We are a small family-owned farm located in rural Morgan County,
Tennessee. The closest town, Deer Lodge, is situated about 1½ hours west
of Knoxville and 2 hours east of Nashville. Located at the end of a small country
road, West Wind Farms is a peaceful, pleasant place to be, where you can kick up
your feet and let your cares go.
The farm has gently sloping green ridges leading down to a large perennial stream,
White Creek. The White Creek valley offers a cool retreat on warm summer days, with
hemlocks and laurel bordering the trail along the trickling creek. Rock bluffs reveal
the telltale signs of ancient sand dunes derived from weathering of the ancient
mountains that became the present Great Smoky Mountains. The overhangs of the rock
bluffs shelter arrowheads and other signs of earlier inhabitants. Sweet spring wildflowers,
laurel, and ferns are abundant, as are a rich diversity of fungi and lichens. This
area of the farm is like a hidden treasure.
Besides the natural diversity of woodland and creek
bottoms, our farm pastures contain diverse grasses, herbs, and legumes. The health
of the soil, and the plants supported by it, are dependent on a variety of grazing
animals such as cattle and sheep, and browsers such as goats. West Wind Farms
cares for a mix of animal species to utilize the array of pasture plants and improve
the soil under attentive, organic management. When you visit West Wind Farms, you
are greeted by our soil improvement crew: chickens, turkeys, sheep, pigs, and cattle.
Visitors to the farm are also frequently rewarded by wildlife sightings. White tail
deer live in our farmstead's woodland. Bobcat and coyote feast on rabbit and squirrel.
Beaver occasionally forage for tree bark along the creek. Pastures are frequented
by large flocks of turkey, coveys of quail, killdeer, doves and meadowlark. Hawks
and kestrel hunt during the day, while the hoots of many species of owl can be heard
from the night sky. Water birds include varieties of duck, herons, kingfisher and
a rare group of great egrets. We welcome this wildlife and provide oases on the
farm for it to thrive and flourish.
Environment Stewardship & Humane Husbandry Give You Healthy Food
We believe good livestock husbandry
is holistic in nature, striving to promote and enhance the health of our whole environment.
This would include not only the animals’ health, but also the health of people,
their land, and their water. Good health relies on respect for individual differences
and the complexity of nature. To this end, keen observation and monitoring of environmental
conditions is an important part of what we do on the farm. We accept that we cannot
control our environment (if we ever start believing that, we’re making a big
mistake!), but we simply strive to work with it for better. Leaving it better and
richer than when we received it is our goal.
Strength In Diversity
We believe a diversity of species in
the landscape is natural and healthy. When that diversity is removed, problems will
arise. Research has shown that the effect of producing vast quantities of one crop
in the same field year in and year out will leach nutrients, destroy the soil
structure, and result in a poor, nutritionally deficient food. The natural sugar
content of the produce of these monoculture fields has been found to be measurably
lower than that of organic fields. In contrast, West Wind Farms organic fields yield
a sweet and varied mix of grasses and forbs. This sweet bounty nourishes
a diversity of animal species - domestic and wild – which, in turn, nourish
Instead of ridding our farm of pests using synthetic
chemicals and poisons that can harm domestic animals and wildlife, pests are held
at bay by our barn kitty and other natural predators living in the trees, hedges,
and wild patches of West Wind Farms.
On West Wind Farms, we select our breeding stock for
natural parasite resistance. Then we graze our stock in rotation on our pastures,
breaking the life cycles of parasitic organisms. Gently working with, not against,
our animals’ environment in this way, and closely monitoring them for their
health and parasite resistance, we’ve had success overcoming parasite
burdens in our livestock. Our animals are not injected or dosed with synthetic
parasiticides, or wormers. Where you have a choice, meat that is both grassfed AND chemical-free is your best choice.
Our animals are never reared in crowded unhealthy conditions,
so they do not suffer from many of the ailments commonly associated with intensive
livestock units. Thus, we avoid the need for sub-therapeutic medication, insecticidal
ear tags, sprays and dips. If an animal does become sick (a very rare occasion),
it is treated by herbal, homeopathic, or other natural methods first. We never withhold
treatment from a sick animal. If synthetic treatments are necessary for the welfare
of the animal, the animal is never sold for meat.
The inclusion of growth promoting substances
such as hormones, antibiotics, and heavy metals in livestock feed rations and the
use of all kinds of strange and unnatural feed items (newspaper, sawdust, poultry
litter, and meat and bone meal) have become acceptable practices for some farmers.
Other farmers may simply not realize the livestock feeds they purchase from the
farmers’ co-op contain these, and other, substances. Studies indicate
even the best grass fed animals may be compromised if they are grazed on pastures
laden with pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers. Because genetically
modified organisms (GMOs) occur in the innoculated seed of nearly ALL commercially
available alfalfa, clover, and other legumes, even the grass grazed by some grass fed livestock may contain GMOs! What a shame! As organic grass farmers, we at West
Wind Farms do not use GMOs in our pastures. Nor do we allow our animals access to synthetic growth enhancers,
medications, or chemicals, or any unnatural feedstuffs. West Wind Farms' livestock
thrive on a rich variety of grasses and forbs, free of chemical
residues and GMOs.
When certain species of livestock such as poultry and
pigs require, by nature, grain in addition to grass to be healthy, their rations
are milled on our farm and never include animal by-products,
GMOs, or herbicide- or pesticide-laden grain. And they always have access to chemically untreated grass pastures as well. Because we do not use concentrated commercial rations
or growth enhancers, our animals have a natural, slower rate of growth. For example,
where conventionally grown chickens take only 5 ½ weeks to grow to harvest
size, ours take between 9 and 12 weeks, depending on the time of year and the weather.
Rest assured, we never buy in animals from the sale barn. We never use electrical
wands to frighten the animals into moving, nor do we withhold food or water.
Knowledge of the animals’ origin, and attention to the animals’ well-being,
assures you of the integrity, quality, and purity of the meat you eat.
Our animals are able to indulge their
natural instincts, to stretch wings, dust bathe, build nests, and give birth unrestrained.
They are reared outdoors in small groups, with airy shelter for protection and plenty
of dry bedding, and are provided with reasonable protection from predators. They
are able to peck in the hedges and holes for insects and seeds, to nibble browse,
and to farrow in freedom. In these conditions they do not suffer from aggressive
behavior, so there is no need for tail clipping, beak snipping, or other physical
mutilations to protect them from each other. They commune together in harmony.
Soil quality, animal husbandry, water protection, co-habitation
with wildlife, woodland management, grass production, respect for diversity, community
strength, and healthy food are inseparable elements of West Wind Farms. All of our
endeavors must be aligned with these guiding principles, or we will not continue
to pursue them. Our objective is to produce & sell wonderful meat and
other healthy foods in ways that are good for the land we farm, good for the animals
we raise, and good for people, like you! If you are looking for the purest, highest
quality food you can buy, West Wind Farms is for you!