Homestead Harvest Farm in Wake Forest, NC
Reprinted with permission by Elizabeth Mann of elizabethssecretgarden.blogspot.com/
My family went on the 2013 Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, which is put on by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. To learn more or buy tickets to this year’s tour, happening Sept. 20-21 visit https://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/etft.
Our first farm tour was Homestead Harvest Farm. The field is 6 1/2 acres, but the entire property is 20 acres. Jan Campbell did cancer research before she started working full time on the farm. She participated in internships and classes to gain knowledge. Her love for the farm and pride in her animals was evident as she discussed the farm’s history and facts about animal raising.
The chickens are raised free range and feed on the pesticide-free lawn. They are treated with the utmost of care without the use of antibiotics. Chicken tractors on wheels are scattered about the field. They are moved around as the animals are ready for fresh grass. The farm also has ducks, turkeys, and pigs.
As you can see, the chicken tractors can be moved manually by pushing back against the wall. Wheels make for easy transport. Canvas is put along the bottom of the frame to help keep out smaller predators like weasels.
The turkey seemed to be guardian of the chickens. He kept a watchful eye on us as he pranced about the chicken tractor. His feathers were spread out and his overall stature was conducted for the purpose of showing off. His face was blue from holding his breathe and a flap of skin known as the snood was elongated as he held his breath.
Time for a game of tag! I love to capture funny moments and this was one of them. Who knew that pigs and geese make good companions for playing tag?
Pigs are social animals and like to be around other pigs and apparently they like having geese around too. When feeding time came it was a battle to see who could get to the food first. All manners and proper etiquette are tossed aside when food is brought into the scene. The smallest piglets struggled to get their share. There were a couple of pigs who were only a week old and had yet to learn that there was an electrified low wire. Suddenly, we heard a loud squeal as one of the piglet’s tail brushed up against the thin wire. I’m sure the young ones will learn quickly.
The expression of a hungry pig!
The electric fence is solar powered.
The not so bright side of chicken raising, but essential for producing meat. I will keep this brief for the sake of those who are sensitive to this topic. The picture to the left is where the quick process of slaughtering takes place. The picture to the right is where the de-feathering is done. It is a Whizbang Chicken Plucker. At 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it only takes a few minutes for the feathers to come off. Two chickens can be put in at a time.
Pork and chickens being stored in the freezer until they are sold.
I thought this was a nifty gadget. It is a washing hands station.
Well, that concludes this blog entry on Homestead Harvest Farm. I’ve taken you from chicken to the final harvest process. You can contact Jan Campell at HomesteadHarvestFarm@gmail.com