Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lots to say, so little time!

It has been too long hasn't it? Ok, I have a few moments to quickly type as I am waiting for the wood cook stove to heat up to 350 to make a special dessert for some friends coming by later this evening. Currently the Gentle Giant is out and about picking up 40 laying Golden Comet Pullets with the kitty cats and possibly purchasing our very own family dairy cow! YEAH! We will see what he decides. I sent the children along with him to see if she is a good milker or not. It is pretty neat to know I can give my children this task and they will know if the cow is worth it or not. I really wanted to go (I am one of the main milkers) but did not think it is wise at 30 weeks along (in a barn with a lantern) almost and did I mention how large I am growing! EEEK! It's going to be another big one folks J. BTW, 2 of our goats should be due to kid around the beginning of May so there will be LOTS of new life here on the farm J with some great photo ops

We are getting a brochure together of what we are selling off the farm. Let me know if you are interested in receiving one. Grass finished beef, pork, eggs, bread and local wheat berries pesticide free and more.

Spring is coming although it seems to be arriving rather slowly but one sign is all the mud. This is always the yucky time of year in the Midwest as things need to move towards beautiful spring. It is wonderful when we get there but getting there is another story J

Maple sugaring season started today. Our son went with the Amish friends to tap over 300 trees for sap. We all will help next week to make syrup. HOW FUN! We are learning and enjoying so much of everything here. Tomorrow we will go to our neighbors for a sewing day of sorts when our lessons are finished up in the morning. I am bringing bbq, a huge dessert and chips, and they will add to the community meal.

As of late I have received many wonderful and encouraging emails from all of you that are admiring our journey. Thank you so much! It really is encouraging to be hearing from you. 147% of all our criticism has come from our "friends" and distant family members. I should clarify that our immediate family has been supportive. I truly believe they criticize because they cannot grasp why we are doing this because they cannot fathom doing it themselves. That is fine, the world would be very boring if we all were alike wouldn't it?. These encouraging emails are so uplifting! Thanks and keep 'em coming! J

We are right on track to finish our lessons by the end of April. The hard work is paying off. We gave up quite a bit this year so we could finish early and strong. It will be challenging to stay focused now with the weather warming up J

Our next goals are in the works. One, instead of purchasing a tractor we have also decided to go the "off-grid" way in this area as well. We are seriously looking for a team of Belgian horses for our farm work. We have been studying up on this for a while and it seems like a good fit for our family. Our blue van (7-passenger minivan) is on the fritz big time… Who knows, when that goes you just might see us driving a buggy… J

Well, I better go. I can actually hear that the stove has reached 350 degrees in the silence... What's up in your neck of the woods?


Kristin said...

I think it would be awesome if you guys drove a buggy. :) Another use for your belgians!

Sarena said...

My children are always talking about how great it would be to drive a buggy! I would love some beef... accept that I live in B.C. Canada and I have a feeling the shipping would be a fair penny ;) So glad to see a post and hope the next ten weeks go well. I feel like I was just 30 weeks and now I'm due today!

Anna M said...

I found a place to get local eggs until I can get my own chickens and I've almost got the garden planned out. We have another two months of snow so it's a bit slower going up here in the frozen north. Sugaring here probably isn't for about 2 more weeks but I just did a deal with someone for maple syrup, now just ekeing out the last of ours until that's ready.

Glad to hear you are getting a milk cow, we want goats but there's only two of us. Hope to see pics soon of the new Bessie.

silversewer said...

I love to read your posts, they are always so interesting. How I wish I was 20 years younger!!!

In the UK it is more difficult to go 'off grid' but I would love to have been able to live the simple life.

Just thinking about our allotment, the soil should be drier we have not had rain for a while and the barometer is set fair, will have to have a tip up and see what I can get done in a couple of hours.

I'll look forward to your next message.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Sounds wonderful! Impressed you are going to try horses, (you've had other kinds before right?) The sugaring sounds wonderful, I would love to do that, I can't imagine getting my hands on my own syrup. It's so costly.
AND, I did not realize you are going to be selling stuff - silly me.
Aidan wants a sweet little milking cow, he wants to name her Elsie, we want her to me cream and a lovely shade of brown - like something out of a story book. Just about every day he asks if we can have a farm and he still can't quite figure out why we can't grow cheese in our garden.
Getting ready to turn our pretty front porch into a green house - can't wait to get muddy.
Miss you! Been waiting for this post.

Renata said...

Do you have a milk cow already (you mentioned being the main milker)? Or is this your first? I am trying to decide whether to purchase a house cow also & was wondering how much work they are.

Ann said...

Hi Ang,
do hope your hubby brings home a lovely gentle girl! We always called our cows the girls! We have enjoyed real milk for over 12 years now. I feel blessed that my son and daughter both work on the next door dairy farm, in fact they are just about to go and get the cows in!
I've published a post about the wildlife on our place, there's a few pics of our koalas, parrots and tree frogs.

Pink Slippers said...

Your post was so filling.
Loved it!

Carrie of Farming On Faith said...

Ang~You are living my dream life. Getting to be Amish yet keeping the hair and make up! I am a huge fan of the Amish. I have visited almost every Amish community in the States.I am glad to hear of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Maybe God has put you there to reach those who have not ~as an Amish Missionary! God works in unusual ways! I am so happy for you. We are just beginning our homesteading journey. You inspire me!
Phil 4:13

~ Carrie ~ said...

I am so happy that you are alright and that you finallyyyyyy posted again! :-) How are you feeling??? I was checking for updates constantly. My DH has so much he wants to learn from what you guys are doing there. We want/need to go off grid desperately.

In His Grip,
Carrie in Iowa

Tea with Willow said...

Great to hear some more of your news! I'm so glad you are keeping well - even if getting a little bigger!! Here in the UK, signs of spring are all around, but I know what you mean about mud .. my chickens bring it into my kitchen when they make their daily visits!

Love the idea of the Belgian horses - what a sight that would be ... and I hope the milking cow turns out to be a good one ... I've always wanted to have a try at milking .. could I pop over for a lesson?!!

Willow xx

Karen said...

So glad to see a post and know that things are going are you feeling? Yeaaah...30 weeks, the rest of the time will fly even tho it may not feel like it and I'm sure you look beautiful!

DH and I are looking at some property in the "blue hole" area of WA state - keep us in your prayers as we really want it, IF that's where God wants us....there's electricity "available" but not run to the property. I was on the Lehman's website and showed my husband a book they carry - "How to Live Without Electricity, And Like It" LOL!

He's discussed either a windmill or solar shingles on the roof - HE refuses to live without electricity :-) We'll be heading that way at the end of March to check things out and see about financing. I keep telling him that if that's where God wants us to be, things will work out!

Julie'smusings said...

I have come across your blog recently (living over in the UK). I have to say I love to read about you living this great adventure! Be encouraged by those of us who get excited when we read about the latest skill you have learned or times spent with new friends.

Renee said...

It is so fun to read all the things that you are doing on your farm! It helps the rest of us to realize that it is possible to get out of the everyday norm and do something different! We would be very excited to see a brochure of what you have to sell, especially since we are within driving distance of you (we live 20 minutes north of Lansing)especially the wheat berries, as we grind all our own flour and make all of our breads and baked goods! Will this be something you post on your website?


Amy said...

enjoy reading any updates! All I can say is A M A Z I N G !!! I can hear the excitement in your words, and can't wait to see this new life on the farm soon:) Take Care friend* you are doing exactly as you should.

to hell with the naysayers:) scuse my lingo but I just had too:) <3

Mammamamma said...

Hi Ang, Glad to hear you all are doing fine. Missed you tremendously. Sorry about all the negativity you recieve. I for one send you and your family praises. God Bless all of you.

tiffibug said...

I'm always so excited to read your posts. I say go for it, with the horses and buggy!

suezoos1 said...

So glad to see the update. I check every day to see what's going on with you. My dad used a huge (looked like a Clydesdale), beautiful horse for plowing when we moved to "the country" many years ago. Dan became my best friend and took me on many rides through the woods and fields, so he served more than one purpose. You will love your horses.

Tara said...

Loved the post, I am so excited for you and all your family is doing. We are doing some similiar things, but were not quite as brave as you are! 2 of our Goats just kidded and you can check out the pics on my blog. I started milking one and will milk the other starting next week (we share with the goat kids). Looking forward to seeing your goat pics!

Laurie said...

I'm a fan of your website. Glad you had time to leave more info! I've been interested in the Amish for along time and have had an Amish penpal for three years. They live in Ohio and went to visit them for a weekend. It was a wonderful time!
You are blessed living amongst them. Blessings to you all.

Irma said...

Delurking to say I was very happy to read today's post and to learn that all is well on the farm!

slaterlife said...

I'd LOVE to get one of those brochures.
I'll make sure to e-mail for it.
Good luck with the horse and buggy!

Sherry in MI said...

Hi Angie ~ I thought of you a week ago when we were considering going to the Thursday homeschool roller-skating and remember seeing you there in the past. Now you can go ice skating instead! Glad things are continuing to go well for you and your family. I love reading your posts.


Rhonda Jean said...

Hi Ang, you sound busy and content - a wonderful combination. The children seem to be keeping busy with wholesome activities too. I love horses, although I've not seen Belgians, we do have a team of huge Clydesdales close by and they always stop me in my tracks when I see them. Pity about the milk dud, but I'm sure you'll find another cow soon. It's good the kids knew how to make that judgement.

Take care with your precious bundle. Love RJ

Holly said...

Hi! I would love a catalog...Do we email you with our address? It is so exciting to read about your adventurous, peaceful life. We had planned on joining your farm co-op last year, but we didn't get in on it fast enough. I would love to meet you all in person someday. Would you welcome new friends to come visit sometime?

Holly Gilliam :)

kelly said...

I have a question that I wondered if you could help me with...our family of almost 10 is considering getting a beef cow but we are unsure about feeding it grain. You mentioned something about the beef ya'll would sell so I wondered if you have any advice in this area.


kelly said...

Hello, our family of almost 10 is considering getting a beef cow but we are not sure about feeding it grain and whether we can afford that or not. I saw on your blog that ya'll sell beef so I wondered if you have any words of wisdom or advice in this area.

Kristy said...

De-lurking here also to rock.
L.o.v.e this blog.
Blessings ~

Allison said...

I just wanted to post that I love reading your blog. I am sorry your friends and family are not supportive of your choices. Its odd but I was telling my husband about your family and my brother was over that night. My brother was very critical of me just because I said I thought what you were doing was great! How odd is that? He does not even know you or has never read your blog so just hearing it put him on edge. Silly people! Anyway I wish I lived nearer to you as you all sound so amazing, as does your farm. :)

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