When our family began this 2019 growing season we were pregnant with our second child (a 2nd little girl, due November 9th!) & had no idea this would be the year we became farmers! It has been our crazy dream for several years now to grow food on a community scale (and have the opportunity to share it with others). We simply expected it to be at least 3-5 more years before we could even legitimately start small-scale farming and make the transition from office to field. Boy, were we in for a surprise! ...
This year we basically became farmers with zero hands-on farming experience and only our passion for local food & the principles of “returning to the land” as a family (and lots of previous book reading).
In what was ultimately a blessing-in-disguise, Kyle was let go from his engineering job at the start of spring. As disappointing as the loss of his job was at first, we decided this might just be our best opportunity for him to learn as much as he could about growing food & farming before the new baby arrived. We still had no idea we would become full-fledged farmers by the end of this summer!
At the start of spring Kyle was hired to do event-prep, landscaping and to be a salaried farm-hand on an experimental farm project testing how well food could grow on the “bad” portion of a 40-yr long organically farmed 1 acre field on the 50 acre property of JuneBug Retro RV Resort in Weaverville (and, yes, that means we technically currently grow on the “problem child” portion of the field!).
At the same time Kyle was also accepted as a part-season intern at The Root Cause Farm (formerly The Lord’s Acre). This internship recently concluded and was such a gift of knowledge to us both as we have stepped into the role of farmers this year!
We fully adopted the farm project at JuneBug part-way through this season as both of the original Farm Managers moved away for school and due to expense challenges the farming operation was put on the chopping block to to either being scrapped or somehow salvaged. We made the crazy decision to take over the farm as our own without receiving the previously paid hours to work it. It basically became the start of our own farm and we became it’s thankful farmers.
So, long story short, we became unexpected farmers this year on ⅓ of an acre of experimental organic farm field and we are so thankful for it! We continue to use organic practices and are planning for the future on this field. We plan on becoming Certified Naturally Grown (a type of organic certification) next year. We will also be transitioning to a low to no-till system and low to no-animal inputs (plant-based or veganic farming). We currently sell at East Asheville Tailgate Market and plan on expanding into the Weaverville Market and maybe one other market next year. We are also currently trialing a CSA box and will roll out a limited quantity of CSA shares next year as well (stay tuned for that!). We are excited to become our own farm and move into nearly the entire 1 acre of organic farm field next year. We are working on finalizing our farm name but will likely be called The Bird & The Beasts’ Farmstead at JuneBug (or some version of that).
So, here is a cheers to all the crazy dreamers, local and organic food eaters, and new farmers doing what you do every day to make this world a greener more life-affirming place to give to our children!!
With all our love, <Kyle & Athena of The Bird & The Beasts’ Farmstead>
Kyle and Athena
Welcome to our Farmstead Journal. We warmly invite you to read along as we share the day-to-day successes and road-bumps we encounter as we learn organic farming, pursue our search for our own land and our passion for homesteading, plant-based/"veganic" eating and growing, simplicity and our continual journey of learning and growing as a family!