Healthy Soil, Healthy People: A Return to Basics at Amistad Farm

[Submitted by Seth and Tarah Stallings, owners/operators of Amistad Farm, LLC.  Seth and Tarah are Oklahoma City farmers who raise pastured, non-GMO poultry]

Greetings, fellow eaters-of-food!

We are Seth and Tarah Stallings of Amistad Farm LLC. We grew up in Heavener, OK and Bedford, TX, respectively. We are 1st generation farmers. Our journey of team-ship started while attending Oklahoma Baptist University, where we earned degrees in anthropology and nursing between the two of us. Basically, our desire to farm started in college while reading Wendell Berry’s collection of essays entitled “Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community.” That spurred Seth to pursue writing an honors thesis related to agriculture and anthropology.

Seth worked with the Crow family [Oklahoma farmers located in Shawnee] during the summer of 2009 on their vegetable farm. That led to interning and working at the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture in 2010/11. Finally, we were accepted as interns at Polyface Farms [world-renowned sustainable farm run by Joel Salatin], and worked there for 4 months in 2011. The more we interned, read, and visited other farmers, the more we realized a living could be made farming. In short, we caught the bug! If you’re unfamiliar with Polyface, they’re profiled in several documentaries including “Fresh,” “Food Inc.” and “Polyfaces.” It was at Polyface that we were able to learn from the pasture-raised poultry pioneers, and bring that knowledge back to Oklahoma. Our goal is one of healing and health. We hope to heal the land, our culture and people through good farming and living well.

Our motivation for farming stems from a desire to work together from home, to embrace the farming lifestyle, and have as many people alongside us in this good journey as possible. Our emphasis is on health from the soil up through human health and ecosystem health. We feel that our calling is to be part of God’s salvation for all of His creation. By farming in a way that promotes soil and human health we feel we can be part of that process. It is primarily on these grounds we do not use GMOs, eschew confinement housing and use a grass based, planned rotational model.

Happy chicks at Amistad Farm

Where the magic happens

Over the last few years since moving back to Oklahoma we’ve been city farmers turned country farmers turned back into city farmers. Our chickens get great views of the Wheeler Ferris Wheel and Devon Tower. For most of 2015 and 2016 we leased a farm out in Pink, OK. The landowners decided to sell so we made our way back to OKC for time while we explore options for more land out in the country. City farming has its perks. I currently drive less than 4 minutes to Coop drop off for instance. However, we long to be back on land, and we would love to find land that we could utilize for the long term. We shall see. In the meantime we’ll keep chugging along making sure our quality standards remain high.

We currently hold other jobs and hope to make this our full-time career in the future. Seth runs a 3 acre garden in south OKC for Santa Fe South Schools. Tarah works from home doing farm tasks and wrangling little girls. We have two daughters, Ruby and Nova, who are quickly becoming excellent farmeresses-in-training.

Farming family. Tarah, Seth, Ruby, and Nova

If you would like to hear more details of our story check out the podcast in which Seth was interviewed last summer here:

http://www.permaculturevoices.com/real-world-farm-start-up-making-it-happen-by-doing-what-you-have-to-do-whether-you-wanted-to-do-it-or-not-with-seth-stallings-pvp129/

or pop over to our budding business website:

www.amistadfarm.com

Also, more photos can be found on our Instagram @amistadfarm

Thanks for your snippet of time!

Cheers,

Seth and Tarah Stallings