Tabitha Phillips: Becoming a self-sustaining farmer

After learning where their food was coming from, Tabitha and her husband fell in love with the idea of owning their own farm.

Presented by: Our York Media
Written by: Kate Penn
Tabitha Phillips (Photo by Paul Chaplin for Our York Media)

When Tabitha Phillips told people what she and her husband had planned, they looked at her like she was crazy. 

But the couple had their minds made up. 

They were going to buy a farm.


It was about nine years ago when Tabitha and her husband started really looking at where their food was coming from. They didn’t like what they learned. 

That’s when the dream of growing their own produce and raising their own livestock took root. 

“We fell in love with the idea of doing it ourselves,” Tabitha says, “to control everything, to know that we could steward this.” 

Tabitha was a lawyer; her husband was a teacher. They had no intention of making a career out of their farm — they wanted to make their lives out of it, to be completely self-sufficient. 

For years, they read books and did research on ethical, sustainable farming while they saved up and looked for property. 

Finally, in the fall of 2016, they realized their dream.

We fell in love with the idea of doing it ourselves, to control everything, to know that we could steward this.

Tabitha Phillips

Their Chanceford Township farm is just over 8 acres. Most of it is pasture, perfect for their grazing animals. 

Sheep, chickens, and hogs were the first animals to arrive. A dairy cow is on the way. 

Bringing the abandoned property back to life hasn’t been easy. 

“It’s taught us exactly how much you can get done in a 24-hour time period,” Tabitha says. “We sleep really well.” 

But she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. 

She and her husband are living out their dream of honoring the animals they butcher, honoring the land they farm, and honoring their bodies. And they’re passing that down to their four children. 

Sunsets at the farm are beautiful. Tabitha will watch them as her kids run around her and the animals graze, the sun glowing across their backs. 

“I get this picture and I think this is it,” she says. “This is why we do it.” 


Keep up with Tabitha’s journey by following her on Instagram: @homesteadinthehollow 

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