- Last Updated on 08:07 AM 06/26/13
- BY Special to the Gazette
Bill and Cherie Guerrant of White Flint Farm want you to get closer to your food — at least close enough to know where it comes from and the day it was harvested.
The Guerrants, advocates of sustainable living and supporters of the local food movement, will be guest speakers at the Southern Virginia Meat Goat Assocation’s meeting to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Halifax County Agricultural Marketing Center on Farm Way Lane in Halifax.
Bill and Cherie live on a farm in Keeling that has been in Bill’s family since 1879. Today its 183 acres are farmed to ensure the land and the environment around it are preserved for future generations.
Since moving from Tampa, Florida to the farm in 2003, the couple has been diligently working to “reverse” land damage resulting from decades of conventional farming practices.
Cherie, who originally started the couple on their quest for an organic, sustainable lifestyle, operated the farm for several years before Bill retired from practicing law in 2011 and joined her on a full-time basis.
The Guerrants are not only good stewards of their farm, but they also are interested in helping improve the health and wellness of their community.
They offer “shares” through their “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) program that provides a partnership between farmers and families to share in the output of a farm’s produce during the growing season. The Guerrants currently have Boar goats, horses, pigs, chickens, fruit trees and vegetable gardens.
“We raise our produce naturally and organically,” said Bill, explaining that they do not use pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. “Our farm fresh eggs are from free-ranging hens, raised naturally and humanely. Our eggs have the firm, orange yolks that distinguish natural eggs from those produced by commercial egg factories.”
Pigs on the Guerrant’s farm also live in a natural environment and are never given hormones or prophylactic antibiotics. As a result, said the couple, their pigs are healthier and tastier than those pigs raised in a commercial environment.
“They play, wallow in the mud, eat grass, nuts and leftovers from the gardens and enjoy their lives.”
At Thursday’s SVMGA meeting, Bill and Cherie will explain that all their animals are raised in a natural environment, including the Boer goat herd that lives peacefully in their pastures.
They will talk about how they are using a multi-year rotation plan on the farm, with cover crops and frequent rests from plantings.
“By rotating our crops this way, we are better able to preserve and maintain soil quality, produce the most nutritious, best-tasting foods and avoid the use of any chemicals.”
For neighbors who purchase food via the Guerrant’s CSA shares or those who buy fresh produce at the couple’s own Farmer’s Market housed in a historic home on the property, it means customers will find food that is likely to much fresher than anything in the supermarket and that tastes better and is more nutritious. They may even discover some new vegetables they’ve not tried before. But the best benefit is that they will see where their food is grown, and if they are lucky, the can meet the farmers who provide it.
For more information about SVMGA, contact Leah Brown, Halifax County agriculture director, at 434-476-3066 or go to www.svmga.org.