Providence Farm

Providence Farm We are a small, diversified family farm nestled in the hills of the Missouri Ozarks.

We produce pasture-raised poultry (ducks, guinea fowl, heritage chickens, and geese), grass-fed lamb, rose veal, gourmet garlic, and small quantities of garden produce.

Hey, that's our corn!We set aside a section of the garden for a small heirloom corn patch every year.  This particular v...
02/16/2024

Hey, that's our corn!

We set aside a section of the garden for a small heirloom corn patch every year. This particular variety is beautiful, fun to grow, and especially importantly (for us) grows quickly and outcompetes the weeds. Growing and harvesting it is fairly easy; the real artistry comes in the kitchen, taking the whole kernels and turning them into something delicious.

Yesterday it was the first ducklings of the year, today it's the first lambs.  (Yes, that's "lambs" plural: there's anot...
02/16/2024

Yesterday it was the first ducklings of the year, today it's the first lambs. (Yes, that's "lambs" plural: there's another one tucked in on the other side.) It's beginning to look a lot like spring around here--well, except for today's sleet and that biting wind, which is why these newborns and their mama are in the barn until the little ones have nursed and gained a bit of strength to handle this seesaw Ozarks weather.

Our first batch of ducklings for the year arrived today.  They're all small and cute and fuzzy now, of course, but befor...
02/16/2024

Our first batch of ducklings for the year arrived today. They're all small and cute and fuzzy now, of course, but before too long these guys and gals will be gracing some of the finest menus in 417-land, and--who knows?--maybe your own table as well.

It is a special fondness of mine to take a wandering walk after (or in this case, still during) a fresh snow to see, by ...
02/12/2024

It is a special fondness of mine to take a wandering walk after (or in this case, still during) a fresh snow to see, by aid of undeniable evidence, what other critters have been stirring. This is a bit more difficult when accompanied by two energetic and even more wandering dogs, but it can be revealing nonetheless. And I am particularly fond of this sort of light, sticky snow, that stacks up as it falls on every little branch and twig, even on individual fence wires.

It's icy and nasty outside, so I'm sitting here doing some farm planning for the coming season, soaking up the heat from...
01/22/2024

It's icy and nasty outside, so I'm sitting here doing some farm planning for the coming season, soaking up the heat from the woodstove, and soaking up some heat from the littlest person in the house. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

This is Bell, our sheep guardian extraordinaire.  With the Arctic weather upon us, I have, as usual, made her a cozy lit...
01/12/2024

This is Bell, our sheep guardian extraordinaire. With the Arctic weather upon us, I have, as usual, made her a cozy little abode (it may not look like much, but I climbed inside for a bit and it really is rather nice), and, as usual, she is shunning it in favor of the wide open. She is genetically built for such frigid weather, and indeed I think she just downright likes it.

In time, she will likely humor me by messing up her hay bed just a bit, as if to say "No, really, I think it's great..." But for now she'd apparently rather stick to her favorite spot, guarding her sheep and her growing treasure trove of animal parts, remnants of the past deer season and last month's annual pig slaughter.

Need a last-minute stocking stuffer?  Stop by Farmers Market of the Ozarks today until 1 pm and pick up a two-pack of wo...
12/23/2023

Need a last-minute stocking stuffer? Stop by Farmers Market of the Ozarks today until 1 pm and pick up a two-pack of wool sponges for that loved one who loves washing dishes, or who might have room to love it a little more.

Maybe pick up a spare goose or two while you're at it.

It's the time of year for hearty, robust meals, and doubly so with festive feastings just around the corner.  And, lucky...
12/11/2023

It's the time of year for hearty, robust meals, and doubly so with festive feastings just around the corner. And, lucky you, we've got a small handful of pastured geese still available for your holiday centerpieces.

These beautiful birds have been given free range of the farm, where they have grazed extensively since spring, and have been fed on locally sourced non-GMO grains. Plump, well-fatted, and downright delicious. Expected weight range is about 8-10 lbs, $12/lb. Do let us know if you're interested!

If you're in need of a last minute Thanksgiving centerpiece, our friends at Herren Dry Creek Farm still have a few *fres...
11/22/2023

If you're in need of a last minute Thanksgiving centerpiece, our friends at Herren Dry Creek Farm still have a few *fresh* gobblers available.

The remaining birds. A poem.

I have just a few left,
both large and small.
Their time is up,
the axe will soon fall.
They flapped their wings,
gobbling to engage.
Eating bugs and,
not living in a cage.
So come and get one,
we will see you around
Bring your own cooler,
and five dollars a pound.

Pm us your order!

Missed out on a fresh guinea last week and don't want to make the same mistake twice?  Snagged a fresh guinea last week ...
07/28/2023

Missed out on a fresh guinea last week and don't want to make the same mistake twice? Snagged a fresh guinea last week and want to congratulate yourself on your good decision making with another? Whatever the case, we're finishing up this year's birds today and will have *fresh* guineas available again this Saturday at Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Stop by and grab one, or two, or five, before they're gone. Trust us, you don't want to wait another year for the next opportunity.

If for some incredibly unfortunate reason we were limited to raising only one kind of poultry, we would have a hard time...
07/21/2023

If for some incredibly unfortunate reason we were limited to raising only one kind of poultry, we would have a hard time *not* choosing the guinea. (We'd also have a hard time not choosing our ducks, slow-growing heritage chickens, or even geese, but that's a topic for another time.)

Though here in the US they are utilized largely for farm pest control and as barnyard "watchdogs" (anybody who has heard the distinctive guinea cackle will know precisely why), elsewhere their culinary potential is more fully appreciated. The French (who call them "pintade") and the Italians (who call them "faraona"), two civilizations that know a thing or two about good food, eat them in significant quantities. And if you want to know why, well, I can point you in the right direction...

Our guineas roam freely across the farm. They are fed once daily, in the evening, to encourage them to forage during daylight hours. This extensive foraging, coupled with a very high activity level, imbues the birds with a level of flavor not often found in domestic poultry. For the last two weeks they are fed a special diet of grains soaked in cultured skim milk from our home dairy, which increases the fat content and cranks the flavor on up to 11.

We will have *fresh* whole guineas available tomorrow, July 22, at Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Or, if you need a break from the kitchen, head on over to Harvest Restaurant in Rogersville, where our guineas will be featured on Chef Craig's always-changing and always-delicious seasonal menu for the next couple weeks.

It's staple crop time at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.  Free smiles if you can accurately identify the spud reference.
07/08/2023

It's staple crop time at Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Free smiles if you can accurately identify the spud reference.

By whatever whims of Mother Nature and serendipitous strings of weather ordain such things, the wild gooseberries are ea...
05/20/2023

By whatever whims of Mother Nature and serendipitous strings of weather ordain such things, the wild gooseberries are early and prolific this spring. We've been braving the ticks these past few days so you don't have to. Swing by Farmers Market of the Ozarks this morning and pick up the makings of the season's best pie!

It has been a prolific spring!  Come see us this morning at Farmers Market of the Ozarks for the year's first garlic sca...
05/13/2023

It has been a prolific spring! Come see us this morning at Farmers Market of the Ozarks for the year's first garlic scapes, green garlic (aka garlic scallions), plus some peppery curly cress from the garden. Out of the greenhouse we have 4-packs of Kentucky Burley to***co plants and single pots of San Marzano tomatoes. In the freezer we have a few of last season's whole heritage chickens and guinea fowl, plus legs, breasts, and stock bones from this spring's ducks.

And don't forget the puppies! We have a few wonderful English Shepherd pups still in need of good homes, which will be ready in just two short weeks.

English Shepherd puppies!!!Purebred English Shepherd puppies. A variety of colors and markings. Born on March 29th. Will...
05/04/2023

English Shepherd puppies!!!

Purebred English Shepherd puppies. A variety of colors and markings. Born on March 29th. Will be ready to go home with you on May 24th.

Come pick out your puppy or we will be happy to help you choose a dog to match your needs/expectations as we will be personality testing them.

Both parents are working and on our farm. Registration of the parents is pending. The litter will also be registered.

English shepherd's make great companions or farm managers. As a breed they are versatile, intelligent, easy to train and eager to please. They learn the rules and then keep them. We have not had a problem with them chasing poultry or our sheep. They are also gentle and patient with our five children.

The last two pictures are of the mama and the daddy of the litter.

Please message me if you are interested!

We've still got two beautiful, plump geese available for holiday feasting.  Swing by Farmers Market of the Ozarks before...
12/21/2022

We've still got two beautiful, plump geese available for holiday feasting. Swing by Farmers Market of the Ozarks before 8:00 to nab one. If you don't, we'll have to eat them, which...okay, maybe don't swing by, on second thought. But if you do, I guess we'll sell you one.

12/10/2022

We are privileged--and, indeed, more than a little proud--to work with some amazingly talented local chefs, including Chef Calvin and the team at The Order. Do yourself a favor and stop in there soon!

Full circle.This building is our brooder house, where all of our poultry spend the first few weeks of their lives, keepi...
12/08/2022

Full circle.

This building is our brooder house, where all of our poultry spend the first few weeks of their lives, keeping warm and dry until they're ready to move out to pasture. (It also doubles as our seed-starting greenhouse, with chicks and ducklings at ground level and plants up on shelves.) By this point in the year we've passed the time for baby birds, so we removed the partitions and heat sources and put this year's geese in for their final three weeks of fattening. They've been running around the pastures since June, carefully tended to by the farm's resident adult geese, and now it's time for them to relax and veg out a bit before gracing some lucky tables this coming holiday season.

We still have a handful available, so if you're interested do let us know. We'll be at Farmers Market of the Ozarks this Saturday and next with a few ducks and Guinea fowl to sell and for anyone who's interested in reserving one of our last few pasture-raised geese.

For the past few years we've been raising ducks in batches of 60 birds each, as this level allows us to optimize daily c...
09/06/2022

For the past few years we've been raising ducks in batches of 60 birds each, as this level allows us to optimize daily chores without overburdening our workload at processing time. But this year, these ducks had different ideas. Though they were put out to pasture a week apart, separated by about 200 yards and a little 'finger' of the woodlot, the second (younger) batch decided to join ranks with the first batch. The flock instinct is strong, indeed. This makes daily chores easier, since now we're tending to just one batch, but there will be no shortage of annoyance once it comes time to separate them for butcher day.

At least they'll be tasty.

This is a clump of ironweed.  In my opinion it is a considerable eyesore, and is far more prevalent in our pastures than...
08/27/2022

This is a clump of ironweed. In my opinion it is a considerable eyesore, and is far more prevalent in our pastures than I'd like, largely the result of a history of overgrazing by cattle.

But it has its saving graces. It is a native plant, and its flowers, though not what I'd call pretty, attract pollinators. Its seeds feed the local wild bird population, most notably in the fall and winter when other food sources are more scarce. Its roots go deep into the subsoil, and when the plant dies the minerals it has accumulated and brought into its leaves and stems fall to the surface, to be made available to shallower-rooted plants. (In this way, as is the case with many "weeds," it helps to alleviate the soil deficiencies that its very presence indicates.)

When stripped of its leaves, my 11 year old tells me, it also makes great arrows, to be shot from a bow made from a flexible small tree branch and a bit of baling twine.

But its most evident benefit in a drought year like this is that it makes an acceptable forage. Though the cattle mostly ignore it, the sheep find it perfectly acceptable. It's not their first choice when turned into a new paddock, but they will certainly turn to it long before they've exhausted the other food sources, pretty thoroughly nibbling off its leaves (leaving mostly-bare stalks, as seen in the photo above).

And so we learn to live with it, to eschew the park-like landscape that mowing this pasture would result in. But we also seek to bring it back into balance by bringing this field back into a state of higher fertility, by grazing it with cattle and sheep, and by, for the first time in 10 years, running poultry across it. Those ducks in the background will be destined for some amazing meals starting mid-October; but more about them another time.

06/11/2022

Last spring we put in a large-ish bed of parsnips. By the time we got around to digging them last fall they were woody and not-so-palatable, so we just left them. When making plans for this year's garden, we decided to leave that bed as-is and let the parsnips, a biennel plant, flower and go to seed this year, largely for the purpose of attracting pollinators.

It's not as clear in the video as it is in real life, but I'd say the plan is working. This patch is swarming with multiple species of native bees, beetles, wasps, moths, butterflies, flies, and even honeybees! And as a bonus, we ought to get a bit of seed for planting next year.

Dust off those pie pans, it's gooseberry season!  We'll have plenty of these beautiful, plump tart berries tomorrow at F...
06/04/2022

Dust off those pie pans, it's gooseberry season! We'll have plenty of these beautiful, plump tart berries tomorrow at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.

That moment when you suspect the bottle lambs have been secretly studying geometry...
04/07/2022

That moment when you suspect the bottle lambs have been secretly studying geometry...

After years of refining our poultry breeding program, we've finally been able to produce the fabled Turducken.  Stop by ...
04/01/2022

After years of refining our poultry breeding program, we've finally been able to produce the fabled Turducken. Stop by and see us tomorrow at Farmers Market of the Ozarks to preorder yours! Available November 31st.

This is our newly constructed "goose house," recently featured in Architectural Digest magazine.  (You'll find it in the...
03/28/2022

This is our newly constructed "goose house," recently featured in Architectural Digest magazine. (You'll find it in the "What Not To Do" segment.) But sometimes function trumps beauty on the farm, and when you need to finish a project quickly with only materials currently on hand, you make it work. And the proof is in the pudding, as they say: peek inside and you'll find two geese sitting on nests, patiently willing their progeny into life. And the ultimate result? A whole gaggle of memorable Christmas dinners.

Sometimes there's a lamb in a box in the bathroom.The fine folks who sold us our starter flock called today to say that ...
03/12/2022

Sometimes there's a lamb in a box in the bathroom.

The fine folks who sold us our starter flock called today to say that they had a bottle lamb available. His mama had a rough birth and didn't seem to have enough milk for the little guy, so he would need to be grafted onto another ewe or raised on a bottle. We don't have a ewe at the moment that can take another lamb, but fortunately we have great milk from our small cow herd, and kiddos that have been looking forward to taking care of a bottle lamb. So for the moment he's being housed in the bathroom, and once he has become accustomed to drinking from a bottle instead of a teat he'll be ready to join the rest of the flock.

03/11/2022

This year's first batch of guinea keets arrived today. It'll be four months until they're at harvest size, but good things are worth the wait.

Frosty spring mornings have a charm all their own.  Here the garlic still in the shade of the barn looks huddled unto it...
03/09/2022

Frosty spring mornings have a charm all their own. Here the garlic still in the shade of the barn looks huddled unto itself, while the garlic further west, reached by sunlight a bit earlier, is perky and sprightly and ready to grow!

This is what 3 weeks of duckling growth looks like, which is almost mind-boggling.The Pekin duck was first imported into...
03/04/2022

This is what 3 weeks of duckling growth looks like, which is almost mind-boggling.

The Pekin duck was first imported into the United States from China in the 1870s, and even then it was renowned for its incredible growth rate. Add in a century and a half of breeding know-how, and the results are simply amazing. We source our ducklings from a hatchery that in turn sources their breeding stock from a reputable French company. (I hear the French know a thing or two about producing good food...) These birds grow quickly, but without the fragility often found in other fast-growing poultry like hybrid chickens and turkeys. They're hardy, reliable, and, let's face it, downright delicious.

You can find our ducks on the menu this spring at Harvest Restaurant and at The Order. Or come see us at Farmers Market of the Ozarks most Saturday mornings and pick one up for yourself!

Address

5147 Pleasant Hill Rd
Seymour, MO
65746

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