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[EATYALL PODCAST #64:] A 6th Generation Family Farm

Mar 30, 2022 |

Ep64_YouTube

Bales Farm has been in the family for six generations and counting. Owned and operated by accomplished bass player and songwriter Barry Bales, his amazing wife Aliceson, and their son Marshall,  the tight-knit family farm sells grass-fed, grass-finished beef, pastured pork, pastured poultry and plenteous free-range eggs. They have been selling direct-to-consumer for a decade through farmer’s markets and shipping, but especially post-covid.

This episode touches on simple, sustainable home cooking, pivoting sales strategies during covid shut-downs, and even contains a bit of impromptu lyric rhyming. We know you’ll feel instantly welcomed onto their East Tennessee porch just like we did. 

Hearing about a small farm in the Smoky Mountains that knows their customers by name is healing to our souls, and we love the Bales’ goal of excellence as a small farm providing healthy, local meat to their neighbors.

Processing Challenges

Bales Farm found themselves facing some sudden hurdles in 2020, and their agile shift in focus to more direct sales, along with their incredible work ethic, got them through. Now in 2022, Andy and Barry discuss the unmet demand for meat processors and how it’s affecting many small farmers. (You know it’s bad when appointments with processors are getting re-sold on Craigslist).

Despite the setbacks, which included a canceled music tour, Barry and Aliceson are grateful for a spacious place to thrive as a family even during the pandemic. They transitioned the business from selling about 75% of their product to chefs, restaurants and grocery stores, to now almost exclusively retail, which has taught them new methods and strategies.

Timeless and Savory Recipes 

Aliceson’s blogs and recipes caught on like wildfire with friends and fans alike, and eventually led to a really well-made recipe book. Just like them, the recipes are all savvy, wholesome, down to earth and excellent. Aliceson found a way to explain southern-style classics in a way that even new food creators can access, combining common ingredients with generational wisdom.

Family Dynamics

Tackling things like pushing cattle as a family and running a farm as a married couple is not for the faint of heart. Barry and Aliceson share honestly about how they grew into the well-oiled machine that they obviously are now, and how it wasn’t without some stressful moments. 

 

Today’s Guests 

Barry and Aliceson Bales - www.balesfarmstn.com

The Owners of Bales Farms are stewarding land that has been in the family since 1882; their son Marshall is the 6th generation to live and farm there. They employ regenerative agriculture and boast healthy animals on healthy soil.

 

Connect With Our Guests

Barry Bales

www.balesfarmstn.com

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/balesfarms

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BalesFarmsTN

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