We are in the process of re-reorganizing our site. We appreciate your patience. In the meanwhile, here’s a bit about our farm:
Spirit Dog Farm is a micro-farm located on 4+ acres of reclaimed farmland in Knox County in East Tennessee. Before being parceled off more than a few decades ago, it was used to raise corn and a couple market calves. We are in the process of converting it back to a working farm. We follow organic growing practices to raise naturally grown produce for on-farm sales and an occasional farmer’s market or two. We currently have about 1/10 of an acre in crop production and another 3 acres dedicated to pasture for livestock.
The farm is named for our herd of horses (sunkewakan or “spirit dogs” in Lakota, the ancestral language of our oldest grandson) who provide the nutrient rich composted manure we use to amend our crop beds. Surplus composted manure is available for purchase (please bring your own tote)!
As an organic farming operation, we also look for safe alternatives to control pests and eliminate unwanted weeds in our pasture areas. We routinely treat our horses with apple tobacco to help keep internal parasites in check, and work to encourage habitation by friendly insects and wildlife such as bats to reduce the amount of organic pesticides we need to use.
Our goal is to become as eco-friendly as possible, implementing sustainable farming practices wherever we can. We are working hard to do this while remaining economically resourceful as well. For example, we use scrap tires as the walls of our raised crop beds and the new compost bin system we’ve just completed. We also use salvaged lumber to build our line of “City Chicks Custom Coops”, and often use dead-fall to build trellises and other structures for our crops. Our barn is built of mostly recycled lumber and roofing tin, salvaged telephone poles and sided with “slab” (the rounded sides trimmed off logs prior to cutting them into boards). We look at every planned project for ways to build it out of reclaimed materials and for as little as possible.
By the way, we are neither preppers nor true homesteaders. We have foregone a number of “luxuries” like cable/satellite TV and we struggle to get by on as little as possible. And we do can a lot of what we grow plus a few other things. We also do 99% of any construction ourselves out of pure financial necessity. What we’ve learned about our lifestyle is that our kids are less quick to opt for the easy way to anything and have considerably more respect for what they do have. They’ve learned to expect quality over quantity and that quality is a relative term that includes a great deal of sentiment and heart. We get by month to month (although some months make us hold our breath a bit), and that’s far more than many other families here in these United States.
We hope you’ll join us on our journey to rebuild a smaller (micro) version of a small farm through the use of combined modern and old-time agricultural practices. If you’re in the area, stop by for a visit or to purchase farm fresh naturally grown produce picked fresh while you wait. Who knows? There may even be some of Aidan’s 4H eggs ready for purchase!
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