In August of 2015 we opened our first retail shopping location in Gatlinburg, TN in the Arts & Crafts Community at 170 Glades Road; in the first complex as you begin the 8 mile loop of over 100 artists, crafters, restaurants & lodging.
We began farming the land in 1996 raising American Saddlebred horses and showing throughout the Southeast region. Over the years our interests have grown and we have turned our attention to living more off the land, preserving heritage & rare breed chickens, enjoying dairy goats and their bounty, raising Icelandic sheep, and working with honeybees to maintain and grow the honeybee colonies in our area.
Nelson Farms, TN is plural for a reason – our farm is actually two separate farms. The original farm was established on the Cumberland Plateau in the late 1800’s. Over the years, the land changed hands from one family member to another, and in 2013 our family took over the farming decisions.
At that time we decided to change from a traditional beef cattle/horse breeding/hay raising farm and worked to establish a small ruminant, and heritage/rare breed chicken farm. We originally purchased our first dairy goat does as grade Nubian/Alpine crosses and have since added ADGA Alpine’s and ADGA Nubian’s into our milking program. We currently use the milk for family use, as well as transforming the bounty into delicious bath and body soaps, lotions, and other products.
After many years of helping his dad with the honeybees, Jamie took over the apiary into our farm plan. We currently have less than 20 hives, but are constantly working with the bees and growing our apiary. We usually harvest the first honey in late June, early July – just before the Sourwoods bloom. Later in the summer, we have a lighter second harvest where we obtain the wonderful Sourwood honey from the local Sourwood trees.
In December 2014 (for Christmas as a matter of fact), I asked for triple purpose sheep (triple purpose meaning they were suitable for wool, milk & meat). I must have made the Good List, as there were two bred ewes standing in my barn on Christmas morning! Since December, the sheep flock has grown to 7 ewes and 1 ram. What a wonderful learning experience the sheep have been! We are so excited to see what is in store for us with these amazing animals.
In May 2014 we also acquired the only flock of Norfolk Grey chickens in the United States. Two roosters and two hens – from unrelated bloodlines, began the foundation breeding stock for the breed here in the United States. We currently have a very small flock established that we are working to improve and will release hatching eggs in the future when we feel comfortable with our numbers and with the quality of the breed.
Our desire and prayer is that somehow we can share this wonderful life that God has given us with others! God bless you!
Jamie, Amy & Nate Nelson
Nelson Farms, TN
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalms 118:24 KJV