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Goodfortune Farm Tour: Whippoorwill Farms

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Whippoorwill Farm is not just a farm it is a thriving ecosystem full of life. That is exactly what Marissa Paykos is working to achieve. Otherwise known as @theexecutiveinoveralls, Marissa owns and operates an organic and regenerative farm in Ridgeland, South Carolina. The farm provides grows a vast array of products for chefs and consumers. Fresh produce like lettuce and radishes were in season when we visited. Chickens and pigs are part of the farm and provide eggs, meats, and sausages. That is not all the life on the farm. There are two dogs, a horse, plenty of pollinators, deer, and birds.

Before you enter the farm, there is a roadside stand with refrigerators stocked with fresh produce and eggs. Prices are posted on a board and there is a sign that says pay what you can.

Farm Produce Stand

The property sits in an area that has historically been used by the timber industry with mass planted pine trees. Converting a piece of land that has been unkept into a fully functioning farm involves a series of processes and jobs and takes years of patience. One goal is to have native species that are beneficial to the farm and the environment to return to the area.

Trees that are not beneficial like pines are selectively cut and trees that provide shelter to birds and food for pollinators are kept. The pigs and chickens on the farm help clear the land. Both animals will feed on plant life and eat invasive species. Also, wood that is not wanted is burned. Chickens eat the biochar and help supercharge the soil with their waste by returning nutrients.

Farm Land Clearing

Biochar is black carbon produced from biomass sources [i.e., wood chips, plant residues, manure or other agricultural waste products] for the purpose of transforming the biomass carbon into a more stable form (carbon sequestration).,Biochar,stable%20form%20(carbon%20sequestration).

After an area is cleared, native plants and animals will return. The soil is full of life and more productive. It is a healthy cycle that improves the land. A decision can be made to begin planting crops. Other organic methods used on the farm include no till and natural fertilizers from fishermen. Buried underneath the surface, Marissa has used fish meal or chum to charge the soil with life.

Farm Produce and Crops

The meats provided by the farm are organic and the chickens are free range and cage free. Challenges with raising free range chickens include the natural predators they prey on the chickens. Birds of prey, owls, and foxes sometimes are threats to animals. To ward these off the dogs guard the area and Halloween decorations are used to scare off birds.

Free Range Chickens

Pigs are on the farm and raised as well. New born piglets were there when we visited. The pigs are a big task to take care of. The pigs are full of personality and can be curious, dramatic, sometimes even mean. At the right time the pigs are sent off for processing to be made into meats.

Pigs and Piglets on Farm

You can find products from Whippoorwill Farm at the Savannah Farmers Market. Stop by to try a sample of their sausages. Bratwursts are great for grilling. The farm also provides beef and sells steaks. Vegetables vary based on season but include squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, zucchini, beans, and herbs.

Organic Farm

Organic Green and organic crops

Seed Trays

Pigs on farm

Farmer planting crops

Bees Pollinating flowers

Horse on farm

Pig on farm

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