Nathan Boggs (Owner/Operator): Nathan is a SC Army National Guard Veteran, Entrepreneurial Dreamer, and Native South Carolinian with no farm experience prior to starting Fili-West Farms. He is the farm’s primary researcher, designer, marketer, carpenter, field hand, & accountant. Nathan is married to the lovely Mrs. Ghie Boggs.
Ghie Boggs (Owner/Operator): Ghie is from the small, agricultural island of Bohol in the Philippines. She is a selfless, hard working woman who learned valuable skills and work ethics growing up on her parents’ farm. She serves as the farm’s tirelessly smiling face, salesperson, field hand, record keeper, and numerous other behind the scenes support roles. Ghie is married to the ruggedly handsome Mr. Nathan Boggs.
Ghie and I met in the Philippines in Feb 2007, promptly fell madly in love, and were married by August that same year. 1 year, 3 months, and 10 days later (After all the bureaucratic hoops had been jumped through), Ghie was finally here in the US. It was now time to start building a future for our new family, but how?
The answer came from a video I watched while waiting for Ghie’s protracted immigration process to be completed. I have always been very interested in health, fitness, and nutrition. These interests ultimately led me to watch a video in the TED Talks series featuring “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” author Michael Pollan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQPN1O03z8I). In his video presentation, Mr. Pollan describes a farm that, in his estimation, is producing food the right way. The farm he describes produces a staggering amount of food on a mere 100 acres of pasture. Better still, they do it in a way that is in harmony with nature. Their farming practices are humane, sustainable, land beautifying/enriching, BEYOND organic, and profitable. This featured farm is Polyface Farms of Swoope, VA.
I was immediately fascinated and inspired by this little farm that could. I had to learn more! Fortunately for me, Polyface Farms’ owner/operator, Joel Salatin, is a prolific author. I eagerly read his books “You Can Farm” and “Pastured Poultry Profits” in rapid succession. They were both fascinating and inspirational. I had now “Crossed the Rubicon” and there was no turning back (Ancient Roman history, anyone?). I was hooked! I wanted to be a Farmer.
Fortunately for me, Ghie was raised on a farm and proved receptive to the idea of us starting a farm. So, in May 2009 (A mere 5 months after Ghie’s immigration here), we uprooted from our apartment in Mt Pleasant and moved out to the country to start a farm. But, what were we to call our farm? “Sunny Green Pastures Peaceful Places Farm” was already taken, so we decided to go with a farm name that was unique to us and who we are. We’re a “Fili-Western” couple (A term coined long ago to indicate the union of a Filipino/Filipina with someone from the Western World). Thus, Fili-West Farms was born.
We started out raising Pastured Broilers and simply selling them whole. No cuts of any kind were available. We’ve come a long way since then. We now offer 20 different products and add more with each passing year. At this point, we’re employed full time in town, work on the farm nearly full time…and sleep part time. Within the next few years we hope to grow our business large enough to support our family without any supplemental off farm income. As soon as we reach that tipping point, we will be free to give 100% effort towards growing our farm, our product line, our proficiency, and our family. We hope to have many little Pastured Boggs’ roaming the farm someday soon. Wish us luck!