Kim and Russell Nead did not set out to own an agritourism farm; they bought 6 acres of land to house their two horses. Friends and strangers began to ask if she could bring the horse for a birthday party and of course she said yes. Then they officially opened The Barnyard as a birthday venue. Somehow, they began to accumulate animals such as turkeys, chickens, lambs, sheep, goats, alpacas, one cow, rabbits, pigs and even a donkey.
Kim said, “I went to Texas where they corral and sell wild mustangs and in that mix of mustangs was a donkey. I legally adopted Abraham from the Bureau of Land Management. I thought I was there to purchase a horse; instead, I got a donkey. And he has been a big help on the farm keeping animals away that do not belong here.” Now they have a working farm. Instead of just birthday parties, the farm has revolved into a place for school groups to come, horse rides, Halloween events, Christmas events, and even they have taken the animals to churches for Bible Schools and Christmas and Easter programs at the churches. And of course, they still do birthday parties.
The part they love about the farm is teaching children about animals and sharing their knowledge about farming and caring for animals. Some of that teaching is how to act and behave around an animal. A saying (joke) on the farm is, “If you get hurt and cannot forgive an animal you have to eat him.” One little girl was right up face to face with a very big turkey and was in his space. Before they could speak to her, he pecked her right between the eyes, leaving a red mark, but no blood. The little girl asked, “Do I get to eat him?”
The Neads do eat some of the animals they raise as new life is born and is always evolving on the farm. Kim says, “I have not bought meat or eggs in 15 years.” They have the licenses to process turkeys, ducks, and chickens right on the farm. If someone wants to purchase one of those animals for food, they can make arrangements for them to do it or they can show the people who want fresh meat how to do it. But if they want a goat, sheep or lamb, the Neads has a processor they take it to.
Animals have a way of taking care of each other, too. One of the female turkeys laid eggs, but the
veterinarian confirmed that the male was not fertile, so none of the eggs hatched. After sitting on the eggs for a while, Kim and Russell had to remove the eggs and dispose of them. One day the female turkey stole one of the hens’ eggs, and she sat on it and it hatched! So now a black little chicken stays close to that turkey and the male protects it as his own. Kim says, “Shhhhh…., So please do not tell them that their ‘baby’ is a chicken. I do not even think the chicken knows it is not a turkey.”
Animals have hearts that feel and families to care for, too. Maybe we should take some lessons from the animals. While we try to teach our children all about life, the farm teaches us what life is all about, really.
“From Our Field to Your Table”
Bacon-Wrapped American Lamb Rib Chops Over Caramelized Caraway Onions Recipe
Season four 1 ¼ inch thick Lamb rib chops with salt and pepper.
Wrap 1 bacon slice around each chop and brown, seam side down, in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 4 to 5 minutes per side; transfer to a large plate.
Add 2 thinly sliced red onions, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary and 1 teaspoon caraway seeds to the pan; cook until the onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
Cover the pan and cook over medium-low for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar.
Service the chops over the caramelized onions.
Rebecca Jones is a contract writer for the Carteret News-Times and a Carteret Local Food Network blog writing team volunteer. She was born and raised in the Piedmont Triad area, where she spent most of her life. She has two grown children and 6 grandchildren. Writing has always been a part of her life; she believes it is a way to showcase and bring awareness to events that affect your community. In April of 2018, Rebecca and her husband George moved to Beaufort, NC. Her most recent two books, Love Brings You Home (about Hurricane Florence) and Go Deep (a devotional with photos), are sold locally and on Amazon.