We seem to have a never-ending to do list here on our regenerative farm, with each task an opportunity to learn the land (and the ecosystem it lives in) just a little bit better. We're also building more structures so we can welcome visitors here. We are committed to creating a place of restoration, inspiration, and education for all.
Know your food, know your farmers, and know your kitchen.
Our farm is incomplete without the poetry of Wendell Berry. His collection of Sabbath Poems are the result of over three decades of solitary Sunday walks around his farm in Kentucky. A Timbered Choir is always kept nearby at Sister Grove whether for evenings on the porch or walks in the pasture.
"That is the vision, seen
As on a Sabbath walk;
Of human life whose terms
Are Heaven's and this earth's."
Learn more about Wendell Berry's work at the Berry Center and enjoy visiting their Agrarian Culture Center and Bookstore.
Stress Free Chicken Tractor Plans
Before we ordered 50 Speckled Sussex chicks to raise as broilers from McMurray Hatchery, Rodney and Ken built two mobile chicken tractors. They used a book recommended to us by our friends at SP Ranches in Sherman. It is called Stress Free Chicken Tractor Plans by John Suscovich. The beauty of these chicken tractors is that they are so easy to move and they provide the chickens with a healthy lifestyle. Their diet benefits from the variety of forage grasses and bugs in the pasture and the pasture comes back to life from their scratching and pooping. Win-Win!
Biggest Little Farm
As soon as we heard a film was coming out about a couple's experience in starting a regenerative farm, we ordered it right away. While the context of every farm is unique, each one offers an invitation into the complexities and interconnectedness of nature. "The Biggest LIttle Farm"shares the dreams and heartache, the frustrations and joys of managing a farm as an ecosystem. At Sister Grove, we strongly believe this is the way God intends that all farming is meant to be. To learn more about this concept, check out The Farm as Ecosystem by Jerry Brunetti.
Range Plants of North Central Texas
When you are getting to know a place, it is important to become familiar with the native plants that also call it "home." A good field guide from your region is indispensable. The best one we have found for our area is Range Plants of North Central Texas. It is a weighty volume but is easy to use with color photos and identification tips. Thanks to Ricky J. Linex, wildlife biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Servicein Weatherford, for creating this helpful resource. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you may do so by making a donation (cash or check) to your local Soil & Water Conservation District office. Our copy came the Fannin Soil and Water Conservation District at 2504 N Center St in Bonham.
Holistic Management: A Common Sense Revolution to Restore our Environment
Holistic management is a systems-thinking approach developed by biologist Allan Savory to restore the world’s grassland soils and minimize the damaging effects of climate change and desertification on humans and the natural world. We have found that in applying these basic principles, flourishing can emerge from depleted conditions. Our life and all lives on the farm are being transformed by our participating in this common sense revolution. Join us.
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Sister Grove Farm is proud to be an official member of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA). Based in Texas, this is a national organization that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. The relationships made and the knowledge shared through this network have been invaluable to our operation.
Poetry of Mary Oliver
Some of abby and Sarah's most enjoyable mornings - before the dew has lifted - have been riding in the truck across the pasture putting out compost tea while reciting poems of Mary Oliver. It helps us to "pay attention to our place in the family of things" (from Wild Geese). Sarah's copy of her New and Selected Poems, Volume One was a gift from her sister. It is now dog-eared, well worn, and cherished.