Lazy Dog Farms
Lazy Dog Farms is a small family owned and operated farm located in the gentle rolling hills of McNairy County, Tennessee. The farm consists of 138 Certified Organic acres. The farm has a mix of produce fields, pastures, woods and several streams.
Certified Organic Produce grows in the low lying flats, while Certified Organic chickens freely roam the pastures. Heritage Berkshire hogs root among the trees in the many acres of woods while 100% Jersey Cows graze in the pastures. Our Berkshire hogs and Jersey cows are not Certified Organic.
In the summer of 2011 Lazy Dog Farms began as a vision of a sustainable family farm. Since the acquisition of the farm it has been our family's goal to work in harmony with the land.
With the support of family, friends and community Lazy Dog Farms has put down solid roots and continues to grow in diversification with each passing season.
Posted by Bruce Scarberry :: Monday, July 25 :: 6:29am
We Need Your Help!
In the fall of 2011 we purchased our land with the goal of providing a place for our family to spend time together away from our hectic lives in the city. Quickly our family looked for every opportunity to be on our land and soon Lazy Dog Farms was started as a means to enjoy our family and land as well as provide nourishing real food. Lazy Dog Farms is a small family operated farm. Our farm currently produces premium quality meats, raw Jersey dairy, certified organic produce, and seasonal treats.
In the autumn of 2014 we were offered the generous opportunity to add raw dairy to our small family farm. Many long nights were spent contemplating if we could take on such an endeavor. We heard from numerous mothers who needed the raw cream for baby formula, from individuals suffering from chronic medical conditions whom were only relieved by raw milk and individuals wanting to protect free access to unadulterated foods. Ultimately it was the community input that weighed heavy on our decision to proceed with adding raw dairy to our farm, instead of it being lost.
During the quick exchange of ownership of the dairy, with limited resources, we converted a portion of our equipment shed into a usable milking parlor. While this solution is functional for milking, many changes are needed to make it into an efficiently functioning dairy which will provide multiple safety and quality improvements. These improvements would include added capacity for milking; provide safe and secure areas for people and cows alike, as well as a designated area for the controlled breeding of cows and other veterinary needs.
Over the last few months we have had a steady decrease in milk production and availability for our customers. The initial drop in production was due to the breeding cycles of the cows getting off schedule. While our breeding issues caused a temporary decrease in milk supply, soon to freshen cows were on the horizon. Along with our community of understanding customers we anxiously awaited the arrival of new calves.
During the last month our anticipation of a nearing resolution was destroyed with multiple attacks and predation on our gentle Jerseys. The cows and calves are kept on pasture throughout the farm at all times other than milking.
While working on farm one afternoon our Great Pyrenees dog 'Hank' sounded the first alarm that something was wrong. The other farm dogs joined in and what was found in a low field was a new mama cow attacked by an unknown predators. The calf was lost and the mama severely injured. In surveillance of the herd another new mama was found in a creek. Brutally attacked, her and her baby did not survive. Several nights had passed with no further attacks. While at market, we arrived home to find a dead yearling cow that had been attacked in the same manner as the previous cows and calves.
We are working with local wildlife and animal control to remedy the predator issues facing the cows. A donkey has been added to the herd to assist in protection, as well as an increase in rounding to monitor farm animals. As of today three cows and two newborn calves were lost amd two others injured, further setting back our recovery from low milk production. We are striving to hold out for cows to freshen.
We have overcome hardships as every small farm does; though Lazy Dog Farms Raw Dairy is now in serious need of your help.
The money that you generously donate will revive Lazy Dog Farms Dairy. Initial funds will be used to purchase critically needed newly freshened cows to add to the milking herd as well as more sentry and guardian animals. This will allow us to protect and increase our raw milk production allowing us to once again provide critically needed raw milk.
Following this desperately needed influx of milking cows, your donations will go to creating a safer dairy. This will include a complete redesign and building of our dairy. We will provide the labor to build the new building, your monies will be used to purchase required building materials including concrete, lumber, electrical, plumbing and any other required materials.
This seems insurmountable at times to us, but we are not quick to give up on what we believe and stand for. We believe in small family farms and the unequivocal access to unadulterated real food.
It is not important how much each person is able to give, saving a raw dairy and small family farm IS important. We are earnestly asking you to help spread the word of or farm and situation out to those who may be able and willing to help revive our dairy.
Thank you in advance for spreading the word!
Posted by Bruce Scarberry :: Tuesday, September 30 :: 7:50pm
When we set out on our adventure in agriculture one of the few things we both agreed on is that we did not want to be a dairy farm. As with so many things in life, thoughts and ambitions change with time. So guess what?!?!?
Were adding dairy to our farm!
This endeavor started just as so many others have on the farm, with an innocent statement "What do you think about trying (fill in the blank)". Well for your information this is not an innocent question but more like a loaded statement.
So there it begins.....
We started out on a trial run with another local farm who are dear friends of ours to see the viability of selling Animal Quality dairy along with our other offerings to our loyal customers. This trial was going well with decent results for the four week trial.
This is where things get interesting, if you need to refill your drink I suggest you do so now!
Just after our third weekend of trialing the dairy product, we received information on an opportunity to expand the dairy operation into a significant part of the farm.
No undertaking such as this done without considerable contemplation on the realizing the benefits and understanding the risks. In the end the decision was based on the peoples passion and need for these products.
We are extremely thankful for the opportunity given us by Walt and Jan to continue the work they have done with fueling the local food movement.
While we have a learning curve we are partnering with and supported by knowledgeable experts and passionate customers that will be pivotal to our success.
We expect a full transition of the dairy operation in Mid-October, with the final date to be determined in the coming days. Following the transition we will begin distributing the Pet Quality Milk on a Weekly Thursday delivery route and at our Saturday market. We will also be available for on farm sales with proper notice.
While we will have the milk initially, the yogurts and other products will follow shortly.
So you may be wondering how you can help with this undertaking?
First and foremost you can be a loyal customer and supporter of our farm and our new venture.
Secondly, in the coming weeks we will be releasing a fundraising campaign to generate funds for building a permanent dairy on our farm. Your donations and support of this campaign are an absolute necessity for success.
We understand that not everyone is able to donate to the fundraising, but we do ask that if you are able to share it with your social media networks and other networks, please do so.
With your help we will build a functional dairy built on a foundation of quality and safety.
and that's nothing to stick your tongue out too!
Posted by Bruce Scarberry :: Monday, February 24 :: 7:13pm
It has been an eventful and busy last few weeks. We have the roof as well as most of the walls on the shed. While it is 53'x 32' it is already getting full. We have received many of our inputs for this growing season which is helping to occupy some of the space. It is nice to start finding a home for things.
The greenhouse is beginning to fill up with all of our starts for the year. To help regulate the temperature we have basically put a greenhouse inside our greenhouse by using left over poly from both our greenhouse and high tunnel. On cold nights we add extra heat under the bottom layer to ensure the idea temperature for germination is maintained.
The high tunnel has been cleaned prepped and seeded for early spring produce. We are still amazed at how effective both the greenhouse, but especially the high tunnel heat up and retain their heat.
This week as long as the rain hold off we are going to start preparing beds for planting potato and various other spring crops.
The pigs have been rocking out in their woods. They are growing well. We look at their weight on a weekly basis to ensure we get them bred as soon as possible.
Oh the chickens! They have been toying with my emotions lately. Not only are they being stubborn and not laying eggs in their nest boxes they decided to take a break from laying all together. While chickens generally slow down in the winter, they usually increase production as the day length increases. We decided our chickens need some help so there are now golf balls located in the next boxes to help the chickens learn where to lay.
Now comes the chilis! We had a few pounds of dried chilis from our production last year. It was decided that these would help our chickens remember that they need to lay eggs. So far it seems to have worked. We are experiencing a three fold increase in eggs!