***~~~ Please click on any pictures to enlarge~~~***

Saturday, January 7, 2012

When and Why did you decide to "homestead"/farm?

This was the question that was posed to a group that I am in on Facebook. I have quite a long answer, so I decided to blog about it......

My husband and I have been married for almost 22 years. The first 5 were tough. We were so young but we made it through. We were saved by the grace of God when our oldest daughter was about 2. We then proceeded for the next 15 years to live the "American Dream". You know the one where you make more money to buy more stuff. That was us. My husband was a local building contractor and he built the best, most beautiful houses for others and for us. We would build a house, sell it and then build a better one. We always had a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, with the best car in the driveway. Then May of 2004 hit us......

Let me start here by saying that my husband joined the Army at 17 years old in 1986. He served 3 years in Germany and then came home and joined the Ms. Army National Guard. Even though he was making plenty of money he still stayed in the following years, one, because he loved it and two, because he always felt we needed the retirement plan. Well, in 2004 his number was called. We always knew it could happen. He was called up for an 18 month deployment to Iraq. For most that means you go in and tell your employer you'll see them in 18 months and they have to honor that. Not so, for the self employed.


For us this meant he had to hurry to finish the houses he had started and then figure out what to do. We were some of the few families who made more at our real job than we would during deployment. So we ended up selling our really nice house, selling my husbands really nice truck, and down sizing big time. We rented a small house out in the country on 10 acres. All I can say is the bug got a hold of us big time......

While my husband was gone both of us started reading about all of the things we could do with this land. Neither one of us had ever lived in the country. It was freeing in a sense and so peaceful. When he came home from Iraq, we weren't quite sure what we were going to do for a job. He really didn't want to start from scratch in the building trade (it was so tough the first time) and about that time the housing market took a nose dive.


God was so good to open up a position full time with the Guard and it has been a blessing for our family. We moved about an hour and a half away from our home town and bought a small house on about 8 acres. It's not quite the beauty that we had become accustomed to but it is my favorite house!! My children say really??? when I say that but it's true. We have done lots of work to it and have lots to go.


Soon after coming home, my husband bought our children their first horse. Then came a handful of chickens. With the chickens, came the desire to live a more self sustained existence. It has been a slowwww process but it is a process nonetheless. Now, we grow a huge garden, ofwhich, we can and freeze the surplus. We have 27 chickens and 2 roosters. I get to gift friends and family with a ton of eggs in the spring. We raise 2 feeder pigs every year for our freezer. We cull our extra roosters for our freezer. We have just gotten our first cow, MaeBelle. She, Lord willing, will be our milk cow in about 18 months. We have our first St. Croix ram and hope to get him a couple of ewes in the Spring. The men in our family took a bee keeping class last spring and added 2 bee hives to our little farmette. Hopefully, we will be harvesting honey this spring/summer. We hope to add meat chickens to the homestead this year and a couple of steers. We also hope to add a rotational grazing system. The new challenges and experiences here on the homestead are never ending and we love every minute of them.


It may not be the "American Dream" but it is the dream we never knew we had until the unexpected happen. We are so thankful for the unexpected!!!



*****I will be linking this post up to Barn Hop #44*****


Photobucket

6 comments:

mississippi artist said...

God sometimes makes our plans- his-doesn't he? I feel like a farmer with my little back yard city garden, but I would have so much more fun with a farm! Of cours I would have a ton of animals to feed as I would never eat any of them!

Rie said...

Trixi, I love reading that! A lot of it hit home with Gregg being in the building industry but what really touched me was your family's openness to God's plans.

And isn't it wonderful how His is always the best?!

Greg and Donna said...

I love that you are living your own
"dream"! We are looking forward to your beekeeping producing honey! Isn't it great how the Lord works everything out for His children!

Heathahlee said...

I LOVE this story, Trixi! It's amazing how God takes us places we never dreamed of going!

Leigh said...

What a wonderful story! God's grace in action, what a blessing.

Cinnamon said...

Trixi~ I loved reading about your story. What an amazing testimony. My husband and I just talked about this very thing. Maybe it's our 25th wedding anni that's coming up. Maybe it's the warmer weather that's got me thinking of spring time? Who know but your story is just lovely. Thank for visiting and thank you for sharing.

~Cinnamon