So…Why The Farm?

Those who knew my husband growing up are probably not surprised at  all to find him starting a small farm, renovating an old house, and living in a town so rural it doesn’t have its own zip code.  Those who knew me growing up are probably scratching their heads wondering when I had my nervous breakdown and how on earth do I get by way out here.

I’m about as unlikely a farm wife as they come.  I grew up in well-to-do suburb in one of the wealthiest states.  Went to a very good public school and was much more interested in clothes and shoes and getting good grades than chickens or manure.  In fact, we didn’t even have a pet growing up.  Well, not entirely true, I had a gold fish.  And I did manage to keep it alive for many years.  So I guess I get some points toward animal care.  But a farm?! If someone had foreseen this for me in high school I would’ve laughed at them.  Living in a house without a dishwasher would’ve seemed unbearable, never mind being 30 minutes from town or out in the boonies where cell phone reception was a distant dream and trips to Walmart required packing snacks and a lunch.

So how DID we end up on a farm?  Did my husband drag me kicking and screaming all the way from town?

Nope.  I came very willingly.

The decision wasn’t made overnight.  We first thought about buying some land when we found out we were pregnant with our first child.  Having a child really makes you reconsider so much about life.  It’s incredible.  The more we prayed about it and the more we talked about it, the more we really felt God was encouraging us in this direction.  It took several years (and more babies) until we finally made the leap.  But we made it 100% together.  And we made it for three basic reasons:

1. To Live Debt Free

We still have a ways to go.  Our long term goal is to be 100% debt free (meaning no mortgage too) in 10 years.  The longer we have been married, the more we realized that debt strangled us from being able to do things God called us to do, like giving to those in need or generously supporting local ministries.  Not to mention the Bible has a lot of warnings about debt in Proverbs and in Paul’s New Testament letters.  It doesn’t definitively say that debt is a sin, but it sure doesn’t have a lot of positive things to say about it either.  The American lifestyle is so entrenched in this “buy it now, pay for it later” mentality, we felt the need to break that cycle.  To show our children that it doesn’t have to be that way.  That you can be patient, work hard, and make do until you can save money for things you want.  Providing more for ourselves and being further from the “go go go” mentality of town will be a change to allow us to pay down more debt.

2. Because…Kids…

Our children were a big factor in this decision.  We want them to know the value of hard work.  We want to be able to teach them the many do-it-yourself life skills that have been lost in the last couple of generations.  We want them to get lots of fresh air, see their food grow, appreciate the seasons to both nature and life (there is time of work and time of rest) that we are missing in the hectic modern life.   We want to be able to work and play together as a family.  To provide fresh food and balanced nutrition to support their growing bodies.  To be able to feed a large family on a limited budget.

3. To Be More Sustainable and Less Wasteful

We as Americans throw so much a way!  I think half of the weight in goods I purchase in the grocery store ends up in the trash as wrappers, styrofoam containers, or non-recyclable plastics.   We want to be more respectful of God’s beautiful creation by doing more to throw away less.  Some of this started long before we moved: cloth diapers, trying to only purchase fruits/veggies in season and limiting the number of pre-packaged goods we buy.  Learning to use every part of a vegetable or making broth from bones.  The farm is just the next step in the journey.

We still have a long way to go.  We’re going to make a lot of mistakes along the way.  But we’re excited to learn together as a family and to have you take this journey with us.  The blog will be featuring updates on our home renovation, recipes from the garden, updates as we prepare to add animals to our pasture, and just a peek at life with kids and the great outdoors.  Stay tuned!