Sugar Camp Farm, Bon Aqua, TN, is this week’s featured American Gothic farmer photo. Jesse Higginbotham and Lizzie Wright were great sports to take a break to pose for pictures on a hot August day, during their first summer of farming at Sugar Camp Farm. The couple married in October of 2014, bought 78 acres and a flock of 21 sheep in January of the following year. With a commitment to each other, and to a full-time farm life, they started a market garden in spring of 2015 and have been working hard to grow their farm. In 2016, they began to offer CSA shares and are currently growing for 27 families, in addition to selling at the Richland Park Farmers Market every Saturday morning.
With a background in landscape design and management intensive grazing, Jesse has a deep understanding of the impact of overgrazing. Together, they have committed to a style of grazing management that means more work for them, but is better for the land, the animals and for the people who later enjoy the meat on their dinner table. The animals are moved every 1-4 days to ensure that they get the healthiest grass without overgrazing the land, they do this with a series of portable solar-powered electric fences. The pastured lamb meat can be purchased directly from them by pre-ordering before the meat is processed in the spring or at the farmers market. Lizzie’s background includes a Master’s Degree in Forestry from the University of Missouri, specializing in forest ecology and management, which may explain why you’re likely to find her traipsing through the woodlands to forage for edibles. You can rest assured that she will never be guilty of over harvesting or doing anything to harm the health of the forest or the land. The vegetables are all grown using biodynamic and organic methods. All of this sounds like a lot of work? It is, and they’ve been fortunate to get some great farm helpers. Jesse’s dad, Tony, helps out at least once a week, and they’ve hosted a handful of farm interns, volunteers and “wwoofers.” WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a network of organic farms that agree to provide room and board to folks in exchange for help on the farm.
Lizzie is also a talented singer and musician, and they have committed to providing opportunities for others to enjoy music on their beautiful farm. They’ve hosted a series of House Concerts which have brought a wide variety of music to Hickman County, such as Curt Oren, Dana T, Dubb Nubb and Helen Vaskevitch. Join them this Friday, May 13th at 6pm for their first outdoor show and potluck of the season featuring Googolplexia and Matt from Bunnygrunt and on May 22nd for their annual May Day celebration and outdoor farm concert. You can learn more about them at SugarCampFarmTN.com on Facebook or on Instagram.