Thursday, January 3, 2013

Looking Back

What a year!  I dare say 2012 was the most rewarding year of my life.  Sure, there were hard times, but I cannot remember a year where I was filled with more joy, love and excitement.  After years of dreaming and planning, our little farm is taking shape.  It's amazing for me to look at old photos and see how far we have come in one short year.  In 2011, we had 10 chickens and nothing else - no garden, nothing.  By the end of 2012, we:
  • Added 12 more birds to our flock
  • Fenced in about 1 1/2 acres of pasture
  • Borrowed a cow and a goat to mow said pastures
  • Purchased our own goat, who will be a pasture companion for beef steers we buy in the future
  • Set up two beehives, tended the hives and harvested 5 gallons of honey
  • Built and planted a 4,000+ sq/ foot garden
  • Canned over 150 jars of produce from our garden
  • Filled a 16 sq foot freezer with produce from our garden
  • Raised 3 hogs for pork.  We kept 1/2 a hog for us and sold the rest to friends
  • Planted 4 apple trees
Whew!  It was an exhausting, whirlwind of a year, but I can genuinely say each day was fun.  Each day was an adventure.  Each day we learned something new, mastered a new skill.  We focused on living out the words found in James 3:13 "Live well, live wisely, live humbly.  It's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts." 

As we move away from our former consumer-driven lifestyle into more of a production-driven lifestyle, we find it harder and harder to fit in with "normal" society.  Many a time, my husband and I have walked away from a social situation, looked at each other and said "Boy, we are WEIRD!"  Funny thing is, the more we move away from "normal" society, the more "normal" I feel.  Does that make any sense?  It has begun to occur to us that not knowing where our food comes from is weird.  That letting our government dictate what we can and cannot eat is weird.  That blindly allowing massive corporations (who only care about our money, not our health) to nourish our family is weird.  So who is weird and who is normal?  I don't know.  Does it matter?

We are eagerly looking forward to some new "weird" adventures in 2013.  I'm not one to set a lot of goals, but we do have a few things we'd like to accomplish this next year. 
  • Raise Organic pastured meat chickens to fill our freezer.  12-20 birds should last us a year.
  • Raise 4-5 pastured hogs, preferably on Organic feed this year. 
  • Purchase a calf to raise for beef (butcher in 2014 when he is about 18 months old)
  • Plan and plant a fruit orchard - strawberries, raspberries, apples, cherries, pears, peaches
  • Grow more produce in the garden - I think I could almost double my production with careful planning.  I'm already running low on potatoes and onions.
  • Can/freeze/preserve twice as much produce
  • Increase our egg layer flock
  • Raise a few Heritage breed turkeys?
  • Possibly raise meat goats?
  • Add another bee hive/colony to the bee yard
  • Keep working towards my long term goal of growing most of our own food so we are not dependent on the grocery store
Hmmm.... Ok, I'm kind of tired just looking at that list.  But we can do it!  We are fortunate to be surrounded by awesome friends and family who support our crazy endeavours and encourage us each step of the way.  Friends and family that help us as we seek to live well, and discover tangible ways we can display our love for God and our neighbor (when I say "neighbor", I mean "people", all people, all over the globe, even those people who have not been born yet).

I leave you with a slide show of photos taken this past year (you better enjoy it because it took this computer illiterate dummy forever to figure out how to post a slide show!).  Hope you had a great 2012 and many blessings as we enter into a new year, full of possibilities and opportunities! 


  1. I am loving your blog! I'm friends with Jenny R and she recommended it to me. Wonderful!

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Meghan! We having so much fun, we just wanted to share the love with others :)