Sustainable living for the Ray family is more than just a practice it is an integral part of their faith and beliefs. It is a way of life they have chosen and take pleasure in sharing it with others. This following sentence in their own words sums up the reason behind their sustainable living choices. “We take the charge very seriously God gave us to have dominion over and provide for all creation.” Creation and natural resources are a gift from God and should be treated at such. It is the simple everyday choices that add up and make an impact. It is one thing to say something and another thing to do it. Sustainable living is a continual process and we will never master it, but if we make a conscious effort towards it, we will see results.
The Old Thyme Farm Market is a source of income for the Ray Family Farm. They also have a well established online store. http://www.rayfamilyfarms.com/shop/ They are well stocked with beef and the cows graze a pasture that once was occupied with row crop tobacco. They have a long list of products available. Their meat selection include chicken, turkey (thanksgiving is around the corner!), free-range eggs, hogs, and even lamb. They go quick so check out their online selection as soon as you can! Their selection isn’t limited to just meat. My salivary glands began kicking in after seeing Jodi’s Key Lime Pie and a Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie. Note – The bourbon is only for flavor and they made sure in the description that that was clarified.
Wildflowers are an important addition to the farm. What sustainable farm is complete without an array of flowers? Flowers are attractors of beneficial insects, bees, and of course butterflies. The Ray family knows the power of flowers and has dedicated 20 acres to native switch grass and wildflowers for wildlife.
Free-range chickens add character to the farm as you will notice below! The two males were having an one-on-one combat. They must have been determining who would be the new chief in the pecking order at “The Chicken Inn.”
These cows were deemed the “Oreo Cows” because of their color patterns. They have black on each side with the cream in the middle. They are a heritage breed and their actual breed name is the Belted Galloways. They were very calm and used to attention. They even gave me reason to believe they enjoyed the extra attention.
The hogs are part of the farm as well. Mama hog was busy while the rest of the bunch (picture below) were outside taking a snooze and just being plain lazy! I guess that is just what hogs like to do.
The farm’s number one goal is to educate family’s on sustainable farming. They do this through tours for families. Their a living example of what can be accomplished through family team work and provision from the Lord. The verse they try to live by is Proverbs 3: 28 – 29.
Do not say to your neighbor, Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, When you have it with you.