Purposeful. Practical. Preservation.
Why that name?
Barakah Heritage Farm believes in preserving the heritage livestock breeds and heirloom plants whenever possible. These old time-tested genetics are uniquely suited to small farms and local markets. What we look for in a plant: hardy, low maintenance, easy to save seeds or cuttings and propagate. What we look for in livestock: Good mothering ability, parasite resistance, low input (needs little or no supplemental feed), hardy, foraging ability, gentle and easy to handle. Poultry should go broody and successfully raise offspring.
What we have and what we are planning:
These are not heritage. However, these muscovies come from bloodlines selected for foraging ability and large size. These are meat ducks. They are quiet, do not require a pond, roost high, raise several batches of ducklings annually (usually 10+ ducklings per nest) and the adults will eat up to a pound of flies daily – each. The meat is dark, more like roast beef, and lean. These ducks have large claws for tree climbing, and they know how to use them. Between the claws and the large size, they are more resistant to the smaller predators.
We have tried many breeds. Buckeyes are a favorite heritage breed that meet all our requirements. We are finding that they are not as predator-wary as we would like, and hope to replace the existing Buckeyes plus add some Jersey Giants and Transylvanian Naked Necks (Naked Necks have bare necks and heads like turkeys) for their larger size to discourage predators.
We currently raise Fainting Goats, also called Tennessee Goats, Myotonic Goats, or Nervous Goats. Technically this breed is classified as a meat breed. However, the original heritage myotonics were a dual and triple purpose goat. Myotonic milk is very rich, more like half-n-half than milk. Does produce up to a pint daily. Myotonics also excel as a low-input meat goat, with some slaughtering at a 4:1 meat:bone ratio. Myotonics grow more slowly, but that is offset by their low or no input diet, making their per meat pound production cost lower overall. Some myotonics also produce a cashmere. This cashmere is fine but shorter, and must be blended with a longer fiber for spinning. They are a quiet breed, and also less likely to climb or challenge fences as adults.
We also inherited a Nubian, Catherine. Catherine is not a heritage breed. She however has become part of the family, and we hope will contribute milk and kids (crossbred with our myotonic bucks).
We added donkeys (Nefertiti and Josephine) as additional protection for the goats and for possible muscle power or mule production in the future.
|Teacher horses for conscious horsemanship lessons||Rare Arabian preservation program|
We are currently planning the layout of the gardens at the new farm. On the design board right now are several fun endeavors.
First, an experimental kitchen garden, featuring an assortment of bed types such as raised beds, Hugelkultur beds and Eden Gardening. Utilizing a variety of beds will allow us to test the best gardening approach for this new farm.
Also planned is a cut flower garden, to attract bees and hummingbirds and also provide a new souvenir option for our guests.
Most importantly, we are planning a new fence to protect both from our fainting goat herd.
Finally, we are planning a mowed-grass labyrinth large enough to walk or enjoy with the horses. Here is a simple page showing how to create your own grass labyrinth. Our labyrinth will be less complex with much wider paths and turns, and a bigger center to accommodate a standing horse.
Stay tuned for diagrams and photos.