Dual-Purpose Animals Flourish At Rocking D Hobby Farm

Retired registered nurse Carol Denney tells us how her adventures at Rocking D Hobby Farm are helping to better the local community.

by Phillip Mlynar
PHOTO: Rocking D Hobby Farm

“Both of my grandmothers had wonderful spooky and dark dirt-floor canning cellars,” recalls Carol Denney, a retired registered nurse who now spends her days running the Rocking D Hobby Farm in Hampshire, Tennessee.

Those sort of family experiences and memories helped inspire Denney’s farming adventures today, which include a focus on raising goats and regular appearances at local farmers markets.

“Each season my grandmother would gather the grandchildren and we would go to the strawberry patch or apple orchards and pick for her to can,” continues Denney. “So even though it took me decades to get the land and place to finally settle for the last time, I believe it was always going to be a part of my story.”

Taking a break from hobby farm duties, Denney spoke to us about raising dual-purpose animals and the demand for seasonal strawberries. We also got the scoop on using animal crackers as training tools.

Live From the Farmers Market


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A post shared by Carol Denney (@tburgmom)

Denney says that strawberries are the runaway hit when she attends farmers markets. “Everybody wants strawberries as soon and as often as they can get,” she explains, before sketching out the season’s momentum. “Then while waiting for corn to come in all the squash, cucumbers, lettuce and zucchini are in full swing.”

Denney adds that she’s also been noticing more people asking about securing plants early in the season in an attempt to plant their own produce.

Back to the Grill


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A post shared by Carol Denney (@tburgmom)

When it comes to rustling up summer produce, Denney insists that breaking out the grill is a must.

“Personally, I love to do most things on the grill!” she says. “The grill just brings out great flavor in all the foods and of course tastes like summer!”

Dual-Purpose Animals


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A post shared by Carol Denney (@tburgmom)

Rocking D Hobby Farm counts goats as a key part of its makeup. Denney says this was because she wanted “all my animals to be dual-purpose, so goats [provide] milk and meat, chickens are eggs and meat.”

Denney adds that she’s also allergic to cow milk and was raised on goat milk, so incorporating ruminants into the farm seemed inevitable.

Showing Love to Goats


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A post shared by Carol Denney (@tburgmom)

When it comes to goat-specific behavior, Denney says that she’s picked up on the way the animals are so loving.

“Full disclosure: My goats are spoiled rotten,” she confesses. “Zelda was a triplet and she lived in the house for 14 weeks! [She was] bottle fed, diapers, onesies, pacifier—the whole 9 yards.”

Denney also says that her goats seem particularly partial to scarfing down animal crackers—which can be used as a training tool.

Bettering the Community


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A post shared by Carol Denney (@tburgmom)

Looking over her farming adventure so far, Denney says that teaching others how to start farming has become one of the true joys of the journey.

“Many [people] are moving out of the city and discovering the importance of knowing where your food comes from,” she explains. “I am a retired RN (registered nurse), so education is very important to me. The more I can learn the more I can teach others—and the better the community can be!”

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