Friday, November 21, 2008
I was born and raised in Kansas City (on the KS side), but now live in SC. My husband was born in upstate NY, but grew up in Lancaster County, PA, the heart of Amish country. He was lucky enough to spend his formative years on a five-acre "farm-ette".
I know next to nothing about farming, except that it's in my blood. My mother was one of 13 children born in TN hills. When I was a child, we would visit her parents every couple years. Even though they'd moved from her childhood home, they still lived on a good-sized chunk of land (he owned most of the side of a mountain) in a home that had no running water, and a chicken yard next to the outhouse on the other side of the cornfield. (Thankfully, Grandma was super sweet. Rather than make us girls trek to the outhouse in the middle of the night, we had permission to use her chamber pot, as long as we didn't leave it full for her. LOL)
My husband, I often say, is one of those men that you could drop in a wilderness with a spoon and he'd build you a shopping mall. He knows practically everything it takes to be self-sufficient, and what he doesn't know he's reading about.
Our dream farm (oh Lord, please let it be someday!) will have chickens, cows, a pig or two, some geese and turkeys, and probably some other animals I'm either not thinking of or haven't made up my mind about. Our vegetable garden will be at least 1/2 acre itself, plus an herb garden. All that in addition to whichever cash crop he decides to grow on the main chunk. Plus candle-making, cheese-making, and soap-making. Our goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible.
Being the "suburban girl" that doesn't know much more than how to crochet a doily or sew on a button, I've been in the process of learning what a self-sufficient farm wife should know. I know how to cook and bake from scratch (I make awesome pies, and my regular bread is good, but I need to get out of my comfort zone and learn how to make other varieties, like Italian bread.) I menu-plan, clip coupons and shop as frugally as possible, and have spent most of this past year slowly working on a household stockpile. I need to learn how to sew clothing (sadly enough, my mother never taught me...she always thought I'd just figure it out on my own like she did), but I don't yet have a sewing machine (might be getting one for Christmas, but on the other hand the pioneers sewed by hand so why can't I?) I'm also getting ready to learn in-depth about preserving and canning.
Hubby is also a life-long hunter. We're trying to find a time and place when he can teach the girls and I how to shoot. (I know how, but I'm not the best aim, yet.)
Most of the time, we feel like we were born in the wrong century. We're "Little House" people if there ever were. LOL
Earlier this week, we had the rare opportunity to see a 22-acre farm for sale, owner-financed, for $119,000. The land was perfect, everything we want. The house, unfortunately, needs more work than we can put into to make it liveable, considering that it's already winter. And it's 90 minutes from my husband's job. He's up for a promotion, which will almost certainly involve moving nearer to where the farm is, but we have no idea when that might happen.
You can imagine how much we hated telling the owner that we won't be buying that 22-acre chunk of land. Especially considering that we are currently living in a rented house located on one of the busiest streets in our small town, with almost no yard for the kids to play in. It's depressing, to say the least.
But we believe that God is in control, and that He knows exactly what plans He has in store for us.
And someday, we'll have our dream.