We are a family owned farm nestled in a small town near the gulf in South Mississippi called Lucedale.
We started on this journey about five years ago when we decided that we wanted to provide ourselves with fresh, healthy, and whole foods. With my wife and I both working in the healthcare field, we saw first hand how bad the healthcare crisis in America has truly become. We began to wonder if there was a better way. Through rigorous research we began to discover that ultimately the old saying is true. You literally are what you eat. The right foods used as “preventative” medicine can allow your body to function at peak performance, while the wrong foods can cause the very illnesses we try to prevent. If you provide your body with the proper nutrition it can do wonders for health problems and more importantly prevent them in the first place. The right foods and a healthy diet could drastically change the landscape of healthcare in our country.
In search of an alternative we began to find that shopping for fresh organic produce was expensive at the supermarket and after that you still truly didn’t know where your food originally came from. So taking this into consideration, we decided to start shopping at the farmers market. We wanted to shop more local and work hard to really get to know the people who grew our food. With that in mind we spent the next few years while we traveled the country (for our healthcare careers) shopping at the local farmers markets and introducing ourselves to the local farmers. This was an excellent opportunity to see how a variety of foods can be offered all over the country (in all types of environments) without the heavy use of petroleum fertilizers or fuel.
So as time passed and our journey brought us closer to home we finally decided that the ultimate way to know everything about the foods we were eating was to “cut out the middle man” and grow/produce it ourselves. We were both blessed with a little bit of knowledge about farming between the two of us, because we had both grown up on a farm. However, we decided that if we wanted to do this, we would have to take it as seriously as possible. So in the beginning of 2014 we took a leap of faith! We quit our medical jobs and went to a sustainable farm in north Mississippi to work a season. We worked an intense internship which taught us the ways of pasturing animals and how to improve the soil that the pasture is on. We learned the best way to protect and grow a healthy product without the use of antibiotics, vaccines, hormones, and steroids. These became the standards for which we would hold ourselves accountable. We finished our internship and moved back to Lucedale in the early fall of 2014 to begin our adventure and make a start.
In the beginning we started with pastured laying hens and eggs. Eggs are a wonderful marketing tool as well as a steady source of revenue, and hens work as the "cleanup" crew for Sweet Grass eating the parasites and spreading the manure. We purchased 125 Aurcana laying hens (hens known for their rich nutritious eggs) and we were amazed! Its amazing how much fresh air, sunshine, and fresh pasture can change the quality of an egg. The yolks were wonderfully rich and they had this bold orange coloring! Like no egg we had ever seen or tasted before.
This led to the next step in our food adventure, the introduction of the broilers and pigs. We were fed up with what was offered at the local supermarket and couldn't bring ourselves to buy their product any longer. So out of necessity, our farm was born. We made the decision to start raising meat chickens as well. We chose the Cornish Cross or "Broiler". These are the exact chickens you can find on the supermarket shelves. They can easily be raised outdoors and ready to buy in only two months with minimal maintenance. When we saw how easy to raise the chickens were, we wondered why we had ever shopped at the supermarket in the first place.
We started small and raised a batch just for ourselves and we enjoyed it so much. The taste of the supermarket chicken could not even be compared to our pastured poultry (not to mention the added health benefits of abundant nutrients from fresh air and sunshine). Next, our family began asking if they could have some of our poultry and then some of their friends began to ask if they could have some of our poultry and from there the dream began. We starting producing enough broilers to sell and provide to others. We have gotten such great feed back from our friends and family we decided to begin raising some hogs as well. In the next year we hope to increase production of all of these and start raising grass fed beef.
So a small dream has slowly become a small reality, and with a little hard work and hope my family believes we can truly provide Mississippi with a healthy affordable alternative.