What is intentional farming?

Posted on September 16, 2016

Submitted by: Laura Briedis
What is intentional farming?

Who doesn’t love to slice a fresh-picked tomato to put atop a salad or bake with farm-fresh eggs? With so many farmers’ markets cropping up around the country, the farm-to-table movement provides healthy options for consumers shopping for more nutritious food. 

Even with all the ultra-fresh fare at the local food stands, some farmers are taking it to the next level by producing food without using GMOs and synthetic fertilizers. One such farm is Hand Hewn Farm, a small business in eastern Ohio run by six adults with the help of five children. The farmers defer everything to nature when it comes to tending to their hogs, chickens, turkeys and rabbits. 

According to Andy Lane, one of the owners, they try to keep the animals in their natural habitat, so the pigs are raised in the forest and the chickens are raised on the pasture. Of the 320 acres in the farmstead, currently 30 acres are being farmed. If the pigs want to go into the woods to forage for nuts, they let them root. Using mobile fences, the farmers constantly move the animals to different areas, which adds fertility to the land without the use of synthetic fertilizers.

The chickens are raised outdoors and are encouraged to eat bugs and grass (not limited to just grain feed) because it adds Omega-3 and other nutrients to the eggs. Hand Hewn Farm uses organic methods and sustainable farming practices that are good for the animals, the earth and its workers and customers.

Among the more sustainable solutions, the farm’s main water source is a large cistern that captures ground water as well as rainfall from the barns. They also are planting a lot of trees, such as apple and mulberry, to use as a food source for the animals.

All these natural and intentional farming practices add up to raising healthy animals, which in turn makes the eggs and meat more flavorful and nutritious for consumers.

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As one of Local Bounty Coshocton’s 20-plus vendors, Hand Hewn Farm sells free-range eggs and cuts of pork and chicken at the year-round indoor farm market located at 22951 State Route 83, in Coshocton, Ohio. Hand Hewn Farm is located at 10990 Patterson Road, in Fresno, Ohio.