“If we take care of the soil to start with, the land will take care of us.”
Meet Justin Trammell, owner of Tir Bluen Farms in Amarillo, TX. Justin is a young farmer well versed in the world of regenerative agriculture and eco-farming in the Texas Panhandle.
“These are relatively new terms. However, I believe they are the philosophies and concepts that best describe our practice at Tir Bluen.”
“This looks odd, in comparison to the more orthodox way of farming out here. Both practices center around soil health,” explains Justin. “Regenerative agriculture is the practice of using agriculture (livestock grazing, no-till farming, special plant varieties) to restore ecological functions of land. Eco-farming is eternal no-till, continuous live cover, and other natural practices. It seeks to eliminate tillage to best way possible.” For extensive examples of the way Justin demonstrates these terms, please click here.
We first met Justin back in September, when we visited Tir Bluen Farm for a video of his 3-acre farm on 15051 South Dowell Road.
Since then, Justin has been pushing forward, exploring what a sustainable agriculture operation looks like on the High Plains. He is busy with the construction of a new greenhouse, which should be complete by December. This means a good winter, as Justin should be able to grow produce through the season.
Justin has always been interested in production agriculture and actively participating as a responsible steward of the land. Raised in the TX Panhandle, Justin spent his childhood catching insects and reptiles, watching birds and tending to cattle. He graduated from Canyon High School and soon obtained a degree in Wildlife Biology from West Texas A&M University. While getting his degree, Justin became fascinated with the wildlife agriculture conflict and went on to devote two years in graduate school to explore opportunities in the field concerning that issue.
During his time as a graduate student, Justin was introduced to Ogallala Commons, a 501(c )(3) nonprofit based in Nazareth, TX that focuses on the revival of rural communities and restoring natural resources. Through Ogallala Commons, Justin discovered Quivira Coalition, a program that brings together people who focus on soil health and natural approaches in caring for the Earth. He quickly discovered that the best way to pursue his interests and provide education as well as a living for his future family would be to start Tir Bluen.
Extensive education soon equipped Justin with the tools to start his three-acre farm in 2013. He now operates a successful local farm, producing meats and vegetables that are affordable and healthy.
“I always wanted to have a family farm. I don’t know that it was in the cards for me though, because the typical family farm around here is sections upon sections of land. I had to adapt my approach,” says Justin.
Justin quickly began his farm with a small garden, while he taught science at a local high school. Soon, he got his license to butcher chickens, bought some sheep, and expanded his farm. While building his farm, Justin married his beautiful wife, Whitney, who also teaches locally.
Although 2017 is the first full-time year of operation for Tir Bluen, Justin has many accolades in his short time as a new producer, one being his involvement as one of three founders of the West Texas Young Farmers Coalition.
If you haven’t had the chance to meet Justin or taste his products, we recommend a visit to Tir Bluen. Justin is the type of guy who will teach you something! He’s a brainiac with a passion for rebuilding local foodshed in the Llano Estacado.
You can contact Justin anytime to order his products: on the Tir Bluen website, Facebook, or on his cell @ (806) 567-0746. During the summer season, Justin sells at the Canyon Farmers Market, and hopes to begin selling to local restaurants in 2017.