We started Barking Cat Farm, a small acreage, specialty farm, in 2004, thereby ruining a perfectly good hobby and opening up unexpected career paths. At Barking Cat Farm, we focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce we grow. Compost and compost teas are applied to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Since 2015, we have focused on helping others also achieve high quality results by providing soil testing services, consulting, hands on training, classes and permaculture designs.
In addition to soil biology work, we ventured into making small lot hand made products from excess produce. This led to other small, hand made products that are currently for sale in the Mercantile. We sell these products online for local pickup and at local markets. Please see the schedule for events we attend, we’d love to see you there!
Who We Are
In addition to regularly teaching classes, Kim is responsible for crop planning, variety selection, forecasting production, propagation, disease and pest control, soil health, marketing and more.
Laurie is the chief tractor mechanic, irrigation specialist, small equipment and fencing expert, insect identifier, and groundskeeper. She also helps with growing and sales.
Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Foodweb Consultants.
Our Name comes from a brainstorming session where we, as two retired engineers, were trying and failing to come up with a catchy name. Frank, the “barking cat” walked by and gave us some lip and that was our light bulb moment!
We started the farm as a speciality cut flower farm in 2004 growing test plots at our Heath location and selling cut flowers and some produce to local florists, restaurants and retail customers. By 2006, our customers were really pushing us towards more food and we switched our production to nearly 90% food. In 2006 we started a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program serving a small number of amazing families. We were one of a very small number of actual farm based CSA’s in the area. In 2007 we expanded onto our main farm in West Tawakoni and began serving restaurants as well as our CSA.
As part of our expansion onto the main farm, we had to have some areas regraded. Unfortunately, the contractor didn’t remember to pull the top soil back and reserve it. Because of that, we battled poor soil conditions from 2007 onward. Around 2012, while attending the first class of Beginning Women Farmers and Ranchers in Texas training conducted by Holistic Management International, we met Betsy Ross of Sustainable Growth Texas. Betsy & JR Ross helped us finally turn our bad dirt into productive soil using biology. We went on to serve many DFW area restaurants until we decided to end annual crop production in 2015. We are now focused on changing both of our locations into permaculture systems with perennial crop production and helping others transform their dirt into soil.