My mind often wanders back to a time when the romantic thoughts of how running a small sustainable farm with a focus on feeding people were an invasive desire.
Circa 1995, Louanna and I were traveling though the winding mountain roads outside of Sparta, NC looking at property. We grew up in Upstate New York working farms and picking vegetables in our family gardens, but life had led us away from the country to the coast of North Carolina. We longed to return to our roots, but had no money.
As we rounded a corner we came upon a small white house surrounded by gardens, beehives and animals. Off in the distance, many small shed-style guest houses were spotted. I forget the name of the farm but a sign said, “come work for you meal.” It was my first experience with agro-tourism, a term that wasn’t used a whole lot in the mid 1990’s, and I was sold. Little did I know from that point, I would spend sixteen years living in subdivisions. The dream was still alive but very dim.
Good things come to those wait. With the help of our family, we now operate Footehills Farm, just under twenty acres of rolling hills in NW Georgia. We have had a great time growing vegetables, hunting game, running a CSA, delivering fainting goat kids, butchering hogs & meat rabbits and serving our customers some of the freshest meat and produce available in our neck of the woods.
I have learned enough to know that it is not easy to be a farmer and hopefully I can share some ups and downs through this blog that will help you on your journey to the farm, on the farm, in your backyard or even at the store or farmer’s market. I intend to post tutorials of success and warnings of failures. Until then, keep your hands dirty!