Our First Mission

Sustainable organic farming was always our goal. Since 2010, God’s Blessing Farm in Niota Tennessee has been focused on the most productive gardening methods. The hardest part was finding affordable, organic compost for growing food. The best source of fertilizing the land is with animal-based compost, but it’s usually not from organically raised animals. 

Then we found donkeys! They helped us achieve our organic gardening goals, but they offered so much more and we LOVE to share them with others. 

Developing for The Future

My husband and I both love the land and love sharing the farm, the donkeys, our dogs and what we grow with people. We talked about how we could develop our land in a better way than just traditional gardening and raising livestock.

We started researching pick your own farm development and hosting out of towners looking for a unique experience around 2018 after farming the more traditional way for years.

The plan to start a Glamping Ground and RV dog friendly park started to take shape in 2023 and we are so excited to open to the public spring 2024! 

Caretakers of the land: Angelia Silvera

Having a farm was always my dream since I was 15 years old! I’m a native of TN and grew up on a farm. I knew I loved the lifestyle. I wanted room to roam and hike with my poodles. Land to garden and raise animals. 

I’ve loved and been training dogs since I was a child and fascinated by how they learn and all the different trait bred working dogs. Learning to train donkeys sparked that same curiosity in me.

We have raised goats, rare pigs, sheep, alpacas, horses, rabbits, different breeds of livestock guardian dogs and many different kinds of poultry.

Some poultry and waterfowl breeds found a fit here. Good trait bred guardian dogs, like the Anatolian Shepherds have a job here. I need my companion poodles and working dogs!

Donkeys make it all complete though! They were the key to building a lifestyle I don’t need a vacation from. Providing contributions to our farm in ways of work and compost, but also providing entertainment with their antics. They provide recreation with riding and as hiking buddies too. 

To read more about me and why donkeys please go to my about page on our sister website Donkey Listener at this link: About Me and Donkeys

Rico Silvera

 I was raised on a ten acre homestead in Lower NY State. Both of my parents were immigrants who came through Ellis Island at an early age and became naturalized citizens. They had a passion for the American dream and a love of land ownership that they passed on to me. After Angelia and I moved to this farm in 2010 we became very focused on heritage breeds. In my case that led me on a journey to play a significant role in the effort to rescue and preserve the North American bloodlines of the Chinese Meishan Pig. Working with geneticists at two major US universities,the USDA and even breed experts in China to identify and catalog that breed in America I gained an appreciation and understanding of trait breeding animals.

   For the past 21 years I have also been a high school lacrosse coach at a private day school in Knoxville.I have been shocked at how, increasingly, our young people are becoming disconnected from the land and the need for environmental diversity and responsible stewardship of farmland.  Our new Glamping Operation is a way for us to let people reconnect to farms and woodlands through an outstanding outdoor experience.

Donkey Education

Once a symbol of wealth and an animal of great utility, today the donkey is probably the most misunderstood equine species in the world. Neglected, or relegated to livestock guardian duty, many donkeys suffer from the lack of knowledge of their owners.  We have dedicated our farm to revealing the potential of these incredible animals through education and training specifically for donkeys and their owners. Whether as a companion animal, working animal or riding mount the intelligence, stable personalities and hardiness of a donkey make it the right choice for many people. We invite you to look into the resources we offer if you currently own or are considering adding a donkey to your farm.

We could not have the abundant gardens we have without the donkeys! They are also the source of joy and fun on our farm. Please see https://donkeylistener.com/

 

 

Meishan Breeding Stock at Gods Blessing Farm
Rico Silvera aka The Helpful Husband with the rare pig breed he helped save.

 

 

 

 

Meishan Breeder Angelia Silvera
Angelia Silvera aka The Donkey Listener