When we first started this blog, I had an early post that discussed our plans for our family farm. I discussed then that we had a vision for our farm, but that it was nearly unobtainable at this stage in our life. So we broke our vision down into pieces and began to focus on the individual parts that make up the whole. We looked at which parts were highest priority, which were obtainable now and in the near future, and which were the most benefit to causing the whole vision to materialize. We decided that the two parts we would pursue were #1, eliminate debt from our life, and #2, provide as much of our sustenance as possible here on our farm.
It has been about 5 months since I posted that discussion. God has certainly blessed us in that time. We completed a couple of investment projects in that time that have eliminated considerable debt for us. Though we still have plenty remaining, that mountain is not nearly as high as before. Additionally, we have began to budget more strictly and track our financial condition more often. We have found that ignoring the bottom line of the checkbook is a recipe for disaster. It's much easier to spend when you "think" there may be more there than there really is. We are thankful for the opportunity that God provided with the investment homes, but also thankful that we aren't doing any more. Projects like those take a great deal of time away from our home, farm, and family. Once in a while that is fine, but living a lifestyle that way is no way to successfully raise and care for your family.
On to our second priority; providing more of our own food. Here too, we are making progress. We established a small stand of blueberry plants that I posted on earlier. We have a small plot of cold hardy vegetables in the ground in our new garden location. In this same area, we are currently establishing 4 new 4'x30' raised beds. Our goal is to eventually do all of our vegetable gardening in raised beds, with a few exceptions, such as corn, potatoes, and pumpkins. This morning we received our order of laying hens in the mail. My wife picked them up a the post office around 9am and they are being heavily cared for by my 9, 7, and 2 year olds. We've got them tucked away in a cozy little box in my shop because the temps here in East Tenn have decided to drop to freezing on the first day of spring. We've had hens pretty consistently for the last 5 years, but had recently removed them from the farm temporarily. I'm glad they are back. We will be increasing from 2 bee hives to 4 this coming week, as well as planting a variety of fruit trees. We will have more to say on that next week, when we decide what we are planting for sure.
Well, that's our update, more posts to soon follow as we hope to share our experiences and spiritual revelation with you more and more. Until next time....