We are a diversified family farm. This means that we don't specialize in any one animal. Rather, we focus on creating an ecosystem within our farm. This could look different for others, but for us it includes various poultry, rabbits, and 2 types of pigs. Each of these animals plays a role in making us more community sufficient and compliments the other animals, as well as our property.
Why We Diversify
When we started building our farm we spent time thinking about the purpose for our family as well as our community. We wanted to create a synergistic space where we could rely less on "out there" and more on right here. It is also important that the animals that we grow can help our community do the same.
Our poultry provide us with both meat and eggs. The eggs are used, or hatched, here, with the overflow being sold and given to members of our community that are in need. Their old bedding is used in our compost and makes excellent fertilizer.
We have 2 types of pigs on our farm; Large Blacks and Potbellies. These each serve their own unique purpose. The Potbellies do well in an enclosure that is moved regularly. They till the ground so that I can plant wildflower areas that will serve pollinators that will in turn aid in our garden. The pigs also consume food scraps that cannot go into the compost and convert it into meat and lard. The meat will be consumed by us, and the lard will be used in soaps, as well as being used as a cooking fat. Large Blacks do wonderfully on pasture land and are a heritage breed that is a passion project as much as a meat project. See more on Large Blacks in the "Livestock Conservation" section.
Rabbits will provide meat for our family as well as producing "ready to use" fertilizer, as their droppings do not need to decompose before use. Rabbits are easy and inexpensive to keep and will provide us with a beautiful source of lean protein.
We still have niches that we plan to fill with more diversification in the future, and will continue filling those as opportunity presents itself.