HOW IT ALL STARTED
In 2010, while Pete was deployed for the US Marine Corps, I (Heather) took our then 2 young children to the local farmer's market in Jacksonville, NC and came home with a tomato plant. I will never forget the awe I felt caring for that first plant and the excitement of success when those first tomatoes ripened. I started to read everything I could get my hands on about growing our own food and when Pete came home we built our first vegetable garden, a 25' x 25' garden with 5 raised beds. Soon after chickens followed, then dairy goats, and two more children! In 2015 we decided to get serious and move from our suburban neighborhood. We bought a 200+ year old farmhouse with 6 outbuildings on a little under 8 acres and named it Wildheart Farm. When Pete got out of the Marine Corps in 2016 we discovered that it was a lot harder to find work that would support our family in our rural area than we had imagined, and we were still far from having the farm fixed up and producing any kind of farm income. We made a difficult decision and moved our family across the country to Washington state, where we have family, and where there were more job opportunities in the "big city." We put the farm up for sale and planned on eventually buying a new farm in our new home. We came close to selling the farm several times, but as luck would have it, it never quite worked out. Perhaps it was fate. In the spring of 2019 it became clear that if we didn't return to the farm, we were going to lose the farm. We talked at great length about our options, the risks, the benefits, the way we wanted to raise our family. Pete had just been offered a new job in Seattle and we had to weigh that as well. It was a crazy plan, but something made us throw caution to the wind. I quit my job, Pete quit his job and turned down the new job offer, we broke the news to my family, packed up all our belongings, loaded our 4 kids, 4 dogs, a cat, two lizards and a toad into our truck pulling a 28' RV and headed across the country with no job, no plans, and no idea what awaited us on the other side. We came back to a property in bad need of some TLC and got to work. Not long after we returned to the property we were sitting on the porch one morning when Pete pointed out the heart-shape made by the branches of the pecan trees in the front yard (see above). It felt like the farm was welcoming us home and in that moment we knew we were exactly where we were supposed to be.
BEYOND ORGANIC, WE WORK WITH NATURE, NOT AGAINST HER.
We are constantly learning, experimenting, and refining our processes around here in an effort to create restorative, regenerative, and sustainable systems. Instead of fighting nature, we work with her. In everything from how we manage cultivated crop plants to how we manage our livestock. We have re-wilded a portion of our property that was once-upon-a-time a monoculture crop field and made it a certified wildlife habitat. This area is called the "food forest" and boasts an abundance of native species, wild foods, medicinal plants, and happy wildlife. We have a family of deer that has taken up residence and a beautiful Cooper's hawk along with many, many cottontail rabbits and songbirds.