White Fox of Freestone is a small 6 acre farm located in Sebastopol, California. Farmer and veterinarian, Nancy Walters, began growing organic blueberries on her land in 2009. Having raised chickens since childhood, she knew that introducing a flock of laying hens to her fields would benefit both the berries and the birds.
The pasture-raised flock at White Fox is a mix of different breeds, with Americana, Anacona, Buff Orpington, Wyandotte, Austrolorp, Campine, and Rhode Island Red hens, providing a regular supply of white, brown and even blue-shelled eggs. The chickens enjoy pasturing among the 400 or so certified organic blueberry bushes, with shade from the summer sun and access to a diverse natural diet of insects and seeds. In return, the blueberries benefit from the manure that the chickens deposit, as well as the natural control of insect pests that the birds provide. “It’s a commensal relationship,” says Nancy.
In 2008, and with no agricultural background, Amy Davis-Jones and Shaun Jones left their urban lives in Houston, Texas to farm 20 acres in Fayette County – land that had been farmed by five generations of Amy’s family. Over the years, their interest in sustainable food production had developed as they visited various farmers’ markets, spoke to farmers, attended conferences, and read books on the topic. Eventually, the appeal of an agrarian life brought them to the farm, where they lived in a canvas tent with no electricity or running water for the first 15 months. They decided to call the farm A + S.
Kyle Lowery raises an AWA- certified herd of dairy cattle at Lowery Family Farms in Bradford, NY. For more information, you can reach Kyle at email@example.com or (607) 329-9231.
Happy Cow Farms is located in the foothills of Oregon’s Coastal Mountain Range, on the west side of the Willamette Valley which is renowned for its rich agricultural lands. The area surrounding Happy Cow Farms is comprised of a diverse landscape that includes native forest, vineyards, pasture lands and other agricultural crops. Happy Cow Farms operates on a “cow-calf model,” meaning that farmers John and Lia Sanford raise their Black Angus, Hereford and Black Angus/Hereford cross-bred calves from birth.
Margo and Jerry White raise Animal Welfare Approved laying hens at Margo’s Garden in Buffalo, WV. The farm has also been approved to supply Animal Welfare Approved cattle breeding and feeder stock. The Whites raise Angus cross-bred cattle and traditional breeds of chickens on pasture, feeding home-grown hay during the winter months. Margo and Jerry also grow a wide range of vegetables, using a high tunnel (or hoop house) to enable them to produce early and late season crops.
Farmer Jill Matney raises Animal Welfare Approved laying hens in Valdosta, Georgia.
The Stamps family moved to their current 40 acre farm near Chariton in 2009, after being introduced to farming and growing while restoring old homes in the downtown areas near Des Moines. Initially, they purchased an empty lot and planted fruit trees, but they soon realized what they really wanted was a lot more land. “We looked for a long time to find a farm with the right mix of pasture, woods, water, and an old home we could be comfortable in,” says Chad Stamps. “The wait was worth it.” About a third of the land is taken up by a 7 acre pond and its surrounding features, with the remainder comprising pasture, rough grazing and woodland.
Glendale Shepherd is a family owned and operated dairy farm on Whidbey Island, committed to sustainable agriculture practices and the production of fine sheep milk cheeses. Located on the lovely eastern coastline of Whidbey Island, the farm has been in the Swanson family for three generations. With forest, pasture, ponds, and meadows, the farm provides a diversity of high quality habitat for both livestock and wildlife. The Swanson family’s goals are to produce the highest quality sheep milk cheeses possible and to nurture the land, their family, and their livestock through the use of creative, sustainable farming methods.
After teaching horticulture, biology and landscape design for many years, Matt Wilkinson and his family bought a small five acre farm in 2008 at the foothills of the Sourland Mountain range in central New Jersey. Hard Cider Homestead is home to a flock of Animal Welfare Approved laying hens who are free to forage on carefully managed pastures.
Matt is proud of the permaculture practices that he employs at Hard Cider Homestead. The farm’s chickens work as an integrated element in the farm’s operations, adding natural fertilizer in the form of their manure to increase soil fertility and controlling bug populations while foraging on high-quality pastures. Matt can’t keep up with the local consumer demand for the high-quality eggs that this system produces.
Roger Twitchell and Ellyn Hutson became farmers in July 2004 when they bought an 11-acre area of land in North Florida. Caney Branch Farm began with a few head of Belted Galloway cattle, sometimes called the “Oreo Cow” for their distinct black and white coloring, to help manage the pastures. In 2006, Roger and Ellyn began raising laying hens and now have several breeds, including Rhode Island Reds, Speckled Sussex, Orpingtons, Wyandottes, Partridge Rocks, Barred Rocks, Cochins, and Brahmas.
When Ellyn became interested in sheep, they added Icelandic sheep to the farm, a prized fiber breed that also produces high quality meat and sheep milk. Despite the hot Florida climate, the sheep have adjusted well and, with three shearings each year and proper nutrition and care, Ellyn says that they thrive even during the hottest of months. “At Caney Branch, we sell Icelandic wools and yarns in their natural shades, as well as some hand-dyed and hand-painted products,” Ellyn explains. “We use environmentally-friendly dyes with plants grown in our Dyer’s Garden.”