The weather never seemed to cooperate the four or five previous times we tried to visit Providence Farm. Again, it was pouring rain on Friday, but we put on our "fancy boots" and drove out to Anderson to see the Snows and their cattle, heritage pigs, and hens. We had enjoyed getting to know Colleen and Donald at the farmer's market, but wanted to see up close and personal how they ran their farm.
It impressed us to see the commitment the Snows have as first generation farmers and the integrity and love they have that translates into happy and healthy animals. The picture below shows the natural (and currently very muddy) pig habitat that fosters a fun time for these little squealers. They love running free and eating grubs, acorns, or whatever pigs fancy in the forest. We learned from Donald that the Eastern Cedar trees in the area are also a natural wormer. No drugs needed!
The cows graze in a pasture and (of course) leave behind pretty substantial cow pies which can harden and kill the grass. So Donald has devised and built large movable chicken coops that are repositioned along the pasture every day over the cow pies. So the chickens do their thing and break up the pies while leaving behind their own natural nitrogen fertilizer. Good for the pasture, good for the cows, good for the chickens.
We were inspired to hear and see all the ways that Donald and Colleen are thinking through their farm practices to make the best choices for their animals. They treat them with respect and dignity the way we all should treat each other and the fauna we are given charge of on this earth. In turn, we at Oak Hill Cafe and Farm will do everything we can to continue treating these beautiful creatures with respect in the dishes that we prepare. Thank you Providence Farm for your inspiration!