Type: Nuts and Berries / Poultry and Flowers
Years in operation: 7
Annual revenue: < 10k
(Average over last three years)
Teaching Farm: offering free workshops to teach organic and sustainable ways to merge tree, shrub and understory growth. This farm will benefit people and wildlife for literally hundreds of years to come. PICTURE of the 4 year old GIRL who is standing by a 3 year old PECAN TREE - really stresses how a nut orchard is a labor of love toward the next generation - such as my niece here standing by our first northern hardy pecan tree. (nut trees mature very slowly) Family operated, 7 acres, hire local teens for tasks, 15 heritage breed chickens, 3 show chickens, farm collie 24/7 worker - organic and sustainable practices.
Inside the Farm
How is your approach to farming different than other farms in the same category?
Many farms have produce and livestock - few independent farms have the luxury to cultivate nut trees - that seems to be left to Big Agra. I wanted to be the local spot for nuts (pecan, chestnut and filbert) so my local community could enjoy affordable organic nuts. In addition, I partner with the local library and a non-profit to offer workshops on the farm where the HORSES draw in the kiddos and adults learn about how to grow out and up and still have an open pasture area. It is also very important to have live animals on any small farm - they are part of the circle of life - add a depth of love and care - and frankly - they just belong on a farm - hence the reason I have horses for visitors to pet, brush, love on - it is amazing to watch a grumpy teenager melt when they touch the soft nose of a horse.
How does your different approach contribute to a long-term profitable growth strategy for your farm and other small farms like yours?
Nut trees take 15 to 30 years to reach full cropping capacity. In the meantime I sell berries and flowers and eggs at my local farmer's market. The long term is going to be great, as the price per pound for nuts is always going up - surviving until the trees give back is the trick for a small nut orchard. There will be plenty for local wildlife to glean, always time for workshops and lectures (which I always offer free of charge) and when others see how much I can plant and produce under mature nut trees - they will be moved to plant their own for their children and grandchildren.
How would you specifically use a Mortgage Lifter Lift or Mini Lift?
The Mortgage Lifter would go toward a veggie bed and two more rows of nut trees, plus some fence fixing. That never ends! A nice portion each summer of any 'extra' money can go to a helper to do trimming, pruning and weeding which I do constantly until I poop out - and there is always more to do. A Mini Lift would go right to fence fixing ... a must to keep chickens and horses safe and gives visitors to the farm clear area boundaries for where to go to pet animals or keep off new growth.
Please share why you are so passionate about your farm and/or farming in general.
Certainly we all can't be farmers - but we all want to eat healthy food and breathe clean air - this is why it is important for all of us to support small farms and allow others to learn about small farms. When the time, hard work and love that goes into being a farmer is recognized by our city brothers and sisters - then we all benefit! And how great to make sure our traditional farms and rural communities manage to find a way to exist to allow those urban siblings to come visit and regenerate before going back to their equally important jobs- WIN / WIN (spoken by a once cell biologist - now farmer/editor)
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