Happy Dragonfly Homestead LLC: Building a Sustainable Future
Happy Dragonfly Homestead LLC is a local Jacksonville family's dream turned reality, dedicated to promoting sustainability and providing organic, locally sourced food to the community. By combining generations of agricultural experience with higher education from prestigious institutions like The University of Florida, The University of North Florida, and Florida State University, we strive to create small organic sustainable farms that contribute to a healthier and more self-reliant community.
Sustainable Farming and Homesteading
At Happy Dragonfly, we believe in the power of sustainable farming and homesteading to reduce our reliance on mass-produced food and products. A homestead, in our definition, is any plot of land actively working to produce food, home products, and other goods that help families and communities become more self-sufficient. By focusing on sustainability and educating others about the importance of USDA Organic practices, we aim to create a positive impact on our local food system.
Working with the Land and Native Species
One of our core principles is working harmoniously with the land and fostering an environment where life can flourish. Our farm, located in Green Cove Springs, Florida, serves as a wildlife haven, teeming with native Florida plants and animals. We take great pride in providing a home for various species, including the Gopher Tortoise, which was once on the endangered species list. Through dedicated conservation efforts, we have ensured their survival and witnessed the birth of new generations. Our commitment extends to fostering habitats for other native flora and fauna, creating a thriving ecosystem.
Recycling and Re-purposing
Reducing waste and environmental impact is of utmost importance to us. We actively practice recycling and opt for packaging that is easy to recycle or compost. For example, our egg cartons are free of colored or glossy inks, making them suitable for USDA Organic compost. In addition to recycling, we embrace the concept of re-purposing. Instead of purchasing new tarps, we utilize old billboards and canvas sails from sailboats as tarps, extending their lifespan and reducing waste. By finding creative ways to repurpose items, we minimize our ecological footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.
Organic Permaculture Techniques
Our commitment to organic production practices goes beyond the standard requirements for USDA Organic certification. We integrate permaculture techniques into our farming methods, ensuring the long-term health and fertility of our soil. One notable technique we employ is hügelkultur, which involves burying logs under our garden beds. This practice not only enriches the soil but also helps prevent nutrient leaching, particularly crucial in our sandy Florida soils.
Sustainability is the backbone of our farm's operations. We have implemented various practices to minimize our environmental impact and ensure a sustainable future. Rainwater collection, when possible, reduces our reliance on external water sources. We harness solar energy for our operations and prioritize the use of environmentally friendly processes and tools. Instead of relying on synthetic pesticides, we focus on providing habitats for beneficial insects, contributing to a balanced ecosystem. Our commitment to sustainability extends to our packaging choices, with a preference for minimal packaging and a conscious effort to avoid heavy machinery whenever possible.
USDA Organic Certification
Happy Dragonfly Homestead LLC is proud to hold USDA Organic certification. Our certification process involves a rigorous yearly application and inspection process. This ensures that our land and inputs meet the highest standards of organic production. All inputs, including feed and supplements, undergo a meticulous approval process to guarantee the absence of prohibited substances such as chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Furthermore, animal welfare is a top priority. Our animals have access to spacious outdoor areas that allow them to exercise, surpassing the minimum requirements set by the USDA and most humane animal certifications.
Animal Welfare and Health
The well-being of our animals is paramount. We strive to provide them with a life that closely resembles their natural habitat, free from pain and stress. Our poultry, including egg layers, enjoy rotational pasturing, allowing them to forage on diverse plants and insects. This enriches their diet and enhances the flavor and color of our eggs and meat. We prioritize observation and care to ensure the animals' happiness and health, using plastic feed and water containers sparingly to align with our high standards. We believe in treating the animals with the same respect and compassion that we would want for ourselves.
Carefully Selected Animal Breeds
We carefully select animal breeds that are well-suited to our farm and meet the needs of our customers. Our egg layers consist of high-quality breeds that produce eggs with a captivating array of colors and speckled patterns. Local artists and home-builders have even sought out our eggs for their unique and visually appealing qualities. We prioritize breeds that have a natural inclination for foraging, ensuring our eggs are packed with nutrients and flavor. Our whole chickens and turkeys are known for their delicious taste, juiciness, and freshness, as we predominantly offer them fresh without freezing. Transparency is key, and if any product has been frozen, we provide clear information to our customers.
Educational Events and Tours
At Happy Dragonfly Homestead LLC, we believe that education is a vital part of our mission. We are dedicated to sharing our knowledge and passion through educational events and tours. We are currently building to be able to invite individuals and groups to visit our homestead, witness our sustainable practices firsthand, and learn about the importance of organic farming and homesteading. Connecting with the community and passing on our passion is an integral part of our commitment to building a sustainable future. We welcome any inquiries and encourage individuals to reach out to us with any questions or interests they may have. We value the opportunity to engage with our community and are always excited to hear from like-minded individuals who share our vision of sustainable agriculture and local food production.
Happy Dragonfly Homestead LLC is a testament to the power of combining generations of agricultural knowledge with higher education and a commitment to sustainability. Our farm serves as a model for small organic sustainable farming, promoting the availability of USDA Organic foods and practices within our community. We take pride in our dedication to working with the land, fostering biodiversity, and providing a haven for native plants and animals. Through recycling, re-purposing, organic permaculture techniques, and sustainable operational processes, we strive to minimize waste and maximize environmental stewardship. Our USDA Organic certification ensures that our products meet the highest standards of organic production, and our focus on animal welfare guarantees that our animals lead healthy and fulfilling lives. We invite you to join us on this journey towards sustainability, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
Find out more about our eggs here
Find out more about our chickens here