Little Seed Gardens in Chatham, Columbia County, New York primarily grows Organic vegetables, but since 2003 has been home to "Nellie," a Randall heifer. Nellie was joined by a bull, "Bullwinkle", in July 2005, and in the Spring of 2006 Nellie gave birth to a bull calf, "Nelson". Rounding out the herd is heifer calf "Lana" who like Nellie was born on Howland Homestead Farm. Willie and Claudia have plans to slowly build a small Randall herd, utilizing the cattle to graze the abundant grass on their bottomland acreage, while adding fertility to the vegetable ground. They are also enjoying fresh milk and milk products courtesy of Nellie.
Willie and Claudia own 85 acres, 15 of which are in vegetable production. Much of the rest of the land is in grass. Son Otis and daughter Mae round out the family, and additional labor is provided by 3 local women who work on the farm each growing season. The farm is also home to a goat, some chickens, and cats, and occasionally pigs are raised for use by the family. The philosophy of the farm is "local production and consumption."
Cover crops are regularly grown as part of the fertility building strategy, with purchased compost and lime applied where needed. Willie and Claudia hope that Nellie, Bullwinkle, Lana and Nelson and future Randalls will increasingly be a part of their farm's fertility base. Little Seed Gardens' produce is sold at Farmer's Markets in Chatham and Troy, New York, and to local restaurants.