An organic, farmstead creamery is one of the many things happening at Sequatchie Cove Farm, 300 acres northwest of downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Little Sequatchie River borders the farm, and thousands of acres of pristine Tennessee wilderness surround it. Bill and Miriam Keener, their children Ann, Kelsey and Ashley Keener, Miriam’s parents Jim and Emily Wright, friends Nathan and Padgett Arnold, and an assortment of seasonal helpers run the farm.
From their website:
“The health of the land, water, air, livestock, ourselves are all linked inextricably. We make decisions and work with this basic philosophy close to our hands and our heart. You can be sure that all of our products arrive at your door with this level of integrity in mind.
“How we raise our animals is very important to us. Our animals spend their entire lives grazing in open pastures. They graze, scratch, root, and roam the way the animals were designed to. We use no pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics or growth promoting hormones, just earth, water, compost, and careful management.
“We raise healthy, content animals in order to provide a product healthy for our consumption, our environment, and our whole human ecology. Each day we learn a bit more about what each animal needs to live a stress-free and productive life. If an animal is stressed, the whole farm, including the farmer, is stressed. They know us, we know them and we treat them with respect.”
Sequatchie Cove Farm produces pasture-raised beef (in partnership with Westmoreland Farm), forested heritage breed pork, grass-fed Katahdin lamb, pasture-raised eggs, Dancing Fern Nursery native plants (propagated from seed or cuttings, not harvested from the wild), pick-your-own berries, seasonal vegetables, and shiitake mushrooms. Berries and vegetables are grown using organic growing methods and fertilized with compost and manure from the farm. The pigs and hens eat whey from the creamery.
The dairy cows are a diverse herd of about thirty cows, kept on pasture all year. The Kenners feed them a small amount of supplemental organic grain. The farm is RBGH-free, certified organic, and Animal Welfare Approved. The raw milk is aged from 60 to 120 days to become Sequatchie Cove’s alpine-inspired cheeses, including the tomme ‘Cumberland’ and the washed-rind style ‘Coppinger.’ Cheeses are made by hand using traditional methods.
Learn more about Sequatchie Cove Farm and Creamery on their website, sequatchiecovefarm.com .