Posts By Hana Lurie
With Focus on Pasture-Raised Livestock, Two 1st Generation Farmers Forge Sustainable Path in the Ozarks (Part 1)May 24, 2012 | Hana Lurie
From 40 acres to 250. From $5,000 to $189,000 in sales within its first five years, Falling Sky Farm, a grass-based livestock farm located in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas about 100 miles outside of Little Rock, has been working to develop a sustainable farming model that it hopes to leverage and share with other like-minded farmers seeking to create economically viable operations.
Falling Sky Farm is helmed by co-owners Cody Hopkins, age 32 and his wife Andrea Todt, age 27. Both are first generation farmers who come from non-traditional farming backgrounds. Cody, a former high school physics teacher, has a Bachelors of Arts in Physics, and Andrea has a BA in Outdoor Education and Biology. They are largely self-taught.
What began for young farmers Johanna and Christopher Finely as a passion for gardening has evolved into a profitable organic farming enterprise. In just 10 years the couple has grown their farm, Finley Farms, in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County, CA from one-acre to 45. The couple now employs ten people to grow and harvest an abundance of organic produce ranging from kale and tomatoes to pumpkins and peppers.
I recently spoke to Farmer Christopher Finley to learn more about the story behind Finley Farms, the reason for its embrace of sustainable and organic practices, the challenges that the farm faces and more.