Who we are?
Hill and Hollow farm is tucked in the wooded hills of south central Kentucky, surrounded in fact by trees on three sides with a view to the north. The farms fields are low in the landscape, shaped and bounded by the flat rock creek and its branches. Cedar trees have replaced many acres of what was originally cleared and planted by the pioneers who built the barn and outbuildings that we now use. The farm was long since abandoned by farmers and successive owners were interested logging, woodworking and hunting, leaving the fields we inherited simply overgrown, rather than ravaged by constant crops of tobacco and the accompanying application of chemicals.
We are now in our eighth year of working these fields and beginning to catch on to the rhythms of the climate and landscape. Being in a hollow we get less sun than the ridges and so it takes forever to ripen a tomato here, but we often have lettuce in august. As much as we miss the sun in winter, it is a relief when the ridge blocks the burning rays of summer in the late afternoon, allowing us several shaded work hours before dark. Our fields are human scaled with rows of two hundred feet or less, making all tasks able to be preformed effectively by hand. This is dictated mostly by the shapes that water has carved our farm into, and partly by our strategy of not over-capitalizing. Happily for us, after 4 years of working exclusively by hand we bought a tractor in 2002 when it became financially realistic. Now, the sheer backbreaking level of work has been removed and the farm is maintained simply by consistent hard work. Work done by hand is our primary interest, and is most enjoyable, because anyone can participate.
We employ methods of intensive gardening, interplanting, mulching, drip tape irrigation, and terrace gardens along side traditional row run crops to produce an array of vegetables may through October. Things are laid out with beauty in mind, with lots flowers and various ornamental and grain crops being trailed as new farm products.
Hill and Hollow has grown now to include the 2 adjacent homesteads to the west all surrounding the Flat Rock Creek. The total acreage has grown to nearly 150, including 120 acres of woodland and 30 open acres of long since neglected pasture land. Since expanding in 2004, we have slowly introduced more livestock to help fertilize and managed the grass land. Currently, a flock of Jacob’s sheep, heritage breed turkeys, a Jersey milk cow and her calf and a variety of chickens in chicken tractors roam and peck and spread fertility on our farm.