Finding a Path to the Future Through Understanding the Past
R K McFarmland is a small family farm in North Texas. We are owned and operated by Kelly McFarland, a left-handed Latina familiar with being an outsider on the inside, and Rich McFarland, a quiet, shaggy headed man with a heart of gold. We have been farming since 2017 and see the world of farming with clear, curious eyes. We believe in the "each one teach one" approach to life and seek to teach as we learn, to help find a way forward.
We believe there will be no sustainable future in food without food justice becoming a central part of our battle for sustainability. There will not be true environmental sustainability in one community without it existing in all communities. We are all linked in this. We believe food and farming should become linked again. We believe finding solutions in one area can help to change the way a problem looks elsewhere. We believe community driven solutions are what will pave the way forward.
R K McFarmland is located on eight acres of land that was historically owned, managed, and cared for by the Caddo and Wichita Native American peoples. The land was taken from them through the settlement of colonists and the eventual Treaty of Tehuacana Creek. Once settled as the city of Valley View, the land was used to grow cotton and the topsoil was heavily depleted. Afterwards, the land became a site for a homestead where a gentleman electrician raised small goats and donkeys as his farm livestock. When R K McFarmland was created in 2017, the topsoil was starting to redevelop and the land had laid fallow for some 20 years. Today, we seek to heal this land through learning and using regenerative practices and building toward a closed system of mixed methods that support and enhance the microenvironment.
We came to farming through Kelly's studies in anthropology and food and Rich's wise business sense and keen eye to the future. As an independent food anthropologist, Kelly knows that there is no way forward without understanding where we have been and how we got here. Kelly also works through her research to build and help create solutions within the local food system. R K McFarmland now works not only to produce food, raise livestock, and restore the land, but we also lovingly produce luxury soaps and fine handmade crafts sustainably.
As a business, we do not seek to increase the divide between those in power and those without. We are constantly reevaluating our business model with that in mind, in hopes to grow together as a community.
Welcome to our site. Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or suggestions. We hope you enjoy your visit,
Kelly and Rich McFarland
Becoming a Farming Anthropologist /Researcher Farmer
Adaptation to Succeed
From October 2017 through December 2018, Kelly conducted ethnographic research with local food farmers in North Texas. The North Texas Local Food Farmer's Journal of Best Practices was developed from this research. In this journal, she focuses on the farming methods that local farmers in North Texas have used to grow despite the harsh growing conditions found. She found North Texas farmers use their own systems of Climate Adaptive Ecological Knowledge to be able to continue to grow. Farmers like Sue Newhouse from Aunt Sue's Barn, Jeff Bednar from Profound Microfarms, and Mark Chapin from Chapin Farms are approaching local food and farming in a sustainable and regenerative manner. The adaptations that they are integrating to find success on their farms and their process of developing and using Climate Adaptive Ecological Knowledge are pathways to developing sustainable solutions.
The journal is currently free to access online. If you would like your own FREE copy, please contact us.