How we got started
In 2001 while living in a 3 family apartment style home the dream to farm was born. We were responsible for maintaining our small backyard that accompanied our apartment. So we started small, with a 8' x 8' garden and some angora rabbits; we began to learn. In our living room you could find stacks of books from the library all non-fiction topics covering one end of farming to the next. I was a sponge for knowledge. We also began offering our help to other local farmers on weekends who were living our dream. With our four little ones in tow we mucked stalls, our compensation was a farm raised meal and hands on knowledge.
In 2003 the kids and I moved in with a friend while my husband was deployed. My friend graciously allowed me to have a handful of chickens and two milk goats.
In 2004 we moved to our own home on one acre which we called Hidden Acre Farm. We bought fifty more chickens, and upgraded the number of goats from two to three. My original two goats were the best I have ever owned for milking ability. Coming from a dairy background, they would be considered mutts if you were talking about dogs, but are known as Recorded grade in the goat world. These two ladies gave me 2 gallons a piece per day. We sold milk and eggs from our farm. Unfortunately the gardening was terrible as there was little area on our one acre that wasn't crowded by tall trees. On the other hand we were able to make some great maple syrup from those trees.
In 2005 we made the choice to go back into active Army, which meant selling off all the animals. I thought perhaps that part of life would never return until retirement came. However, once the farm is in the girl it can't be taken out.
In 2006 we bought a place in sandy New Mexico just outside of where we were stationed on 3/4 of an acre. Again we acquired dairy goats and chickens. I never even attempted the gardening aspect of it, being in the Chihuahua desert.
2008 brought another move, this time to central Tx on just a 1/2 acre which made us to decide to give up the goats, but we made the move with the chickens. We also created the largest garden spot I had been able to have up to that time and a very successful garden it was until our move two years later. I also put much time and energy in making a flower garden, something I had never dabbled in much before. As well we planted a few fruit trees. We also began learning about vermicomposting, and creating our own manure tea.
In 2010 we were moved again, and this time all the way across the great ocean to Germany. Never would I have dreamed what I was able to enjoy in the way of farming as we took our flight over. I began my first spring there by creating a vegetable garden about 15x15 in our backyard. No sooner had I finished that then I was asked by a local German if I would like to use one of the community vegetable gardens. I accepted with some reluctance because I knew I was not a pristine gardener and both the German's homes and farms were spotless. I accepted on the condition that my German friend would let me know if I did anything to offend the Germans. Other than gentle chiding by Oma across the street I was never approached about my unsightly weedy garden in the midst of there perfect ones.
2013 brought us back to our home country and I couldn't have been happier. I missed the possibility ,however slight it might, be of being able to have our own sustainable farm. We were blessed with a home on four acres, already set up for the most part for what we wanted to do. We purchased our Alpine dairy goats before we even left Germany, picked up some chicks from our local Atwoods, a Great Pyrenes from a goat friend, and a farm cat. We had the beginnings of our farm.
By the end of 2014 we were so blessed to be able to fill two freezers, one with meat and the other with vegetables from our garden. We also learned how to make many of our own personal products like laundry soap, lotion, goats milk soap, deodorant, etc. We also began to learn that our sense of what was the right way for things to be had been sorely molded by society. Your chicken and vegetables don't have to look perfect to be tasty, in fact when you factor in that you've put a lot of sweat, worry, and love into your food it tastes so much better.
Here in 2015 We have our dairy goats, a milk cow, a variety of farmyard chickens we raise for meat, rabbits for meat, a vegetable garden, a working farm collie, and a cat. Our goats are often crossed with a Boer billy for meatier kids. This year we are working on building an herb spiral, flower gardens, a blackberry bed, and a strawberry bed. Come enjoy the farm with us, God has been very good!
As we entered 2016 we began several new projects. First, we are doubling the size of our garden to be able to support other families as well as our own. We also acquired some American Guinea Hogs as well as two pigs for the freezer. All the goats are bred to a registered Alpine buck, and we may have some kids available in the early summer. We put in around a dozen fruit trees to start a small orchard. Our small flock of ducks are setting on nests and we look forward to some baby ducklings in March. With the milk from our dairy cow we have already been able to make some aged cheeses, and finally we have begun to sell our goats milk soaps and lotions. Come by some time and see how God has blessed us!