Kathryn Koven—Farm owner, worker, animal lover
SC native Kathryn Lewis Koven has spent a lot of time outdoors in nature and loves the company of animals. She began to discover a few years ago that industrial food systems (agribusiness) use many practices that are inhumane (think confined animal factory operations/CAFO), and harmful to our health and environment. Determined to make a difference she began Khakalaki Farm in Trenton, SC in 2011 with the vision of working in harmony with nature to create sustainable and humane farming and living practices. The name Khakalaki comes from the Southern slang term for “Carolina”.
Knowing almost nothing about farming, and working upwards of 30 hours at an off-farm job, she began a steep learning curve to figure out the products that tasted great, and could be grown chemical free and sustainably. Purchasing a sheep flock of 54 animals with no knowledge of sheep management was one such crazy example! Now, a few years into the farm- she has come to respect the level of resource commitment required and the inherent difficulties faced by an individual (even with a wonderful helper or two) . The result is a decision to scale back to a smaller acreage to maintain a life balance.
Fewer people are becoming farmers, as it is truly hard work! Yet there are many who are passionate about their food and the impact of their human footprint. It is my hope that the public will visit, support, and perhaps join- the permaculture farm community in sharing a healthier earth lifestyle.
So what keeps a farmer going, why not quit altogether? For me it is the goal of living sustainably and being humane to all creatures. It is those moments when a child’s eyes light up after a sheep kiss, when an adult milks a goat for the first time, when one discovers the delight of digging “dirty” soil, and eating food that you have grown! Farming in harmony with nature is uniquely peaceful, and can happen on the smallest of scales.
Randy Darling—a rancher from Washington State with wonderful life experiences of a simple farm life, helping his family run a dairy, haying, cowboying, and packing into the wilderness (and more) We are happy to have Randy’s help!