South Of Eden Farms
Located In Northeast Tennessee
Want to donate to the farm? Your donation will help feed the animals and pay for their care.
Celeste Martinez | limestone TN 37681-3106 us | +1.4236760868
We went to the local flea market to buy vegetables and we left with 2 hens and a rooster. We had been talking about getting chickens for years and it was one of those things on our "to do list" but we just kept putting it off because we weren't prepared yet. We still weren't prepared that day, but like many things in life, sometimes you just have to jump in.
We put our 3 chickens in a huge, wire-dog crate filled with pine shavings and we made it work. A few weeks later, the hubs built a small coop out of free wood pallets. Why had we waited so long to do this?
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You've heard that chickens are the gateway livestock, right? Well- I am here to tell ya, it's true!
Another trip to the flea market almost led to an impulse purchase of the most adorable baby goats. I caught kid fever in a BIG way, but something told me I couldn't just bring a baby goat home the same way you bring home a puppy. Goats were new to me and I needed to do my homework.
I spent several months reading online, watching videos, talking to goat breeders and learning as much as I could about raising goats. One of the first things I needed to understand, was the difference between registered and unregistered goats. I was finding goats for several hundred dollars, but the lady at the flea market was selling kids (goats) for $75.00. If I was going to convince my husband that we should spend $400-$600 on ONE goat, when he knew we could buy one for $75, I was going to need to have a REALLY good reason.
That's when I learned about Johne's disease. The fact that the disease can live in the soil for months, maybe even years with NO way of eliminating it, really concerned me. I didn't want to contaminate my soil by being cheap- so I decided that I needed to buy from herds that tested for this disease, as well as the other diseases that I learned about, like CAE and CL.
It's a good thing I figured these things out before buying from the flea market, because the breeder wasn't even familiar with any of these deadly and incurable diseases.
Anyway- fast forward a couple of months and we purchased our first goats (December 2015). We started with a doe and 2 wethers. Within a couple of months, we were up to 4 does. We didn't want to keep a buck at first, but we ultimately decided it made more sense to have our own buck than it did to borrow one, so we bought a buck in August. By November, he had all of our does bred. We hit the jackpot when kidding started. Billy Joel sired 7 does and 2 bucks and they are ALL polled (naturally hornless)!
In just over a year, our herd grew, our lives changed and our only regret, is that we didn't discover this life 20 years earlier.
We are not your typical, home-grown farmers. We are city folk, who fell in love with the mountains of East Tennessee in 2005. I told my husband, "let's go to Tennessee for a vacation this year." And he was like "Tennessee? Why would I wanna go to Tennessee?" Neither of us had any idea we would love it so much.
We transplanted ourselves here a few short years later. We learned to garden and the desire to be more self sufficient grew from there.