We are Neal and Emily Brooks, and we live outside of Osceola, Missouri. We both have full time jobs that we enjoy, but our favorite place is home. As a family we love working outside, and that's become even more evident as our daughter grows. If she knows you are going to feed cows or pigs or chickens, she is coming, regardless of the time of day or weather. If you have a project to work on, you'd better have one for her too. She has her own hoe and shovel, she collects eggs, pours feed for chickens, tosses tomatoes to the pigs, counts calves, you name it. And she loves it just as much as we do.
We began raising cattle in 2016 with 17 acres, and 3 cows and a bull calf that we purchased from my grandpa's estate. That little piece of property was a wonderful place to learn, and we did, through a lot of trial, error, and priceless advice from seasoned farmers. In the fall of 2020 we were able to purchase a home and 40 acres that has given us so many of the opportunities we had dreamed about. It had a large, already prepared garden spot, the cutest chicken coop, and pens that (in our eyes) were perfect for hogs.
We have raised meat chickens twice now. I felt confident that the meat would be healthier than store bought, knowing that the bird had a varied, natural diet including grass and bugs. However I wasn't prepared for the difference in flavor! That was the selling point for us, and we are excited to expand and share that with you in 2022!
We are currently in the process of raising our feeder pigs. We selected heritage breed weaned piglets from local farmers, some are full blooded Herefords and some are a hybrid mix that includes Berkshire and Red Wattle. We love having them on the farm. They are right next to the garden, and in the summer are fed all of our overripe vegetables, and the weeds that I am so good at growing. We are expecting more of a red meat with these breeds, and good marbling without being too fatty, due to the amount of exercise they are getting. They have full time access to indoor shelter as well as a spacious outdoor area, and they do love to run and root around. We are so excited to see how they turn out and to share that with you.
Flower farming is an even newer adventure for us. I have grown and cut flowers for personal use, but spent much of this fall learning the details of growing, conditioning, and arranging flowers. I have several perennials already getting started, and an exciting collection of seeds for 3 seasons of specialty cut flowers in 2022. I am beyond excited to grow for the first time on a large enough scale to share!
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about our little farm. Please reach out to us here or on our Facebook page with any questions or feedback, we would love to hear from you!
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