RANCH HOUSE FARM
About The Farm
We are Veteran Owned and Operated. We are proudly bringing quality, regenerative, grass-fed, grass-finished beef to local customers in the Spartanburg, South Carolina area. This is our story…
The Ranch House Farm
By God’s grace, and with much help and mentoring from the world’s best neighbors, we spent our “after work hours” restoring the brick ranch house and putting the land to use. First matter of business was to break ground for a vegetable garden using a BCS two-wheeled tractor and tiller attachment; then, after searching some local venues, we purchased a mix of 18 young pullets. Our children helped fence out the small garden, while I set to building the first of many chicken coops… it was Amish style, 4 ft by 8 ft, built on skids so we could drag it around the pasture to minimize impact, and we painted it barn red with white trim.
After finding some old telephone poles, the boys and I managed to fence out the back pasture… and on a shoestring budget. Through some like-minded friends we were introduced to books by Joel Salatin, and started to think about how we could incorporate synergies on our homestead. About the time our hens became productive and we were churning out enough okra, tomatoes, peppers, purple hull peans, and lettuce; the Air Force had plans for us to move. This time to Warner Robins, GA.
After two years of neighborhood swagger, a farming opportunity arose… 25 acres about 40 minutes east of the base in Danville, GA came up for sale, and with another brick ranch house, metal shop, fenced pasture, and the best neighbors on the planet. Wasting no time, the relocation was put behind us… and a neighbor a couple miles down the road sold us some black and red Angus cattle to mow our pastures and scratch the grass-fed beef itch. Another coop was built, an antique Ford tractor sourced, much fencing repaired and replaced… and we were off to being beef producers, plus a whole lot more. We probably learned more in Danville in a shorter time span than anywhere else. At RHF 2.0, we produced organically grown vegetables, procured our first colonies of honey bees, raised cornish-cross-rock pastured meat birds (Joel Salatin style) while our laying hens produced dozens and dozens of free range eggs; we even raised a sounder of pastured pork using a yorkshire feeders contained by electric wire under some oak trees, all fed with Hiland Naturals NGMO feed. Best pork on Earth! All seemed well, minus one giant elephant in the room… we were 40 minutes from the nearest WalMart, and 45 minutes from both work and church. The distance wore us down almost as much as it did the family van. Not to be beat, the search for some ag land commenced afresh… and God delivered us to 8 acres in Elko. There was a nice house, a large powered shop, some fence-able pasture… and in 2014, Ranch House Farm 3.0 was born.
In Elko, the kids simply grew up. We still had our honey bees, tried our hand at Back-to-Eden gardening methods, raised pastured meat birds, and pastured pork, even introduced Santa Gertrudis cattle to the mix… but military career decisions had to be made. How could we keep farming, and minimize the moves? Enter… the retirement decision. In August 2016, I officially retired from the Air Force after nearly 21 years of service… and a lot of after-hours agriculture.
And so, we sold the tractor and the cows and the cattle chute; packed up the family and the bees and brought them to my boyhood home of Spartanburg, SC. Only there was one large problem. No matter how far and wide we spread the search net, we simply could not find land. So, just like our landing in Georgia… we once again became townies. To be honest, the conveniences were nice… but neighbors’ mowers and bee hives don’t co-mingle so well, and neighborhood associations give tickets for canoes left in the driveway more than a few days.
Used to being on the lookout we spent 48 long months watching every possible opportunity to secure a farmstead vanish before us.Completely despondent and exhausted, we finally gave up. (Somewhere in there we read a couple of works by Greg Judy… if you can’t farm, at least I could live vicariously through someone who was!)Then, one rainy late winter morning, with no warning whatsoever, a listing for 34 acres with fenced pasture, a small pond, and a small ranch style house and the best neighbors on the planet popped up on Facebook Marketplace. 45 minutes later, with the help of some church friends, we were making a verbal offer on Ranch House Farm 4.0.
And here we are, back to our naturally regenerative roots!
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