Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Farmer's Work is Never Done; My, my, isn't this the truth?

A Farmer's Work is Never Done; My, my, isn't this the truth?

The list of things to do and the amount of money needed to carry these things out is longer than my driveway, and for those who've been up it, you know that is a long haul.

I'll share the Farm's TO-DO list, which is ever growing:

#1. Dig up $30 ea pine shrubs and replant OUTSIDE the gate to prevent goats from eating them down to the dirt in front of my house.

#2. Fix the post that is holding up the overhang on the right side of the barn for the 3rd time before it collapses.

#3. Worm the darn Claire (our Nubian doe) AGAIN since her eyelids still look pale.

#4. Trim Buck's hooves whilst they are in rotten rutt.

#5. Find more hay and the money to buy it with.

#6. Send in the ADGA paperwork to register 5 goats and the cash to pay for this with it! Ek.

#7. Tattoo those two darn doelings from the spring! This has been on the list since February.

#8. Get Lady Ann's teeth floated and find someone willing to do this by hand without sedation - good luck!

#9. Fix the two cracked rafters in the barn that were that way when we bought the place LAST September!

#10. Get fill dirt and level out the area around and through the barn from where the hill slipped in the late Winter.

#11. Continue to thank God that hill has been stable since repair.

#12. Continue to look for approved Foster homes for rescue horses.

#13. Get most of the horses trimmed ASAP at $30 a pop

#14. Put the darn opening covers under the foundation of the house to keep the stupid cat from tearing out the duct work under there.

#15. Build 2 more chicken coops, albeit, smaller ones than the last.  

#16. Send the beautiful Barred Rock rooster to the big Chicken Coop in the sky, (Ugh, I'm still trying to come to terms with this one, but after multiple flogging attempts on the 2 yr old, 9 yr old and 28 yr old. . . or the husband. . .I think I must accept this will happen)

#17. Mail back the donated boots Phoenix needed to the kind donor to use on another rescue in the future.

#18. Hook the 50 mile electric charger to the buck pen in order to keep Ace and Willow in and away from the gals and out of the horse stall they have used for the last month during the day.

#19. Draw blood for CAE tests on the goats - which I dread because even though they were all negative in the early spring, you just never know!

#20. Lute the doelings that Willow might have bred by accident because they are too small to kid in the next 5 months.

#21. Store all the saddles out of the barn and exposure until Spring soon.

#22. Get these darn chicks in my kitchen grown out to where they can go OUTSIDE - Phew!

#23. Fix a quarantined area of outside does to come away from my girls for bucks to provide stud service.

#24. Find MORE money to buy apple trees to plant before Winter. . .

#25. Start Christmas Shopping. . . Oops! That doesn't belong on the farm to do list!

Okay, I'm too tired just thinking about this and will have to add more another day!

Ah, the exhausting life of a farmer wannabe!

Adopters and Foster Homes for Horses

I am posting this as a reference for potential foster homes for rescue horses and for potential adopters.

What you find when offering horses for little to no cost, is people really do want to just show up, say they will be giving the horse to a good home and load up the horse and be done with it.

That simply is not how this little rescue works or how any legitimate rescue should work.

First of all, I think it is wholly up to each rescue to decide how they want to screen. They (including me) put in a HUGE amount of work, if they are truly a rescue, into what they do. They never make a dime and always loose money. It is the rescue's choice to set their rules, however strict.

If you had seen what seemingly nice adopters have done without references being checked, facilities being checked to horses in the past in many other rescues, I doubt anyone would question references so much. People can seem real fine, but many, many times, they are not. No matter how honest, how nice you seem, references and photos are a MUST. Even this doesn't assure anything.

If you can get professionals, like Farriers and vets vouch that the care of the horses you currently have, that is great, then you at least have a lot of hope the horse will get consistent care. You can never just take someone at their word, though I wish it could be otherwise.

So, what I need is this:

If you have horses now: I need vet references and farrier references. If you cannot provide these, let me know why. If you do your own horses hooves, let me see photos of balanced, healthy hooves on your horses. If you give your shots yourself, that is fine, but if you've had horses for awhile, you will have needed to get medications to keep on hand, such as banamine, incase of colic, for instance, so you must have working relationship with a vet, and if not, let me know why you do not. In order to save money isn't a good reason. If you've had health horses until now, that is wonderful, but if you've had horses for a few years and never contacted a v et, how will I know if this horse you want to adopt colics in the middle of the night, a vet will come out to see a horse for someone he has no working relationship with? If you haven't needed vet care for your horses, but you have dogs or cats, I can use those references, in many cases.

I need photos of your shelter for the horse. It does NOT need to be fancy or new, just safe and clean. My own facility isn't new or expensive. It can be a run in or a stall. I need to see photos of your fence. Loose barbed wire will NEVER DO, and any barded wire will usually not do unless you have 50 acres of tight strung fence because of the risk it poses. On massive amounts of land, concessions can be made depending on the situation.

I want to know how many horses you have now and how many times you've bought and sold or given away a horse in the past few years. This tell me how likely you are to keep this rescue. You can lie about this or you can be honest. . .of course.

Please do not expect me to ignore these requirements. Unless I know your personally, I simply will not and cannot take your word for it.

You would not believe what people will say and do to get a free animal. It is sad, but it is true.

You might say that too many horses need homes to be picky, but I say they might as well stay in the same abusive or neglectful situation they are used
to than to be moved to a potential new neglect situation or to a home that will just send them down the line when the newness wears off.

It is better, in my opinion, to put a horse down than send it to a sub-par home.

When you adopt, there is a brief contract, too.

Frankly, these requirements, believe it or not, do weed out a LOT of undesirable folks. If someone isn't willing to go through this simple process, I cannot count on them to put years into the care of the horse they are asking for.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Good fences make good neighbors."

"Good fences make good neighbors."  ~ Robert Frost

Apparently, we aren't good neighbors, in that case because our fences are faring poorly.

Among many other instances of late, our new fences have failed or came up short.

Today alone, our fences have fallen victim to stallions and trees.

JC made his way out of his pasture, albeit, more at the fault of the gate, but
either way, his fenced pasture did not contain him.

He met some unfriendly mares, ours, and received a few nice kicks for his efforts.

Then a huge tree, we discovered, had fallen on the electric fence above the barn. . .
that is still waiting for a chainsaw (Husband!) to come and address it.

Such is the life of a want to be Farmer, isn't it?

I'll share the Robert Frost poem that I quoted above, too:

"Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun,

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,

One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it

Where there are cows?

But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,

But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me~

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father's saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

I've always thought it was a fine one, at that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Heart of Phoenix Rescue ~ Foster Homes needed

Since we do rescue, we felt we needed a name. . .
 and even though we have done rescues before, of all of the rescue we've done, if we are going to give this effort a name, it should be after the little  paint mare, Phoenix. . .

she, of all horses, deserves the work to be named after her.

So it will be Heart of Phoenix

So now we have a name, and that is great, but that hardly set us on a path
for success. 

For now, I simply do not have the time in a day with the farm and kids
to hope to be a typical rescue in the regular sense, but I know that I
want to help and a rescue group in this area is so needed. . .

So what can I do?

What can you do?

I will continue as I have, taking in 1 or 2 horses when I can and
have space. I will continue to horses in need on Petfinder and
in other good venues, but I want to see a network of
Fosters for horse develop, at least.

I am going to try to work on heading this up in Southern WV,
and I already know a couple in Kentucky willing to help in their
location with fostering.

I'd like for anyone who reads this blog locally to forward
it to those you know who own horses or have property and
would have a heart to volunteer to do this.

Approval would be needed, and an agreement as a
Foster Home will be required.

Who knows? 

If enough people become aware,
we might be able to really make an impact locally.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Adopters who Flake

There are 5 Arabians I am trying to place into good homes.

Please visit petfinder to learn more about them and adoption requirements.

With that said, I usually can only take in desperate cases, and this case is not yet one I would have put into that category. These horses are okay right now, but once winter hits, they will be in serious need of a home with plenty of hay and shelter.

Now, that isn't to say they aren't in need now, they are, but they are still okay and can be placed from where they are.

That said, there was a person who inquired locally about one of the geldings. She said she had nearly 300 acres, gave farrier and vet references and showed photos of her horses and location - looked nice. The vet said he's seen her horses, albeit a year ago, and everything looked and sounded good.

She knew that references were required, understood the need for a forever home was #1 priority, understood the horses need training (must have), knew the horse coming with the gelding was a young horse, etc. The adopter, who already didn't have fund to feed the horses she has paid to transport the gelding and a 6 month old colt down here to meet her
here at my location. She was very late because her truck broke down on the way, and the potential adopter left and came back later once the horses made it here to see them.

I wasn't home and told the adopter she could come see the horses. She brought a whole gang of people here, and some of the people started chasing the horses, who are already spooky, and the adopter couldn't get the rednecks to leave the horses alone. Well, she shouldn't have brought them, without permission, to my house, but she calls me and asks when I will be home because she is afraid they are going to scare the horses badly and try to load them after 8 hours on the trailer and take them another hour into Ohio instead of letting them rest. She also said she'd told one of the people she could have the colt. Ummm, I don't think so! She said she wanted me to stop them from bothering the horses. I rushed home to do so, but the people were already gone.

I talked the girl who thought she'd just take the colt, and I explained references and approval was needed. She gave me a vet reference and it didn't pan out. I looked up photos of her location and horses on myspace, and they were terrible. Loose barbed wire and pitiful looking horses. Maybe I am wrong, so look at these photos - you tell me, am I wrong? Isn't the fence pitiful, the hooves rather overgrown on the one horse, the t-posts dangerous? Wouldn't a foal kill himself in that barbed wire at 6 months old? Would the horses run him over without a his mama there to protect him? There are at least 8 horses on the property. I've cropped them to just show what is relevant. There is more to horsecare than food. Goodness!

You tell me anyone with a thought to a horses care would bring a foal into that environment?!

The adopter said she was moving her horses because this woman never let her ride her own horses, took them over and acted like they were her own, banded her pony's tail for a parade and forgot the band and the pony's TAIL FELL OFF! And she told me she didn't feel good about talking the horses there. I told her had I known that was the place they were going, I'd not have approved the situation, but she seemed like a good intentioned person, so I asked her what she wanted to do? I asked if she wanted the horses to stay with me while she picked up her horses and moved them to a better location. She said she'd hoped to move her horses and didn't want them at this property anymore. She let me know she had 6, 2 of which this person wouldn't release. She agreed and thanked me over and over for offering to let the colt and gelding stay here while she moved her horses (I wouldn't have released them to the situation there at the pictured farm, anyway, but I didn't say that at this point). She said she was afraid to even go over and move her horses, but I told her I'd send my husband along if she needed help. I told my husband, another rescue and a few more folks that I felt sure she'd never end up actually taking the horses. I also made it known I wouldn't let them go if the situation didn't look like they would be well cared for.

#1. WHY was this woman trying to adopt MORE horses?!

She said she come back on Friday (this was a Tuesday) with money for the horses care, their hay and feed, and I said that was fine. She said we'd move the horses to the new farm, which I drove out by and checked out eventually (It looked nice). Saturday she came and took her horse trailer while I was gone that she'd left to haul the horses in here at my farm. I repeated to everyone I knew this adopter would never take the horses she'd had brought here. She called Sunday and told me she was now afraid . . .

Suddenly, of course. . .

to bring the colt to the new farm since she had a very aggressive gelding who would hurt him.

#3 Why didn't she consider this before she wasted so many people's time and gas and such?

I told her that was fine. I'd keep the colt. She said she loved the gelding and would still take him. She said her daughter was going to train him, work with him all the time, had agreed to, and she was 100% certain she'd come to get him today.

I still was sure she'd flake.

Come this morning, I checked me email and suddenly and not so shockingly, her daughter, she says, decided she couldn't train the gelding. She didn't have time, so she wasn't sure she should take him.

I asked her if she could foster him without a timeline until I found an adopter. She replied that is would cost her $125 a month to do so at the new farm and might be able to for a one or two.

#4. If you couldn't afford to keep him, why bring him down and waste other people's money in the process? You know, the owner could have used that money to feed the horses if you hadn't been so silly and selfish.

#5. You should have had funds to put him in training whether your daughter - if she is that flakey - fell through concerning training, and regardless, these horses were something you obligated yourself to care for. . . properly!

So I told her that was fine. I told her I would keep him and do the right thing by them. I told her that I had no way to know when he might get placed and couldn't take him over and just risk her calling me a week from now with a new story about why she couldn't board him.

This must have hit a nerve because she sent a snippy - Yes, a snippy email to ME! - and she said she "said" she'd take him however long it took! Now, that isn't really what she said, but anyway. . .my next email really hit another, larger nerve.

I was told she didn't have to defend herself or answer for her actions. She was entitled, she said, to change her mind. She didn't know so many stipulations would be placed on taking the horses:

Oh really? Didn't you read the petfinder ad you responded to that says:

"for adoption with no fee with an adoption contract, a facility check, with vet and farrier references only. I will personally check all references."

Anyway, she tells me she has had horses longer than me, she understands they aren't to be treated as Idols or Gods (ummm, does this mean they don't deserve decent care and you shouldn't feel compelled to honor your obligation?) and on and on. She tells me she never lies. You read the above and make a decision on that. She said she said she'd take the gelding for as long as it took - I have the email that says otherwise. . .she said she didn't want the colt to begin with - I have the email that says otherwise. . . she said I had no business assuming because the other place she boarded wasn't suitable just based on photos - you look at the photos and see if I can't justifiably decide that. . . she said that I was judging the other woman I wouldn't let the colt go to based on the fact she seemed of a lower class than` I am . . . well, she did seem like someone without the means to care for one horses, without understanding on the matter of horsecare and lied about using a vet. . .I think that is enough to make that assumptions I made. She did say she'd bring hay to help feed him, but would you hold her breath? I am not.

I sent a message back that said if she felt she had done the right thing, I hoped she was happy with herself over it. . . and blocked her from my email - I am done dealing with it.

The woman probably had good intentions in someway to begin with, but clearly, she wasn't suitable.

What is the moral of this story?

This should serve to show you what lengths you MUST go to screen adopters.

I share this to teach us all a lesson:

PERSONALLY visit the farm or facility in question

Find out who owns it. Check their references, too

Ask for more details from the vet when you check references

Have a rock solid contract upfront

Charge a small fee to avoid people just looking for something free

Make an adopter PAY TRANSPORT~!

Take a bit of time to get to know the adopter if they are local.

Lots of folks seem nice and like a good home to begin with.

I will keep these horses until they find true forever homes which will give them a proper facility and good, stable care!


These ponies are listed on craigslist in Eastern Kentucky.

If you can and are local, PLEASE consider going and purchasing
for $100 one of these poor little ponies.

I am placing one of our adoptable Arabs tomorrow in his new home,
and we will have room if we MUST and someone will sponsor one
of the ponies or both, we can take them if no one else is able
and they are still for sale.

There are obviously more horses in this hell-hole in need, and who knows
if we showed up there, what we might find, but at least then we could contact
an animal control office person in the area and maybe get something done. or contact the person who has these ponies ASAP yourself.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Factory Farm Abuse

WARNING:  This is the WORST video I have seen or many others have witnessed
of animal torture.

WATCH without children present.

This was too difficult for me to watch. It needs out there.

I don't know how or why the undercover agent waited 30 days while
collecting this footage to turn it in.

I don't know why Ohio thinks a misdemeanor is sufficient punishment and a
$1,000 fine for the men who tortured these animals.

I do know people must know what they are supporting by partaking of factory
made products, by it milk, cheese or meat.

There is a humane alternative.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Where does your food come from?

The masses are so confused.

Someone said to me that they were afraid to buy a farm raised, local turkey for the Holidays because it might taste funny.

People question how clean farm eggs really are.

I cannot count the people who look at me like I am lover of animal slaughter, an uncivilized heathen when I suggest raising our own cattle, chickens and such for meat (baring my own consumption, of course).

The looks of the faces of folks when I say we milk our goats and cow and not only drink that milk, but we make cheese, soap and other products is nothing short of bona fide horror.

Lastly, I have even been discouraged from growing my own fruits and vegetables because the time and money involved makes it not worth it, and it has been recommended to me to just buy it all from the local grocery store.

Gasp! What has happened in the last 50 years to the public?

We are so removed from food that anything that places us in contact with it at it's source disgusts us! Why and how has this taken place?

Why are those who want to produce their own food reviled? That isn't too strong a word, I assure you. That is exactly how I find the reaction.

Let me share with you images gathered from all over the web that juxtapose each scenario and then YOU, consumer, make an educated choice, for once.

Please be aware, these photos of factory situations are MILD in comparison to what I could have opted to show you. It gets much worse.

Poultry in a commercial setting:


Farm raised Poultry


Factory Eggs:


Farm Eggs:


Factory Meat:


Farm Raised cattle and pork:


Commercial Dairies


(my own dairy cow on the farm)

I could go on to produce many photos of a family besides their garden picking foods they have grown and compare it with miles of big agriculture's fields of corn, etc. . .

At the end of the day, we all make choices and need to feel comfortable with what we've done.

How anyone can question the motives or demean someone choosing the latter options above is beyond my comprehension.

How anyone can directly tell me they do not want to know or hear about what goes on with the animals prior to the meat making it to their stomach is scary and startlingly sad.

Please, do not be willfully ignorant!

Make your choices aware of the repercussions on the animals that food was derived from and on your own body!

The Truth about Horse Rescue

I want to address the problem of unwanted, neglected and abused horses and overfull rescues.

If you have horses, you know how large a problem this is, but unless you done some rescue or put your name out there as someone willing to help, you REALLY can't know how huge a problem this is becoming.

Also, you know it is poised to only get much worse.

What is the answer? What can we do and encourage others to do?

Talk to backyard breeders who just "want a little colt/filly" about how that one foal impacts over-population. Talk to them about the real cost of a foal when you consider training for years on end to have a horse that actually has a purpose and ask them to consider how you can adopt a horse already undersaddle from a rescue for free or for very little money.

Our rescues need to change how they are handling the horses they take in and try to save. I speak on this out of a bit of experience. As long as rescues sink the majority of their funds into saving very elderly, severely injured and very unsound horses and holding multiple pasture pet horses that can never hope to have much chance at a home, the horses that just need some weight, a bit of training or a bit of care to be suitable to a home will never have a real chance.

I wish ALL horses could be saved. I wish that none had to face the terror of a trailer trek to a slaughter factory anywhere. I wish all could be rehabilitated or retired to a life of pasture ornaments for life if they could not be.

I am not recommending we stop saving a horse that has almost no chance of survival. I am saying that by saving that horse, the real answer might be to save this type of horse by ending his pain and giving him peace. I learned this with our rescue, Phoenix. She should have been put down when we brought her in. With the money that was put into her care, I could have saved 3-4 horses that really had a chance and could have went on to find good homes. There are 3 or 4 horses out there that will not make it BECAUSE I had to sink so much into saving a hopeless case. Those 3 or 4 will never be pulled from craigslist or a kill pen because I could not bring them in with my hopeless case here.

Few organizations can sustain permanent equine resident after permanent equine resident coming in and never leaving. Is that fair to all the horses that could be adopted that must be turned away because they are full of horses that can never be adopted?

I do not know where the line should be drawn. I know that must lie with each rescuer, but I think tough choices are ahead for rescues, and I think a tough choice will have to be made, and the successful rescues will probably have to make a hard call to humanely put down horses with little chance in order to really save those with hope.

The funds that these type of horses require would allow so many more horses with more minor issues to receive enough food, vet care and training to become horses with something to offer potential adopters.

A horse is an extravagantly expensive pet. Most folks need their horse to serve a bit of a purpose, as hard as that is the accept, it is understandable.

Sadly, the public outpouring of donations always comes to the cases that should usually be put down, and that is where the public needs to be made aware that even a horse with fairly okay feet, a body score of 4 and green broke needs funds to get him to the point a great family is going to be an easy find for him. Let us give those horses a chance! Let us make the humane choice for those that have a slime chance because honestly, that is a great and loving kindness for them, too.

I understand this is all something few people want to hear. I am writing it, and yet, I do not want to hear it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The FDA hoping to crush another small family farm

Morningland Dairy's story is gaining exposure!

PLEASE read the above story, and then return to continue with
this blog.

I am familiar with part of this family from a forum I had
belonged to and been active on about a year.

They are being targeted by "Big Brother" in an effort to
crush their small family farm the supports 9 families
and has provided cheese for over 30 years with a clean
production history.

PLEASE help these families, who will have an total
financial collapse it the government has its way, and
spread the story far and wide, ask local news and national
stations to cover this story, and make an immediate impact
by spending a little as $5 to buy a lb of the un-cheese.

For your $5, you are paying the price for what would have been
a pound of raw milk cheese, but you will receive nothing but the
knowledge you are helping a huge amount of people who depend
on the sales of  the 50,000 lbs of cheese they are being told they cannot

To donate $5 or more, visit the website put up to help Morningland Dairy above.

Then peruse this site:

Learn the FDA's agenda and how they really feel about THEIR and the governments
rights over your food and your body!

Lastly, go sign the Real Milk Petition I have in place:

Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are here

When I saw photos of this breed of chicken, I went wild.

I know, it seems silly, right? It is just a chicken, you say.

Indeed, but wow, are these ever some pretty chickens.

There is something about starting into chickens that
compels one to find the right breed for them.

Blue Laced Red Hen

See there, now what did I tell you? How pretty are they?

So, I search high and low, and I finally found
someone with  them

We will be offering them from the Foley's in 2011

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A quickl Blurb for my Photography

I am also a volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Horse and his "boy"

You may recall the blog from a few months ago when my farming husband decided to ride our 3 Year old Arabian

Now, JC had 60 days of intense training and then some trail time after that prior
to our purchase of him, but we weren't sure what to expect with him undersaddle.

However, the two have went out on trails, down our road, through the river and encountered four-wheelers, cars and rode with my son and his pony with no issues.
JC has proved a calm trail horse, even compared with our 6 year old QH mare with many more time undersaddle.

Yesterday, farming husband jumped on him out of the blue just to see how well he can
ride with him bareback. It was really very touching and beautiful, but please do not tell John that, he would gag :)

The Vegetarian mulls things over

Often I wonder what it is in contemporary people that beckons them
to want to produce their own food, know exactly where it comes
from, gain a level of self sufficiency, enjoy land in something
akin to its natural state and take pleasure in the care of the animals
who aid us in these endeavors.

I am one of these people, but I cannot tell you exactly why the drive
is there to live off of the land, exist in some type of beautiful accord
with the animals around me and feel that what I am doing something that
is "right".

The choices above are not easy. If you have tried it, you already are well aware of this fact. There is little money to be made, few vacations to be taken and the nights are longer than any you will find that comes with basic child rearing.

Some unknown farmer once said, "You can make a small fortune in farming - provided you start with a large one."

He certainly has been where I have been, then.

I ask myself why I insist on going down this path more often than the typical
homesteading type partly because I am a 14 year vegetarian. No chicken, no fish, no by products, No JELL-O. Still, I am not out to convert the world to vegetarianism.
It is a personal choice, and one which I have never convinced any other
friend or family member to espouse toward.

While living as a vegetarian with a houseful of meat-eaters is not conducive to
a straight forward homestead, it is also not conducive to buying commercially raised and slaughtered meat, either.

I still somehow find that true compassion for living things is wrapped up in recognizing that most people will never go the vegetarian route, and I can work toward a humane, compassionate care for the animals we have, and if and when any become the source of meat for my husband, children or others, they have been given a happy, well cared for existence for as long as we have owned them.

I can give people an option away from commercially raised meat and products, eventually.
I would rather swallow my personal convictions that prevent me from eating meat and make a small impact locally to teach people that there are humane options to the store bought, feed lot beef, pork and caged chicken they eat. My husband calls it "Cowboying Up" for me.

So, this leads me to feel that a large part of what draws people to homesteading and self sufficiency is an ability to think Higher than the masses. The ability to see a clear right and wrong way of living and decide, hardships and trials be darned, to follow that higher path.

There is something to be said about wanting to take only your share, produce as much of it as you can yourself, be willing to worker harder and pay more for ethically produced food and believe you are doing your children a favor by raising them with homesteading ideals at the heart of their upbringing. Sure, they encounter "yucky" farm chores and learn that you can't just leave at the drop of a hat for a spontaneous vacation, but as far as I know, "yucky" chores haven't killed many children (or adults, for that matter) and spur of the moment vacations do not build character.

I have dreamed of going off and roughing it on a real homestead since I can recall having day dreams, so for some 24 odd years, at least (I'm now 28). I've moved around from WV to NC and back. I've moved from WV to Florida and back, twice. I've spent years without having more than a cat or dog and with a 50x100 backyard. Still, few months have passed that I did not wish to do something more to really living than the everyday suburban "thing."

Now we have 23 acres, fairly close to the local city, but we have a 6 stall barn, enough room for 6 horses, 15 goats, 20 + laying hens, 2 mini donkeys, a livestock guard Pyrenees, 1 Jersey heifer with plans to add more chickens and another dual purpose or dairy breed heifer. We have room to raise enough food to help sustain us, though we have only been here a year, and we are still working toward a real plan for a garden and making products.

Everything is still a plan. So far, we've done little more than pick the acres of blackberries and red raspberries that grow wild on our mountain and make about 100 jars of jelly and jam in the way of producing our own food.

I get discouraged when an animal is sick, when buying hay is a taxing expense or just when the work seems like it will never end, but I am reminded that there is a higher purpose in this. Seeing new baby animals be born, caring for them as they grow, finding a meaning in the seasons because it impacts your life, it just amazing.

There is a purity in wanting little more than to know where your food comes from, learning true life skills and hoping to live as kindly as possible.

George Washington was speaking from the heart when he said,
"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."
- George Washington

A bit about me:

I have 3 boys, one who is 9, and two are 2 and under. My husband is a native Floridian, a city boy, but he has more than embraced the homesteading lifestyle. I think he is more dedicated than I am, sometimes.

We do equine rescue, which you can follow, along with our adventures at

You can find our website at

Making a Home for Homeless Horses

Making a Home for Homeless Horses

Click the above link to watch an update on some of the horses who were adopted from the 49 horses Abuse case in Wayne, WV several
months ago.



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington