This is Moores Pond Farm

Welcome to Moores Pond Guest House and Gate House!!

Enjoy views of Moores Pond and Little Pisgah Mountain from these 2 bedroom/one bath Guest Houses. Recently remodeled, your vacation retreat has a fully equipped kitchen with tile floor and wood floor in the living area, air-conditioning/heat, and a wood-burning fireplace in the Guest House (#39), no fireplace in the Gate House (#7). Amenities include WiFi, Netflix, Pandora, satellite (39) and cable TV, AM/FM, CD, DVD, gas outdoor grill, outdoor furniture. A two+ acre pond is ready for canoeing, sitting and enjoying watching herons and a variety of birds, or feeding the resident Mallards. There are miles of hiking trails in the woods on this 50-acre property, from moderate to strenuous. An additional highlight is that this is a small working farm, with various crops growing in season and a small French Alpine dairy goat herd. Our six does are due to kid in late March through early May . Here is a link to You Tube if you would like to see some previous baby kids in action. goats names are Honus, Heidi (the Mom), Raven (The black baby), Tristen (the Gray baby) and Starling.

We love dogs! Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the farm, and may run on the trails unleashed. Since dogs can frighten goats, they must be on leash in the pasture. Dog bowls, a medium dog bed, and treats are provided. Crates are available on request.

You may bring a maximum of two dogs. Our pet fee is by the pound, with a maximum fee of $75 for one dog and $100 for two. 

Located in Fairview, only 11 miles southeast of downtown Asheville (6 miles from Asheville city limits) and 6 miles from I-40 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, this private residence is in the country, yet very convenient to the many attractions of the area, including the Biltmore Estate, Lake Lure, Chimney Rock, and (of course) the mountains with their spectacular views, waterfalls, and tourist attractions. Every season has its gifts, from summer festivals and craft fairs to fall color, winter holidays at the Biltmore House, and spring blossoms. 

  VRBO - vacation rentals by owner - listing #252603

Vacation Rental By Owner Listing (Click on VRBO)

VRBO Property #457873

Directions to Moores Pond Vacation Rentals:

From Asheville at I-40 take the 53A exit heading SE toward Fairview (sign reads Blue Ridge Parkway and Bat Cave), go approximately 4.0 miles, turn left on to OLD FORT ROAD (landmark: “Windsong” will be on the right), go approximately 1.8 miles, turn left on to BALLARD CREEK ROAD (landmark: Miller Road comes into Old Fort Rd. from the right about 100 feet before Ballard Creek Rd), go approximately 1/4 mile turn left on to MOORES POND ROAD and go to the end of the road 1/4 mile…Office and check-in is located at 40 Moores Pond Rd.  The Asheville Airport (AVL) is approximately 20 minutes away (about 12 miles).

VRBO #457873

Chuck Campbell and Sarah York at 1-828-712-2753 or email,  40 Moores Pond Rd., Fairview, NC (Asheville area) 28730-9578 USA


Cottages For Rent

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“Becoming a Real Farm”

March 2012   “Becoming a Real Farm”

We call ourselves a small farm.  Indeed, we are small, and indeed we are a farm…a real farm, where we raise French Alpine dairy goats. But we didn’t start out as a real farm. For several years we were really a toy farm…you know, growing some hay and giving most of it away to the person who cut it. That brought in an income of a few hundred dollars. Then we expanded our organic garden to include blackberries for sale. That added about another eighty dollars to the farm till. To be real, however, we had to make $1,000 a year. That’s what the county tax department told us when we looked into using our agricultural status to lower our property taxes by a few thousand dollars.

You’d think it would be easy to make $1,000 in a whole year. We thought so, anyway. Produce? Hay? Eggs? Chickens?   Hmmm…chickens. A lot of farms were selling eggs, including our next door neighbors, but hardly anyone was selling fresh local chickens, so I signed up for a workshop at the Organic Growers School to learn what might be involved. About the same time we started finding feather-clumps and dead chicken parts in the garden. On one occasion, we caught the culprit–another neighbor’s dog—trotting through the tomato patch with his prey hanging from his jowls. On more than one occasion, our neighbor went out to his chicken house and found 30-40 of his hens dead or mutilated.

So we were already starting to chicken out (sorry, couldn’t resist that one) when I took the workshop, which was very worthwhile. By the time I had seen the play-by-play photo demonstration of how to “process” a chicken, I was entirely disabused of any notions about getting into the fresh local poultry market.

I was thinking about putting in another row of blackberries, a few rows of raspberries, and a row or two of blueberries when my husband Chuck told me that Phil, our neighbor with the chickens, wanted to go together with us on the purchase of four calves. Phil would neuter them, and keep them for a few months, and then they would come to graze in our pasture, which was much larger than his.We would own two apiece. It sounded like a wonderful arrangement. You don’t even have to have a barn for cattle. After a year or so, Phil would load them up in his trailer and return with a nice big check.

It didn’t exactly work out according to the plan. My next post will tell the story of our short-lived career as cattle farmers.

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“Midwife to a Miracle…with a little help from my friends”

“Midwife to a Miracle…with a little help from my friends”

You’d think I was having the babies myself for all the anticipation and anxiety I spent in the days leading up to the birthings. For several days, I camped out near the barn with a baby monitor to alert me if a goat started into labor in the middle of the night. After three years of this routine, I no longer went running to the barn at the slightest sound, only to find that a ruminating goat, her munching amplified by a little speaker, was not panting, but rather just doing what goats do at all hours of the day and night…eating.

So two does were due last week—Star and Itsy. Star, a first-timer, went into labor about 11:30 a.m. on Monday—one day after her due date—and delivered triplets after about four hours of contractions. Chuck and I were there to assist, but she didn’t really need us. All three babies came normally, with their heads resting on both front hooves. Plop, plop, plop. She knew it was her job to lick her babies clean, and she knew it was her job to feed them. She was tired, of course, but she got right to work. Whew!

The following day we were keeping close watch on Itsy, since she was two days late. Around 10:00 a.m., she had not gone into labor, but was pawing straw into a nest and her udder was quite full and ready for customers.  We were out of grain, so Chuck decided to make a quick trip to Tractor Supply.  Star, after all, had taken four hours. Twenty minutes later, Itsy went into hard labor, and there I was with her by myself. I called neighbors to come, in case I needed help, and called Chuck, who was at the check-out with the grain. Meanwhile, Itsy was grunting and pushing.  I was confident I could manage alone…until I noticed that the first baby was in the wrong position. I tried to push him back in to pull his left leg forward.  His head was all the way out, though. I put on surgical gloves and “went in” to move the leg. Chuck had done this last year, and it was no big deal.

I couldn’t do it. About that time, my neighbors, Jerry and Jane, arrived. Jerry put on the gloves and gave it a try as Itsy contracted.  When Chuck arrived, observing our incompetent midwifery, he put on gloves and took his turn. Nothing. Itsy was exhausted, and just lay there. No contractions, no pushing. I gave her a dose of Nutri-drench, a goopy energy drink for goats, and she responded with a good strong contraction that released a wet little creature into earth-living. We were still cleaning him up when she went into labor again. Out popped another head with another missing hoof.  Again, there was no getting it in position; she would have to push the baby out on her own. But she stopped having contractions and just walked around the stall with the baby’s head hanging out of her for about 10 minutes. I called another goat farmer, and he said we had to get the baby out soon or Itsy would die. Jane had smaller hands, so she donned the last pair of gloves and reached in. Itsy responded to this invasion with a strong contraction, which freed her of both Jane’s hands and another buck.

Itsy showed no interest in cleaning or feeding her babies.  We called another goat friend, who said to tie her up and make her stand for them. We tried that for about three hours, before we called a third goat friend, who said the babies had to eat. So we milked her and bottle fed the babies. Later we tried again, but Itsy only butted and bit the boys if they came near her. Then they quit trying. That’s when I went from being midwife to being mommy.

All the kids are fine (and adorable, of course). I am still recovering. You’d think I was the one who had those babies, for all the energy that it drained from my body.

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“Our Brief Career as Cattle Farmers”

April 2, 2012   “Our Brief Career as Cattle Farmers”

We had about four acres of vacant pasture when Phil, a neighbor, suggested that we go in together on four baby steers he could buy from the Happy Cow Dairy for $100 each. He would take them for the first couple of months, since it was mid-winter, and he could give them shelter in his barn. He also had the know-how required to handle things like getting them neutered. Then in early spring we would take them in our pasture. We would split the cost of hay come winter. In a year or so, they would all go off to the market in Phil’s horse trailer and we would make a few thousand dollars. It seemed like a fine deal.

Chuck named the calves Hamburger, Roast Beef, Lunch and Dinner. I called them the Cow-boys, since they were boy cows. Before long, we both just called them Houdini 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The first time we discovered the calves missing was early one morning, when I walked the dog.  The cute little guys hadn’t gone far, and we easily lured them back in with some sweet feed. Chuck mended the fence without difficulty. We smiled at their cleverness. The second time–or was it the third or the fourth or maybe the tenth?—they strayed across the road, where several small houses are rented to young families. It was early evening, and everyone seemed to be home. The hunt was on. Our boys had been spotted crossing someone’s lawn, headed east. Someone else had seen them farther south. Like a posse dividing up to head off an outlaw at the pass, we spread out and moved in several directions. When we finally found the boys, it was a spirited gathering of neighbors that joined in the round-up. You might have thought someone was having a party as we reveled in our community success. Expressing our gratitude, we introduced ourselves to the young men and women who had helped us and gave them our phone number…just in case, you know, this might happen again.

By mid-January, when we started out in our motor home for a few weeks in Florida State Parks, we had managed to go for about three months without a single escape. By then, Phil had decided to sell his two and we had acquired a stunning young Santa Gertrudis bull that we named Ferdinand. Our trio seemed quite content to stay within their boundaries.

For a brief time while we were in Florida we did not have cell phone service. When we got back into the land of four bars we had messages from several neighbors… beginning with Billy, the neighbor who had been called home from work because there were three cow-boys in his front yard.  We called Phil, and he and Billy herded our trio along Old Fort Road (a busy country road with a 45 mph speed limit) and back into a more secure section of our pasture.

The following day the cow-boys were right back in Billy’s yard. Again, Billy and Phil herded them home. What happened next is a mystery. Apparently one of the Houdinis got out again, crossed Old Fort Road, and jumped the fence into Tom Miller’s pasture. We had never met Tom, even though he lived less than a mile from us, but we were about to become acquainted. A couple of neighbors tried to catch our solitary escapee, without success. Within a day, the second Houdini and Ferdinand found their way into Tom’s pasture as well. At that point, we made plans to cut our vacation short and return home. Meanwhile, Tom agreed to let us leave our boys with his herd until we got back.

Before we could get our fences mended and retrieve our animals, Tom was awakened at 3:00 A.M. by a sheriff’s deputy, scolding him for having his cows out on Old Fort Road.  They were not, of course, Tom’s cows, but our boys, at it again. Tom, still recovering from knee surgery, went out to repair his fence.

We were feeling pretty awful when we went over to Tom’s house the next morning with our paltry offering of Florida oranges and my special blackberry jam, and actually met him face to face for the first time. We would, of course, compensate him for hay, but nothing would make up for the aggravation of his having to hobble out on his cane to herd cow-boys and mend a fence by moonlight.

Tom was incredibly gracious. He must have been annoyed, but he was nothing but kind to us. He wouldn’t even let us pay for the hay. “Just let them stay here until you have the fences mended,” he said.  A few days later—with cheers from kids on a school bus, we finally brought our boys home—although not before they had gone through a few more fences, crossed a creek, and fertilized a few more neighbors’ lawns.

The next day, we sold the Cow-boys for $600 and 20 pounds of grass-fed beef. Our plan was to keep Ferdinand, and find him a heifer or two. We had invested way too much money in fencing to give up just yet.

Ferdinand, however, had learned the ropes from the Houdinis. He was lonely, and he knew where he would find company. “I am going to the stockyard on Thursday,” Tom said. I can take your bull down then.”  Thank you, we said, reluctantly accepting defeat.

Why is it, we still wonder, that we drive by farm after farm where cattle are contained by a strand or two of electric wire, yet 8,000 volts and five strands of wire did not faze our boys?  It doesn’t seem fair that Tom could manage a herd of twenty with a single hot wire, but his fence was not adequate for our cattle. Should we try again, we wondered, looking at ten acres of unused pasture stretched out like a big green ocean. Then we thought about the Sheriff awakening Tom at 3:00 a.m. “Hay,” I said. “Let’s get someone to cut and bale hay.”

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