What is regenerative farming?
Regenerative farming focuses on the idea that, perhaps above all else, a farm is an ecosystem. This means that all parts of the farm–from the soil, to the plants, animals, and people–depend on one another. At Quail Run Farm, we aim to steward our ecosystem of 120 acres well by reusing materials that might otherwise be cast out as waste, keeping all of our pastures herbicide and pesticide free, rotationally grazing our cattle, and using organic practices to produce all of our meats, eggs, and produce.
While our acreage isn’t growing crops, it is still vital for us to take good care of our soil and land. By frequently moving the herd to new paddocks, we can avoid overgrazing in our pastures. Our composting practices allow us to revitalize waste into new nutrients for our gardens and greenhouse. Keeping our farm herbicide and pesticide free helps us promote the growth of native grasses and plants that are great for pollination and biodiversity. By preserving the natural woodlots, creeks, and ponds around the farm, we aim to promote a healthy ecosystem at Quail Run Farm.
What’s best for the land is often also what’s best for the animals. Our Red Wattle Hogs love living in the forest where they enjoy foraging for insects, acorns from the live oak trees, and other natural nutrients. This makes for a healthier, happier pig, while simultaneously providing excellent fertilization for the forest soil. By letting our ducks enjoy living on one of the farm ponds, they can help us manage an algae bloom. By rotationally grazing our Angus herds, we can avoid overgrazing our land while also keeping the cattle happy with fresh pastures to graze. We also let our free-range chickens live with the hogs, promoting a neighborly biodiversity on the farm.
We believe that local food is healthy food. Our organic meats and eggs are available at the farm daily, as well as at local farmer’s markets. Buying and producing food locally and organically is one of the best ways we, as a community, can promote a healthier food system.
We even get to reuse “waste" from our community partners in the city: our cattle love the beer mash that Chattanooga Brewing Co. donates to us, and the coffee grounds from Mad Priest Coffee Roasters is a great addition to our compost. Partnering with members in the community to extend Quail Run Farm’s regenerative practices is something we are thrilled to get to do!