Monday, June 28, 2010

The easy way and the right way

One of the things that my wife and I decided early in our marriage (and really before that) was that nothing we were going to do was going to be easy. We spent 2 years of our courtship separated by 13 hours (her in Georgia and me in Texas). We had 2 kids within 21 months of each other and then came this crazy idea to move with a one month old baby and a two year old out to Tennessee. We settled in a rental house about 30 minutes outside of Knoxville. We made the decision early on that city life in east Tennessee was not really something that interested us. In keeping with our knack for doing things the hard way we decided that we needed to find the perfect piece of land for way below our budget price (thanks Dave Ramsey). So after looking at 100 houses (no joke) we found the homestead for us. Three days before closing this dream was almost take from us, but we pulled through and were able to get a clean title. Furthermore, we decided that in order to get out of our rental contract we would move in 4 days, while also having one of the busiest work weeks of the year.

All that to say, we don't like cutting corners and have learned that the right way isn't always the easy way. It is the same philosophy we have taken in creating this farm. We want to produce and sell all natural products, raised the way God intended, on grass. This is especially true of of cows but also of our chickens. We will be giving them a new pad of grass daily to munch on that allows them the freedom to exercise. Our cows are given small patches of grass each day from which to eat as well. This is known in the cattle biz as, a bunch of hippy crap (j/k), it is really known as, managed intensive grazing. Long story short, cows don't wallow around in the same spot every day which is good for the grass and good for the cows. We try and mimic the herds of present day Africa or the great Bison herds of the Midwest. They would stay in one place only for a short time and then move on, which gave us the great bread basket we all depend on today. This allows us to finish our cows (grow them) on grass alone with no need to feed grains like corn. Why is that important? Their are 2 benefits to this production model. the first is that cows are not shipped half way across the country to be crammed into feed lots like sardines and pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. The second is that it produces some of the leanest meat that can even compete with chicken. Think about a deer for a second. Do hunters pen them up for the last year of their life and pump them full of corn? No of course not they live on grass and this allows them to gain weight the health way. For more nutritional benefits just google grass fed beef or visit Oprah's site.

Well there you have it. The philosophy behind Little Feet Farm. We want to provide for a select number of people a product that rivals any on the market in quality, freshness, and healthiness all while doing it in a manor that leaves this place in a shape better than it is now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In the beginning

I will be writing this blog as a journal to look back on and laugh as well as to give some incite to friends and future customers about the start of our farming venture. As with all great dreams this one starts at a young age. I have always been enthralled with the idea of farming. I can vividly remember spending summers on the farm with my uncle and meme (my grandmother but she would never accept that title). I remember begging my Mom to make the six hour tract down to central Tennessee or the three hour tract up to Tennessee (we move a couple of times). It was here that I was first introduced to the first love of my life farming. As I grew up, much to the chagrin of my mother, I never lost the appeal to become a farmer.

Before her passing Meme told me she just knew that one day I would live the dream and own a farm. Well that dream has become a mini reality. My wife and I recently (2 weeks ago) purchased 5 acres in the east Tennessee town of Midway and now are in the farming business. This venture will take us wherever we decide but for now it is just a learning tool and a fulfilment of a dream. We are currently raising 5 steers and 15 hens and doing it the all natural way with no pesticides or fertilizers just plain fresh air and bugs. This blog will be our outlet to the world of the joys and pains of trying to make a living off the land. Feel free to join the ride with us and hopefully taste the fruits of our labor this coming fall.

Editors note: Spelling and grammer have never been great areas for me so please forgive any errors here within these posts.