Country View: Bob and Julie Rackham - Possum Ridge Farms - Covington, TN
About 20-years ago, an ice storm knocked out power in Covington, Tennessee. Julie Rackham and her husband Bob didn't have electricity for 16-days. Julie says it was inconvenient, but it didn't stop what they were doing. They had kerosene heat in the house, were able to cook outside, and food that stayed frozen in a freezer.
The Rackham's live on 10-acres called Possum Ridge Farms, and do what they can to be self-sufficient with gardens, livestock, and poultry. They also sell meat, eggs, and produce at a farmer's market, and to regular customers by word-of-mouth. Julie says they pay attention to raising quality breeds of animals, especially their LaMancha dairy goats. Once the kids are weaned from their mothers, she says they'll be selling "goat shares" for milk.
"They own a part of the goat, and then they get a percentage of the milk that they produce. And, depending on how many people that you have involved in it, they get a certain amount of the milk that the goat produces," says Julie.
Both Julie and Bob are very hands-on around the farm. They like to tinker with new ways to make their jobs easier. Bob built a row builder for the tractor to help their garden stay drier during a wet spring or flash flooding. Julie built a goat stanchion from scratch out of wood. But she says she was most impressed when Bob built a homemade irrigation system for the garden, and a chicken plucker.
"There's a gentleman out there named Herrick Kimmel that has the designs, and we got the designs from him," says Julie. "And it is so much nicer than trying to pluck chickens. You kill them, and then you put them in this big plastic tub. It spins around and it plucks within probably 20-seconds. They're plucked clean. It just is really nice."
Julie says they've been gradually expanding their farm, as well as the products they sell from it.
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