STELLA, M0. -- The Price family in Stella, Mo., has developed a hobby farm with a variety of products.
Paul and Nora Price, along with their daughter, Caitlyn Sullins, and her husband, Devin, have been working toward different goals since 2017. Nora said they bought the property in 2016 and started the garden the next year. Before that, Paul and Nora lived in Bella Vista for 17 years. Nora said she grew up on a farm and was the one who suggested to Paul that they move to the country. Their farm is on 35 acres.
This is the family's first year adding the Farmers Market direct customer sales and custom orders. Caitlyn has been going to the Sims Corner Farmers Market, Neosho Farmers Market and is also starting to attend the Bella Vista Farmers Market.
The family has poultry, including different breeds of chickens, ducks and turkeys -- about 35 birds in all. They are all laying birds, and the family does not butcher their birds. They have nine cows, as well as several others on their property that belong to a neighbor. Nora has alpha gal and cannot eat red meat, so the family does not butcher their cows, either.
"When we have steers we sell them," Nora said.
"Now they're just grazing and keeping the pasture low so we don't have to mow it," Caitlyn said.
They also have a donkey named Buzz, who keeps the coyotes away from the cows and chickens, they said. Paul said Buzz loves Reese's peanut butter cups.
The family recently acquired two hives of Italian bees that will pollinate their garden and fruit trees and provide honey.
Their garden has different varieties of peppers, greens, vegetables, herbs, berries and fresh-cut flowers.
"I really enjoy doing the plants, and I tripled the produce," Caitlyn said.
There is a well on the property, and the family put in five underground waterers for the cows. Paul said they are now set up for rotational grazing. He received a grant from the county to put in the waterers contingent upon the family's continued farming and use of the waterers, he said.
Caitlyn noted that, while the farm is not certified organic, they generally do not use pesticides or insecticides.
"We try to use organic practices," Paul said. "We came out of the pandemic with a renewed confidence that if we can't do things on a big scale, we want to do them well."
Nora said last year she canned tomatoes, pizza sauce, potatoes and apple butter. Her mother helped her with the process. Nora also makes baby burp cloths and weighted lap blankets for the Farmers Markets.
Caitlyn said the farm's eggs are organic and pasture-raised and the chickens never go in cages.
Professionally, Caitlyn is a sales representative for a dance wear company, and Paul is a nurse practitioner for Mercy. Nora works full time at the farm.
"I enjoy being outside," Paul said. "I have a pretty intense workflow during the week. Part of my enjoyment is the drive home, because I know I'm getting closer to the farm."
"I love the peace and quiet of the birds," said Nora. "I enjoy the gardening, too."
"I like growing things and I like seeing people enjoy something I've worked on, like a bouquet of flowers or fresh eggs," Caitlyn said.