How we got started
In 2004, as newlyweds, we moved to a small farm in southwestern Rowan County, previously cultivated by Megan’s grandparents. We eagerly planted a huge garden. Though educated at North Carolina State University in horticultural science, we quickly found there are many aspects of gardening that only experience can teach. Over the years, we’ve finessed our gardening practices to produce fruits and vegetables using more sustainable methods without pesticides.
Even after scaling down in our second year, the garden harvest was overabundant and we began considering various opportunities for sharing our produce. Since most of our friends and neighbors harvested their own gardens, it seemed logical to explore the needs outside our immediate community. Our first retail experience was a Community Supported Agriculture program and a self-service produce stand.
While the CSA and the produce stand continue to be a staple aspect of the farm in spring and summer, meat production is a year-round venture that we’ve established. All the fencing had been taken down on the farm years ago and the pastures were simply mowed for hay when we moved to the farm. In 2006, Andy built a 16-foot x 16-foot pig pen and started installing new fence for additional livestock.
Our first animals were nine weaned piglets. There have been several groups of five to nine pigs over the years. We purchase piglets from a local hog producer rather than keeping a sow and boar on the farm. We feed our pigs a custom mix of locally grown corn and soybean meal. They also enjoy plenty of garden refuse during the produce season. They have access to a self-waterer and regularly create a mud puddle for wallowing. It’s important for pigs to have shelter, their pink skin can sunburn!
We have a small herd of Black Angus beef cattle that graze on 16 acres of pasture. We practice rotational grazing to most efficiently utilize the forage. In the winter, the cows are fed hay. We produce some of our own hay, but must also buy some from other local farms.
We have enjoyed our efforts so far and look forward to the continued revitalization of the farm so that we might—quite literally—share the fruits of our labor.