I am a pretty practical person by nature. If we don’t need something, there is very little chance that we will get whatever it is we don’t need. I don’t like to have a lot of stuff just laying around that never gets used. Phillip is the same way. We are, overall, pretty frugal people. I don’t particularly like to spend money. Yes, there is the occasional shopping trip or spending spree, but then I’m usually good for the year. It’s just not high on my priority list.
BUT, if it involves a farm or farm animals, I am all about shelling out the money! If I see a horse, goat, or cow for sale, I’m ready to buy them all! I am so ready to have a farm! We have been working toward a farm for several years now. I am hoping to purchase property and build our home and farm from scratch. Phillip hasn’t always been on board with the whole farm thing. He was always supportive of me starting a farm, but he didn’t really understand my NEED for a farm. I’m not real sure he still understands it completely, but it’s definitely growing on him. We don’t have our own property yet, but I’m hoping that will soon change.
Anyway, we are currently staying at my in-laws’ home. They live on about 100 acres. They are going to allow us to fence part of the property that is not being used right now and put animals on it. I’m hoping for goats, chickens, and bees to start. I already have horses, but they are boarded at my Aunt’s farm, so I’m not going to uproot them right now. The kids and I are also hoping to put a big garden in this spring. It’s going to be fun to watch the kids learn about growing their food and taking care of animals. They love animals and they have been begging for some goats for a while now. This is going to be so much fun! Now I just need to talk the hubby into a goat for each of our children… and maybe a couple for me…
The chickens will be one of the first things to happen. I hope anyway. Phillip’s mom has been wanting chickens for a few years now. We even built her the shell of a chicken coop a couple years ago. All that needs to be done is to put a door on it, paint the whole thing, and probably insulate it for winter. Then we are ready for chickens! It should be a lot quicker to get ready for chickens than it would be to get ready for goats. That’s what I’m pushing for anyway.
There is a big wooded area that we are going to fence in for the goats. It has a lot of browse for them to munch on and enjoy. We had goats out here before and used them to clean up an area right by the house. They did an amazing job. It went from an overgrown mess to being cleaned up and usable in just a few short months. And that was with only two goats. I can’t wait to see what a few goats will do!
As for the honey bees, I have no idea what I’m doing. I have never had bees before. We have a local beekeeping group that I’m hoping will teach me what to do and how to care for them. It makes me a tad bit nervous, but I really want to help the bees, help my gardens, and have the benefit of local honey in the end. I think it’s a win any way I look at it. I’m getting super excited for spring to get here. The four inches of snow we got yesterday is not helping my spring fever.
Another thing the kids keep asking for is rabbits. I have no idea what to do with rabbits either, but I guess we might be learning soon. I need to get a rabbit hutch built first and do some research. From what I’ve heard, rabbits are pretty easy animals to care for, but I’m always afraid of doing something wrong and killing them off. Hopefully this won’t be too difficult! I would feel terrible if I killed off my children’s rabbits!
I will post an update whenever all this stuff happens and we get everyone settled. I’m going to try to post updates and pictures of the process as we go along. It will take a while, but I’m hoping to get it all done this summer. I’m so excited I can hardly think, much less type! I’m hoping there will be a lot to see on this blog this summer!
Do any of you have a farm or want to live on one someday? A farm has been my goal ever since I was little. We grew up with farm animals, so I think it’s just something in my blood. I can’t seem to get it out of my head. If you have a farm or have experience with farm animals, what are some of your favorite animals to care for? What are some of your best farm memories? Leave me a comment below and let me know! I would love to hear some of your stories and experiences!
Thanks for reading!
Hello! I am a new follower to your blog. I wanted to thank you for what I have read so far–about “Sprinter”, Easter, and now this post. I live with my little family on a small hobby farm in Indiana. It’s a hobby farm because we do not use it as our main source of income; however, it is very much at the center of our life.
We currently raise Alpine goats and chickens. We have also raised the occasional batch of turkeys…. Every year we plant a raised bed garden for food to freeze for winter. Just ate some of last year’s green beans the other day 🙂 I wouldn’t trade our lifestyle for the world. I was not raised on a farm, but my father was, and every year he would take our family to spend the summer on my grandfather’s farm in Kentucky where my brothers and I spent our days swimming in the creek, running in the pastures, or helping out with hay baling or other chores. I believe those early memories paved the way for my choice to live the lifestyle I do today.
As for stories from our farm, this last year was a tough one. For the first time in 10 years of raising milk goats, we experienced losing our favorite doe (an Alpine named “Pom”, short for Pomegranate) shortly after a difficult kidding, and we ended up bottle feeding her twin bucklings. What an experience! My husband and I were out in the barn at 2 a.m. taking turns at pulling the kids from the exhausted mama. We were so sad to lose our favorite doe as well as the milk she would have produced for us, but it was a touching and important experience for my family to go through.
It helped us remember that sometimes you can do everything you know how to do, and things still may not turn out the way you hoped. It helped us learn to be more grateful and to rely on God and each other even more. It highlighted the fact that farm life is full of joys and sorrows, birth and death, but that life goes on (in the forms of the baby goats left behind and life ever after with our Lord.) These lessons were just as important to my family as learning to milk a goat, trim hooves, or be mid-wife to a doe! I feel sad that many will never have these experiences, but blessed that my family has had the privilege.
Keep up the good writing, and I hope to learn of how your farm dreams come to fruition. I know that God has placed the desire for a farm within you, and He will help you see it through!
P.S. After what seemed like hours of pushing (probably about 45 minutes), Pom couldn’t birth her babies unassisted, so my husband and I gloved up and went in after them. It took us a while to sort out what hoof/leg/snout belonged to who (they were both trying to present at the same time).
When we finally pulled the first kid, we expected it to be dead. It lay there seeming lifeless on the straw for the first few seconds and then peeped open one eye!
Into action we flew rubbing it down with towels, sucking mucous from its snout, etc. Soon after we pulled the second kid.
The next morning, I told my daughter everything that happened and took her out to show her the new additions to our farm.
She named the goatlings “Miracle” and “Cookie” and became their surrogate mama through bottle feeding. And I think the lessons we all learned were priceless. 🙂
Thank you for your kind words! I love hearing about your experience. I had a three goats a couple years ago. We had a rough summer with them and ended up losing all three (my doe and her twin doelings). My kids learned quickly that farm life isn’t all smiles and roses. I’m thankful they are learning these things though. I’m excited to see what is to come, and I look forward to hearing more about your adventures as well!
Hello! I also want to have a farm one day too! I just don’t know how to make money from the farm?? That is the bit I have no idea about it. I have always been a teacher but its time to make some changes and think more laterally about what it is I want to do! Any suggestions??
Hi, Anita! Thank you for your comment! I think your question may just be the million dollar question. I’m not sure that I will be able to completely answer your question though.
I know it is possible to make money with a farm, but I also know that it’s tricky and can be a balancing act. I have always wanted to breed, raise, train, and sell horses. I absolutely love them and everything about them. That has been my dream ever since I was a tiny girl. The thing with horses is that there sometimes isn’t much of a return on investment.
Recently I have started looking at things a little differently. Right now, for my family, saving money is just as good as making extra. So, my recent thoughts have been moving more toward growing our own food and being as self-sustaining as possible. For now, this is the route that I will be starting and will be looking toward possibly upping the production to sell the extra produce and other things as we go. More things will be added as we go along and learn new things.
You, on the other hand, are a teacher. You may have an “in” with that profession. You may be able to start your farm and use it as a learning experience for kids. Teach them how to milk a goat or a cow. Show them what you can do with the milk. Have a class on making goat milk soap or how to make ice cream from your cow’s milk. You can have a summer program to teach kids how to ride and care for horses. You can even do a working student program if you need extra help on the farm but can’t afford to pay someone. There are so many ways that money can made/saved with a farm. I am quickly learning that I’m going to have to get creative and think outside the box to make things work. The challenge can be super exciting!
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YES! You are right it is the million dollar question! I know once I have the space I will be a lateral thinker and come up with income ideas. I think the hardest part is just buying the farm and setting it up. But little step by little step! It is so important to follow your dreams, life is too short to do otherwise!! x
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WOW! So happy for you! #dream Great Blog Post!
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