Shawn purchased the farm a few years ago with a partner. Up until recently it has been mostly a commercial chicken farm. We cycled through 15,000 broiler chickens (the white kind you eat) every 6 weeks. By week 6 they smell, and for the effort they take don’t make any money. So, our partner has decided to sell his half, and bye bye chickens.
Since the chickens don’t make much money we have developed other ways to sustain our life. We sell very fresh chickens, smoked chickens, smoked hams, multiple varieties of home made sausage, prosciutto, bacon, amongst other delicious things. All from the animals we raise here on the farm.
We have a giant garden and a green house. The organic veggies we grow on the farm are always changing but we almost always have: jalapeños, Swiss chard, beets, turnips, carrots, sunflowers, and a whole bunch of different herbs. Shawn’s a Nebraska boy so we’ve grown sweet corn here, and we’re working on growing tomatillos and cucumbers amongst many other tasty treats. Learning to grow things in such a different altitude, climate, and length of day is a constant struggle considering most literature is written based on the northern hemisphere. Lots of trial and error happen.
We are also repopulating the farm with local Andean trees, citrus trees, almond trees, and avocado trees!
We use permaculture practices in most things we do on the farm. Having a sustainable, self sufficient, as much as possible, life is important to us.
But what really makes the farm a magical place are the volunteers we are lucky enough to host. We use a couple of websites workaway.info and helpx.net. Travelers come to the farm, work around 30 hours per week, and in exchange we house them and feed them. We’ve met some of the coolest people, and have developed some life long friendships.
Here is the link to our workaway profile, check it out.