Adapting Agriculture, Pt. 1

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Pigs, chickens, and cows are all raised by Steve Montgomery and his family at Lamppost Farm in Columbiana, all named after a scene in the “Chronicles of Narnia.”

“It’s the entry point to the new world, that’s what we want the farm to represent is an entry point into a new way of thinking about life,” said Montgomery. “About living together or living in relationship to other things and the Lord.”

The faith-based non-profit operation sticks to the basics with each animal contributing to the overall good of the farm. Even the insects have work to do.

“Scratch up the manure and following behind so it spreads the fertilizer. They’re eating the insect larvae and everything that’s in the manure,” said Montgomery. “In the end, the goal is that they’re leaving the pasture better than when they first came.”

Among all the other animals on the farm, there is a chicken coup that is home to 125 egg-producing chickens. The eggs are sold to area businesses and residents.

Steve’s wife Melanie Montgomery embraces her husband’s efforts to care for the land and animals with God in mind.

“What I love about it is the integration of everything. Everything he puts his hands to he has a reason behind it,” said Melanie Montgomery.

The self-taught farmers also encourage their children to pitch in.

“They’re seeing, just like we have a diversity of animals, they participate in a diversity of kind of life here,” said Montgomery.

The children welcome the time with their dad. After school, Drew Montgomery helps with work on the cabin and milks the cow, sister Amelia Montgomery helps her mom in the garden. The kids say they enjoy growing vegetables and working the farm to help produce food for the family. The Montgomery’s call it a celebration of “good ordinary food.”

“Eggs from our chicken, milk from our hand-milked cow, beef from our cows, pork, bacon and sausage from our pigs,” said Montgomery.

The Montgomery’s have even taken their mission to live off the land a step further by installing solar panels on their property.

“It’s another example of how we’re in relationship to the world around us,” said Montgomery. “The sun provides energy that can supplement our electrical use. We’ll have about 50 percent of electricity covered by what we’re doing here.”

The family shares their mentality with others by allowing the community to visit the farm for a hands-on educational experience.

“I don’t know that there’s a better adventure that’s been written for us,” said Melanie Montgomery.

For more information on Lamppost Farm, click here.

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