Absence

They say it makes the heart grow fonder.

My absence has been for good reason though, so let me try to quickly share.

As some of you know, about 2 1/2 years ago, we became foster parents.  We had two sisters, ages 4 & 6 for about a month before they went on to live with another family.  There were many emotions wrapped up in a small package and after the experience we put foster parenting on hold and eventually turned in our license.  We had set a goal to move to our own little homestead for a life of more self-sufficiency and discussed the possibility of getting back into foster care once we were on the farm.

Fast forward 2 years and we aren’t on that farm nor do we know when that might happen.  We’ve put many things on hold while we have been waiting to make that dream our reality, including foster care so for many personal reasons, we decided to reinstate our foster care license.   Our reinstatement was quick and we got our license in the mail about 1 1/2 weeks ago with the expectation that we wouldn’t get a call until after our late summer/early fall trip.  Imagine my surprise when our licensing worker called late Thursday afternoon about two brothers, ages 7 months and 3 years, who were sitting in the Department of Children and Family Services office and in need of a home.  So many things went thru my mind in a matter of seconds, including the fact that hubby was out-of-town on business and wouldn’t return until Saturday night.  Then I said, “We’ll take them” and our life has been full of craziness ever since.  Not that our life wasn’t crazy before, but taking in two little guys who have been thru so much in such a short period of time adds an element of craziness that is difficult to explain.

As expected, we have had some challenging moments – A 3-yr-old with big feelings that have come out in some tough behaviors and a baby, who I now know is almost 9 months old, and who doesn’t feel comfortable enough to fall asleep (he only slept about 6 hours during the first 24 hours here and hasn’t improved a lot since then).  But we’ve also had some very enjoyable moments like watching Naomi and the 3-yr-old (who I’ll call TT) laugh and play together.  Or seeing the baby (who I’ll call TK) finally smile and belly laugh.  Although some of the most enjoyable moments have been watching Lili care for TK.  It’s the first time she’s spent this much time with a baby and she has been so gentle and nurturing.  She got the first smile from TK and he lights up when she walks in the room.

I know we have many more tough moments ahead of us, but I also know that we’ll have many more enjoyable moments ahead as well.  We just have to ride the waves and do the best we can.

Longer periods of absence here seem inevitable right now.  Please know it’s not that I have forgotten about my little blog and it’s not that we’re put our homesteading dreams aside.  While we’re waiting and hoping for our homestead goal to fall in place, we’ve accepted a very important role as caregiver for two cute little boys who need our love, nurturing and family right now.

I hope you’ll check in from time-to-time and I’ll do my best to update any chance I get.

How Have Things Really Changed?

I was asked a question by a WOW reader. What is interesting about her question is that I had been pondering the same question myself.

“having been to the Farmy have any of your ideas changed?”

The short answer to this question is, yes.

First, let me go back a few blog posts when I mentioned that our homestead isn’t happening in the foreseeable future.   In that post I said I would discuss this later and I think now is an appropriate time.

While our plan has not changed, the timing of our plan has now changed.  Hubby and I would very much like our own little farmy to happen sooner rather than later, but sometimes life and the responsibilities of life have to take the lead.  Our hope had been to find property by this fall, but upon further inspection and introspection, we decided that it would make more sense for us to wait several months before we begin our property search again.  Not that I haven’t perused the real estate sites from time-to-time, but we won’t be making any property shopping trips in the near future.

Our last property search made us much more aware of some things that we needed to take care of at home before we could move forward.  Much like our visit to the “farmy” has made me much more aware of things to look for and think about as we move forward in finding property.

For example, we have struggled with the amount of land we should purchase.  Our visit to the “farmy” gave me a much better picture of how we could set things up on less land.  Maybe I don’t need to look at the 30 acre pieces of property, even though most of those 30 acres are in trees.  What if we find 5 acres of land, is that sufficient?  10 acres?  How many acres of land do we need in trees if we want to use wood as our heat source?  How many acres of pasture?  My visit and conversations with Cecilia has caused me to seriously reconsider some of our land requirements.

I had also envisioned spreading things out more on our little farm, but now see how having things closer to the house makes much more sense.  A more compact farm makes complete sense to me.  Less steps to the barn.  Less steps to the garden.  Less steps to the orchard.

We had also been concerned about having too much open land.  In our minds open land means more work for us.  That thought process had changed for me now.  More open land means more pasture for grazing.   If we want to raise pasture fed meat, then having more open land is a good thing.

So how have things really changed since our visit to the “farmy?”

I feel like I have a much better vision of what it will take for us to create a successful farm for our family.  I better understand the importance of keeping things compact.  I see the amount of work it takes to run a farm and having everything close will help us run our farm efficiently.  Finding ways to make work easier is key.

This was also the first time I was able to see guinea fowl at work.  They are indeed noisy birds, but I love the noise they make.  I love the fact that they move all around the farm, hard at work taking care of bugs.

 

As I stated in my last blog post, I now want a cow.  I didn’t want a cow before.  They are big animals and the bigger the animal, the more the feed.  However, I hadn’t considered how milk from cows can be fed to other animals such as chickens and pigs.  I hadn’t considered how much good compost a cow can produce.  I didn’t realize how easy it is to make wonderful, creamy butter.  Because I hadn’t considered a cow on our farm, I didn’t think about the fact that a calf could potentially be raised for meat.  Cows have great purpose on a farm.

The thing that probably changed the most for me is how my desire to live the homesteading lifestyle grew.  Being there and participating in a small way made that fire burn hotter and I am armed with more knowledge that will only help in our little farm’s success.

Now, as I peruse the real estate sites, I’m armed with more information, a better vision and knowledge that will help us find the right property for our homestead.  A slower pace to our future than we had first hoped, but we’ll get there one day.

 

 

Shop Til You Drop

We left early Friday morning for another property shopping trip and looked at a total of 8 properties. By the end of the day Saturday, I was exhausted. We saw some beautiful properties, but each of them had something that just didn’t appeal to us. Not that we are expecting to find any property that is absolute perfection, but these properties had some big things missing or some problem we just couldn’t deal with.

On Friday we looked at three properties.

The first property was nice and although it didn’t have a pond, there was a spot that could very easily become a pond. It was down a road that had several other nice homes along the road and once a portion of the land was cleared of the trees, we would have had some nice privacy. What we wouldn’t have, was the view we are hoping to get. We would simply be nestled amongst the trees, which isn’t a bad thing, but not what we want.

The second property had way too many negatives to list, so I’ll just say that we only visited for maybe 5 minutes before driving away.

The third property had some potential, until we started walking closer to the pond and discovered how marshy the land was. We had too much concern about flooding and just weren’t sure where we could build without flooding being a potential problem.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early and at the realtor’s office shortly after 9:00. We headed out to property #1, which was the property we were most excited about seeing.

Getting to the property required that we cross a beautiful creek that winds its way thru the country and is part of the property. As we pulled into the driveway, about a dozen wild turkey began running and flew away over the trees. It was a spectacular site and we were immediately drawn to this beautiful piece of land. The property sits at the top of a hill, overlooking the Ozarks. It has a pond on the property, which we could only get a glimpse of because of the overgrowth, which means we would have some work clearing things off. There was a lot of open land for farming. For a matter-of-fact, a chicken coop is already on the property, along with a storage shed. The girls loved the swing hanging from one of the big trees and there was a play house for the kids. We began walking the trail thru the woods, leading to the creek. About 33 acres of trees which has deer stands and turkey blinds set up. After a walk up and back down the hill, we finally arrived to the creek. It was gorgeous, which a large rock bar and I could imagine many summer days spent at the creek fishing for perch, crawfish and looking for turtles. As perfect as the property sounds though, there were some problems, the biggest of which was one of the neighbors. This neighbor owns cattle and decided that he owned the creek, so he put fencing up to allow his cattle free access to the water. He only owns the land to the middle of the creek and the property owners took him to court, spent thousands of dollars and the end result was an agreement that he could leave up the fencing and put up a gate giving the property owners access to the creek. It just wasn’t a good deal in our book and was now deeded that way, so the new owners would be buying property that ran to the middle of the creek, but could only access the creek by going thru a gate and climbing thru barbed wire fencing. There was also the problem of crossing the creek twice getting to the property which does flood and would make the road impassable during heavy rains. So we drove away saying no to the property that had so much going for it.

We drove onto the next property with an old rustic cabin sitting up on the hill overlooking another creek. There wasn’t easy access to the creek and all the open land sat at the bottom of a steep hill. Every time I went to my garden I would be hiking up and down the hill. It would have been great exercise, but also very inconvenient. The land would have been great for sheep and okay for goats though.

The next property was so unimpressive, that I can’t even remember details of the property, but the fourth property was intriguing. I found a nice spot for building that would have give us a beautiful view and there was a nice trail going thru the approximately 49 acres of woods. There was a small pond on the property, but we would once again need to go a lot of clearing to access the pond. The bigger problem was the neighbors property which was very run down. We would be looking at that property every day and it also meant less privacy on our property than what we are hoping to get.

The last property would have offered us some great views, but the owner has been running a logging operation (which the realtor didn’t realize until we went to look at the property). He has cleared a nice spot for building, but has also taken a lot of other trees off the property that would have been better left. It was off a heavily travelled highway and would make an awesome location for a roadside stand. However, it also means contending with a lot of traffic noise up and down the highway. Since we have no plans for a roadside stand and don’t want to listen to cars and trucks all day and night, we said no.

With that, our weekend of shopping was done and we now know of 8 properties we don’t want to purchase which puts us that much closer to finding that one property we really want to buy.

We also had the opportunity to talk to a couple of folks from the area who gave us some great information that will help us as we move forward in our search. Information can be a powerful tool when used correctly.

After a good night’s sleep, we packed up and headed back to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. They have a festival the first Sunday of each month from spring thru fall. There were vendors selling plants, homemade baked goods, crafts, herbal creams, and much more. They had live music and of course the store was open for buying seeds. We met up with some friends and spent the day enjoying each other’s company as we browsed the vendor tents. Eventually, I made my way into the seed store and came out with 14 packets of herb seeds along with a free packet of romaine lettuce seeds (they give you a free packet of seeds with each seed purchase). I’m not on my way to starting my own herb garden.

It was a really good weekend and I look forward to our next property shopping trip in the not too distant future.

 

Ready to Pay the Price

After months and months and months of planning and researching and searching, our homesteading dream is finally happening.

The excitement!!

The joy!!!!

The utter amazement!!!!

Bring on the chickens, goats, pigs, ducks, turkeys, and sheep!!!!

Let’s get this garden started!!!!

And I can’t forget the orchard!!!!!  Apples, pears, cherries, and peaches.  Yum, yum!!!

I’ll also grow grapes and I’ll eat them off the vine and make jelly.

Oh, wait a minute . . . . .

April Fools!!!!!!

Our homesteading dream isn’t technically happening, but we are going back to Missouri to look at potential property.  We have a realtor that will be showing us 9 properties near Ava, Missouri and another realtor will be showing us some properties around the Buffalo, Missouri area.  I do feel that we’re making progress in the right direction.

While nothing has necessarily changed, the dream remains.

Weeks Homestead Part 6 – Goats

Hubby and I have a growing list of animals we want to have on our little homestead – chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, sheep and a pig from time-to-time.  But there is one I’m most excited about having on our little farm . . . . . GOATS!!!

I’m a bit obsessed with goats, but they will serve several purposes on our little farm.

– Milk
– Meat
– Weed control
– Entertainment

I’ve spent a fair amount of time learning about goats and the different breeds. For quite some time, my top choice has been Nubians.

They are a good dual-breed goat and while they provide less milk then some other breeds, their milk is known for its high butter-fat content.  They are also meaty, providing a good source of lean meat.

Nubians are of Middle-Eastern heritage and a very popular breed here in the U.S.  They have long floppy ears, a Roman nose and can be found in several colors and patterns.   They a very sociable, outgoing and love human contact.  They can also be very vocal, but when provided good food, plenty of water and shelter, they are relatively quiet.

My only problem with Nubians is their size.  They are large goats, which isn’t bad at all, except I think a smaller goat on our farm would be good for several personal reasons.  I just hadn’t found another breed that I was as excited about as a Nubian, until I discovered this breed.

This is a Mini Nubian.

The breed is developed by crossing a Nigerian Dwarf buck with a Nubian doe.  They are bigger than a Nigerian Dwarf, but smaller than a Nubian making them a medium-sized goat.  A Mini Nubian retains most of the traits of the Nubian breed – looks, butter-fat content, taste of the milk, and temperament.  While their size won’t provide as much meat, they still provide good lean meat.  And unlike a Nigerian Dwarf, who can be difficult to milk because of teat size, Mini Nubians have teats long enough to milk easily.

Mini Nubians can provide anywhere from 1/2 a quart up to a gallon of milk a day.  The high butterfat content of their milk means I will have just what I need for making my own cheese, yogurt and butter.

I still have a lot to learn about goats, specifically the Mini Nubian, but they are my top choice of goat breed right now.

Mini Nubian goat kid. Sooooo Cute!!!!

We’re Expanding

We aren’t able to have much of what we want where we live.  No chickens, ducks, sheep, goats or pigs are allowed in our little farming community.  Seems strange, that a town of 1300 surrounded by corn and soybean fields, we aren’t allowed a few chickens.  Yet this is our realty, which makes it difficult to expand our homesteading skills.

But where there is a will, there is a way.

New Zealand Red

New Zealand White

American Blue

There is no ordinance saying we can’t raise rabbits.

We aren’t sure what breed(s) we’ll raise, but this year we’ll raise rabbits for food and of course we’ll plant our garden.  Another nice benefit of raising rabbits is they produce some great compost material for the garden.  Now, if we could just get rid of winter so we can get this party started, all would be well.

Crazy Acres

We have put our crazy plan wheels in motion, which means we put our car wheels in motion and made a drive down to the Missouri Ozarks to look at some property.

I found out about some properties via a member of a website forum called Homesteading Today.  I had posted a question on the forum about property and she responded with the information.  We traded emails and phone calls about the properties and I looked at them on-line.  Both hubby and I were anxious to see these properties and I already knew which ones I wanted to buy.  After all, I could tell everything from the website.

Our trip started out pretty crazy as we drove thru a snow storm during the first 1 1/2 – 2 hours of the trip.   The heavy snows got lighter, but as we moved further south, it turned to ice.  As we got into Ozark territory, we drove out it.

We stayed at a little cabin in Mansfield, MO called Mansfield Woods.  It was dark by the time we arrived, so all we knew was that our cabin was one of five, nestled near the woods.  It was quiet and peaceful, which is what we were looking for.

The next morning we ate a quick breakfast and then headed out to find the property.  The interesting thing about Missouri, or at least the Ozarks, is that not all roads are paved.  Here in Central IL, an unpaved road typically leads to farms, so unless you’re heading to visit someone living off the road, you’ve likely made a wrong turn and need to get back out to the paved road and go a different direction.  So as we were looking for the property we found ourselves on different paved and unpaved roads, but our crazy adventure eventually lead us to our destination.

After our little adventure on the back roads of Missouri, we pulled into the driveway of my wonderful and new homesteading friend.  After visiting with her and her husband, we spent a little time with their goats and sheep, then got in our vehicles so they could show us around the neighborhood.

First stop was the property I had my eye on, but we didn’t quite make it to the property.   The road was very overgrown with grass and weeds, which is okay, but it’s not okay when we have to drive down a steep grade on an overgrown gravel road followed by a steep grade back up that same overgrown gravel road to get to the property.   So there we stood, looking down the hill and across at the property.  It was the very property I was just sure we would one day occupy.   Instead, I just stood there shaking my head saying there was no way we were buying that piece of land.  So we got back in our cars and moved on to look at the next piece of property.

It was up on the ridge, off the county road (which is a dirt road).  I had seen this property on-line, but had already decided we didn’t want it.  After a quick look, we decided to move on.

The road to the next property wasn’t as steep as the first, but it was definitely a steep drive that ended at the property.  Half-way down the road, hubby and I decided we wouldn’t be considering this one either.  The view was beautiful, but it just wasn’t what we were looking for, so we headed back up the hill.  Well, sort of.   Other than the few families living nearby, these vacant pieces of land have only been inhabited by wildlife.  It’s privately owned land that hasn’t been maintained, so all the roads are overgrown.  About half-way up the hill we began spinning our wheels (literally) and the car began sliding to the side.  We backed down the hill and tried again.  No luck.  At this point, I got the girls out of the car and we walked up the hill.  Hubby took the car back down and tried again.  No luck, so back down he went and I began to think we would have to buy the property because we were going to be stuck down there anyway 🙂  Fortunately, the 4th try was successful and it was time to move on.

There were three more properties we wanted to check out, so our friends headed home while we drove the opposite direction.  We found ourselves driving down a winding dirt road and at the bottom of the hill sat the three properties.  Again, not what we were looking for.

As we drove back up the hill,  we began talking about the success of our trip.  We had successfully determined the properties we most wanted to see, where not at all what we thought they would be.  Pictures and maps on a website give buyers the best view, but don’t always share the ups and downs on the properties for sale (pun intended).  We had expected to see something very different from what had seen and we learned much from the experience.  We were so happy we had made the trip.

Our new friends had invited us back to their house for a visit and what an awesome visit it was.  Not only did they make us feel welcome and at home, but they provided us with some great information about the area and farming.  The girls loved being there and felt so comfortable around our new friends and they were wonderful with the girls.

When our visit was over, they sent us on our way with some goat meat from their freezer, a jar of rabbit meat and fresh eggs.  All grown on their little farm.

As we drove away we stopped to take a second look at the property sitting at the top of the ridge.  A second look can be a good thing and in this case it was a very good thing.  We saw it differently and began to discuss the possibilities.  Then we drove away and headed back to our little cabin.

We revisited the earlier conversations we had with our new friends and discussed the property sitting at the top of the ridge.  We also began to discuss two other properties at the top of the ridge that we hadn’t considered at all.  As the day we on, hubby and I thought more and more about our day and both of us became more and more interested in taking a closer look at the properties on the ridge.

The next morning we checked out of the cabin and headed to Baker Creek Seed Company.  WOW!!!!  But that’s another blog post for another day.  Then we went back for another look at the properties on the ridge.

Like I said, the property has not been maintained, so there is a thick layer of leaves (good compost), lots and lots of young trees, shrubs and grass.  Immediately I saw just how perfect this property would be for goats and sheep.

Hubby went thru an opening in the barbed wire fence to get a better idea of the topography.  He began to walk down the property and before long we lost sight of him.    He was out there for several minutes and finally we saw him walking back up the hill toward the car.  He reported that it didn’t take long before the car was out of his line of sight and we felt that while this property might work out well for goats and sheep, it might not be the best for building our home.

Then it was my turn to walk the property.  I wanted a different perspective, so I walked the opposite direction.  After a few minutes of walking, I headed back to the car.  I asked hubby to drive while I walked the along the perimeter of the property.  During my walks, I made some wonderful discoveries.

Not only do the properties have some good building sites, but I could see the spectacular view we could have from those properties.  Someone just needs to give those properties a little TLC and they would be exactly what we have been looking for.  So, why not be the ones to buy the property and clean it up?

With some new found excitement, we spent a big chunk of our drive home talking about the property.  We discussed just how much we enjoyed our trip and how fortunate we felt to meet some wonderful like-minded people who, if things work out, will be our neighbors.  And they are also transplants from Illinois 🙂

Although we have not made an offer on the property yet, hubby is going to be contacting the owner soon.  Until then, this experience has shown me that a crazy plan can cause some crazy things to happen.  I suppose that is why hubby threw out ‘Crazy Acres’ as a possible name for our future homestead. It’s catchy and it describes us, our ideas and our lives pretty well I think.

A Homestead Kind of Day

Winter Storm Nika moved through last night and early this morning leaving us about 6 – 7 inches of snow. This required another snow shoveling work-out and after my work-out I decided it was a good day to enhance some of my homesteading skills.

Since I was down to just enough laundry soap for maybe two more loads of laundry, making laundry soap was my first order of business. I’m now set for the next few months with 6 jars ready to go to work.

DSC_1303

My next challenge was making some body butter.  Now I say this is a challenge because my past attempts haven’t turned out the way I had hoped, but I just can’t give up so I tried again.

First I measured out 1/2 c each of Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Coconut Oil.  I put them in the top of a double broiler and melted them down to a liquid form.  I put it aside to let it cool and once the pan was cool, I put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes to cool off a bit more.

After it began to thicken along the edges, I stirred in 1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil, 1 t Vitamin E oil, and several drops of lavender and orange bitter essential oils.  (Sorry, but I didn’t count the number of drops.  I went strictly by scent and quit when it smelled good.)

I mixed in the oils and put the pan back into the fridge until everything began to thicken (about 20 – 30 minutes).

Now it was time to mix.

The moment of truth . . . . . . . .

And success!!!!!

DSC_1302

Creamy!
Buttery!
And it smells scrumptious!!!

It seems the problem with my previous attempts was not allowing the oils to cool off and thicken.  Which didn’t give me the consistency I desired.  I’m so glad I didn’t give up.  Of course now I’m anxious to try some new blends, so stay tuned for Debbie’s delightful body butter combos.

And I must point out that I love my canning jars.  They have an amazing multitude of uses.

My last homestead adventure for the day is something I’ve been doing for many, many, many years.  It was something the girls have been asking to do for several weeks, so we got out everything we needed and created these.

DSC_1298

The girls got snowflake cookie cutters in their Kiwi Crates at Christmas and have been wanting to use them and use them we did.

Overall, nice day on the ranch . . . I mean farm . . .  I mean a nice day at home.

What to Wear?

It’s snowing again.  “Hello Winter Storm Nika,” and this winter I’ve begun to think a lot about my homestead wardrobe.  When the weather is hot, I wear a lot of capris, short-sleeved tops and flip flops.  It works well for the gardening and housework I do now, but I don’t think it’s going to work as well for all the jobs on the farm.  I need to find comfortable clothes that will work well for housework, gardening, feeding animals, as well as cleaning coops and barns.

This is very Little House on the Prairie, but isn’t quite my style.  Although I do like those boots.

Wearing jeans on the farm makes good sense . . . .

I just need to find that perfect fitting pair of jeans and haven’t accomplished that task yet.

Maybe a nice pair of overalls with a cool short-sleeved shirt.  When I look at these overalls I think “farm.”  Exchange the short-sleeved shirt for a long-sleeved shirt on cool evenings and I’m set!

And I could have overalls in a variety of colors . . . .

 

 

Maybe a pair of these for a fancy day on the farm.

Probably not though.

Of course a good jacket is a must on the farm.  One that will work for rainy mornings or cool nights.

And one to add a little more color on the farm.

Farm work doesn’t end in the winter, so warm clothes will be a necessity.

Like some quilted overalls.

In a variety of colors because the same outfit over and over again is boring.

And a nice warm work coat to wear under the overalls.

 

 

And I can’t be on my farm without owning a few flannel shirts.

 

Last, but certainly not least, I have to consider footwear.

I’m going to have animals on my little farm, so I’m going to need a good pair of muck boots.

And there is going to be a lot of garden work to do, so a decent pair of gardening shoes is in order.

And a work boots are a necessity.

And I can’t forget work gloves.

Okay, I don’t really need ‘everything’ I on this list, but my wardrobe is going to be expanding and I really think I’m going to like the changes.

What are your must have clothing items for the farm?

Planning A New Plan?

For the last 18 months, we have been in planning mode.  Planning a change of job for hubby; planning the sell of our house; planning the purchase of property; planning our move to the country; planning for animals;  planning for outbuildings;  planning . . . . planning . . . . planning . . . .

The problem with all of our planning is that it really isn’t moving us any closer to our goal.  While we have certainly been busy planning, we have not been busy living on our homestead.  We’re not busy planting the trees for our orchard.  We’re not putting in our raised beds for our garden.  We’re not building a chicken coop which means we’re not raising chickens.  We’re not putting up fencing.  We’re not putting up a barn.  We don’t have goats.  We don’t have sheep.  No ducks, pigs, horses, guinea fowl, or any other animals we’ve talked about having on our little homestead.  I’m frustrated!!!  Hubby is frustrated!!!

Planning isn’t a bad thing.  For a matter-of-fact, a life change as big as the one we are trying to make means planning is necessary .  But hubby and I had to begin asking ourselves if all our plans made sense.  Was it time to scrap all the plans we had made and start all over again?  Should we keep some of the plans and change others?  Should we keep things the way they are and just wait?  Would changing the order of our plan create forward movement?

Ultimately we decided that it was time to make changes.  It was time to start planning a new plan.  We had begun to define insanity – doing the same things over and over again expecting different results. We need a more workable plan that gets us on our homestead more quickly.  A plan that moves us toward our goal instead of walking in a circle.  A plan that allows me to sooner, rather than later, begin sharing stories of the joys and struggles on our property.  Pictures of our land, our orchard, our garden, our animals and our home.   A plan that creates positive momentum.

I wish I had wonderful details to share about our new plan, but there is still a lot of discussion taking place as we are planning our new plan.  What I can tell you is that it feels good to let go of the insanity.  It feels good to look at things from a different angle and to start over again.  While the plan may change, our goal won’t change.  We will one day be living our homesteading life.  Now we just need to figure out a faster and better way of getting there.