Swan Terrace Farm

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County: Rutherford

Location: 132 Swan Terrace, Bostic, NC

Total acres 12.9

Acres of cropland/tillable land 4.0

Acres of pasture 5.0

Acres of unfenced pasture 1.0

Property Description

When my partner of 21 years and I decided eight years ago to escape the madness that Florida has become, we found a 12.9 acre piece of land with an option on 20 acres attached in Western NC. We're not in the "mountains", but the views are OK. The land has been farmed since the 1800's by John Braddy, his son Charley, and then in the 1920's through 80's by grandson Claude Braddy. The property fell into serious disrepair as Claude's widow aged. We've been told how Claude was famous for miles around for sweet potato starts and watermelon. He kept cattle on the back 20 acres that is now a pine forest. Their only living daughter shared pictures of the last two in a long succession of mules used to create the prolific terraces and turn the dirt and who knows what else. She says they never really had to buy any food because everything they ate came from working the land. The ideal of that is why we moved here, although the reality has been very different. I really like potato chips and new york cheddar and I haven't the patience to make either.

Type of opportunity

  • Internship / Mentorship
  • Incubator / Mentored Lease
  • Business Partnership
  • Employment
  • Employment with Transfer

Type of opportunity - more info

We don't plan to sell the property while we live, but have no heirs. We're looking for like minded folks who are able to devote time into making the farm sustainable to feed all of us and make profit for you. There are seven swans on the property in barely adequate conditions who need to be fed every day. The pond by the house and hoop house needed to be drained last year and the lower pond we built doesn't hold water. We'd like your help getting them up and comfortable again. We wold ask you to feed the bunnies and birds in the aviary every day as you go about your farming chores.

Equipment & infrastructure

  • Barn
  • Fencing
  • Well / Pond / Other water source
  • Greenhouse
  • Livestock facilities
  • Farmer housing
  • Farm equipment

Equipment & infrastructure - more info

We have a tacky trailer about 300 yards from our house where you will live. Beside it is a shared above ground pool and deck. We started a couple years ago to build a cabin there also. So far it has a functional tub/shower combo and toilet installed, but no kitchen (or front door) yet. There are two barns built in the 50's that house the goats and cows now. We built a large aviary for the macaws, cockatiels and african greys we raise. The hoop house up by the main house needs to be recovered before winter. The tractor is a '75 John Deere with a passable front loader.

Current production on farm

  • Cattle (Dairy/Beef)
  • Hay or pasture
  • Poultry (Broiler/Layer)
  • Sheep/Goat (Dairy/Meat)
  • Vegetable production

Current production on farm - more info

We have a single dairy cow named Katie, a flock of chickens, several goats, and have accidentally created a sustainable herd of guinea pigs. Although our first steer, Chuck, has been in the freezer for a year, we still have plenty. The other steers we have raised have been sold. Katie has had a gentleman caller in the pasture with her all week so we may have to dry her off in April or May to calf in June. I've had varying degrees of success with vegetables. I put up over 100 quarts of tomatoes and a couple dozen of pickles each of the second and third years we were here. Last year the japanese beetles ate more than I did. Then I got too busy with our two retail pet supply stores.

Current and past farming practices

  • Ecological production but not certified

Current and past farming practices - more info

I read a lot about ecoculture and sustainable farming when we first moved to NC. We have had to devote so much time to trying to build a retail business we got way behind on pulling weeds and watering that we have sort of given up the vegetables. We sell several gallons of milk a week for "pet use only". If the farmer will take over milking most days, we may get a second cow. We've butchered probably 20 chickens, but have not perfected the skill. If the farmer takes over caring for the chickens, we will get more. This year the corn is ready to harvest but none of the ears are more than three inches long. Haven't had time to research why. We'll plant more next year.

Additional aspects

We are a gay couple together for over 20 years. We'd like to have a social life but have no time. We don't have to be best friends, but we'd like to be sure the people living and working on our property will be someone with whom we can get along.