Tuesday, July 10, 2012

the beauty of changing blog posts...

















I think it is about mighty time I check in here don’t you?  

We have been having an amazing summer here at Maple Valley Farm even with the drought like conditions.  We are praying for rain and believing God to come through for us on that!  My tomatoes need some water…

One of our teams of Belgians horses, Comet and Marge, have had the opportunity to be working at our neighbor’s farm down the road.  It has been a joy seeing them hard at  work on the surrounding fields.  Our corn crop here is fairing ok however between the drought like conditions and the deer chewing it up, we are losing quite a bit of it.

Our piggies our free-ranged outside and enjoying rolling in the mud and keep cool in these hot weather conditions.  It has been delightful seeing some of our weanlings going to new family farms.  Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a “new” farmer pull in a rusty old suburban with a “No Farms No Food” bumper sticker to pick up some pigs for his family farm.  It is exactly that passion that fuels our resilience to keep doing what we love…  To all you newbies out there:  PRESS ON!

What does Maple Valley Farm look like almost 4 years later from the day we purchased it?  Smarter, more balanced, still making mistakes or D. ALL OF THE ABOVE…  I circled D.

Here is my take on it:  

Our children are maturing and growing well, just like our veggies, towards the SON…  Our eldest is enjoying a full time position at our local hospital as a Nurse Assistant.  It has opened her eyes to many things, mostly good.  She has some amazing people she works with and is very blessed to have this job in an economy like today, just a little ways from the farm and a pleasant work environment – all at the ripe old age of 18.  She just purchased her 2nd car – cash- a cool jeep that she is enjoying.  Just goes to show you that an 18 year old can be responsible.  We did not help her pay for any of her cars or insurance…  HARD WORK never hurt anyone.  She enjoys her leisurely days here with her wild Mustang.

Our other children are still helping us big time on the farm.  Buddy’s leg is fully healed and he has plans on expanding the beef herd.  Our 2nd eldest is still helping castrate the pigs and sells the pigs to other small farms for us.  She has taken over the Kombucha business from our eldest.  Our 4th daughter is expanding her knitting skills hopefully to knit some wool from our 2 Icelandic sheep.  We are still trying to find a shearer!  And last but not least at all, our 2 babies are growing up to fast!  3 and almost 5.

Hubby is working out besides farming full time … Busy but a huge blessing to our family as I still cannot pull my entire weight here on the farm due to the residual effects of the horrible h1n1 flu I had in February 2011.  I am still dealing with water around my heart (pericarditis) and an over active immune system that zaps my energy and gives pain.  I was recently diagnosed with RA however after further testing I DO NOT HAVE RA and the inflammation numbers were off due to pericarditis.

I have not posted here in quite a while a heart to heart…  Been busy finishing our spring homesteading courses ***that will be run again starting in September*** and also having sales out of our cottage 4 times a year selling antiques and repurposed goods. You will LOVE to see us in the upcoming pages of Romantic Prairie Magazine coming out in September.  Many other farming opportunities coming up as well.   LIFE IS FUN…

We are enjoying our time when we can at our little shack in Leelanau every now and then.  Our Amish friends and some other friends have been great hired farm hands to us.

I look at Maple Valley Farm 4 years later and see us a little more balanced between work and play.  It’s a very fine line in raising a large family and working on a farm.  It is hard to keep it all balanced… 

All this to say to the world 

WE ARE STILL FARMING.  Read that again.  



Ps. God is still driving this thing…

xo

In the spirit of farming, family and faith,

12 comments:

Joe and Jeannie Family said...

Sorry to hear you are still having troubles from your illness. And I am very glad you are able to get away to Leelanau. We live in Benzie and there is NO better place to be in the summer than NW Michigan.

Charlie Leger said...

Beautiful photos! Are pigs really easy to raise? I've never heard of letting them free range; do they go in a shed or barn at night? I've raised goats and cows, and have always wanted to raise pigs but were a bit scared of them, because they're smart and BIG. Anyways, great post, don't let people get you down, you and your family are inspirational! <3

Sentimentally Me said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

Sounds like you are mighty upset wit your readers, but as a long time reader, I can only say that your absence on the blog just made me wonder if all was okay. I'm so sorry if that seems intrusive! I've always enjoyed reading (and admiring) your strength and ability to live this alternative life style. Yikes, that was quite a tongue lashing, but I do hope you feel better now! :)

April said...

Your pigs must be better behaved their ours were....How do they free range without causing trouble?? Mine ate the garden....rooted up the chicken pen....ate from the corn field....tried to fit into the dogs house and broke it....thought they were dogs and ran with the labs on their daily trek down the gravel road and back to visit the neighbors....pulled clothes off the clothesline.....knocked over the trash barrels.....ate the chickens eggs and a few hens as well....and chased an inlaw (that one I didn't really mind to much!)

Theresa Foot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Mac said...

All I can say is, 'Thank the Lord for families such as your that are willing to operate small farms.' You go the extra mile to grow/supply good wholesome food. I hope you are on the mend soon.

Renata said...

Hi Ang
It is lovely to have your update!! I will pray for some rain to go your way ~ I know what drought is like & it sure isn't nice & is particularly hard on a farm. As you said though ~ God always, ALWAYS provides.
Hope you have a wonderful day & can find that shearer ~ if only you could send them here there are a lot of shearers around. It is a fun skill though & your son or hubby would enjoy learning it, but probably need to be shown how to first.
Have a wonderful day my friend
Blessings
Renata:)

Joannah said...

You have such a beautiful family, and the love you have for one another is so apparent in these photos!

I'm sorry you deal with criticism for living your lives the way you do. Just keep doing what you feel the Lord is leading you to do, and He will continue to bless your efforts.

We are going to come and visit you on that beautiful farm someday - if the Lord doesn't come for us first! ;)

<3
Joannah

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Ang - I am so glad you edited your blog post! I hoped that you would for this blog has been such an encouragement to those that read here who desire to live differently and choose a path others don't take, whether that be off grid, living more simply or homeschooling or a combination of all 3! You have also been honest about the challenges you faced and the criticism that came your way right from the start. But oh yes, thank the Lord for the beauty of being able to change something we have written though people coming to this late might not get it. If I had been commenting on version 1 I would have said 'There will always be naysayers in this life. Don't allow negative responses and comments directed at you cause a root of bitterness to take hold in your heart. It will make everything harder - including writing this blog in the future. Don't let this post define you (I'm not!) Maybe consider editing it and take out the parts that are for those that 'don't get it' - the reasons why you chose this life and live how you do leaving the rest for those that do, who know you are not doing this of your own accord but only with the Lord's help who as you say is still driving it.
All the very best with your future enterprises. I loved the updates on your family. My daughter turned into a almost full time farmgirl and drives her own ute (pick up do you call them?) that she paid for herself and is planning her trip to the US and Canada next year, wish I could go with her for we would head right over to Michigan to meet you if I had my way!

Happy Days said...

Wonderful hearing from you and catching up on all the family and farm and all the additions. I really miss reading your posts and hope you can find time to post more news and great photos. Am sorry to hear your still having problems with your heart. I hope God will help that mend. ...debbie

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

Woo-hoo, love the pictures! They are amazing ;) I'm so glad to see a blog update, too. Other social media is nice but I think blog updates and photos are the nicest - also know how hard it can be to find the time to do them, LOL!

May the Lord God bless and keep your precious family

Sherry Sutherby http://russ-stickacres.blogspot.com/ said...

It's good to "see" you again, my friend. Love the photos... Hope to see you in person this summer. Hugs to all the Special K's and GG. Love to all. Blessings...

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