Vernon man fights inflation with backyard farm

Residents can trade food scraps for fresh eggs
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 6:10 PM CST
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VERNON, Texas (KAUZ) - When you think of a farm, you may picture big fields and large green tractors, but that isn’t always the case, especially when talking to Stephen Casner.

A year ago, when the pandemic was driving up the cost of food, the Vernon resident decided to create a garden. That garden grew to the point where it wasn’t a garden anymore but rather a small farm in his backyard, all made from the things people were throwing out.

“We started struggling with bills more, and I was like, ‘well, we need a little more food security,’ so I just kept on going,” Casner said.

With chickens, turkeys, rabbits, pigs and a goat named Miss Daisy, the backyard operation is now like clockwork to Casner.

“This became my haven with the emotional ups and downs. The garden feeds them; the garden feeds me, they feed me,” Casner said.

But inflation has rusted the gears of this operation, and the price tag of feeding the animals has gotten a lot bigger. In the last few months, Casner said the price of food for his animals has gone up nearly 75%.

His solution?

Have the community donate their food scraps to the animals in return for a dozen eggs fresh from his chickens.

“If we all help each other, and everyone has their little parts to play, especially with the economy right now, that’s what I was thinking is helping people and they can help me, and we can help each other, and everyone can have their own little thing, and we can get through this,” Casner said. “It gives me something to do to say, ‘okay, I can do this to help with this. Everything else is flying out of your control, but this gives me a small sense of control over things.”

And the slight sense of control has also created a great sense of community in Vernon.

The “farm” now has its own Facebook group where people can rave about the eggs, learn how to garden themselves, and of course, catch up on the lives of Miss Daisy and Wilbur, the pig.

Fighting inflation and creating community all within a backyard in Vernon.

“As people become self-reliant and help themselves as individuals, they can then help others too,” Casner said.

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