Our farming story started after Jeff came home from his first deployment overseas in 2011. I wanted to be prepared for any kind of crisis; natural disaster to loss of a job. We began by looking for ways to grow and store our own food. Our home in northern Virginia was the typical 1/4 acre plot surrounded by neighbors. The size of our property and our disapproving neighbors made our venture into homesteading very interesting! We started purchasing grains, beans and sugar from a local bulk food distributer and began experimenting with long term food storage. We built raised garden boxes and grew our veggies in the square foot gardening style. With the abundance of food from the garden, we also began canning as a form of long term food storage. Our food storage was awesome! We budgeted and made sure we had food for at least 3 months if disaster happened! We raised worms for composting and also built a large compost pile. Our biggest accomplishment was raising meat rabbits. Jeff built outdoor cages and we purchased 1 buck and 2 does to start. Rabbit meat is very delicious and healthy....especially rabbit sausage! Our family being meat eaters had begun to question the ethics on how animals are raised in the industrial agriculture system in order to supply meat to the masses. We felt that our role as stewards of the land should embrace the life and well being of the animals we raise and consume. We also took on some chickens for a 4H project. This evolved into 4 hens on our property....not exactly legal in Fairfax County! Our interest in self sufficiency was nurtured by a magazine called Mother Earth News. They host a fair called the Mother Earth News Fair every year in several locations in the US. I urge you to read this magazine and try to attend one of these events....I promise you will not be disappointed, only energized and invigorated to be a good steward of your land!
In 2012 we started looking for land in southwest Virginia. We looked at a few properties, including the farm we own today. At that time the price was above what we could manage. We spent the next year trying to find that piece of land we could call our own. After a year of discouragement and no land, we called our realtor about the farm we had looked at...the farm had been foreclosed and was going to the bank auction that week! It was not purchased and we made an offer....and as "they" say the rest is history! We own 40 acres in the mountains! I truly believe that our fate was and still is in God's hands. Thats how we came to live in the "middle of no where" as our kids say!
We made our move south in 2014. We started our farm with dairy goats, rabbits and chickens. We also purchased 2 anatolian shepherd pups to become our gardian dogs. In the last 3 years we have learned, failed, achieved and grown. We came to this place knowing absolutely nothing about farming and we still have so much to learn! Our family welcomed the addition of our 4th child and Jeff was deployed again. During his absence, I worked full time, raised our children and managed the farm. Jeff and I both have become more driven than ever to make our farm sustainable and profitable. We are so thankful for what God has given us, and we would like to invite you to follow along with us as our adventure continues