Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Natures harmony goes dark

[Update, 22:00 pst:    Tim over at natures harmony is trying hard to erase everything he's said; have no fear, I've archived his entire website and if any of the links here don't work, i'll provide one to a local file that cannot be removed. ]

Background: is the website (and formerly blog and podcast location) for a married couple in Georgia who started a farm in 2008.  They started out big; with lots of animals and lots of ideas, and I think that their blog was one of the better ones. 

  I've written about them over the last several years, part praise, part skepticism; the praise when they wrote about what they were doing, the skepticism when they started writing about stuff they had no experience in. 

Noticed today that Tim and Liz have pulled all of their podcasts and blog and so on off their site after doing their best to pull attention to it.

They've pared their farm down to produce cheese and what appears to be personal-consumption levels; not enough produced to sell, they've let their staff go, and are focusing on another venture, a website called

Farm-dreams is interesting to me.  I'll have to write more about it. 

What's funny about that is that the internet is forever.  Everything that is ever on the internet is archived somewhere.  So I've changed all the links in the natures harmony entries to the archived versions; enjoy. 

You'll find the discussion here


Tom Stewart said...

I use to read the blog! But when they started to view the Farm as more of a money maker and less as a Homestead, I lost intrest! and I got the notice of the start up of "Farm Dreams" via e-mail.
I went on the first day it was up and running. Sent a few pictures and even started a form about "Red Wigglers".
Then I found out that "Dusty" was really LIZ! and that was the last time I visited the site!

Rich said...

I'm trying to figure out why he would get so bent out of shape that he would make that last post and then remove the entire blog and all of the podcasts.

It appears to me that he tried to follow Salatin's model in the beginning (pastured eggs, broilers in pens, rabbits in moveable pens, direct marketing beef and pork, etc.). Then, when Salatin's methods didn't work quite right, he tried to modify the methods to make them work better followed by an abandonment of most of the methods entirely.

I might be wrong, but that's my impression.

It might have served his loyal admirers better if he had written something in depth about what didn't work so they wouldn't try to make an unworkable model work themselves (removing the blog at least stops encouraging people from going down that road to a certain extent).

Saying all that, I wonder if anyone can follow Salatin's methods and have a successful profitable farm? Tim might have simply made the mistake of thinking he could farm like Salatin supposedly does.

Tom Stewart - I might be mistaken but I always got the impression that NHF was trying to be a farm from the very beginning, which means it has to be viewed as a "money maker". Of course, I'm also not entirely clear what a "homestead" is supposed to be.

Jeff Wood said...

Bruce, Nature's Harmony produces great cheese and sells quite a bit locally, so the assumption that it is only at "personal consumption levels" is wrong. Their cheeses are stocked by gourmet, health food and upscale stores, as well as, local food and gourmet restaurants. They also do direct delivery through locally grown networks in the area.

They have evidently found their farming niche' in cheese making. It works for them, and their lifestyle. The local community will support their long term success if they keep producing quality products and I expect they will. They make some damn good cheeses. I can attest to that. I eat it regularly.

Bruce King said...

Hi Jeff. The personal consumption levels I'm talking about are about everything else that they used to produce. They no longer produce chickens, turkeys, rabbits, lamb or pork despite having made a big effort in their first few years, or if they do it's in personal consumption levels -- certainly there's no way to buy any of those products on their website.

I agree with you that they're trying a new niche. If I had a wish, it would be that they had kept up with their blog and talked about the whys and hows of their decision to stop one sort of farming and choose another.

The farm dreams venture is another open question. They're trying very hard to mask their connection to it. I don't think that they did anything worth masking, but their public image is up to them.

Generally Tim and Liz did some interesting stuff 2008-2010. They wrote stuff about me, I wrote stuff about them, we disagree about some husbandry issues. But the farm finance portion of their farm school class was very odd, and it seemed to embarass them to talk about their own farm finance. Figure it's fair game if you open the topic to expect questions on it.

Thanks for your comment, by the way.

Bruce King said...

Rich: Your comment is pretty much my line of thought. I'd like him (Tim) to write about the whole journey, too. Including the end.

Particularly the end.