Greater Athens September 2020 - Page 8

farmsteading can be: “In just over a year, we have added cows, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, turkeys, rabbits, and bees, we wouldn’t really recommend adding as quickly as we have, but we’re a little crazy. That’s just how we roll. Plus, we’re in Texas… go big or go home, right?” Homesteading is different for everyone and the levels vary from complete self-sufficiency to just supplementing and as a hobby. Good & Able is a blend of modern and heritage. Offering mainly heritage breeds, including the rare American Milking Devon which is listed as “critical” by the livestock conservancy. Heritage breeds are heartier according to Heather. Good & Able’s animals are multi-purpose. She said the heritage sheep can be used for meat, wool or milk. She has Guernsey cows, great for milk, and Red Wattle pigs. Red Wattle pigs are not popular with some because they take longer to grow, but they are docile and the flavor is superior. The family had almost stopped eating pork, but after hearing of the Red Wattle pig at a homesteading fair, they decided to try it and there was no going back. “There is a lot of satisfaction in growing your own food,” Heather said. “We are going to try a greenhouse with a hydroponics garden, we do a little bit of gardening, but I’m still a novice at that. We like to try different things.” The health benefits of growing your own food are nice, but Heather says that it is also nice knowing how the animals are raised. The Howards, like many others, believe that mass producers gain faster, bigger and cheaper meat, but they lose all of that in flavor and the health of both the animal and person eating it. “Our goal is to produce the most flavorful and healthiest meat for our family and yours,” the website states. “We understand that good, healthy food costs more, but we also know the toll that food contaminated with chemicals and lacking nutritional value has taken.” Bourbon red turkeys are also a flavorful heritage breed they have offered around Thanksgiving. The gradual progression of their homestead has also afforded them the opportunity to home school and spend more time as a family. “It is a different kind of hard work,” she said. “There is something to being out in nature and getting your hands dirty. It has been good for the boys to learn.” “We raise a variety of heritage breeds, we currently sell heritage pork and lamb as well as A2 dairy herdshares,” Heather said. They sell out quickly and have limited quantities as they grow their farm, so check out their website and Facebook page for availability. On the net: 8 Greater Athens Magazine | September 2020