It's taken years . . . but we are now an established working farm with a customer base.
After tracking our progress here on the blog over the years, I've nearly maxed out the capacity with all the photos. Our new farm website is under construction.
It's been Indian Summer the last week with temperatures up into the 80's. But heavy cold is coming Saturday morning with wind and rain. I've been working full-time an hour away the last few months to finance big projects here on the farm . . . a metal roof for the barn, an addition on the old coop to turn it in to a goat house for our dairy herd, and more electric fencing for new pastures. Tomorrow is my last day. We're going to try to make a go of it at lasting self-sufficiency.
Our goal here is to produce the finest organic raw dairy products possible. We offer fresh raw goat's milk, raw soft cheeses, butter and sour cream. The key to producing fresh goat's milk that is superior in taste and nutrition to cow's milk is an all-natural diet with no commercial feed, unlimited pasture and browse, hand-milking, and instant chilling of the fresh milk in an ice-water bath in scrupulously clean containers. Our goats are fed only fodder [wheat, oat, and barley grass], sunflower seeds, alfalfa, kelp, organic vegetables from the garden [presently pumpkins], high-quality local clover hay, in addition to acres of lush pasture and browse. Our raw dairy products are available through goat shares.
Dairy goat kids will go up for sale in the spring. We'll have anywhere from 10 to 20 kids and are taking reservations for them now. All of our does are bred to a registered Lamancha buck of show-quality and heavy-milk lines. We have three high-producing gallon-a-day registered Lamancha does - Marley, Cayenne, and Sprite. We also have a Nubian doe [Mabel] that produced 3/4 a gallon a day her first freshening; three Lamancha/Sanaan crosses whose mother Marley is our top-producing registered Lamancha; and Mabel's doeling, Josey, an Alpine/Nubian cross. The price for the doelings will range from $150-$250 depending on the mother and how registerable they are. Bucklings will go for from $75-$200. All of our goats are raised on the same high-quality all-natural raw diet, and are bred for excellent confirmation, the best-tasting milk, as well as high yield, and easy kidding. When Marley first came to us she was terribly thin and ragged and her milk was undrinkable after years on a commercial diet. In only a month we had her weight up, a healthy coat, a consistent 10 pounds of milk a day, and her milk impossible to tell apart from our other does.
We also offer truly free-range chicken eggs that sell for $6 a dozen. They have a wonderful flavor with dark orange yolks. What goes in to these eggs? Raising the birds as day-olds on a raw diet of fodder and sprouted lentils mashed and dried in the sun and mixed with seaweed. Early access to pasture. The security of electric fencing - we never lose a bird. Lush pasture, a clean spacious coop inside the barn, and fresh water harvested from rain off the barn roof. As adults their diet's composed of sprouted grain/fodder, kelp, organic produce, homemade leftovers, and clabbered goat's milk; bugs, weeds, and seeds they forage on their own at pasture; bug pests that I pick off the garden plants and young fruit trees on daily bug walks; and whatever wild food we can harvest to supplement their diet. It's time to gather black walnuts by the trunkload, and the birds love nothing more than to dive in and pick through a pile of freshly shelled and cracked black walnuts.
We sell home-made bread [baked in the wood cookstove in the winter] that can be tailored to any preference with customized ingredients. We have various jams and preserves depending on the summer fruit harvest. Organic produce is available seasonally [though greens are grown throughout the year here in Tennesee using row tunnels]. Right now we have various organic winter squashes that sell for $1.50/pound - mostly heirloom Tennessee sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
Here is a list of classes in permaculture homesteading that we presently offer. Our emphasis here at Holdout Farm is on low-tech, low-cost solutions for sustainable living: