Jeff and DeAnn Harris didn’t grow up on farms but in the suburbs of Richmond, VA. After their three daughters graduated from college they decided to move from Virginia to South Carolina to enjoy milder winters and be closer to Jeff’s family in central North Carolina. They continue to own a business in Harrisonburg, VA and return regularly for visits.
DeAnn Harris had always been interested in healthy food. Little did she know that enrolling in an on-line nutrition course in 2007 marked the beginning of a dramatic lifestyle change for her and her husband Jeff. She began learning about the amazing health benefits of all natural, nutrient dense food and especially the value of locally grown food products.
But when she tried to buy locally grown pastured pork and grass fed beef she soon discovered that the animals were often fed grain supplements derived from Genetically Modified Crops (GMO). She specifically wanted to avoid GMO foods as her studies clearly indicated the detrimental health effects of GMO’s and the dangerous pesticides used on GMO crops.
Jeff became increasingly interested in her studies and began his own research into modern agricultural livestock production focusing on confinement farms for hogs and feedlots for cattle. He discovered that large amounts of antibiotics and other drugs were required to keep the animals disease free.
That’s when the idea for Puddle Moon Farm began to germinate.
So in 2011 they began researching natural farming methods and thinking about buying a small farm of their own. Ultimately they decided on three primary criteria that they wanted for their farm. 1. It had to have good clean water sources. 2. The land needed to be clean and free from chemical saturation. 3. It needed to be located in an area accessible to Rock Hill SC and Charlotte, NC.
In the fall of 2012 they found 106 acres in Edgemoor, SC that was last farmed in the 1940’s. It was completely covered with a variety of trees so they were starting from scratch.
The first thing they did was bring in a logging crew to clear fifteen acres and plant pasture for their beef cows. Then they began clearing out the woods to create shaded paddocks for their pigs. Gravel roads were built to provide access around the property.
They sold their “retirement home” in the suburbs and moved in to their modest new home on the farm in May of 2014. Water lines, electric fences and gates were installed and houses for the pigs built. Three ponds were constructed and stocked with bream, catfish and bass. Two of the ponds are spring-fed. In September of 2015 five pigs were purchased. Two of those pigs, a purebred Berkshire Boar and Sow were chosen to begin breeding.
In March of 2016 twelve Red Devon beef cows were added to the pastures.
“We’re not looking to develop a large commercial operation”, said Jeff. “We want to provide high quality, healthy food for families like ours that recognize the value of all natural beef and pork products raised humanely.”
Jeff and DeAnn Harris, owners & proprietors of Puddle Moon Farm.
Meet The Farmers - Jeff & DeAnn Harris
© 2017 Puddle Moon Farm • All Rights Reserved.