Triple R Farm

Clayton, NC

Welcome to Triple R Farm! Back in 2010, we got ourselves a handful of chickens and ducks; only in it for a few fresh eggs and meat. We had no expectations beyond that, but in 2012 we moved into our current place and the dream took flight. A lot has changed since then; it seems like constant motion. Since there was no infrastructure in place, and the land was almost entirely wooded (the yard was the only exception) fencing was the first order of business, as our plan for clearing the land was to rely heavily on goats. Once the fence was up and the goats arrived, things quickly went into motion as they chewed their way through smilax, poison ivy, chinese privet and small trees. Once the brush was cleared, the laborious task of clearing trees commenced. The removal of trees is still underway, as it's a slow process with a chainsaw and a truck.

Along the way, the process of clearing the land has been refined. While the goats are great at keeping the regeneration of brush and stump sprouts at bay, it became obvious that in order to go to the next level and establish field grass, we needed to aggressively root up stumps and weeds as they stubbornly persisted through the natural order of succession that follows disturbances such as deforestation. Thinking back to my studies at North Carolina State University (where I earned a Master of Forestry), and my recent interest in hog hunting, a light bulb went off. Pigs have long had a reputation as exuberant creators of destruction, evidenced by crop disturbance experienced by many farmers in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina as well as the over-reaching destruction of the historical extent of the longleaf pine ecosystems across the southeastern United States as a whole. Eureka! As long as we don't let them loose, let's let pigs do it! And with that, the last piece of the puzzle before raking and planting fell into place. Breakfast has never been better. It was a natural progression to make the leap to selling the pork that we've raised and are excited about where that may go.

And so here we are. Things are still in flux as we move fence lines around to accommodate the removal of trees that are still up as well as to rotate animals around the property. Though we have further to go, we're able to see the potential that's before us. We've gotten a lot better, and faster, at the various types of fencing seen around a farm. 2016 saw our first birth (not hatching) on the farm. Since then, we’ve moved into sheep and cows, too, though those ventures are relatively new. All said, there has been no shortage of challenges and learning experiences, but that, as much as anything, is what makes it rewarding.