Kirsten Lie-Nielsen and Patrick Jackson moved to this 93 acre rural farm in 2016, when it was overgrown and abandoned. Since then the two of them have rebuilt the farm to house their livestock, added plumbing and electricity to the renovated home, and cultivated gardens and orchards on the property. From outdoor showers in January and growing thriving vegetables to creating the perfect chicken coop and using pigs to clear land, they are dedicated not only to restoring this farm but also to sharing their experiences for those interested in a similar lifestyle.
At Hostile Valley Farm goats, geese, pigs, sheep, guinea fowl, and more work together to manage pests and help the land flourish. The animals are also used for eggs, milk, and fleece, but their primary purpose is to help regenerate the land. Vegetable gardens and orchards are growing, and the farm is able to produce all the food it needs to survive harsh Maine winters.
Kirsten Lie-Nielsen is also a writer and author of the books The Modern Homesteader’s Guide to Keeping Geese and So You Want to Be a Modern Homesteader. She is available for speaking and educational events or interviews regarding either title and the farm’s continuing journey.
The farmers can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the farm is not open to the public at this time.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats
The first livestock to Hostile Valley Farm were the goats, a small herd which has steadily expanded over the years. Made up of mostly Nigerian Dwarf Goats, the herd is used for milk and to help manage overgrowth and brush. The goats can work along rough terrain such as stone walls and eat things other animals would not, like poison ivy and brambles. Goat kids are occasionally available in Springtime.
The original inspiration for farm living, the goose flock is over twenty strong and made up of various breeds. Geese help to keep grass clipped and lay delicious seasonal eggs. They also serve as guards and alarms for the other animals and the property. Sebastopol goslings and hatching eggs may occasionally be available, and goose eggs are available from February through June.
Saffron & Nutmeg are heritage breed Tamworth pigs who work to clear land that had previous been aggressively logged. With their endless appetites for roots, bark, and grubs, the pigs are efficient excavators and leave behind rich fertilizer to help turn this messy area in to fields. Tamworth pigs are hardy and active foragers, making them perfect for overwintering in Maine and helping to clear land.
Guinea fowl are an important part of the farm eco-system, and patrol far and wide consuming ticks, which are a major problem in Maine. A small flock of ducks provides eggs and eats pests bugs such as a slugs, and chickens also help to keep the farm in a steady supply of eggs. Chicken and duck eggs are occasionally available for purchase.
Babydoll Southdown Sheep
A pair of Babydoll Southdown Sheep, Caesar and Nero, joined the farm in Summer 2020. These small, adorable sheep consume grass and clover only, making them perfect for mowing in between the apple trees of newly forming orchards. Looking forward to expanding the herd, we hope to occasionally offer lambs for sale.