THIS BLOG IS MOSTLY ABOUT food, nutrition as it pertains to farming practices, agriculture, farming, farm animals, the food industry in the United States and across the globe, organics and organic farming, sustainable farming practices, vegetables, herbs, dairy, and anything else that pertains to food or agriculture. I have personally been involved in beef cow production, organic herb growing, organic vegetable production, pastured poultry (egg production), draft-horse farming, exotic animal enterprises, rabbit breeding-stock production, organic dairy, grass-based sheep production, wool and fiber and all activities that are associated with the above. I am very interested in food and how it’s produced — We believe that all culture comes from agriculture, and that we are what we eat.
WE ARE a farm family that lives, breathes and works on a certified organic farm. We raise St. Croix hair sheep, chickens (layers), draft horses, vegetables and custom graze organic dairy replacement cows during the growing season. We have sold our vegetables to New Pioneer Co-op in Iowa City. We moved to this particular farm in the spring of 1998. It was essentially a farm in “bad heart” — the barn was in bad shape and in need of a roof, chicken house literally falling down, land farmed conventionally (with ample amounts of herbicides, pesticides, etc), and fencing in need of repair (not to mention an old Iowa farmhouse that was in need of a lot of tender-loving care).
Well, we started just plugging away. Our vision for the place and for our lives was the creation of a forum for the restoration and preservation of a farm based on family, community, sustainable and organic growing methods, traditional farm skills, arts, crafts, and renewable energy. What our vision has currently translated into is horsefarming, seed saving, food preservation, eating what we grow and selling the surplus, and organic growing methods. Our parents (both sets) are a huge part of the farm’s current success. Marjorie’s parents (Dan & Alma) both grew up Amish and have such a wealth of knowledge of so many farming skills that is so helpful in what we are doing. Phil’s parents (his mom especially) grew up in Missouri during the Great Depression. Dorothy (Phil’s mom) was raised on a farm that grew all their own food and lived off the land (not by choice – they had to). Our elders have so much to impart and we are so lucky to have them close!
We have two beautiful daughters named Isabel and Zoe. Isabel loves cats, dogs, flowers, “the chickies“, sheep and horses, but not bats or rats. Zoe is also becoming a farm girl – she loves to go out with daddy and pet the horses. We’re currently teaching both our girls that cats (and chickies) don’t like being held with two hands around the neck (hard to breathe, you see). We feel lucky to live in a great community with such wonderful soil in which to grow wonderful food.