We’ve Got a New Blog!

Hey friends! Now that Judah and I are married and starting our own farm, we wanted to make it as “real” of a farm and business as we can. Hope Farm was just that – a short-term farming venture I had because of my hope to continue farming and growing in the future! So we decided our new farm needed a new name. We have named our farm (in northern KY, where we are living) Chadwick Grass Farms because almost everything we’ll be raising will be grass-based. In 2017 we are planning on raising 600 meat chickens, 6 pigs for meat, and some produce! In fact, we already have 202 chicks and 1 pig! We have a new blog, a Facebook page, and an Instagram to help you connect to our new farm. So check them out, and especially subscribe to the new blog for updates. 🙂

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This blog is going to get lots quieter, as I’m not sure how much more I will post here. I truly appreciate all your support in the year I’ve had this blog! I hope to see you around!

P.S. You can also order meat chickens through our new blog!! If you’re in Ohio and would like chickens, we can possibly make arrangements. Just shoot me a message and I’ll get back with you!

Two Become One

February 25, 2017. The day I became completely his, and he completely mine. 

Honestly, I’m not sure I could put into words the pure joy and love that this day was wrapped in. Thankfully, these pictures don’t need words. They speak for themselves.

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And from that day on, I’ve only loved him more.

Gettin’ the Go-Ahead (Tiny House Part 1)

It’s 35 days until our wedding, and Judah and I are building a house. Or rather, Judah is building it and I’m wistfully watching from 150 miles away (and helping whenever I can make the trip). Are we crazy? Yeah. But that’s nothing new…

I will be documenting the process of building our home here on the blog! Here’s part 1.

Inspections, permits, and lots of mud

Even though our house will be moveable and less than 450 square feet, we still had to go through the process of getting the land set up and inspected as if we were building a “regular” house.

Before that could happen, we had to reroute the water and electric lines. On December 17th (2016) we rented a trencher and Judah used that while I cleaned off the concrete runners (this site was set up for a house trailer, so there are two parallel concrete runners under where our house will be).

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The house site before trenching
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The trencher and Judah’s two lovely trucks 😉
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My favorite person doing an awesome job with the trencher
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Here you can see the concrete runners and one of the trenches

I thought it was beyond awesome that I got to be there with Judah as we broke the ground for the first time to build our house. I’ve always loved stories of the pioneers, and I can still hardly believe that Judah and I are building our first house together. There’s something so wholesome and wonderful about that.

It wasn’t all wonderful, however… later that day before we had a chance to finish the job it started raining. We worked in the rain for a while. And then it got dark. So we worked in the rain and the dark for a while. But eventually we stopped, discouraged and maybe a bit frustrated because we hadn’t planned things out very well.

 

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Two very wet and muddy people – smiling because we’re together

In the following weeks, everything passed inspection. The septic inspection took forever, though, leaving us hanging a couple weeks before we could even apply for a building permit. Once we passed the septic inspection, the permit took just a day to acquire. Judah got it yesterday! *cue confetti and party noisemakers*

Then Judah was free to buy supplies and start hammering! (as he would say) I shall spare you a picture of the precarious truck and trailer loaded with supplies, but here is a piece of wisdom: don’t bite off more than you can chew. You may be left driving home at less than 30 mph because you bought more than your rig can handle well.

Isn’t life such a neat adventure? I’m so thankful for the path God is leading us down. And I’m especially thankful for my man and how he’s building this house for us! Stay tuned for part 2!

 

Big Dreams and a Tiny Home

Lots has happened in the past two weeks! Chicken processing pretty much marked the end of the farming season for me, aside from putting the garden to bed and harvesting kale here and there. But that’s totally fine, because I’ve had other things to give my attention to! Namely, making decisions with Judah (my fiancé) about our wedding, job situations, and where we’ll be living once we’re hitched.

Many of you know that I spent the summer in a mentorship program with the Logan County Farmers Market, learning from some produce growers and the Market in general. The idea was that I would spend a year learning and then launch into selling my own products at the Market in 2017. However. I have been swept off my feet by a man from Kentucky, and that’s where we’ll be starting our home and our farm. I will put the things I learned from my mentorship to good use! It just won’t be in Logan County. We are planning on raising pastured broilers like I did this year, but on a larger scale; a few pastured/forest raised hogs; and of course a garden (whether it be to raise produce to sell or just for us is undecided). For those of you who were looking forward to buying meat chickens from me in the future, know that we will likely be bringing some chickens to Logan County to sell in 2017 as long as we have customers. We’ll keep you updated via Facebook and this blog.

Judah and I are planning on a late winter wedding so we can get settled before the farming season starts. And while we don’t have this written in stone yet, we’re playing with the idea of renting land for a year and building a small portable home on it. Technically, it would be a tiny house, at 30′ x 14′ (plus a loft and big porch 🙂 ). The reason for this plan is that neither of us want to launch into debt as soon as we get married. This is a way for us to have a beautiful, inexpensive place to live while we’re getting started with farming and saving for buying land and building a bigger home in the future.

So. We’ve been messing around with house plans and it’s quite fun.

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Here’s the land we’re thinking about living on for a bit! Oh, and that’s us. 😉

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Back at home I’ve been going through some of my things and sorting out what I’ll want in our first home and what I won’t want. For example, I managed to have acquired three pie pans. I might need all three sometime in the future, but I don’t want all three in our tiny home! So I’m just sorting things like that.

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I’m also crocheting dish rags.

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And finishing my quilt…

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So the quilt has an interesting story. I started this quilt maybe a year ago, piecing it all by hand. I got that done in no time and then moved on to quilting it. By hand.

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It looks nice, doesn’t it? But hand-quilting was taking waaay too long – I have 100 8″ x 8″ squares in that thing, guys. I assessed the situation and realized that the only reason I wanted to hand-stitch the entire queen-size quilt was so I could say I’d done it, just like they did in the pioneer days. Or something. But I realized that hand-quilting the whole thing was going to take up too much precious time, so I decided to finish it with the machine. It’ll look kinda funny if you look too close, but I’ll have a good story to tell my kids someday!

I used masking tape to keep me sewing straight lines. It’ll smooth out when it’s done.

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Life’s exciting, especially when I know I’ll be spending the rest of it with my best friend and love of my life!

Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She loved God, farming, writing, and the outdoors. She didn’t quite know what to do with her life, but she was willing to give it her best. Then she found a boy with a quick wit, a passion for farming, and a loud pickup truck. So of course they started talking – about farming, theology, work, and everything in between. She helped keep him grounded, and he strengthened her passions.

He made her a knife, built her a fence for her garden, and built her a chicken shelter. They weren’t exactly your average 18 and 19-year-olds. 20160529_201632.jpg

Instead of going to the movies they went hiking and canoeing and read Acres U.S.A. and Stockman Grass Farmer and the Bible. Instead of eating at restaurants they cooked their own food.

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They processed the girl’s first batch of meat chickens together, and actually enjoyed it.

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They also enjoyed this.

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They perched on the hood of the pickup truck and watched the stars. They asked hard questions and prayed for each other through hard times.

And eventually, on the night before the girl’s second batch of chickens was to be processed, they went for a walk. It was a full-moon night.

In the light from the moon and the pole barn’s security light, the boy got down on one knee and asked his best friend to be his wife. He gave her a diamond ring and she said yes with all her heart.

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The next day they spent processing chickens – all day. They enjoyed it this time too, although they were a bit distracted at times…

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But they (with the help of the girl’s family) got the job done in one day and put 67 chickens (averaging 6 pounds! Goodness.) in customers’ coolers!

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They’re falling more in love with each other with each passing day, and can’t wait to process many more chickens in the future together. 😉