Today's Featured Farmer is Cari of Everything Pretty.
While Cari doesn't write about her homesteading lifestyle on her blog, she has lots of wisdom to share with us today! Welcome, Cari, and thanks for joining us!
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
I live on a small farm with my husband, three kids, a flock of chickens, homing pigeons, and two goats. We also have 300 fruit trees and almost an acre of garden that we grow non GMO vegetables organically. There are also berry bushes and nut trees on the farm that we harvest. Although it’s considered a small farm at 12 acres, it’s been designed for self-sufficiency.
I grew up in the country, but not on a farm. My husband grew up in a small town, but he spent a lot of time on his uncles’ farms. He loved the lifestyle, and we both wanted to get out of the city that we lived in.
We used to live in a small city of about 20,000 people. We couldn’t have a garden, and we really missed it. We were becoming too dependent on stores and other people for our own food. We both wanted enough land to grow our own food and have some animals.
3. What is your favorite part of your farming lifestyle?
Each spring, we start with fresh dirt. By fall, I’ve got shelves and shelves of home canned food. It’s awesome to step back and look at all that we accomplished over the summer.
4. What have you struggled with?
Weeds! Every year, we try new methods to kill weeds in the garden without using chemicals. Every year, we make a little bit of progress. It’s going to take a few more years to get it right, though.
We also really struggle with time. Our property had been neglected for 6 years, so we had a lot of overgrowth the conquer before we could even start any new projects.
The hardest part of homesteading is dealing with death. Last winter, we lost 30 of our 40 chickens. My daughter's beloved pony passed away from a heart defect last spring. Each death hits you so hard, and it never gets easier.
5. What has been the most surprising thing about incorporating this into your life?
It’s given us all a sense of accomplishment and pride. Even though we are way over our heads with this property and the upkeep, we keep pushing on, and it always gets worked out in the end.
6. How has being involved in agriculture affected your faith?
God picked us up from the city where we thought we were happy and plopped us in the middle of Amish country where we learned what hard work and real happiness is. He definitely had a plan bringing us here.
7. What advice would you give a complete newbie (you know, like me)?
Don’t start too many projects because they will never get done. Our first year, we were cutting down trees, planting a garden, reshaping the ponds, and trying to keep up with the daily chores. Everything seemed like it took forever because it did!
Also, learn chicken math. We started with 10 and ended up with 40. I'm getting 10 more next year, so I expect we will have about 50 by the end of summer.
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Cari is a blogger and homeschooling mom in Ohio. She lives in a 12 acre farm with her husband, three kids, two goats, two dogs, three cats, 12 homing pigeons, and a flock of chickens. When she's not at her laptop with a cup of coffee, she's either in the garden or watching Gilmore Girls.
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