Family plants small farm roots in Lincoln County

Published 8:26 am Saturday, November 25, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Five years ago Katie Heathcock and her husband moved to Lincoln County from the Jackson area to start a small farm. They actually lived in the office of a warehouse where Heathcock’s motorcycle shop was in downtown Jackson. 

Now, they live on a small farm with 12 acres of land and raise chickens for meat and eggs, pigs, grow vegetables and fruits and are working towards a sustainable life. Heathcock said she took a break from the Brookhaven Farmers Market for about four years while having two children. 

Heathcock is back selling products at the Farmers Market close to where The Dart landed Wednesday. 

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Her father was a preacher so she moved around Mississippi alot before living in Jackson. The move to Lincoln County was more of a random occurrence. 

“We were looking for land anywhere. We had looked for two weeks and this spot popped up on zillow. We drove down to look at it and made an offer two days later,” Heathcock said. “All the stars aligned and we moved here. Brookhaven is a sweet town. It embraced us and my husband’s shop. It is great for us.” 

She said moving to the farm from the city was a welcomed change. They feel safer out in the county and enjoy the slower paced life of Brookhaven. “It was the right choice,” she said. 

Everyday on the farm is an opportunity to learn. One of the biggest learning curves was raising the chickens and protecting them from predators. Heathcock said they have the poultry protection down pat. 

She hopes to add more animals and in the long term have a dairy cow for milk and raise beef cattle. 

Her booth has a sign which says Shade Tree Farms and advertised an elderberry syrup mix made with dried elderberries, cinamon, ginger and clove. It could be mixed with syrup to make an elderberry syrup perfect for mixing in drinks. 

“For four years I sold beeswax wraps and have not gotten back in it yet. I hope to have some made for Christmas,” Hethcock said. “Elderberry is a staple in our household every winter. There are studies that show how beneficial it is. It is something we like to share with other people.” 

Currently, her elderberry mix is made with dried elderberry bought from an organic supplier but she hopes to grow enough one day to sell to other people. Herbalism is one thing she is really interested in. 

People can follow the farm on Facebook or Instagram at Shade Tree Farms. 

Family time

Heathcock said she used to ride motorcycles with her husband. She sings with her dad and has actually performed at the Brookhaven Farmer’s Market a few times over the years. 

“Our life is fun. We love it. It is an intentional choice to have a small farm and we enjoy it,” Heathcock said. 

Her husband restores vintage motorcycles, changes oil and tires and performs other maintenance on motorcycles out of his shop off of Zetus Road called Slop Shop. 

Thanksgiving is this week and so is the opportunity to share a family tradition with her four year old son. He is often walking around the woods picking up moss, mushrooms, berries and other things. She said they spend quality time in the kitchen as well. 

“My favorite memory from thanksgiving is making rolls with my mom. I can still remember making them with her. I love to bake bread with sourdough now,” Heathcock said. “My mom taught me how to make rolls and I would roll them with her. She would always leave me excess flour on the counter. I bake with my son now. It feels like I’m passing on the tradition. Thanksgiving is about family and enjoying time with family and telling stories.”