“As a toddler, my grandmother had a small farm with chickens and numerous different animals, which positively sparked an curiosity in self sustainability,” says Katie Jaun, who runs the poultry-focussed Juan Passion Farm in Saint Bernard, Louisiana. “I’d get so excited to gather the eggs for breakfast and feed the chickens our scraps.”
After being uncovered to a life crammed with animals at an early age, Juan graduated to volunteering at native shelters. Later, she discovered a vocation in veterinary drugs, then based Juan Passion Farm.
“I’ve all the time been an animal lover. And for so long as I can keep in mind I’ve been surrounded by, and cared for, a wide range of totally different animals,” says Juan.
We spoke to Juan about dwelling with poultry and farming by way of hurricanes. We additionally put the highlight on a rooster named Versace.
“The largest problem we’ve overcome with yard farming must be the power of Mom Nature,” says Juan. “Residing in southern Louisiana, we’ve been by way of two main hurricanes, which introduced with them fairly gnarly winds and heavy rains.”
In 2020, Hurricane Zeta handed by way of. The storm “crumpled the hen run together with her heavy winds and knocked down a big portion of our fence, which was lower than ideally suited as a result of we had simply added our pig, Joel, to the farm.”
Zeta was adopted by Hurricane Ida the identical 12 months. Juan, fortunately, was in a position to efficiently evacuate the farm’s resident birds and keep away from shedding any animals.
“We needed to do some fairly intensive clear up across the enclosures. And we needed to repair downed fences, wires, roofing and normal damages across the property,” Juan says. “We’re nonetheless within the strategy of fixing the damages to our home.”
Chickens Deliver Solace
Every hen on Juan Passion Farm is understood by title. “There are moments when it will get demanding and even heartbreaking having so many livestock to take care of. However it’s simply as rewarding,” says Juan.
“I’ve positively stood in the course of our yard surrounded by 40-plus poultry and a potbellied pig considering to myself, ‘How did it come to this!’ or ‘What have I achieved?!’”
Balancing out the moments of stress, Juan says the farm has additionally reworked into “my place of solace on a foul day, companionship on a lonely day and laughs on days once I might barely muster up the braveness to smile. I’d not have it some other approach.”
When Versace Met Forrest
Versace is one in all two roosters on Juan Passion Farm. “He’s so lovely with a few of his feathers like velvet. And he likes to name consideration to himself,” says Juan. “He is a superb protector of the flock, however nonetheless will get chased across the yard by our male duck named Forrest. He has by no means been aggressive towards any individual. It will be a travesty to not have him round.”
Rising into Gardening
Past the poultry at Juan Passion Farm, Juan says that gardening is turning into an rising focus.
“In backyard Zone 9a, we’ve a wide range of choices 12 months spherical. So I began with hardy herbs, cucumbers and peppers that I knew would take off. However this fall I attempted my hand at some cruciferous veggies that I had by no means grown like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower together with kale and lettuce.”
Juan provides that the lettuce and kale is earmarked to feed the farm’s rabbits and poultry. “Our Pekin duck named Clementine is obsessive about contemporary kale out of the backyard.”
Cooking with Cauliflower
Final 12 months, Juan Passion Farm efficiently grew cauliflower, despite the fact that Juan had doubts about how bountiful the crop could be. In the case of using the cruciferous globes, Juan recommends roasting them at 400 levels for round 40 minutes lined with soy sauce and seasonings.
“We then minimize it into vertical parts, nearly like cuts of steak,” says Juan.
Each day Presents because the Backyard Grows
“In addition to the large quantity of eggs the women reward us with day by day, probably the most rewarding half about working this farm is the love that my spouse, Rebecca, and I share by preserving everybody pleased and wholesome,” says Juan, reflecting on the fun of the farm. “Simply with the ability to sit again and watch the animals and backyard proceed to develop and be pleased is value all of the work and errors we’ve discovered alongside the way in which.”
Observe Juan Passion Farm on Instagram.