Natasha Bowens began her blog Brown.Girl.Farming. in the summer of 2010 to document her trip working on urban farms in New York City, Detroit, Chicago and Washington D.C. In 2012, The Color of Food became a Farm Credit National Contributions Partner. Bowens is currently in the process of creating The Color of Food photo documentary book. Below is an excerpt from one of her recent farm visits.
Recently I found myself on a beautiful 94 acres of land, tucked into the wooded hills of Gordonsville, Virginia. This land has been nurtured and stewarded by Renard and Chinette Turner, as well as a large herd of goats, for the last 11 years.
Vanguard Ranch raises Myotonic goats for meat. They sell curried goat, goat kabobs and goat burgers to their larger community by traveling to festivals and fairs in their mobile kitchen, while also marketing to local food stores. (Goat is the most commonly consumed red meat in the world!) They also grow a variety of vegetables which are sold to the Local Food Hub in Charlottesville, VA, because as Renard says ”You’ve got to have more than one avenue of income stream.”
My time on Vanguard Ranch was spent keeping up with the fast-moving Renard during his busy days of tending to the land, spring seeding, tending to the goats and the fencing that keeps the goats in. Renard and Chinette were a family passionate about self-sufficiency, having moved from Washington D.C. to Virginia in the 1970′s with a desire to be fully independent and sustainable on their own land.