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About the Farm

Meet the Gloucestershire Old Spot. This is one of the several heritage breed piglets that as of last week, calls Turntime Farms its home. I also think this breed is the most charming.  Large Black, Mulefoot and Berkshire are the other heritage breeds we currently have.

“Heritage” refers to breeds that can be traced back to pre-industrial farm life, back when pigs were raised in pastures and not squished together inside confined facilities. These breeds still have the ability to forage for their own food unlike their mass produced cousins. They use their snout to turn up the soil and hunt for grubs and acorns as well as just graze on grass. Their floppy ears slightly hinder their sight but improve their sense of smell. They earned the nickname, “cottage pig” or “orchard pig” because they are remarkably good at living off the land. In other words, they instinctually know how to actually be a pig.

Most pork raised in the US now comes from CAFO’s (concentrated animal feeding operation) where those God-given pig instincts are no longer needed. Because of this unnatural arrangement, many of the heritage breeds are becoming increasingly hard to find including the Gloucestershire Old Spot, whose status is considered “critical”. The counterintuitive thing about endangered farm animals is that eating them is the best way to preserve their future. Wendell Berry wrote, “Eaters must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act and that how we eat determines to a considerable extent, how the world is used.” The lack of demand is what is driving these old breeds out of existence. Purchasing them and eating them is what insures they as a breed continue.

Heritage breeds supposedly produce tender, marbleized meat that is superior to taste than conventional varieties. But full disclosure calls me to tell you that I can’t even remember what conventional ham tastes like as it has been over a decade since I have eaten any. At that time, heritage breeds were something I only read about and sadly found virtually no local access to them. Now that there are heritage breeds happily living and rooting in my backyard, it seems crazy to look for alternative protein sources.   So after 15 years, I am a slowly and happily recovering vegetarian. And while I can’t give a comparison, I can say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the bacon and sausage that now accompany breakfast at the Hord house!

To everything- turn turn turn

There is a season- turn turn turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven

Most people assume I grew up out here on the farm. Maybe it’s because of the way our family seemed to jump in with two feet. With my grandparents living on one side of me and my parents on the other, it could appear as though our family has lived here for generations. The truth is I didn’t set foot on the farm until the summer of my freshmen year in college. My parents found out that a tract of land was for sale through none other than Justin Jordan’s parents. They live across the street and were hoping to see it remain undeveloped.

My mom was out of town at the time and I remember coming with my dad to check it out not thinking much of it. But when we arrived, I changed my mind. I can’t even put into words exactly how I felt. There was something peaceful and familiar about the place, almost like stepping back in time. It just made me happy.

It made my parents happy too because what they thought would just be a weekend escape became their full time home. I went back to college and would call our house in town first. No one would ever answer and I would track them down to the old house on the farm. Eventually they admitted that they were never going “home” and had plans to build a house out here. I was not shocked. My grandparents then moved into the original old house. It would be six more years before Daniel and I moved our old house right in between theirs but that is a story for a different day.

It was one of the first few times my dad was exploring the land when he found out that the creek running through it was named Turntime. This felt significant and left little question as to what the farm should be named. His favorite song has been “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by the Byrds for as long as I can remember and likewise one of his favorite scripture passages is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 where the song lyrics are directly lifted from.

Turntime is a nod to the cycle that our infinitely wise heavenly Father set into motion. In this day and age, it is easy to forget about seasons especially as it relates to food. We can go into the grocery store and buy virtually any produce at any given time of the year. I laugh to myself every year by a random caller who wants to know if they can pick blueberries in November or February. Blueberry season is June and July, I explain to them. This seems obvious to me as I eagerly anticipate blueberry season all year long. But the truth is, unless you know where your food is coming from, it easy to lose track of how and when it is grown.

We are now looking forward to the next quickly approaching season. Spring time is on its way and with it comes chicks, piglets, calves and even more honey bees. Be on the lookout for more updates as there will be so much happening on the farm in the coming months!

 

 

 

D ear Coverall Friends and Family,
I am excited to announce that our new website has been launched and is awaiting your visit. It has been quite some time since we have reached out to everyone.

Let me take a minute to give a quick update as to what is happening on the farm these days. For some of you, the last time we spoke was last summer when I was headed off to intern at Polyface Farms in Virginia. I can proudly say I successfully completed their intern program and gained tons of valuable knowledge and experience. After returning home last fall I began working with our neighbor, Joey and Ramona Loudermilk, along with their daughter and son in law Jenny and Daniel Hord to help get their farm off the ground. After many exciting conversations we pulled the trigger on a wonderful partnership joining both farms together as what is now known as TurnTime Farms.

We still have the same mission and use the same practices that we implicated within Coverall Farms but at an accelerated rate. We are excited to announce we will be offering our very own TurnTime Farms grass-fed beef, pastured pork, as well as our pastured poultry and eggs that we have had in the past. We have been wide open this past fall and winter with big projects such as installing miles of fence and water lines for grazing our cows, building chicken tractors, and designing our pig paddocks. We are excited to finally have a chance to share what has been going on at the farm. We would like to invite you to check out our website, follow us on instagram, like us on facebook, and above all come out to the farm and see first hand what we are doing.