About the Farm
As farms go, Kildegaard (literally Kilde Farm in Danish) is a little unusual; especially if your mental image of a farm consists of large open rectangular fields with straight row crops, big tractors and lots of other machinery, a barn with silos, several outbuildings and maybe a few trees around a white painted farmhouse. Kildegaard has none of these things, except the trees. In fact, this 77 acre farm has 55 acres of sustainably managed (and gorgeous) mature, mixed hardwood forest which surrounds about 17 acres of meandering and partly wooded pasture. The pasture hasn’t been row cropped or had any chemicals applied to it in forty years, and our steers have ample shade and fresh water in every paddock they graze throughout the growing season. And since this farm is owned, occupied and managed by a family of life-long environmentalists, you will also find large areas of wild prairie habitat, abuzz with bees, butterflies, birds and a dazzling array of wildflowers and other plants. Our small home is built around a salvaged and re-constructed log cabin from the 1800s, and surrounded by the beginnings of a permaculture garden. In the winter we both heat and cook with wood from the farm, and the bulk of the electricity we use is supplied by a solar PV array. The farm has been in our family since my great uncle Jens Jepsen Jensen bought it 100 years ago. We love this place, and visitors are more than welcome.
About the Beef
This year’s steers are of two varieties. We have Angus of an older variety crossed with “Lowlines” developed in Australia also from very old Angus strains to thrive on the open range. They have been 100% grass fed, and hormone and chemical free from birth. The same is true of the Simmentals we have this year; a somewhat larger swiss beef breed. We source our feeder steers from nearby farmers we know, trust, and whose 100% grassfed operations we have visited.
About the Farmers
Peter, the old guy who got this place from the estate of his great uncle, Jens Jepson Jensen, no less, over 40 years ago, has divied up his work between alleviating poverty, environmental education, and farming, usually all at the same time, pretty much his whole life. Raising organic daughters and organic beef have been special interests, along with collecting functional art glass and cast iron cookware, Morris dancing, and the occasional ride on his motorcycle. He likes chickens, and is often mistaken for Santa Claus.
When not walking the fence lines, tripping over chickens, or wrestling with WordPress, Marie Kilde works full time at a daycare while also pursuing a career in music. She doesn’t sleep much. Her hobbies include juggling, messing around with swords, and re-reading battered fantasy novels.
Katherine Kilde is fabulous. She rarely wears shoes, and she plays the cello.