REEDSVILLE, W.Va. — Just over the Preston County Line on the top of a hill, a sign swings in the wind. Across the grassy fields and into the woods, the Rice family has created Pike Mountain Farm, a place where family and farming fit together in a natural rhythm of day-to-day life.
It’s a place where you can get to know your local farmer; touch a pig, walk the grounds and get to know where your food lives before it ever reaches your table or feeds your family. Here, you’ll find farm fresh eggs, different cuts of chicken and pork.
“One thing that sets us apart from a lot of other farms is you can’t drive up to a farm and buy a product from them,” said co-owner Tyler Rice. “They’re going to resell it to someone else who is going to resell it on down the line to a grocery store.”
There are no groceries stores in sight here, not for miles — and you won’t find Pike Mountains products on those shelves, anyway.
“We’re doing pigs that are in the woods and on the pasture, chickens for meat that are out in the field,” Rice said, pointing to a grassy area behind him. “We’re utilizing that field for chickens for eggs.”
Tyler and Tiffany Rice began to grow their dream as they grew their family. When they were pregnant with their first child, they made a decision that changed their lives. Tyler recalls a time when they visited a bookstore, and while Tiffany looked at baby books, Tyler navigated to the farming section. They decided to start a small farmstead; more a lifestyle change for themselves than a market enterprise. Small-scale did not last long.
“12 chickens turned into 20 chickens turned into 1000 chickens,” he laughed.
Their goal was simple: a sustainable, healthy way of life and teaching their children the value and reward of working the earth and connecting the community with good food.
“We want to provide a very high-quality meat that’s very nutrient dense, and we do that by treating the animals with respect and letting the animals express their natural behavior.”
The animals at Pike Mountain Farm are grassfed wanderers, and they only have one bad day. Everything at Pike Mountain is constantly on the move. They don’t have barns, they utilize movable structures like their egg mobile and chicken tractors. The structures are moved to a different part of the property every day or so for feeding and sustainability purposes.
They’re hoping to launch a store this summer and will also take on turkeys for Thanksgiving. They will also be a part of several upcoming workshops. For now, though, their Field to Freezer subscriptions are the biggest hit.
“Pay for your meat at the beginning and we deliver, or you can pick up at one of our pickups in Morgantown.”
The boxes are filled with meat from Pike Mountain and other local, sustainable farms. But if you can’t make those pick-ups, that’s okay too. You can always get to know more about your food and the people producing it . . . down on the farm.
“We have an open invitation for people to come up, visit the farm, see the animals. See what is going to end up on their dinner plate. “