Consider how the wildflowers grow....Luke 12:27 NIV
Living small in our 880 square foot cottage and micro farming on approximately an acre of land.

Monday, March 31, 2014

You Can Never Have Too Many Books

We've come across so many good books lately that we've just HAD to purchase them!  I'm linking to Amazon for the books, but I tend to buy used when I can from whatever source is the cheapest.  


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gleaning from the Hedgerow

As winter temperatures drag on...and on...and on this early Spring, our wood supply is dwindling.  I'd like to stretch it as far as it will go, so I started gleaning dead, dry branches from the hedgerow to throw into our outdoor wood fired boiler.  Thankfully, it has been sunny some of these last few bitter cold days and this time of year the south and west facing windows receive a lot of sunlight, warming the house nicely.

Spring temperatures are slowly starting to edge in, though.  Oh, to see buds on the trees again.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Soaps and Soap Making Classes

I have a cottage industry making small batch homemade soaps using all natural ingredients.  It started out as an experiment since I enjoy knowing how to do things.  There's something satisfying and comforting about knowing how to do things for yourself.  I was surprised that my first ever batch of soap came out so great!  I was hooked.  I love making soaps and opened an etsy shop (click on above pic).

Now, I've begun teaching soap making classes to the ladies in the homeschool group I belong to.  It isn't as hard as it seems, and while homemade soap differs a bit from store bought soap (doesn't seem to last as long), it is so much healthier for your skin.  I've had praise especially from moms with children who suffer from eczema and those who deal with season dry skin.

I would appreciate any word of mouth (or click of mouse) advertising!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Meet Our Rabbits

Meet Hasen and Pfeffer.  Hasen is our male (white and black) and Pfeffer is our female (gray).  They are our breeding pair of rabbits.  Once they reach maturity, should all go well, we'll have meat rabbits.  It is our desire to raise healthy, sustainable, well cared for animals for consumption for our family.  Our children deserve good nutrition and our animals deserve a good life.

They are Californian, New Zealand, Silky crosses.
They are from P&B Rabbitry

I love the word Rabbitry.  It's right up there with words like Aviary and Dovecote.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Change in the 7 F's

My husband suggested Future would be a good F, rather than the forced "Farmacy" since we have our Future Farmers and are building towards our own future full-fledged farm.  I agree with him.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Recipe Wednesday: Wheat Based and Grain-Free Pizza Doughs


3 Cups Bread Flour (I use King Arthur)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon local honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 cup really warm water

Mix all ingredients into a dough and knead.  I just put them all in my bread machine and let the machine do the work.  Turn into a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.  On cold days, I grease and warm my crockpot, then turn it off and place the dough inside of that to rise.  The residual heat from the crockpot makes a very nice environment for optimal rising.  
Spread the dough on a greased cookie sheet or preferred pizza platform, and bake at 350 for 5 minutes.  Top with your favorite topping and bake until lightly browned.  I use refined coconut oil to grease the cookie sheet and pizza pan I use for my pizzas.  It really makes for a great finish to the crust.


I've made this recipe for myself several times and it is a very nice Paleo/GAPS/SCD/Low Carb/Gluten-Free diet recipe.  No, it isn't an exact substitute for the usual pizza crust, but it is a nice, healthful and delicious base for pizza toppings.


Shred one medium, tender, young zucchini into a bowl.  Mix in a beaten egg and salt, pepper, garlic powder and italian seasoning to taste.  Add enough almond meal to thicken and be able to work into patties.  Form the patties (they'll be kind of loose, not firm like a hamburger patty) and place in a frying pan with oil hot and ready to cook with.  I use refined coconut oil and butter or olive oil for this recipe.  Brown on each side of patty and place on an oven safe tray or cookie sheet.  Top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake in preheated 350 F oven until toppings are cooked to desired tenderness.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Single Digits and Seed Inventory

Winter just will not give way to Spring!  We are back to single digit predictions, below freezing temperatures, icy wind, and snow flakes falling from gloomy, gray skies.  I dreamed buds were on the trees, but none have even tried to emerge from the branches.  There is not a single crocus.

So, what does one do on these lengthy, drawn out, wintery days?  One takes inventory of their seeds! I jumped the gun the other day and went bonkers in Lowes picking out packet upon packet of seeds.  I was shocked when the register totaled $40!  Did I really need all these seeds?  Turns out I didn't.  I pulled down my box of saved seeds and discovered I am a seed hoarder!  I had so many seeds that I am able to return nearly half the seeds I bought at Lowes!

Here's my seed list:

Spinach (two varieties)
Lettuce (several varieties)
Kale (two varieties)
Carrots (3 varieties)
Bunching Onions
Patty Pan Squash
Spaghetti Squash
Acorn Squash
Wax Beans
Pole Beans
Bush Beans
Peas (3 varieties)
Sweet Peppers (3 varieties)
Numerous Herbs
Numerous Flowers
Several Odd Seeds (Huckleberries, Husk Tomatoes, etc)

The early indoor starters I won't be able to do this year.  I don't have a place to start seeds 6-8 weeks before the last frost and I do not have a greenhouse.  Those I will purchase in plant form from the local greenhouse.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Plants on Order

We ordered the plants we'd like to put in this Spring!

Rugosa Roses
Francee, White Feather and Gold Hostas
Saskatoon berries (service berries)

and a packet of luffa seeds!  Hey, I make soap, so why not grow luffa?

We also hope to glean some lilacs, currants, bleeding hearts and elderberries plants to put in around the yard.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, First Future Farmer!

Happy 8th birthday to our First Future Farmer!
He likes raising ducks and wants to run a grain farm when he grows up.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Evening Walks

It is still daylight after 7pm and is sometimes above freezing, so I am able to resume my evening strolls after the children are tucked into their beds. It has been a cruel winter, to say the least. As I beat the pavement in my muck boots, I observed the visible damages of a long, cold, hard winter. The sand on the side of the road is thick and heavy. Yards and edges of driveways are rutted up. There is trash everywhere along the sides of the road. Everything from beer cans, cigarette packs, a broken video game, household trash, and mail that months back wound up in a snowbank. I made 40 cents in deposit cans on my first walk!

 My first walk of the year was chilly from the fierce wind coming from the west. We need the wind to dry things out and bring warmer weather, though. It was invigorating! I saw a flock of robins hopping around (pictured above) and that made me glad. Aside from the near frozen robin in a snowbank I saw a few weeks ago, these were my first robins. Spring is coming.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Our Slice of God's Creation


I'm guessing we have about 1/2 an acre.  Our parcel is pie shaped, being wide at the road front and angling back to a point.  It used to be the corner of a farm field, but in 1950, that corner was cut and the cottage was built.  Along the front and western side of the property is the remains of the farm's stone wall.  Hubby has been repairing the walls to the front.  He made them wide so they are filled with soil and planted.  We have a peach tree in one as well as creeping blackberries, hostas and other perennials.  The other (across the driveway) has wild grapes and climbing roses.  The third (on the other side of the trees) is full of poison ivy right now, but I'll be donning a hazmat suit and ripping that out to make room for Rugosa rose bushes.

To the west of us is a patch of woods that is basically just a right of way for the farm next door and for the rest home down the road.  We don't do too much in it since it isn't ours to mess with, but we do have the liberty to forage a bit from it and enjoy hikes.  I plan on putting in some trees, bushes and other such things that'll give food and benefit the wildlife.  I would be ecstatic if we could purchase the property or at least have permission to utilize it to the fullest.

To the east of us is a rotating crop farm field and a great place to glean clover and dandelions and other such goodies from the hedgerow.  The farmer doesn't mind so long as we don't trample his crop.

Right behind us is the hedgerow where the woods and the farm field meet.  That hedgerow is full of wonders to enjoy and glean, including rocks for landscaping, wood violets to eat or make jelly out of, hickory trees, bittersweet vines, berries, and even a wild pear tree.

We enjoy deer, wild turkey, a squirrels in abundance.  There's the elusive grouse from time to time and rabbits.  All those we can fill our freezer with during their proper hunting seasons.  There are foxes, raccoon, coyotes, skunks, chipmunks, woodchucks, hawks, eagles, mice, moles, rats, voles, fishers and other such wildlife.

Our property has a large garden parcel as well was a 4 square herb garden with a garlic plot.  Hubby is going to build me some raised beds, too.  At our back point, we plan on putting the barn and pens for the pig, rabbits and chickens.  Hopefully next year we'll have another barn on the property for dairy goats.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Beginning


My name is Kate.  I'm starting this blog to share about the new beginning my family and I have embarked upon.


For the last nearly 5 years, my husband and I chased our tails to try to get ahead through a career change that was supposed to yield us the income to purchase a farm.  Unfortunately, while hubby's career change was wise and well thought out, he was under the control of the contract job placers and they kept sending him on long distance jobs instead of the local ones he requested.  The time (and money...lots of money) spent trying to fulfill those contract jobs so far away caused such a heartache and financial burden for hubby and our family.  So, in a bold and brave move, my husband left his career for a lower paying ( local and much more satisfying) career and we decided to start micro farming our little slice of God's creation.


Through those last few years, we faced many challenges and God was faithful to provide.  He charges us to consider the wildflowers in Luke 12.  He took care of us then, so He'll take care of us through this new venture.  Also, the verse fits well with our desire to forage (our 7 F's above).


Faith:  We are born-again Christians.
Family:  We are working together as a family unit and consider family very important.
Friends:  We love having such a diverse and interesting group of friends who enrich our lives.
Farming:  We have a heart for farming and decided we don't have to wait until we can afford acreage to farm.
Frugality:  In order to make it work, we have to be frugal.  Plus, frugal is earth-friendly, too!
Foraging:  Why buy new when you can get it for free; from food to supplies.
Farmacy:  Farmacy means using herbs, foods and natural ways to heal.  (We are not against modern medicine, but we don't over utilize it either.)


Micro-farming is simply farming on a very small scale.  Some call it urban farming, but we live in the country, not the city or even the 'burbs.  I'm not sure exactly how big our piece of property is, but I estimate it at around 1/2 an acre.  One day I'll measure it to find out for sure.


So, today, the first day of Spring, we start this blog and this new venture - our micro farm!

Currently, it is cloudy, cold and snow and ice still cover the ground.  Hubby doesn't start his new career until Monday, so he spent the morning hauling slab wood over from the neighborhood sawmill.  Some of the wood will be cut for firewood, but the nicer pieces will be used in making the pigpen.  In April, we should have a shoat (weaned young pig), so we need to get a barn up and a pigpen built.

My task for the day is comparing prices and availability for some of our spring plantings and garden order.  There's so much I want to buy, but we only have so much space!