Nov. 2019 Highway Homestead update

Partner Spotlight: Highway Homestead

We are happy to add a new partner to the Green Heron Compost family: Highway Homestead.

This family-owned and operated farm is located beside a local highway in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. The property features various gardens, chickens, geese, and a very special type of goat, Kinder Goats. In fact, Cortney Black, a full-time mom, farmer, cook, gardener, chicken wrangler, and goat whisperer, explained that Kinder Goats are a special cross between a pygmy goat and Nubian goat. The result of this cross-breed is a goat that can breed any time of the year and produces delicious milk that Cortney uses to make all kinds of goodies. 

According to the Kinder Goat Breeders Association, Cortney and her husband Samuel are the only breeders in East Tennessee and most of the state. There is only one other Kinder breeder who is located near Clarksville in the western area of Tennessee. Needless to say, the family has a unique heard of goats residing on their farm.

Additionally, Highway Homestead has many chickens who lay eggs of almost every color. Any eggs that aren’t used to feed the young family, are sold or given to friends and family. Seasonally, the family sells a small number of high-quality, free-range meat chickens that are raised in a cruelty-free environment with hormone-free feed. Cortney has perfected her whole chicken spice recipe and offers a homemade packet of spices and easy-to-follow directions on how to cook the bird.

Cortney and Samuel also use a unique farming called the Back to Eden method. Instead of tilling the land and using commercial fertilizers, the Back to Eden form of growing is sustainable, organic, and often much less labor. Although the method has many other elements, the basic idea is that garden beds are to be covered in wood chips to help lock in moisture, prevent erosion, control weeds, and improve nutrients in the soil.

When I visited the Highway Homestead for the first time, I sampled some tomatoes and assorted fruits from the garden and I can confirm, the produce was very flavorful. In fact, the tomatoes were some of the sweetest I’ve ever tasted.

Like our other partners, Highway Homestead uses compost as an organic fertilizer for their land. We deliver food scraps, yard waste, and other organic matter to the farm where they process the material into fertile black gold: compost. They also use selected waste and scraps to feed the chickens so they can have a diverse diet that is rich in nutrients. We even delivered leftover Halloween pumpkins to the chickens, one of their favorite treats.

Join us in welcoming Cortney, Samuel, and their lovely kids to the Green Heron Compost family and check out their fun videos about farm life and activities at Highway Homestead. 

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