As a wonderful part of Piedmont Farm School we get to take a monthly field trip to various farms. This month we visited two farms in Forsyth County, NC. We were greated at Brasfield Club Lambs by John Brasfield a very down to earth farmer. At his family farm we learned about his 10 acre experience raising 100 sheep or so at a time. We were able to see baby lambs, discuss livestock great pyrenees, see the pastural rotation system, as well as learn about electric fencing and getting water to travel to multiple pastures. The morning was loaded with new information to process including birthing, castrating, tagging ears, and parasite control.
Next on the list was the Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery. There we visited the micro dairy where we were very lucky to get a detailed tour (which if only offered for educational purposes). There small operation looked very efficient. On this 34 acre farm the family raises and milks about 20 Nubian goats. Other animals we saw were heritage chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, some sheep and cattle, as well as guard llamas and more great pyrenees. This farm was so cute and charming. Definitely a great place to take the family. You can take a dairy tour for $50 a person, look at some beautiful animals and visit the farm store. The farm store has a little bit of everything you would want to see. You can purchase the farms cheese, as well a meat, goat milk soap, goat and farm themed presents, handmade gifts, unique farm themed children's gifts and a delicious assortment of jams and other farm products. We easily spent a bunch here. We purchased 7 different frozen goat cheeses. Our favorites so far are the feta marinated with garlic and peppercorns and the farmstead traditional basil and sundered tomato chèvre. We can't wait to thaw and try our other goodies.
This visit to Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery was an optimal educational experience. Everyone was very knowledgeable and friendly. The farm was clean and well maintained. We left with so much great information and a few recommended resources for "the best goat cheese books" by Gianaclis Caldwell. This farm is a must see trip to Forsyth County open 7 days a week Monday - Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 1-6.
Taking the old antique family tractor for a ride. Had to remove the cultivator and install the plow on this 1947 beauty. So thankful to still have this tractor for our farm. Plowed the ground for our first official farm garden. Next adventure is to take the results from the soil test and start enriching the soil, plant some veggies and start composting. Heirloom veggie goodness is right around the corner.
Derrick and I first shared our love for sustainable living a decade ago when we met in college studying art. We would talk and dream about how great it would be to one day have land that could provide for our family. Then when I met Derrick's family's goats, I completely feel in love with the idea. It wasn't long after those initial conversations that Derrick's grandfather passed away. Earlier in the Spring of that year his grandfather had planted the largest garden the family had ever seen him work. It was the summer of 2006. That summer we dug potatoes and helped his grandmother eat lots of wonderful veggies from the garden. Derrick and I looked at each other and thought this is a lot of hard work, but this is the life. How can we make this happen?
Our work-life took us on a round-about path, but our desire for this lifestyle continued to grow stronger, especially when we had our daughter Olive. We saw how much she enjoyed the outdoors, helping plant our veggie gardens, pick apples and grapes, as well as tending to the chickens, turkeys and ducks at her Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw's house. We thought, "What better way to teach her where food comes from and the value of hard work than to raise and grow some of our family's food?" This year, with his grandmother's blessing, we are beginning to plant a garden on the same land Derrick's granddad farmed (and his great-granddad farmed). With this small start we're excited to be keeping the tradition alive so that we may one day be able to pass it down to our grandkids.
Derrick and Brooke Sides are the husband and wife co-founders of BatCrow Farms. Dreaming the big dream one day at a time.