Just south of Raymond on Fowler Road, among acres of fertile land, there’s a place called Morning Star Family Farm. The surrounding countryside bears fruit trees, berry bushes and a large vegetable garden. There are fertile green pastures, Herefords feeding, chickens in the coop and a goat barn. The west side of the property marks Fowler Road while the eastern border meanders and is carved out by the south fork of the Willapa River.
The setting is peaceful and quiet inside the traditional white farmhouse. Proprietors, Paul and Alison Turner, sit at their kitchen table, finishing up the last few bites of lunch before returning to work.
“Our vision for the farm has always been to be more and more self-sufficient. We just want to eat well, eat healthy, real food,” explained Paul.
Expanding he says, “Our longer term goal has always been to raise animals alongside our big garden – providing for ourselves, some for our friends and their friends. Our desire is to raise animals naturally, grass fed, with no vaccinations, no outside chemical fertilizer of any kind. We don’t want to poison the body or the river.”
In the garden, Paul’s favorites are the raspberry bushes. He planted the raspberries after purchasing the farm from his grandmother. Alison favors the blueberries. Their garden provides fruits and vegetables. The chickens lay fresh eggs, and the Herefords graze the fields. Alison and Paul’s dream to be more self-sufficient is in fact, a reality.
They even raise goats to provide milk and manufacture fabulous fresh handmade soap, sold as a retail product. It’s creamy white. Molded shapes come in a variety of appealing scents. Turner’s Goat Soaps are a coveted find. The Willapa Harbor Public Market is the primary outlet selling this fabulous handmade, fresh smelling local soap. You may also find it at a few other events like Oktoberfest at the Swedish Hall in Raymond or fundraising events hosted by the Grays Harbor College at the Riverview Education Center campus. With scents of anise, grapefruit and names like West India Bay or Royal Bay Rum, you may find a favorite and make a purchase for yourself. Goat soap is also a great hostess gift.
Along with their careers at Grays Harbor College, Alison is also a piano teacher and Paul pastors a small church, Willapa Harbor Christian Fellowship. This church used to house a small Christian school. Years ago, when the school closed he was looking for work. He applied to teach English as a Second Language. With a degree in science and athletic therapy and a graduate certificate in Bible, he was hired.
A few years later, Grays Harbor College started an adult GED prep and work-readiness program. Paul has been teaching in that program ever since.
The Turners have four grown children, spread out across Michigan, California, Alberta and Africa. They also have one grandchild who loves to run. After their youngest daughter left home, Alison decided to look for work. Equipped with a master’s degree in psychology and five years experience as a mental health counselor, Alison was hired by the college to coordinate student support. She also finds time to volunteer as a mediator for the Dispute Resolution Center in Aberdeen, in addition to teaching piano lessons in her home.
Moving to Willapa Valley, pastoring a small church, working for Grays Harbor College and buying the farm from Paul’s grandmother, Echo Tuner, was never the couple’s original plan. In the beginning, Paul and Alison chose to escape the bustling Portland city life by moving back to Paul’s hometown to work for the family business. Paul’s grandfather, Fred Turner, a businessman, sold petrol for the Shell Oil Company.
The desire to raise their young children in the country is what brought this Pacific County couple as young parents, to the Willapa Valley. When their children were young, Paul and Alison liked being out of the city, having property and raising animals for the kids to help maintain. Alison shares, “There is lots of space to run, play, explore, and it is Paul’s hometown – the place where all Paul’s family lived.”
If you are searching for naturally raised meats to add to your diet or if you’re interested in learning more about where to find the Turner’s fresh goat soap, contact Paul or Alison Turner at Morning Star Family Farm at 360-942-8600.