"This is a hard, hard job. I believe in it; I believe it is important. But, if we can't keep our doors open, then this all goes away.
Jake & Luna of Crow Fly Farms in Marion, North Carolina
Watch the uncut interview here!
Crow Fly Farms
Crow Fly Farms is located in the foothills of Western North Carolina just outside the mountain town of Marion.
Jake and Luna started their journey with a couple of backyard chickens and a lust for really good and actually clean food. Little did they know that a few chickens would grow into what is now Crow Fly Farms, an 82-acre, verified regenerative, and multi-species farm.
A love for animals, concern for the environment, and an affinity for great food ignited Jake and Luna's drive for regenerative farming and local food systems. Today, they raise cattle, hogs, and sheep and still have most of those initial “back yard” chickens.
Through trainings with the Savory Institute, they learned the art necessary to manage holistically. This allowed them to ensure that the entirety of their farm is benefitting and regenerating from the day-to-day decisions that they make as its stewards. They monitor the ecological health of their farm as well as the health of our animals and the wildlife within it.
"We let pigs be pigs, cows be cows, soil regenerate, water and mineral cycles improve, and carbon be sequestered."
The heart of Crow Fly Farms and the regeneration that is happening is their animals and their dedication to ethical husbandry. "We are focused on using heritage breeds that operate well within our context. These are breeds that were on farms 100 years ago, long before the concrete floors and feed lots that so many animals are raised on today. We are helping to preserve breeds that were at the brink of extinction by putting them in an environment where they thrive."
Jake and Luna raise Red Wattle and Old Spot hogs, because they produce an excellent tasting and well marbled meat but most importantly, they excel outdoors in pasture and forest. The breed of sheep they chose are Katahdins, because they perform best on pasture and have a natural parasite resistance. They also happen to be renowned for their flavorful delicate meat. They raise a Galloway x Piney Wood crossed cattle, because the Galloways originate in Southwestern Scotland and are a hardy breed that is made for pasture and that is where they do their best work and the Piney Woods are heat tolerant in a changing climate and adapt well to ecosystem diversity. Great tasting and pasture/forest raised meat and improving soils is the result.
Crow Fly's cattle and sheep are 100% grass-fed and finished and are rotated daily through their undulating pastures to ensure that they always have access to fresh forage. This allows our pastures to recover, and with the fertilizer (their manure) provided by the cattle and sheep, increase organic matter in the soil, sequester more carbon, and improve energy flow.
Our pigs are fed an entirely Certified Organic, Soy-Free, and non-GMO locally sourced feed, produced right here in NC by Reedy Fork Farms. They supplement their diet with acorns, grubs, grass, bugs, and whatever else they can root up. Their days are spent roaming under the canopy of our hardwood forest and most importantly being pigs.
"We are dedicated to the improvement of our land and the environment. Fortunately, the biproduct is some of the best meat you have ever tasted. Anything we are willing to put our name on we stand behind. That means that only the finest products leave our farm and make it to your table."