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Meet a Farmer: Bill Spencer of Windrose Farms

February 19, 2016
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Meet a Farmer: Bill Spencer of Windrose Farms

IMG_1186

We caught up with Bill Spencer, farmer at Windrose Farms in Paso Robles. See what he was up to and learn why he went into farming! 

CA GROWN: What are you doing today?

Bill: Today I’m doing lamb management. I have a problem with two maiden ewes that gave birth yesterday. Both maidens gave birth while I was away so I couldn’t’ separate their lambs. It was a matter of figuring out who belonged to whom. Every lamb syncs in on the same scent of the mother and there were two scents and everyone was confused, including me. I was bottle-feeding them a colostrum substitute until we figured out who belonged to whom. I was also doing other assorted chores, fixing this and doing that.

CA GROWN: What is your favorite thing about farming?

Bill: The evolution. We’ve been here for 25 years. My wife Barbara and I met in 1989 on a blind date and we found this property together and have been farming here since. We’ve always been organic and farmed on the principles of biodynamic farming. I also love sharing and giving tours of the farm and mentoring new young farmers who want to get into sustainable farming.

CA GROWN: How do you give back to the community?

Bill: We do events on the farm. We give classes on how to grow tomatoes and plants in your garden every April. I also give tours to the organic agriculture class at Cal Poly. I also attend and do workshops with the organic group down there.

CA GROWN: What drew you into the farming profession?

Bill: I have always been in agriculture, raising horses and cattle, among other things, with my family so it was a natural fit. I was born in Pasadena and at age 4 or 5 my family moved to a little five-acre ranch where we grew avocados and raised horses. I went to Cal Poly where I earned a degree in farm management.

CA GROWN: What are your hobbies or pastimes when you’re not farming?

Bill: I have a college roommate who sails the ocean and I like to sail with him; I am able to crew with him a bit. Barbara and I also like to travel because when you’re on a farm, you’re always going to be farming. To take a break from farming you actually have to leave it, so we travel.

CA GROWN: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a farmer?

Bill: Be very well capitalized and really learn your skill set. Get mentored and really learn the art of growing things. Like Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.”

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« Back to CA Grown Blog

Meet a Farmer: Bill Spencer of Windrose Farms

IMG_1186

We caught up with Bill Spencer, farmer at Windrose Farms in Paso Robles. See what he was up to and learn why he went into farming! 

CA GROWN: What are you doing today?

Bill: Today I’m doing lamb management. I have a problem with two maiden ewes that gave birth yesterday. Both maidens gave birth while I was away so I couldn’t’ separate their lambs. It was a matter of figuring out who belonged to whom. Every lamb syncs in on the same scent of the mother and there were two scents and everyone was confused, including me. I was bottle-feeding them a colostrum substitute until we figured out who belonged to whom. I was also doing other assorted chores, fixing this and doing that.

CA GROWN: What is your favorite thing about farming?

Bill: The evolution. We’ve been here for 25 years. My wife Barbara and I met in 1989 on a blind date and we found this property together and have been farming here since. We’ve always been organic and farmed on the principles of biodynamic farming. I also love sharing and giving tours of the farm and mentoring new young farmers who want to get into sustainable farming.

CA GROWN: How do you give back to the community?

Bill: We do events on the farm. We give classes on how to grow tomatoes and plants in your garden every April. I also give tours to the organic agriculture class at Cal Poly. I also attend and do workshops with the organic group down there.

CA GROWN: What drew you into the farming profession?

Bill: I have always been in agriculture, raising horses and cattle, among other things, with my family so it was a natural fit. I was born in Pasadena and at age 4 or 5 my family moved to a little five-acre ranch where we grew avocados and raised horses. I went to Cal Poly where I earned a degree in farm management.

CA GROWN: What are your hobbies or pastimes when you’re not farming?

Bill: I have a college roommate who sails the ocean and I like to sail with him; I am able to crew with him a bit. Barbara and I also like to travel because when you’re on a farm, you’re always going to be farming. To take a break from farming you actually have to leave it, so we travel.

CA GROWN: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a farmer?

Bill: Be very well capitalized and really learn your skill set. Get mentored and really learn the art of growing things. Like Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.”

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