By Carol Mowdy Bond
Jenny and Will Ledlow own 4 Sprouts Farm, nestled in a tree-lined, rural area between Canadian County’s Yukon and Piedmont. Their family meals come straight from the farm, and they have a reputation for selling what they don’t use, including quail eggs.
Will is from Geary. And Jenny, who was born and raised in the area, loves everything farm style. So, seven years ago they bought six acres.
With a menagerie of farm animals that continues to expand, Jenny said they built all the needed farm buildings themselves. And she admits the farm is really her hobby, but it usually pays for itself most of the time. That’s because she sells quail and quail eggs, rabbits, chickens and their eggs, ducks and their eggs, geese, and pigs, as well as vegetables from her garden. Jenny said, “What we don’t eat, we sell.”
“We have about 40 coturnix quail right now,” said Jenny. “They eat herbs, kale, and just about anything. The quail with plain breast feathers are males. The ones with spotted breast feathers are females. At six weeks old, they start laying eggs, and they lay in the evening. Quail lay their eggs seasonally. And the eggs hatch in 17 to 19 days. The eggs are tiny, so you boil them and soak them in white vinegar, and the shells come off easily. They can be pickled, and used in a lot of recipes, especially in Asian soups. We also breed and sell rabbits, but more for the fun of it. We have mixed species of rabbits. Our yard is full of clover which rabbits love to eat. So when our rabbits have babies, our yard is full of clover and baby bunnies.”
The Ledlows have guineas that sound the alarm when trouble approaches. And they have about 30 Muscovy ducks on and around their pond. “Muscovy ducks don’t quack,” Jenny said. “They hatch all their eggs. And we have geese for fun. We have two pigs right now. We raise them for meat.”
Jenny processes all the meat animals herself. And she even makes pork bacon and sausage. She also keeps a vegetable garden. And she grows just enough elderberry for her family’s needs. “We make it all,” Jenny said. “I can’t afford to buy organic. So I make my own.”
A military veteran who served in Iraq, Will stays busy with his own water well company.
Jenny admits her children keep her busy, and the farm work is an extra big load of work. “But I love it all,” Jenny said.
You’ll sometimes see Jenny at area farmers markets.
And you can connect with the Ledlows, and what’s for sale at their place at any time of year, by following 4 Sprouts Farm on Facebook.