Our Story

Our story begins in late 1912 when our grandparents immigrated to the United States from Finland, Denmark, and Norway.  In 1928 our grandparents purchased 100 acres on Rumsey Hill Road in Van Etten, NY.  Many farming enterprises were carried out over the following decades including, a dairy, chicken and egg laying business, grass-fed Herefords, row crops, and fire wood.  Both the original barn and red farmhouse were hand built by our parents and grandparents in 1929.  Though not originally red, the farmhouse atop Rumsey Hill has withstood a tornado that destroyed the original barn and seen four Mallula generations pass through it.  We chose the red farmhouse as our namesake as it represents the durability and sustainability we hope to bring to modern farming.

The concept of Red House Ranch started in 2006 when Ike Mallula heard a lecture on mob grazing by Greg Judy.  Shortly after, he attended another lecture by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm Inc. Ike quickly realized that the grazing methods taught by Greg and Joel could be applied to the land his parents owned.

In 1940 the Farm Security Administration deemed the land along Rumsey Hill Road, including his parent’s property, as “submarginal.”  The crazy concept of turning supposed “submarginal” land into productive land became Ike’s goal.  He roped in his brother Dave, and plans to quit their day jobs were solidified in 2015.  Together, Ike and Dave have attended multiple conferences and training sessions on mob grazing, and pastured beef, pork, and chicken.

There have been no industrial agricultural chemicals used on what are now dense perennial pastures that Red House Ranch operates from.  Fortunately, our father did persist with periodic mowing.  If he had not done so, the land would be covered in brush and trees.

The Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) and paleo movements have also played a significant part in the development of Red House Ranch.  The LCHF lifestyle has profoundly improved our health and helped us realize that there is a demand for pasture based production.  Animals raised on pasture inherently produce more nutrient dense proteins and fat while at the same time sequestering carbon, improving the fertility of the land.

We are excited about this new journey and the opportunity to sustainably feed our community.

We are excited to be closing the circle and returning to land that our grandparents and parents poured their life into.

We are excited about producing food that will be beneficial to all who consume it.

We are excited about meeting and working with all our customers to provide top-tier products for your home table, store, restaurant, CrossFit members, and DO or functional medicine office clients.

 

Our Timeline

1912-1920: In 1912 our grandfather, Isak Mallula, arrived at Ellis Island from Vähäkyrö, Finland at the age of 21. Miina Josephson, also from Finland, immigrated to the US around 1920.  The two eventually married in 1926 in Spencer, NY.

timeline-1912-ship-manifest
Manifest of the S.S. Caronia at Ellis Island, NY listing its passengers including Isak Mallula.


1928-1950: In 1928 Isak and Miina purchased 100 acres on Rumsey Hill Road in Van Etten, NY. During the summer of 1929, Isak and Miina slept in their chicken coop while they built their farmhouse. With the start of World War II in 1939, demand for raw milk to be processed into condensed milk for the Army was growing rapidly. Miina saw this as an opportunity and started a dairy. Their milk was picked up and taken to Spencer, NY to be processed and loaded onto the train headed for New York City. Demand for chickens and eggs was growing as well. Miina and Isak met this demand with a broiler and layer business housing upwards of 50,000 chickens. All work on the farm was done by hand with the help of two workhorses, Prince and Harry. After their poultry enterprise, they moved on to cattle grazing until the farm was passed on the Isaac Mallula Jr. and his wife Ruth. Ruth also grew up on a farm on Staten Island where her parents raised rabbits for food as well as for preliminary penicillin testing in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

 

Papa Ike (Isak) with Prince and Harry, circa 1938.
Papa Ike (Isak) with Prince and Harry, circa 1938.

1950-1986: From 1950 to 1960, Ruth and Ike continued the dairy farm until it was no longer economical in the age of industrial farming. They then pursued several farming endeavors, including grass-fed Herefords, row crops, and firewood until 1986 when they decided to stop farming.

 

Ike Mallula in front of the barn, circa 1960.
Ike Mallula in front of the barn, circa 1960.

1986-2015: After farming ceased, the pasture areas and barn were leased to neighbors for cattle grazing until the barn was destroyed by a tornado in 2003. Since then, the pastures have been hayed and mowed and the land was used for hunting, horse riding, camping, fishing, and hiking.

 

timeline-gmagpa
Ruth and Ike Mallula on their farm in 2014

2015-Present: Dave and Ike started making plans for a farming enterprise and Red House Ranch LLC was formed on June 14, 2016.

Red House Ranch
Red House Ranch