Long Thread Podcast: Keisha Cameron, High Hog Farm

Season 8, Episode 9: Beginning with a plot of land, a fixer-upper, and a passion for preserving traditional knowledge, the Cameron family have built a homestead, a diversified farm, and the hub of a growing agrarian community.

Anne Merrow Feb 10, 2024 - 5 min read

Long Thread Podcast: Keisha Cameron, High Hog Farm Primary Image

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Although she grew up in the freezing winters of New York, Keisha Cameron and her husband decided to move their young family to a peri-urban spot outside Atlanta, Georgia, to set down roots and rebuild their connection to the land. They began with raising what their family needed for food and other daily necessities, but over the past decade, High Hog Farm has developed stocks of rare-breed sheep, angora rabbits, and chickens. In their gardens, the family cultivate produce as well as medicinal and dye plants. As returning-generation farmers, they not only love what they do, they also feel an obligation as stewards of their land.

Rediscovering the traditional ways of cultivating and using plants, Keisha has sampled different types of indigo, madder, marigolds, and a range of dyestuffs. The farm offers naturally dyed fibers as well as dyestuffs and classes in natural dyeing. As she grows attuned to her soil, she appreciates the multiple roles that a single plant can play. As a cultural seedkeeper, she focuses on not only preserving a diversity of plants but on reviving the knowledge of how they can serve a variety of needs.

Although High Hog has been home to a variety of different farm animals, Keisha fell in love with sheep. She felt an instant affinity for Gulf Coast Natives, a rare breed that can carry color genetics and are exceptionally well suited to her location. Her insistence on participating fully in the lives of her animals has led her to explore fiber arts—but also to learn the demanding skill of shearing. As a crucial part of her animals’ health, shearing is too important to leave undone if they can’t locate a shearer when needed.

For followers around the country, High Hog Farm is mainly accessible through their newly relaunched website and online store (as well as their enchanting social media accounts). For the community closer at hand, the farm has developed a variety of programs in fiber arts, photography, food preservation, and a variety of other agrarian arts. On being part of the grassroots fiber community, Keisha says, “I want to encourage everybody else, all the fiber artists and fiber and dye growers, to keep doing what you’re doing, because we are the people who are bringing color to the world.”

Links

High Hog Farm website
High Hog Farm’s Instagram

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