Maggie Keith’s family literally returned Foxhollow Farm to its roots in 2006. In the years since, that earth-nourishing move has sprouted a modern-day farm store, folk school and local food community.
The newest generations to manage the 1,300-acre farm outside of Louisville, Ky., wanted to return the soil to what half a century of three-crop rotation farming had depleted. Inspired by the work of biodynamic leader Rudolf Steiner, the family decided to return the land to the cows (the farm last housed a dairy in the 1930s). The decision proved fruitful as they got 30 pregnant cows and a new business was born.
Keith, then a business student, further explored possibilities by writing a business plan for a grass-fed beef farm, a concept ahead of its time in the horse-ranch dominated Kentucky countryside. She returned home in 2007, the family slaughtered its first animal, and Keith took to selling fresh beef out of the trunk of her car.
Quickly Foxhollow Farm’s grass-fed beef and farm-grown vegetables business found its home in a barn-turned-farm-store-and-café that stocks local lamb, chicken, eggs and milk, along with Foxhollow canned foods and other artisanal “Kentucky Proud” items. Further cultivating the community that grew around the food, Foxhollow Folk School launched last year with sold-out classes in felting and canning. The school now features local experts teaching classes on raising a pig, beekeeping, mushroom growing, organic gardening, gelato making, nature appreciation and more.
As Foxhollow Farms looks to the future, it will continue to turn to ancient wisdom. Keith hopes to build on the café and grow more of its ingredients on the farm. But up next, to heal the land of a weed issue, sheep will become the newest members of the Foxhollow flock.
This report includes excerpts from the New Hope Natural Media report: NEXT: The Natural Products Industry Forecast 2013 and reporting from Natural Foods Merchandiser staff Kelsey Blackwell, Susan Enfield, Christine Kapperman, Carlotta Mast and Jessica Rubino. To learn more or order a copy of NEXT, go to nextforecast.com