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This Week's Poll


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3-31-17

Sustainable farming is addicting
- Say local farm owners


By Jill Childs


Tiare Street, left, with mother, Tarri, and father, Tom, petting one of their lambs. -Photo: Jill Childs

Nestled in the farmland of southwest Lake City is Shepherd’s Hill Farm. While people driving by might not notice anything unique, other than the towering windmill on top of the hill and the sign that says “Natural Farm, No Spraying,” the farm truly offers Lake City a chance to see different options for how life can be lived.


The farm is owned by Tom and Tarri Street, who operate it together with their daughter, Tiare. The journey to farming began 25 years ago when doctors told Tarri that she could only expect two more years to live. According to Tarri and Tiare, their diet was a traditional American diet that they considered healthy and balanced at the time. The first change was to omit the white flour, white sugar, and processed foods from their diet. Then, they wanted to begin eating meat from their own farm. They started with hens for eggs, then moved on to growing the farm with sheep, cows, and turkeys.



The farm is owned by Tom and Tarri Street, who operate it together with their daughter, Tiare. The journey to farming began 25 years ago when doctors told Tarri that she could only expect two more years to live. According to Tarri and Tiare, their diet was a traditional American diet that they considered healthy and balanced at the time. The first change was to omit the white flour, white sugar, and processed foods from their diet. Then, they wanted to begin eating meat from their own farm. They started with hens for eggs, then moved on to growing the farm with sheep, cows, and turkeys.

Calves enjoying the beautiful day. -Photo by Jill Childs

About ten years later, they moved the farm to the current 65-acre location and planted rows and rows of chestnut trees. They planted a garden and expanded their livestock. The farm eventually became almost entirely self-sustainable. Tarri explained that they do buy their chicken feed and turkey bacon in town, but that otherwise they have almost everything they need right there. Tarri and Tiare spend hours each day working in the garden, weeding and tending to the herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees. The garden has taken a hit from the storms and the recent freeze, but most of the crops survived and there still are many beautiful flowers and an artistic layout that adds charm and beauty to the garden.


The herbs, vegetables, and fruits from the garden provide all the Street family need to season dishes, soups, and, drinks. They make their own kombucha to drink, and also use many of the herbs from the garden to make salves and lotions. The family offers these for sale, as well as many of the greens from the garden.


There are three sections of chickens at the farm: two large free range lots that are protected by two Great Pyrenees dogs, where the chickens only go into the pens at night and to lay their eggs during the day, and one organic yard of chickens that are contained with a fence. According to Tarri, the chickens are fed a nutrient rich diet that then fertilizes the soil. When planting a garden, they mix the soil from the chickens in with their soil before planting.


The milk cows on Shepherd’s Hill Farm are Jerseys and the beef cattle are Murray Greys. -Photo by Jill Childs

Each morning, four cows are milked at a time, only once per day. They use the milk to make kefir, yogurt, and sometimes cream and whey. They are able to use the cows, sheep, rabbits, and turkeys for meat, but enjoy the company of the turkeys and the lambs that roam freely during the day. The milk cows are Jerseys and the beef cattle are Murray Greys.


The worry and stress that come from everyday living seem to roll away on a farm. Farmers always have something to do as it is tough work. Many well-laid plans can go wrong, but there is something peaceful about knowing that the work is done for the day and their rest is untroubled. Farmers are dependent on nature to cooperate and produce a harvest after they have done the sowing. And in this case, these farmers sow their hard work, place their trust and hope in God, and rest and wait for the results.


Tarri and Tiare proudly explained that farming is their passion. “It is hard work, but it is soothing hard work. It’s heavy work, it’s hard, but at the same time, it’s addicting.”
For more information on the Shepherd’s Hill Farm, visit www.shepherdshillfarm.weebly.com/ or contact them at tpstreet@bellsouth.net


Raised beds for their gardens. -Photo by Jill Childs



Milk room at the farm. -Photos by Jill Childs