Last updated 7-20-13
Bunchkin with our new girls Candi, Spats and Scotch
I feel like this whole farm story is morphing into a series of miraculous happenings (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) and I really want to be able to list all of the crazy, amazing, wonderful things that have happened (and will be happening in the future,I’m sure!) in one central location! So here goes, in the most condensed form possible, the whole story and I will be updating it as more things happen (because I’m certain they will!) If you’ve already read the other parts, skip to the bottom for the newest updates. :)
Several months ago, I started to seriously pray about having a farm “some day.” I felt God calling me to be “faithful with little” and my thought immediately turned to goats (I’ve always wanted a goat.)
We found a goat we thought we might be interested in, and I emailed a few of our close friends and family members to share a cute picture of what I thought would be our new pet/milk provider. My (step) dad emailed me back and told me he wanted to buy it for us. Meanwhile (before I’d seen the email), we found a breeder who was selling her herd of five Nigerian Dwarf goats. As we talked about the possibilities, it came to our mind that we could use these animals to bless other families (read the full story here.) I decided to ask my (step) dad if he would loan us the money to purchase this small herd. Long story short, he refused to loan us the money and instead gave us the money for all five of them.
A few days later, my dad and brother gave us the money for the fencing. A few weeks after that, a friend of ours volunteered to make houses for them and then later made us some hay feeders. Then another friend built us a fodder system so that we could supplement them with fresh greens during the winter.
A few months later, I happened to be looking on craigslist and saw someone selling some sheep very inexpensively. I spoke with Jon, and we decided to purchase a few of them to butcher in the fall. Technically, however, we didn’t have the money for them and we both really hate going into debt. Nevertheless, we decided to do so, because we felt we could provide a need for our family very cheaply by raising and processing them ourselves.
The next day, Jon got a paycheck that was WAY over the amount he thought he should have been paid. He went to those in charge, told them the mistake he thought had been made, and they told him there had been no mistake – it was the correct amount for the hours he had worked. We had exactly the amount we needed for the sheep! (Actually, we had a little more than we needed!)
Not long afterward, my mother-in-law gave us a check for a large amount of money toward the purchase of our first cow, which we ended up using (with her permission) to pay for some more fencing we desperately needed (and a tablet my husband bought me for my birthday, shame on him! ;))
A few months after that, we decided to purchase another male goat, in an effort to improve our dairy lines. We found a breeder whose goats we really liked and put a deposit down on a future buckling from a doe named Suduko (this has something to do with the next part of the story.) As we were waiting on this buckling, I happened to visit a site I’d visited before – a breeder with lines we’ve had our eye on for a very long time – and saw that she was selling her entire herd. We contacted her and in the end she not only made it possible for us to purchase ONE goat from phenomenal milking lines, but actually made it possible for us to acquire SIX – two males and three females! (Read the fully story here.) Not only that, but she and her husband are giving us much of the equipment they have spent the last decade building up for their own herd, including fencing, hay feeders, a milk stand, medications and many, many other things. (If this project has any amount of success, it will be largely due to the amount of help they have given us – not only in physical things such as fencing and feeders, but in the mentorship and encouragement I have received from them.)
In the meantime, I had contacted Suduko’s breeder to let her know that we wouldn’t be taking the buck, and asked if we could transfer our deposit to a doeling from Suduko in the future. Long story short (you can read the full story here), it turned out that they had just made the difficult decision to sell all of their milking animals and Suduko HERSELF was available! She agreed that not only could we use that deposit toward Suduko, but she asked if she could TRADE us for some sheep! And Suduko is already bred and will be delivering kids in the fall!
A few days ago, someone (I’m not sure whether they’d want me to say who) sent us a check in the mail, and told us their desire to continue sending money each month for our project (I didn’t even know this person KNEW about our project! Read the full story here.)
Yesterday, our neighbor told my husband that he is willing to lease land to us (we’ve asked him before, and he has said no) and my (step) mom offered to help us with monthly payments on the land, if we need it.
Today, my (step) dad offered to help us with anything we need to get started with whatever our next venture is (update: he’s helping us build our fence!)…
And a friend emailed and told us he wants to buy us a cow.
I told my mother-in-law the other day that at some point, I’m going to stop being surprised by all of this.
It hasn’t happened yet. :)
I feel like a little figurine on a monopoly board. I took two steps forward, was “faithful with little,” and drew the card “Advance Token to Boardwalk!”
Our little boy, Genesis.