Our Story

Who We Are

We are a little family on a sizable stretch of land in east TN. 
One of us is an artist, homeschooler, chicken lady whose favorite part of every day is hugging the dogs. One of us is a sheep fence mover, water toter, family doctor who rides in trucks with goats. And then we have lots of little fingers who are great at catching chickens, petting bunnies, digging up carrots, and climbing trees.

What we Do

Per our plans of 2021, we grow pastured chicken, duck, and turkey, all of which are processed on farm. We tend a small herd of katahdin sheep primarily for grass fed lamb. We sell chicken and duck eggs, all grown either free range or pastured, depending on the time of the year. And we’re really hoping to grow a few hogs this year, but we’ve got to nail down a butcher first. Stay tuned.

How We Got Here

Pleasure

We love the work. We love being outside every day of the year, tending to animals and gardens and orchards. It makes our lives richer and fuller and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Before we were married we did a lot of hiking and backpacking and camping. While we still adore the meditative quality of a hike on the AT, we now meet this personal need walking our pastures and working our soil. Oh, also, the food that we make ourselves is delicious! We take great pleasure in eating it!

Children

We all want what’s best for our kids, right? With the arrival of our children we started giving more thought to the food we were feeding ourselves and our precious littles. Honestly, it almost all started with making baby food and looking up which produce was on the dirty dozen list. One little dip into nutrition and food production started us on a winding path of learning all we could about how to get good clean simple food. Turns out it’s harder and more expensive than it seems. Our response? Well, we’ll just do it ourselves, as much as we’re able. Thus began the homesteading.

Responsibility

We feel a sense of responsibility to share our flavorful and nutritious food with our neighbors. We all deserve it, not just those of us fortunate enough to have access to farmland. We also feel a deep responsibility to steward the land we are on for our lifetime well. We want to use it wisely now and to build it up for future generations, protecting soil and water and air.

meadow at dawn
blackberries

Growing Practices

Our primary goal in growing food is to grow it in the most ecologically sustainable way possible.

Most current commercial agricultural relies heavily on importing fertility to the soil with chemicals, even if they are organic chemicals. Our objective is to use sustainable practices to create an environment that maintains fertility for generations without the use of chemical fertilizer. Practically, this involves using our chickens and sheep as primary means to mow the fields and then add nutrients back to the soil. We do this by lots of movement: moving our sheep, with chickens behind, around our meadows. We use smaller paddocks to make sure every inch of the field is fertilized, as all us animals tend to find favorite spots and keep to them. This also minimizes tractor use so the soil is minimally disturbed, limiting erosion.
We try to mimic nature as much as possible, giving each species what they love in a way that provides optimum health and happiness. Here again comes a benefit of intensive grazing. By moving the grazing paddocks very often and allowing for ample pasture rest between, the animals have a balanced fresh diet free from parasites and pathogens found in heavily grazed areas. The soil also has an opportunity to rebound from the trampling and mowing. Root systems deepen. Pathogen and parasite life cycles are interrupted. This practice imitates large scale migration which is what most grazers would do if they were able. These practices do require extra effort on our part but should pay off with fertile soil for decades to come.
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