121. Allyssa and Chase on Permaculture, Pigs, Poultry, and More!
When you have a dream of owning and operating a multipurpose farm, what can you do to make that dream a reality?
Our guests had exactly that dream, and their determination and gusto will certainly be expansive for those with the same aspirations! Today we’re joined by Chase Renninger and Allyssa Ferguson of Woodland Valley Farms in Jackson, South Carolina. Chase opened Woodland Valley Farms in December 2016 with the goal of providing access to beyond organic foods, free of chemicals, and filled with nutrients. When he’s not fixing the tractor, building barns or moving cows, he likes to find fresh water springs, research medicinal healing herbs, and plant fruit trees. He also does consulting for other farmers as well as health and wellness coaching. Allyssa Ferguson joined the farm, specializing in raising premium chicken and pork. This episode is a long one, but with zero fluff… 100% knowledge, experience, and value to bolster your farming journey!
In This Episode:
What Woodland Valley Farms is all about 0:45
How their business model works, and what has changed about it 8:33
What kinds of meats Woodland Valley Farms produce and how 18:43
How they work with and process their meat birds 34:07
How Allyssa and Chase handle the educational side of their operation 42:25
What special marketing tools Allyssa uses for the farm 47:03
What type of containers they use for packing shares 56:26
What breeds of dogs work with Chase and Allyssa and what they do 1.03:04
How Chase and Allyssa manage the finances of their farmland 1.17:19
Allyssa and Chase’s favorite farming tools 1.38:44
About the Guest
Founder and owner Chase Renninger opened Woodland Valley Farms in December 2016, taking the first step toward his dream of owning and operating a regenerative permaculture farm. Raised in Maryland, he found a passion for farming and ecology at a young age. To date, Chase holds a degree in Agro-Ecology and Sustainable Community Development and has had the privilege of farming in a diverse range of ecosystems from the Hawaiian Islands, to Arizona deserts, to lush deciduous Maryland terrain, and now sandy South Carolina. Chase opened Woodland Valley Farms with the goal of providing access to beyond organic foods, free of chemicals, and filled with nutrients. He’s always learning how to be a better rancher and he loves his cattle dogs. When he’s not fixing the tractor, building barns or moving cows, he likes to find fresh water springs, research medicinal healing herbs, and plant fruit trees. He also does consulting for other farmers as well as health and wellness coaching.
Allyssa Ferguson joined the farm after getting her boots dirty farming in the Atlanta area. She worked in fabulous restaurants and wanted to try her hand growing the food she had been serving for so long. After lots of trial and error, she finally learned how to successfully grow the best chicken and pork. Her pastured chickens follow her around and her pigs are so friendly, they roll over for belly rubs. She specializes in raising Berkshire and Ossabaw pigs for their lovely marbling and foraging ability. As the resident “pig mom” and “mother hen”, she looks after the pigs and chickens from their first day until their last. In addition to managing the farm, she spends any shred of free-time learning new butcher techniques, charcuterie, food preservation methods, and soap-making. She also loves to grow flowers and take the dog pack on long four wheeler rides.
Resources and mentions
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We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, what to look for in a farm property, etc), which you can download here.