Reid and I have grown much of our own food over the past twenty years. We started out with a small garden, a few chickens and turkeys, and 3 small daughters. Over the years we have learned much, and put organic growing methods into practice. (We actually certified the farm under USDA in 2003.) This came out of the concern for our family's health. We could see the over use of antibiotics, herbicides, pesticides, growth hormones and chemical fertilizers. We would like to offer to you some of the same fresh bounty that we have the joy of producing.
Although we are changing our certification to Certified Naturally Grown, we are striving to go beyond what the National Organic Plan requires of us. We look at the land as an investment, and a precious gift. Reid and I are making concentrated efforts to nurture the land, building the soil, and getting the eco system within working as one terrific unit. We are seeing evidence that this is working. We see more earthworm activity, less insect pressure, and higher yields. Every year our harvests add up to thousands of pounds of veggies, picked at the peak of ripeness and delivered to our customers within hours of harvest.
We bring in very little soil amendments from outside sources. Much of our compost is made here on the farm from our diverse animal population. We do not use raw manures on plots that will be harvested within 140 days. We occasionally will use fish emulsion to do some foliar feeding when the veggies look like they need a boost. We have not used a pesticide in any form for several years. We prefer to bring in and encourage beneficial insects, birds, snakes, (yes, I encourage garden snakes, and black snakes, yikes!) and toads. We also utilize barrier methods of row covers and "Surround."
We have nearly 3 acres dedicated to vegetable production, with the remaining 127 consisting of pastures, hay meadows and woodlands. We grow much like the French do with their intensive planting. If we did not pay so much attention to the soil conditions we would not be able to accomplish what we do.
Evans Knob Farm has been in the Evans family for 5 generations. Mary Ann, the first settler of the Knob immigrated here from Wales. There has been a member of the Evans family farming this land ever since.
Reid moved onto this farm with his parents and siblings in the fall of 1958 at the age of 5. He was always helping out around the farm caring for the animals, garden or helping with the ongoing repairs and building projects. Except for a short time of training at Penn Tech and working at GE in Winchester VA, Reid has remained on Evans Knob.
Kathy grew up on a dairy farm, also in the Bruceton area, with her dad, grandad and grandmother sowing seeds of love for agriculture and nature. She learned to care for the many animals and the vegetable garden. Her grandmother taught her how to preserve the fruits of their labor to keep the family going all winter long.
Reid and Kathy met in 1976 and were married in 1978. They immediately moved into the farmhouse with Reid’s then elderly dad. They wanted to be a part of the farm and to provide Reid’s dad with the safety of staying in his own home as long as possible.
Reid has left the electronics off farm work force after 40 years to become a force all of his own on the farm. He is big equipment operator, mechanic, electrician, chief engineer and designer of all the projects that keeps Evans Knob producing good food and fiber that we provide to our community.
Kathy works full time on the farm raising vegetables, meat and fibers, a lot of dust at times, and always the hope of good things in our tummies and on our bodies.