in November/December of 2020, in which they collected nearly 800 pounds of food and delivered it to Monroe’s Sky Valley Food Bank.
What sets Anthology apart is their dedication to quality, their passion for their craft, and their ability to provide true farm-to-table freshness and make it accessible to anyone. Whether you visit them at the farmers market or the farm stand, you can be sure that many of their items were picked that day. It’s hard work, agree Caroline and Michael, who also operate a graphic design business, but it’s worth it.
“It’s a wonderful lifestyle,” Caroline said. “If we didn't just love the heck out of it, we wouldn't be doing it. It’s our customers that keep us going because they're so lovely.”