Thursday, June 2, 2011

come in, sit down

Every once in a while I like to do a roll call. If you would be so kind as to comment and introduce yourself to the comunity here, we can all catch up with one another. Tell me about your own farm, or future farm, or your city apartment and lack of a farm because you just like reading about this mess. Say where you're from, and what your own goals are.

If you don't mind, please let me know what it is you'd be interested to hear more about? More recipes? Essays? It helps me produce the content you're interested in. It also helps other readers out there realize they aren't crazy for wanting a Shire horse or Swedish Flower Hens in 2011. And you never know, perhaps someone will read through these and realize there's another urban homesteader right in their neighbrohood, or that your goat farm is literally down the road. I hope you'll all chime in. I'll start:

Hi, I'm Jenna from Jackson, NY. I'm in my late twenties, single, and spend my days as a web designer/author/blogger/shepherd. I have a little sheep farm here with my border colllie, chickens, geese, rabbits, turkeys, bees, and a cart pony in training. I'm an average gardener and just planted 85 potatoes. Some day I want to grow up and be a writing farmer for a living. I want this so much it hurts.

226 Comments:

Blogger booksNyarn said...

Hi! I am Kristi. I am originally from your neck of the woods (Lake George) but currently am in Worcester MA. I am living in a rented home, and installed two garden beds last year. I have taken a beekeeping course, but currently am gearing up for a City Council meeting to introduce possible ordinance changes so we can own chickens! I have been working the last year on this, so am very, very hopeful this can happen.

June 2, 2011 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

I'm Shelby, I live in Ohio in the Dayton suburbs...but am in the process of purchasing a home on 1.3 acres. We plan on putting our fruit trees in the ground, getting a couple hives and a handful of chickens. One day, we hope to purchase a couple more acres off the 88 acre farm that backs up to our property. One step at a time though...we need to get into this house first!
I'm married (15 years) and have five children.

June 2, 2011 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Noël McNeil said...

Hi, I'm Noel and I am about to start my farming career...again. I grew up farming and I raised sheep for 4-H for 8 years. My husband and I just bought a house with 2 acres with the potential to buy more in the future. :) I am going to be getting some bred ewes this summer and Lord willing some chickens and bees next spring. I live in Cottonood CA and I am blessed by the Lord to have an amazing husband and a 3 year old boy and a 16 month old baby girl.

June 2, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

Hi Jenna,

i have been following your blog for a few years now. I am an artist in Chicago IL, who just got my first big studio and am making stuff to put on my website. I have a big golden doodle named Petunia who loves to sniff around and dig in the dirt. I dream of having a farm, with a little woodfired kiln, a lilac bush, a garden to feed myself from, a few chickens, a goat to make some goat cheese with. I practice my fiddle once in a blue moon, but not nearly enough to play anything regular.

June 2, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger MIB said...

Hi, all. I'm Melissa, and my husband and I have an (unfortunately, part-time) homestead in upstate New York (southern Adirondacks). We focus mainly on heritage breeds of livestock, although we do have some other rare breeds, as well. Our web site is www.HermitThrushHill.com, although we need to update it since this year's lambing and kidding. My main livestock love is my Soay sheep, a primitive heritage breed from Scotland--having them has changed my life in wonderful ways I never could have imagined, and, naturally, I think they're the best sheep in the world!

Jenna, I love your meditations on the emotional and spiritual parts of this life. Being an educated, suburban-raised person, a lot of people are surprised that I've chosen to live a life that's so dirty and so much work. Sometimes I just point them to some of your posts, like "We're not from around here," and say "that's why."

June 2, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger K said...

Hi there! I'm K., living in Fort Erie, Ontario in an 83-year old house on just under 1/5th of an acre. I currently have a small (~350 sq. ft.) garden, am renovating the entire house (and when I say entire, I mean entire, from the studs out, from the roof down), and eventually want to get to the point where the food I eat comes from my own land, my local farmers, or ethical sources for things that don't grow in my region.

Once the renos are done, the garden will be expanded, fruit trees and bushes will be planted, and I'll start trying to get city hall to change the "no chicken" policy.... so much work, so little time!!!

As for your blog - I find it's a great mix, and wouldn't change a thing!

June 2, 2011 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Hi, I'm Kris from Fort St James, BC, Canada. I just bought my first house with my husband with a big backyard. I just got my first chickens and I hatched four eggs yesterday!!! I've got 4 buff orpington cuties right now, and four older, mixed breed chickens. I'v planted a few fruit trees and raspberries and am slowing getting a start on my garden (I love gardening!). My dream is to one day have sheep, but I won't be able to do that in town. So a small acreage is my goal to work towards.
I like hearing about your animals best. And I want to see more and more pictures of your farm!

June 2, 2011 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Hi Im Julie, live in back of beyond Andalucia, Spain, 200 year old "Cortijo" or cottage 5000 sq metres, mainly olive trees,grow veg, keep chickens, ducks, dogs, and cats. Love the blog Jenna.

June 2, 2011 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hi. I'm Jen - a university employee and a wanna-be full-time farmer. My partner and I raise Boer meat goats, a few chickens for eggs and organic veggies. We recently started selling our wares at the Lawrence, Kan., farmers market. What I enjoy in this community and your writing is the knowledge that others struggle, too, and that there are people like you who are trying to make this scrappy farm life work. -Jen (of the Red Tractor Farm in Kansas)

June 2, 2011 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I'm Teresa in Palo Alto, CA and I don't even have a garden at the moment because I moved instead of planting this year! I have a lifelong goal to one day own horses, but at the moment I'm fulfilling other goals. I hope to one day own chickens, sheep, and goats also for eggs, fleece and milk since I'm a vegetarian. I really like your pictures of the animals (especially the babies!) and short updates on what's going on around the farm. I'll confess to skimming the essays. :-)

June 2, 2011 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I'm Julie from Reading, PA, where I live on 17 acres with dh. 3 children, grown and on their own, mostly. 13 of the 17 acres are mature woods from which dh cuts and splits the wood used to heat our home. The woods are also full of wild raspberries and blackberries. We grow a large garden and have 13 chickens. I can much of the garden produce, make jam/jelly, quilt, knit, sew and crochet.

June 2, 2011 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger bananafana said...

Hi! I'm Anna and I'm from Saint Louis, MO. I have an awesome husband and 2 great kids and a job that I love. We have a home with a good size yard but still small for much of what we want to do. We put in raised beds last year and got a little over-ambitious (read: couldn't keep up with it all/pumpkins took over the whole yard). We're scaling back and planting much less this year and buying the rest at the farmer's market. I'm working on my husband to allow the chickens - mostly we're concerned that our dog will think of them as snacks and my husband knows he'll end up being the caretaker (I'm the dreamer and he gets stuck with all the dirty jobs). We've actually talked about moving further out of town, getting some acreage and him staying home to feed the family. We're trying to figure out how that works with the kids' school so a move is probably still off on the horizon. In the end, I'd love to have a few acres, a big garden, some chickens, goats and pigs. We'll see where we end up . . .
I love hearing about all your successes and failures. It's a nice reminder that this is all a learning process and you don't have to ace it all right at the beginning. The perfectionist in me has trouble getting started if I'm not 100% sure how.

June 2, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
OpenID mollymakesdo said...

Hi! I'm Molly, I recently moved back to Iowa where I grew up with my husband and just in time to be joined by our bouncing baby boy! I'm working on transforming my parents lawn into gardening space for when we plan to buy the property in a few years and am also learning the ropes for managing our family farm about an hour away.

I hope one day to build our own home on one of our old homestead lots on our farm, fill the pond with fish again, have some chickens, sheep, maybe an alpaca, a big garden and a deep pantry.

June 2, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Gail said...

Hi! I'm Gail. I live in Independence, MO-an eastern suburb of Kansas City. I have a couple of tomato plants and some winter onions for a vegetable garden this year. I hope to move farther west onto land where I can grow more veggies as well as fruit and have chickens. I love hearing about your everyday life, about your dreams and how you work to achieve them. I love the essays, as they are always thought provoking.

June 2, 2011 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Tatiana said...

Hi! I'm Tatiana,22 years old, I live in Smithfield, VA, originally from Massachusetts. I live on a 1 acre homestead with my husband of two years, a Siberian Husky Manney(10 yrs old), and a Border Collie, Alex(5 months) <--He's in herding training! We have 6 laying hens at the moment, 100 sq ft of garden, we're setting up our bee hive this summer for next spring, and are looking to start raising meat rabbits as well!
We're doing the best with the land we have, but we've started saving up for more land in the near by future.My goal is first and foremost self reliability, and what ever we have left to make a market garden.
I'd love to hear more about your day to day grind! Along with recipes and your own goals!

June 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I'm Missy. I live in Ringgold, GA and garden like crazy. I live here with my partner of 8 years. I also have 3 fat felines to take care of and a whole slew of wild rabbits, birds, chipmunks, and squirrels on this acre of land. Our next step is getting chickens when we can find the time to plan and build a coop. We are thinking about a rabbit as well. I would love to have more acreage for goats and sheep, but that might have to happen down the road. I've been gardening since I was 3, when my mother would let me drop in the seeds and tamp the dirt. Most of what I learned, I learned from the strong southern women who are my grandmothers and mother. Mom taught me to cook and preserve food at an early age. My grandmother is one of the original DIY-ers - avid seamstress, crocheter, crafter, and cook.

I love coming here and reading about your adventures and shenanigans. I particularly like the recaps of your gaining animals and the process of tending to the. I like animal pictures and stories. You write well and have a wry sense of humor, which I enjoy. Keep it up!

June 2, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Mary from southern Indiana. 73, retired math and science teacher, been living in this forested area with my partner for 20 years. We have a garden, had 2 chickens but the fox got them recently. Going to build them a more secure yard.

Love following Jenna's adventures and am amazed at all the people who are there to help with the right advice when she needs it!
It is inspiring that so many young people are returning to the land and taking responsibility for their own food and other needs.

Jenna, I think the mix on your blog is just right. Thank you for sharing your life so generously.

June 2, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger yarrow said...

Hi -- I'm Kat, I live in a pagan-spiritual intentional community called Sunflower River in the Rio Grande Valley just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have five members, and 3.5 acres. All of us have day jobs outside the farm -- I work at the local University as an academic advisor, and my housemates are, respectively, a microbioligist, a nurse, a musician and a computer programmer. We're all in our 30s, and we all hope to retire from those day jobs to the farm when we get the land paid off and the place earning enough money to support itself.

On the farm, we have a focus on sustainable living, and towards that end we have a quarter-acre garden (plus misc garden beds here and there over the part of the property that we're actively working so far), a large flock of chickens, and we raise turkeys and meat rabbits. We plan to get goats & bees next year. We do a lot of food preservation, and teach courses on that, and on dryland farming. Our blog is currently located at http://sunflowerriver.livejournal.com, though we will be migrating to Wordpress sometime this year.

I most appreciate the emotional integrity and clarity of your posts; I enjoy your writing, and I'm glad you don't shelter your readers from the hard parts, nor from the joy.

June 2, 2011 at 1:50 PM  
OpenID 251c0b12-8d41-11e0-9c51-000bcdcb2996 said...

Hi! I'm Chris. I'm a St. Louis native, working on a PhD in virology, beekeeper, and gardener. I'm a big proponent of "New Urbanism" and ecologically friendly city living, but my ultimate goal is to live and work somewhere I can have a little more land--Barnheart, I think you call it:). I love your blog... and thoroughly enjoy both the "daily living" posts and more specific posts about particular cooking/gardening/animal escapades.

June 2, 2011 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Hello, I'm J.D. Collins from Rhode Island. My 'holding' is in the city and is as big as a postage stamp, but it gives back in extraordinary ways.

I love this site because it provides some sanity in an otherwise crazy world. Recipes are nice, personal experience even better.

Thanks for all you do for us.

June 2, 2011 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm Lisa, I live outside of Charlottesville, VA in an old farm house my husband and I closed on a year ago today (yippee). We have five acres, plus one across the street that we're renting for produce. Thus far we're raising chickens, ducks, guineas, sheep, pigs, rabbits, turkeys and a toddler. My husband owns two small restaurants in town, so Red Row Farm supplies as much meat and produce as we can to Revolutionary Soup... farm-to-table but at a lunch counter level. I'm still a corporate blah-de-blah by day, but I'd love to be home working on the farm full time. And bees, I so badly want bees!

June 2, 2011 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Rural Revival said...

I'm Andrea from Southwestern Ontario, Canada!

My family and I moved to the country almost three years ago and are slowly turning our property into a micro-farm. We started with growing our own fruits and veggies, moved on to canning and making our own maple syrup. As of Tuesday I'm the family beekeeper and chicks (layers) are on their way.

I love learning about livestock from Jenna's blog and her love for farming is contagious!

Life is good. : )

~Andrea~
Rural Revival

June 2, 2011 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger quiltaholic said...

Hi! I'm Chris from rural MN. I live inside the city limits with my hubby and 3 kids (17, 16, and 10), but both my mother and mother-in-law have large plots of land outside of town. The kids have a flock of 22 laying hens, one rooster (Duke), and 30 meat chickens that live at my mother-in-laws place. My husband runs her 150 tillable acres, planting soybeans, corn and hay every year. As for me, I am currently trying to grow something in our small backyard raised beds (I checked this morning - the onions are peeking through!!!)

I am hoping to add a couple of fruit trees, meat rabbits and a hive of bees to our small town lot in the next year or so. And within the next 5 years, hopefully purchasing a place with some acreage.

June 2, 2011 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Jewel said...

Hi, I'm Jewel from NW Washington, we live on 10 acres and have a small farm with chickens, rabbits, honeybees, a great pyrenees, a golden retriever and nigerian dwarf milk goats coming soon. My husband does timberframing and has built our home, barn and chicken coop mostly from trees he cut and milled from our own land. We are raising children, growing gardens and an orchard, tending farm animals, and loving every minute of it. I sold real estate for 12 years, and now work at a plant nursery part time.

Love your blog, I got hooked reading it last fall, you're a delight and inspiration to read, just keep writing what your heart tells you to, we'll read it.

June 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Hi! I'm Paula. I grew up in California, picked up a wonderful husband (really- he's so tolerant) in Florida while I lived there, and now we're working on homesteading a quarter acre in West Linn, OR. I'm currently working on building a dining nook using hand tools (except my impact driver, which you'll have to pry from my cold, stiff, dead fingers). We have a large garden, lots of fruit and nut trees, and this spring I built a top bar hive and installed 10,000 bees in it, which are doing great! I'm currently brooding my first chicks in the guest room. I guess it helps that I'm currently unemployed, because I don't know how else I'd get all this done; I certainly don't have Jenna's energy! My tolerant husband brews really, really good beer, and does all the baking. He's currently getting bids for a new metal roof on our really plain ranch house (built 1976) so that we can build a rainwater harvesting system for the garden. He's also researching solar systems so that we can get that done before all the government incentives dry up and blow away. I'd love to have a place in the sticks, but am learning to bloom where I was planted. At least, I have my BMW driving husband thinking about making our next vehicle (which will replace the beemer) (we're a dedicated one car family) a pick up truck- my dream!

June 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger John Taylor said...

Hi, I'm John, from Surprise, AZ. I'm in my early forties, married for 19 years and have 3 beautiful girls. I spend my days as a Property & Energy Manager.
I have a little urban "micro-farm" and dream to have my farm in VA. I have been a gardener for the last 20 years and look forward to being more self sufficient in the future.

June 2, 2011 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Lindsey G. said...

Hi, I'm Lindsey from Eureka, California. I live with my husband and 2 year old son, with another on the way in a small city lot that I have turned into our edible estate! We have planted 10 fruit trees, along with a full veggie and berry garden. We get eggs from a friend who drops them off and other veggies from a local CSA. It's not entirely self sufficient, but it's the best we can do given the circumstances. I LOVE your blog to dream about our ideal farm with animals and all! Congrats on living your dream!!

June 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

Hey. I'm daisy and I am trapped in suburbia at the moment. I've dreamed of having a farm of my own for most of my life. We plan to relocate further north and start a theraputic farm for kids with autism. For now, I make my own bread, cook from scratch, homeschool, garden and blog like a madwoman. Sending best of wishes to all those here who aspire to create their ideal life. Blessings...

June 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Oh! I meant to tell you Jenna that I miss some of the stuff you used to write and take pictures of- like your outdoor pictures when you went sledding at dusk, and pictures from around where you lived. It was really pretty there. I also liked reading about your evenings without electricity. Maybe the difference is before you were aching for it, and took lots of pictures, but now you're living it, and you just don't have time!

June 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 2, 2011 at 2:28 PM  
OpenID Kyleann33 said...

Hi, I'm Kylie and I live in Central PA with my husband and 2.5 year old son. I grew up in a family of big gardeners- my mom and I can salsa, tomatoes, green beens & enchilada sauce together each summer. I live in a rural village that doesn't allow chickens in our backyards, which seems totally ridiculous to me. We're looking for a new home & hope it will include more land (I want to plant fruit trees) and allow us to have chickens.

I love reading your blog & like that you share the hardships as well as successes on your farm. I always enjoy recipes and your beautiful farm photographs.

June 2, 2011 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I'm Lori from NW Florida. I have 3 acres with 2 horses (1 too old, 1 too young lol), 20-some odd chickens, 3 rabbits and an amazing yellow Lab that is my constant companion as well as my "farm dog" - a terrier mutt from the pound that keeps us clear from rats and 'possums. I plant a small garden each year (about 70x70) and this year it has done nothing! Tomatoes and a few squash - that's it.
My next attempt will likely be bees - though my preference would be a couple of dairy goats and 2 butchering pigs.

I wanted to add I have blueberry bushes, pear trees, a peach tree and a few fig trees. I picked 4 gallons of dewberries (black berries).

June 2, 2011 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

Hello, I am Justine (24). I live in Canaan, maine with my husband Chris(25). We just bought our house last October and have been trying to turn it into our little homestead ever since. We just planted our first ever garden, and plan to get chickens and a fiber rabbit at the end of the year. Pigs and sheep next year. I love reading your blog because it makes me believe anything is possible... I love your recipes too, my husband loves your caf pancakes!

June 2, 2011 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Alissa said...

Hi. I'm Alissa. I used to be a regular blogger but haven't done so in a long time. Your blog is one of the few I read regularly. You inspire me! I am in my mid-30's, married with two boys ages 8 and 10. We live in Western Kentucky, not in the city but in a house in the county with a small lot surrounded by lots of land. In our small backyard my youngest son and I raise a flock of laying hens (20 or so) and my older son and I are raising a sheep (a rescue bottle baby from a local slaughterhouse this spring). We also have a small veggie garden and herb garden. Our family dream is to someday have more acreage and homestead.

June 2, 2011 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

P.S. I like the pictures because it helps us see what you are seeing :-)

June 2, 2011 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Allie said...

I'm Allie,
I live an hour east of Pittsburgh, PA on just over an acre. I have Ancona Ducks, French Angoras, an array of muttly and purebred laying hens, and a temporary flock of Cornish X's.

I'm trying to convince my husband to let me get a couple Nigerian dwarfs for milk.

There is a farm in our future (his Mom lives on 80 acres), but I like to dream of just sectioning off 15 acres for the time being, to raise and re-establish Kerry cattle while my mother in law lives a very long healthy life! lol!

I absolutely love your blog as is, it's a great mash-up of everything.

June 2, 2011 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Harvest Kitchen Sisters said...

Heyo!
I am Laura and I live in a lil' town called Woodville which is in Ontario Canada. I am a generational farmer doing things a bit differently then previous generations before me. I live on the family farm with my own brood (my partner,two little boys and a new baby girl) and a full brood in the barn (heritage
chickens,turkeys,pigs,ducks). I spend most my days either with my hands dirty toiling in the soil,doing barn chores, or hanging diapers out on the line. I co write a blog with my amazing sis called: theharvestkitchensisters.blogspot.com. I am a mother, a lover and last but not least a farmer.
P.S. I love your blog and how you illustrate the real ups and downs of raising animals.

June 2, 2011 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Mrs. N said...

Hi, I'm Jess. I am married and have a 2 and a half year old son and an 8 month old daughter. We live on one acre in NEPA in a 70 year old storybook cottage. After having my kids and getting to stay home with them I have decided that what I really want to be when I grow up is a farmer and shopkeeper. We will be on this place 1 year on July first and I currently tend to a dozen hens, 3 roosters,4 rabbits, some meat roos and 1 Romney lamb, and a tiny orchard. My plans for next year include a large fenced veggi garden, bees, more fruit trees, 2 ewe lambs, and a pig. I refinish furniture and grow herbs and flowers as well, so that is where the shopkeeping will come in I hope!

June 2, 2011 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

I'm Kirsten, and living a most urban life in the centre of Vancouver BC, Canada. Car free! I love our walkable life, but I do desperately want a little patch of dirt to call my own - all the community garden plots were full. I'm on our co-op's gardening committee, and I hope to encourage them in the redevelopment of the co-op gardens as an edible landscape. I'm growing 4 tomato plants in pots, and a small potted herb garden on our north-facing patio, and dreaming of chickens and goats and bees. Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through you, the more details the better in my opinion. Nothing too mundane!

June 2, 2011 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger leafonatree said...

Hi all! I'm Leah, 31, currently living in New Mexico. I am growing my first two tomato plants this year, in addition to the mini-herb garden I started on my front porch last year.

I love the variety of posts featured in your blog, Jenna. It's inspiring. I was convinced for some time that plants just gave up and died in my presence, but I tried again after reading your book, 'Made from Scratch'. Little by little, I can learn how to grow wonderful things. Hopefully, when I am settled more permanently after grad school, I can do more. I really want a goat someday!

June 2, 2011 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

Hi, I'm Becca from Clovis, New Mexico. I'm married with a young son, a border collie mix pup, chickens, and a good sized garden. I'm staying home right now but am trying to break into broadcasting. Right now I'm worrying about my well going dry. I'd like to see more recipes.

June 2, 2011 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Ivanhoe said...

I'm... somebody. I'm 23 and I'm polyamorous, which means that I believe in and practise honest non-monogamy. I have several lovely long-term relationships and a circle of good friends. I live with my boyfriend on a wet, windy island covered in rainforest off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. I'm a piano teacher, a musical director for the theatre, an assistant at a heritage language school, and I deliver a newspaper by bike and trailer. I don't have much of a desire to farm, though I sure would like to at least try maybe growing some small thing to eat and possibly helping my house-neighbours out with the backyard chickens they're planning on getting. My goal in life is to resurrect vaudeville. I have no idea how I stumbled upon this blog, but the writing is absolutely exquisite and I am so hooked on reading about a life that's very different from mine. I'll eat up pretty much anything you write. I especially like reading posts about "a day in the life" and about seasonal rituals and about thinking and what you learn about how to behave from animals and such.
...MIB put it better, actually! "I love your meditations on the emotional and spiritual parts of this life." Exactly! I'm an atheist, but I still consider myself spiritual and enjoy reading about contemplation.

June 2, 2011 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Hi, I'm Heather and I live in Stephens City, VA with my husband and our 2 yr old daughter. We have big farm dreams, but currently stuck in a townhouse.
Although grateful for our home, we have very little space. We garden every square inch of dirt we have and we are getting a couple of hens. I'm learning to knit and want sheep so badly, but I just read Made From Scratch and there are some Angora rabbits in my future. I bake, cook whole, seasonal food and can. I make laundry soap and line dry. I want to make yogurt, butter and cheese when I find some good milk. I really, really want a wood cook stove!
Like so many, we have to stay where we are until the real estate market improves, but we want that little farm- bees, dairy goats, sheep, orchard, BIG garden and ofcourse a pony or mini donkey!
We hope to find someone near our home that would allow us to use their land in exchange for help with their property and sharing the garden bounty, eggs, etc..
Jenna, I'm addicted to your blog :-) I love that you don't sugar coat the hardships, its good knowing your not alone when things get challangeing. I would enjoy more DIY projects/crafts and receipes, even though your blog is pretty awesome as is :-)

June 2, 2011 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Kate Mary Betty said...

Hi, I'm KJ. My partner Mary and I live a little more than a stone's throw away from CAF in the NY hill town hamlet of Clarksville. Our 5 acre holding is called Windwomen Farm. We have 17 chickens, 200 sq ft of raised vegetable beds, an 18' diameter passive solar greenhouse, bees, berries and a wind turbine. We live sustainably and make soaps, lip balm, yogurt, butter, sourdough breads, wine, etc...We are planning to make the farm a legal entity this year and are just beginning to market our wares.

Jenna, you are a writer with a gift...the gift of making us actually feel like we are there with you via your words...you have also been gifted with the knowledge of who/what you want to be at your young age and the courage to plow ahead in that direction. Please do not change your strategy for this blog...recipes are a dime a dozen on the web...your ability to make us part of your life's journey is what keeps us coming back everyday...hell...sometimes multiple times a day...

June 2, 2011 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Ivy Mae said...

I'm Ivy Mae, and my husband, 2 year old son, and dog all live on 10 acres in North Central Florida. I have a raised bed garden that is providing a lot of summer produce right now, as well as blueberry bushes and fig trees. I wanted to get chickens this year, but having a toddler is tougher than I thought it would be. :) I like hearing about your love life and can't wait until you find the right person to join you on your adventure!

June 2, 2011 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Joie said...

Hi, I'm Joie. I live in Schoharie County, NY, but am originally from DC. I'm slowly wrapping my mind around, and coming to accept, my life-long desire to farm. It's a slow learning process, to be sure. I'm still in the garden/food preservation stage of things, but I'm hereby making a promise to myself (and the blogosphere) that in five years I will have at least 5 acres and one non-pet animal.

And I have to say (watch out, total cheeze fest) that you have been such an inspiration to me. Many a time I have said 'Self, if Jenna can do this, you can too.' Seeing your daily life posts fits right in with those pep talks. They're probably my favorite thing about the blog.

June 2, 2011 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger VTGrown said...

I'm Holly. I live in Sunland, CA where the houses are so close I can hear my neighbor's alarm clock (no exaggeration). Originally from VT, I am separated and have 3 teenagers - one of which has a cancer-syndrome gene which has transformed how I look at food and my goal is to produce most of our own food. I work as a paralegal for a large biotech co. but just met with my manager and requested to be "field-based" so that I can move to NH/VT and work from home, grow my own food, chicks, bees, the works! Waiting on pins and needles to hear if they'll consider it. Hope to be back in NH by July. My barnheart has been feverish lately and I'm in my early 40's. I feel like I can't wait much longer to breathe.

Jenna I love your blog just as it is.

June 2, 2011 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger The Village Queen said...

Hi, Im Kate and wish I lived in the country. In the middle of Denver CO, rental duplex with no yard. Flowers and lettuse in pots are all I have room for. Grew up in the country with horses and dogs, need a job that makes enough to move out of the city but the jobs are in the city... stuck. Mom had a 1 acre garden that she made us weed, kinda put me off gardening for years! No husband or kids so just want a quiet place where I could have chickens and rabbits. Maybe next life.
Love your writing Jenna but would love more pictures, havent seen much mention of Jazz and Annie in ages. So nice to see a furry face today. How are the lambs growing? More pics!

June 2, 2011 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Misha said...

Hi! I'm Michelle from Littleton, CO. I'm pushing mid-30's, I'm married, and together we have 4 almost teenage children (16, 13, 12, 11). We have 2 dogs (Annie, American Staffordshire and Sampson, 1/2 border collie, 1/2 standard poodle).

I spend most of my weekday time in a cube. The 30 minutes I give myself tending my small garden each evening brings so much clarity to my life. The thrill of my day yesterday was my turkey craw beans breaking through the top layer of potting soil. While I have only a yard, 4 raised beds and multiple containers right now, I dream of someday growing/raising all of our food.

I believe that people should know where their food comes from, how it was grown (naturally, non-GMO, etc), how it was treated (free range, grass fed, hormone free, etc) and it's impact on the environment (has your food seen more of the country than you have?).....

June 2, 2011 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Michael Smith said...

I'm Mike. I live in Anderson SC with my wife and daughter. I grew up farm, went tech and now I'm slowly moving back farm. I already have one hive of bees in place (plus managing my Grandmother's bees), building a chicken coop and yard that can handle 20-30 birds with comfort. My garden goal for this year is to grow all of the Green beans and Lima beans that we will need for the year. (plus all of the normal amounts of corn tomatoes, potatoes, etc.) I've been reading you for over a year now and I've just started my own blog about my experiences (http://schomestead.com/). I want to explore sheep and/or alpaca but I need to look into the wool market around here first.

June 2, 2011 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Larisa said...

Hello, I am Larisa, currently a librarian in Olympia, WA. I grew up on a back-to-nature style farm with sheep, chickens, pigs, geese and lots of gardens in northern Wisconsin in the 70's & 80's. Since then I have lived in urban environments with nothing but dying houseplants and two cats.

I am considering getting a worm composter, have a few herbs in pots, but will just have to keep reading your blog and others to live vicariously in the country. City ordinances and space won't let me do much more than that right now.

June 2, 2011 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Hi, I'm Brenda. I'm 50+, single, and live on a farm just south of Lebanon, MO. By education and profession I'm a software designer. But, by choice I'm a goat dairy farmer and cheesemaker. I'm fortunate to be able to do my professional work from home ... which gives me the time needed to care for and milk 40+ goats. I make artisan cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and kefir from the milk. I write about my adventures on the dairy at http://grannysbest.blogspot.com/

I enjoy checking in on you every day and following your progress with your farm.

June 2, 2011 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Janneke said...

Hi! I'm Jandra and I live in Germany with DH and 3 cats. We have modest garden in which we grow all sorts of vegetables, soft fruit and fruits, but it's very (!) small scale. I would like chickens, just a few for some eggs.
My blog is on www.jandrasweblog.com/wp (click on English in the left menu bar if necessary)

I really enjoy your blog, Jenna. Keep it as it is as far as I'm concerned.
Thanks for sharing.

June 2, 2011 at 3:32 PM  
OpenID notherethenwhere said...

Hi all - I'm Jenn. I live in south-western Ontario with my husband, and am a graduate student and part-time prof at the local university. I study digital-type things in my research, but when I'm not doing that, I'm dreaming about a farm and trying to make life in my little urban apartment increasingly more sustainable and handmade until I have some land of my own. The apartment's small, but the dreams are big!

June 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger bellananda said...

howdy! i'm season, in kansas city. i have dreams of a small farm someday, close enough to the city that i can escape for a performance or outing, but far enough away that, when i'm home, i'm in my own universe. :) in the meantime, i'm busy turning my exurban yarden into a proper edible landscape space (tricky when you live in an historic neighborhood...you have to stay under the radar of the "preservation nazis"--!), supporting the growing number of local-and-organic farmers serving my community, and heading up the kansas city csa coalition. never a dull moment!

June 2, 2011 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Coley said...

Hi! I'm coley. I live in metro Detroit. I own a small bungalow with my two dogs, a kitty, a bearded dragon & 9 quail (& my DH Dicky). I am currently in the process of ridding myself of grass in hopes of growing food!

June 2, 2011 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I'm Cindy, a wife, mother to a special-needs young adult, and a full-time homemaker. I grew up in So. California but have lived most of my adult life in the Pacific Northwest, currently in Bellingham, WA. I have 3 hens in a portable coop in our backyard and a small vegetable garden that's struggling along with the cold temps we've had this spring.

I blog at:
www.sidetrackedartist.com
and
www.wheatlessfoodie.blogspot.com

I enjoy your writing, whatever you write about, but I especially like reading about what goes on at the farm.

June 2, 2011 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Grant Wagner said...

Howdy, I'm Grant, a happily married 31 year old Software Developer living on a half acre in northern Chicago-land area.

I'm hear to dream of my own personal escape from a world that I feel is just to demanding of me. I dream of a completely hand made, off grid, independent refuge with a fishpond, raised beds, solar panels, slow ham radio data links to the rest of the world and composting toilets. I want a place free of noise, clutter, debt.

June 2, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

I'm Arienne, living in southeastern Washington State with my husband, two kids, one dog, two cats, and five chickens. I knit, bake, teach French, keep the house going, run the shipping department at a fresh/frozen salmon plant in Alaska during salmon season, and long for a summer where I'm here the whole time and can plant a garden. In the meantime, I have some herbs, tomatoes, and rhubarb planted. One day the whole yard is going to be garden. I'm also trying to learn the banjo.

I have enjoyed your blog for over a year now. I love it most when you write for yourself, without concern for what your readers may want or think. This is your farm, your blog, your lovely writing. We are just fortunate to be able to eavesdrop in on it all.

June 2, 2011 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger karental said...

Hello. I'm Karen. My hubs and I live in Tampa, FL. I have had bees, although at this point I am hiveless. I would like to have chickens. They are verboten in my area, but I will go stealth :-) I grow veggies in self-watering containers as the soil here is sand and weeds. We make our own bread. I knit. Hubs is a gifted woodworker, although he is loathe to admit it. One day we will live on a small holding in northern Arkansas or southern Missouri and keep bees, chickens, have a giant garden, and a pair of draft mules to haul firewood.

I love this blog. I would like to hear more about all of the dogs. I want to follow Jasper through his training and I'd like to hear more about sheep herding classes and riding lessons.

June 2, 2011 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Hansen Family said...

I am Tracey from Tennessee. We live on 4+ acres and I just posted an "Around the Farm" post that tells a little of what we do and it is a lot. I love reading your blog for the sheep! That is one thing we do not raise... tooo darned hot here but I love reading about them. great mix of content as another poster said!

June 2, 2011 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Bethany Burgess said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 2, 2011 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hi! I'm Jen. I live in Manitoba, Canada and in the next 5 years my boyfriend and I have a plan to start our own sustainable life in the bush. I'm looking forward to the gardens and the goats. He's looking forward to the pigs and the tractor. I think he might dream about tractors at night.WE will buy a yurt to start out while we build our own house and barn of rammed earth and try to foster all our energy from the sun and the wind. I'm madly in love with your wood stove!

June 2, 2011 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Back Achres said...

Hi I'm Elaine(EB), my partner and I have 40 acres near Binghamton, NY. We are both in our 60's and retired.We have our gardens(we have switched to higher raised beds since the ground is getting further away each year) and did raise ducks at one point. I want to add a meat source, but I haven't convinced my partner yet. We enjoy your blog, I read it out loud over coffee each AM and hope to meet at one of you workshops.

June 2, 2011 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Bethany Burgess said...

My name is Bethany and I have been living in Alaska the last 2 years. My husband and I scheme about moving back closer to our roots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We are in the process of working with my architect/ builder cousin on plans for a small self sustaining U.P. home. We are looking into 20-80 acre parcels of land for purchase. We daydream of the day when we can live by a seasonal calendar and fill days with planting, canning, dehydrating and home brewing.

Jenna- I found your blog a few months ago and went home and downloaded Made from Scratch that day on my kindle. I wait in anticipation for the release of your new book. I now follow your blog and most enjoy reading about your new endeavors and your plans and hopes for reaching your goal of full time farming/ writing.

A quote from your blog hangs on our fridge "To those of you who dream of goats and chickens and a cabin in the woods...." It provides a daily reminder of hope.

June 2, 2011 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I'm Jennifer. I am originally from North Hoosick ,NY not far from CAF but have lived in Bar Harbor, ME for the last 40 years. I am a single Mom of 4 boys and Grandma to 3 girls and 2 boys. I live on 12.5 wooded acres with my 4 German Shepherds. I have 25 chickens of various heritage breeds whose eggs pay for their organic food. I also have 5 Silver Fox meat rabbits which is a heritage breed I'm trying to become self sufficient when it comes to most of my food so in addition to rabbits, I raise meat chickens,heritage turkeys and a large garden. I also do this to avoid pesticides, herbicides,and CFO meat. I have a bad case of Barnheart the cure for which might be something with cloven hooves. I try to stay reasonably well informed about the issues surrounding food production.
For the last 27 years, I've been a Search and Rescue dog handler.

June 2, 2011 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Thinkin' Out Loud said...

HI, all! I'm Christina from Gastonia, North Carolina.

I have a few hens and a 200 square foot garden plus a a tiny orchard(7 trees) and some berry bushes. Not much in the farm way I know but things are looking up because 2 little pieces of land might be for sale soon. One on each side of our land :). If that works out I want bees on one piece and a couple sheep on the other. Fingers crossed!

I love reading about your escapades. I would like to hear more about your smaller ventures (bees, recipes, sour dough making) but I wouldn't cut any of the other topics for it.

June 2, 2011 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger fastturtle said...

Hi! I'm Kim and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. My husband and I bought our first house last year and I have a few things planted but no full garden yet. The ground is way too hard. I loved reading about your experiences because I grew up in the suburbs and there is a part of me that always wondered what it would be like to live on a farm out in the country. I am amazed by all that you do. Keep the stories coming!!

June 2, 2011 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Anja said...

I am Anja,just turned 30, originally from Germany but living in the UK for the past 8 years. I grew up on a homestead until I was 14 with ducks, geeze rabbits and pigeons.
I am currently living in a rented flat with my two Nova scotia duck tolling retrievers. I only have a courtyard to call my own but am planting tomatoes and salat each year for the past 5 years. This year I also tried potaoes in a sack, beans, peas and cucumbers and despite limited space this is going pretty well.I am saving money to by some land and have my own farm one day.

June 2, 2011 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Witchy Mom's Homeschool and Organic Gardens said...

Hi! I'm Val and I live in Maine in what is called the Greater Portland area in a mix of somewhat rural/somewhat suburban setting. We currently rent, but are trying (desperately) to buy a home with some land to have our own farm. Because we rent, I have to do 90% of my gardening in containers - so I'm daydreaming about what I could do with the 3 acres we're trying to buy (the house is a short-sale. We're on month 4 and hoping to have some answers one way or the other soon).

I'd love to hear more about chickens, as we're considering raising them. I'd love a 'Chickens for Dummies 101'!

June 2, 2011 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger PurrfectPetSitting said...

I'm Wendy, early 40's and I live about ten minutes east of Albany, NY with my husband on 14 acres. We have 1 dog and 3 cats.

I'm currently growing as much as I can in containers, but would LOVE a big garden some day (can't seem to convince hubby to help). We do have a small orchard with blueberries, apples and raspberries. My goal is to become a little more self sufficient. We have the land, why not? I would LOVE chickens for eggs, but again, hubby vetoed it. My father lives across the street from me and plowed part of his garden for me this year (12x30), so it will be my first year with a small garden too. So far nothing seems to be doing too much in there! I was supposed to get bees this year, but due to a shortage they didn't come, so I will wait until next year for that and get two hives instead of one.

I am a professional pet sitter. My website is www.purrfectpetsitting.net LOVE what I do (most of the time).

I would love to see more pictures and also hear more about your beekeeping.

June 2, 2011 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Caitlin-Cats Critters said...

Hi I'm Caitlin (also know as Cats Critters) and I live in North Western, PA. I currently have 8 chickens, due to raccoon attacks and currently am looking for homes for two of the roosters. I also garden (which I really should be planting...) and read, a lot. I one day dream of more gardens, Nigerian Dwarf goats, more chickens, bees, other fowl, and alpacas.

I also have a blog if you want to check it out: http://catscritters.blogspot.com/

June 2, 2011 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Amy McPherson Sirk said...

Hi, I'm Amy. I'm 47, separated (it's a looong story) with a teenager at home. I farm my quarter acre yard and produce insane quantities of fruits and veggies as well as eggs and pastured chicken. I supply a CSA in the summer and sell at the Farmer's Market. I've been attending classes to finish up my AG degree and I'll be full time this fall. Say a prayer for us, this is a little scary. I haven't been without a job since High School but this is the only way I'm going to get this degree.

June 2, 2011 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger tami said...

Tami here..."Hey Ya'll".

I've been lurking here for a few months Jenna and just want to tell you that the posts I love the most are your funny and sometimes gut-wrenching observations of your daily life. Keep it up girl! You've got such a great thing going!

I live on a 1/2 acre of land (slowly converting to fruit and vegetable gardens) in a suburban neighborhood in the Piedmont of NC. I have 4 rescues (3 dogs and a cat) and (Oh Yeah) a husband that could also be considered a "rescue". Where would he be if he didn't have me?

The only fly in my oinment is that he's a "no chickens, No Chickens, NO CHICKENS!!!" kinda guy. (Your post on why husbands put the brakes on chickens was "spot on"!

June 2, 2011 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi! I'm Lisa and my DH and I moved from the DC burbs to an 1876 farmhouse with 17 acres in Central Maine! I've started to turn this place into a farm with a flock of chickens, a pair of guineas, raised garden beds and bees. I hope this year to have a farm stand and home baking license. We also have a pony-sized Irish Wolfhound (36 inches at the shoulder and 180+lbs)and YES he stays in the house and sleeps in our bed.:) I also have a black, Tennessee Walker gelding that I am learning to do Parelli training with. I hope to do dressage with him someday. The baby dog, the horse and even the Polish Chicken are all rescues. I spend most of my days outside maintaining the property and taking care of the animal crew.

I like the "adventures" that you have and describe for us on your blog.

June 2, 2011 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hi! I'm Jen, a 34 year old librarian turned stay at home mom. In spare moments, I plan a dream farm tucked in a cozy little corner of the Midwest, despite my farmer relatives' cries of warning. In the meantime, I am currently overhauling my suburban backyard so that my family and I can continue to live more sustainably (and I can cultivate the garden I've always wanted!). We should be ready to try our hands at beekeeping next year. I love to make things; I'm a process girl. I try to get back to my rural roots every chance I get, whether it's canning, sewing, crocheting, or digging. There's nothing quite like a bite of sunshine "put by" by my own hands smack dab in the middle of winter--it's soul-satisfying, that.

June 2, 2011 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

I'm Georgie from the Pacific Northwest. We live in the city with small veggie gardens, two large dogs, a cat and a chicken. The chicken lives next door in a neighbor's coop. I love to learn new things/more about gardening, crafts, home repairs, cooking,etc. I would never have the wherewithall that Jenna and others have to start small farms but love reading about their experiences.

June 2, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger FTM Farmer said...

Hi all. I am Cody, 36 from Southern IL near St. Louis. Returned home to the farm after being in Chicago for 10 years after college and touring the US. At the moment, I help take care of my ailing father.

Last year, my wife and I had a garden and got a fair amount of veggies. The house we rented had a mold problem, so we had to move in with family in the middle of a blizzard and tornado plagued winter. No garden this year unfortunately though. Helping Dad around the farm and yard.

June 2, 2011 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger NancyDe said...

I'm Nancy from the Big Island of Hawaii. We have chickens, sheep, horses, a greenhouse, various citrus, kalo, and olive trees. We aren't anywhere near the self-sufficiency level we'd like to be. It's a work in progress.

June 2, 2011 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger redhorse said...

Hi I'm Debbie,

I live on 90 acres with my partner and 25 beef cows and a bull, and an ever changing number of calves, 4 horses, 5 lambs, 4 dogs and a few barn cats.

We have a large garden and today I finally got to plant some tomatoes and peppers, I lost some of the onions, lettuces, peas and potatoes that were already planted.

My goal this year is to get my 5 yr old gelding really broke.

I enjoy all of your stories, and I'd like to hear more about Jasper and your sheep.

June 2, 2011 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Oxray Farm said...

I'm Jennifer my antler's name is Jake and we live outside of Spokane WA. We're currently running a city farm with chickens, rabbits, bee's, a giant garden and small orchard. We're looking for land upwards of 10 acres to expand.

I just love your posts, I've been a lurking reader since the Sandpoint days. It's been fun to watch the blog/farm evolve.

June 2, 2011 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

In case anyone noticed in my bio, I didn't mention a source of income. I own a full service boarding kennel which is located on my property. I also share my home with two working Maine Coon cats.

June 2, 2011 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Hi, I'm Rosie I am the author of the Realising the Dream blog. I live in Central Scotland, GB. We bought our farm house and 14 acres about two years ago and my dream is to become as self sufficient as I can. I grow vegetables and am just starting seriously into fruit. I haven't planted 85 potatoes only around 35! We just got chickens so are one step closer to that self sufficiency. Would love to increase our animal stock with sheep and goats as well as a horse or two that I would love to train to pull a cart - head down the local shop in style!!

I love reading your blog, I really enjoy the posts that are about your evenings or 'quiet' times, just always sounded so magically rustic!

June 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Tru Vani said...

Hi, I'm Tru, and I live in Florida with my husband and daughter. We have a lovely, walkable neighborhood and a big backyard where I aspire to raise chickens and a permaculture garden. We have raised beds now, but next weekend our local permaculture group is helping us install our first "keyhole" garden...exciting! I'm a nature and horse lover, though I work as an English professor and yoga instructor. I dream of rural living, but right now this historic neighborhood is right for us. In the future, we hope to have land around a summer house in Michigan, somewhere near water of any kind, with enough room for horses, maybe goats, and who knows what else.

June 2, 2011 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger ZombieSocks said...

Hi! I'm Nicki. I've been reading this blog for what seems like forever now. I live in Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. I rent, so all I'm able to do at this point really is garden - I'm working on having an entire garden made up of heirloom varieties, so I buy a few new ones each year and save the seeds. I work at a used book store, make and sell my own art and bakery and hope to one day live where I can have chickens and a lots of goats.

June 2, 2011 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Spudknit said...

I am Jeannette and I am in SE Idaho. I want a 10 acre homestead for me to provide all the foodstuffs for my family of 4 kids and a husband. My husband wants the city. *sigh* Some day I WILL have my farm with chickens, rabbits, goats, pigs, ducks, geese and oxen. :)

June 2, 2011 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi! My name is Stephanie and my husband and I have been married for almost 2 years. We are in the process of moving to our first house in Caliente, CA on a gorgeous and usable 20 acres! We currently have about 15 chickens, 10 ducks, 4 turkeys, 7 rabbits (although one just had her kits today!) 2 goats and 3 dogs. I loved your book and started reading your blog about 3 months ago - love it by the way. I really enjoy the play-by-play of your days, any pics and stories about the animals and recipes.

June 2, 2011 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Cherie Wilkinson said...

Hi I'm Cherie,

I live in small unit in Adelaide, Australia. I am an agricultural scientist, currently changing career paths to become an agricultural high school teacher - to make it easier to escape the city and to give me more time to pursue other passions.
My unit/courtyard/driveway (I sold my car so I could have more space!) are filled to breaking point with potted veggies. I also have a community garden plot and 4 angora rabbits.
My goal is space, quiet, and having a farm that is able to support me enough that I only have to work a part-time job.

I love all aspects of your blog, and hearing about your life, trials and successes. The posts that keep me coming back however, are the creative, emotional almost poetic ones. Barnheart for example.

Love your work,
Cherie

June 2, 2011 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger phaedra96 said...

Hi, Jenna! I am Anne and I live in a semi-rural area in central Indiana. Once upon a time, I tried to farm with and raise Percherons; we had chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, rabbits, cows, pigs and ninety acres. I was exhausted. Now, twelve years and a divorce later, I have seven acres, two aging Norwegian Fjord horses and a Corgi mix to herd them. We container garden and mow weeds. Farming is not for the weary or the faint-of-heart but definitely for the young! I love your blog and wish you all the best with all your beasties!

June 2, 2011 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger Joy Bear said...

Hello, all! My name is Joy, and I'm down here in North Texas. I currently live in a tiny apartment in the city, but I'm so blessed to be able to visit my family's farm each weekend for my "farm fix." I have a modest balcony garden where I grow herbs in the summer and lettuce and spinach in the winter. It is such a thrill to be able to feed my guests something I've grown! This summer, Lord willing, I'll be renting a house with friends. I've already staked a claim to a large portion of the backyard to build raised beds. I'm pretty sure our lease won't allow any sheep, though. ;) Long term, I'd love to have my own top-bar beehives, laying chickens, and fiber rabbits. So, that's me in a nutshell!

June 2, 2011 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I'm Scott. I live in Maine but grew up just around the corner from you Jenna. I have chickens and all the eggs and meat I can handle. I love farmer;s markets, but still find myself cringing a the prices (and still paying them). I garden voraciously, play a 12 string and a fiddle and want to learn banjo. Life is good....NO....life is great!

June 2, 2011 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Tealah said...

Hi, I'm Tealah. I'm 23, married to a military man with an almost-4-year-old son. We're currently living in Arkansas in a house we've restored from the electrical/plumbing systems out to the walls and floors, on an acre of land with plans to buy the acre and a half next to us when my husband reenlists sometime next month. We have a fifty square foot garden on our porch with plans to expand later this year with more raised beds in the yard. When we can, we'll be getting chickens for eggs and meat, and rabbits for meat and fur. We're strongly considering a pig.

Sadly we can't get too involved with this house and this land, because we'll be moving in a few years when the military needs my husband somewhere else. In a little over fifteen years we'll be able to settle down permanently in Alaska, with a steady income from my husband's military retirement and survival school to provide for a nice, at least partially self-sufficient, farm.

June 2, 2011 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Lara Katherine Mountain Colley said...

My name is Lara and I have a chicken problem. I am a full-time modern homesteader on 1 1/2 acres of good farm soil in rural Oregon. I live here with my husband, twin children, 62 chickens and one banjo on the way in the mail as I write this. I grow a lot of our own food, and do a fair amount of wildcrafting and foraging as well. In all my spare time I dabble in fiber arts and run a home handcrafting business. My dream is to be an organic herb farmer, especially of lavender, and a homesteading writer. And I want to raise quail when I get the chicken thing under control. You can read about all these adventures on my blog: http://mountainhearth.blogspot.com

June 2, 2011 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Butts said...

Hey there! I'm Jennifer. Wife and mother of 2 awesome kiddos. Grew up on a tobacco & cattle farm in Western KY. Grew up planting, tending, harvesting and preserving several big gardens a year (with my family of course). I have come back to my roots now that I'm a mom and enjoy vegetable gardening again (It seemed like too much work as a kid). I never lost my flower gardening bug though! My husband is an avid hunter and fisherman and provides 90% of our families meat this way. We love to forage for berries, nuts and mushrooms as well. I also love to "make things from scratch". Clothes for my kids, lunch bags, snack bags, wallets book bags. Love the subject of sustainable agriculuture and read tons of books about this subject. Love attending lectures about this subject too if I can. Listened to Joel Salatin, Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson speak in person in the last 18 months! Love the blog, have been a reader for several years now! Keep up the great work. Oh! And I forgot to mention, I lust after the banjo although I can't read a lick of music would love to learn to play someday.

June 2, 2011 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger annet said...

Hi, I'm Anne, 63, was born in the USA (in the Adirondacks) but have lived longer here in Canada than I did there. My home now is in southeastern Ontario with my husband in a small city named Peterborough. Small farms abound in the area and we have a fantastic year-round farmers' market. I have a large back yard, which I convert a bit of every year to more food growing. Last year I got my first grapes and elderberries. This year I'm hoping to have all my chili beans come from my garden. I do lots of stuff with rhubarb too: so far this year I've made three gallons of wine and six pints of rhubarb concentrate (with mint it's my form of lemonande on a hot day!) as well as the usual sauce and crisps going into our tummies rather than the preserving shelf.

Love your blog, love your writing! I remember when I had your energy at your age on a few acres in Nova Scotia with goats and ducks and chickens and a maple bush and a big garden... Have a great summer!

June 2, 2011 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger Eveland said...

Hi, I'm Evelyn. I'm single and live in Brooklyn, NY. The bank lets me live in my house as long as I pay it every month. I have what I call a farm but it's a 4 x 8 vegetable box. I grew corn but the squirrels won that battle. I have the usual herbs, but also potatoes, beets, tomatoes and this year watermelon... And just planted asparagus on another corner of the yard.

I work/used to/sort of still do in the advertising industry as a Freelance Producer. Because of the economy I have turned my home into a bed and I'm not making you breakfast..It has been amazing.. the people and experience and it allows me to keep the house and not go insane that I'm not working.

Next year I want chickens.

The goal is a couple of acres in Puerto Rico over looking the ocean in the distance... some chickens, pigs and a significant other..

It resonates when you speak about doing it alone and how sometimes you want someone there. I know how hard it can be.. but 7 years later I'm still in my home. What other options do we have?

June 2, 2011 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Jen (emeraldsunshine.org) said...

Hello! My name is Jen, although I go by Emerald, and I live in a small town in eastern Iowa. I'm the biological mother of two children and an important mother to many others. I live in town and have a small yard that I eke out as many edibles from as I can. I work full-time out of my home and I part-homeschool my kids. I'd love to have forty acres some day and I want to be completely sustained by my local community. My goal is to foster and adopt as many children as I can and provide healthy, simple living for them with the least amount of impact on our environment.

June 2, 2011 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger City Girl said...

Hi! My name is Diana and I live with my partner and our Golden Retreiver in a house in suburbia in Orleans, Ontario, Canada. We are moving to San Francisco this summer for work where we hope to rent a place in the city that allows us to do some urban gardening. Although my dream of raising chickens and pigs will have to wait, we do want to subscribe to a CSA and make a bigger effort to eat as organic and local as possible. I am also learning to play the banjo, thanks to this blog. My Erbsen book finally arrived in the mail so I am a bit behind everyone else. :-)

I love reading your blog everyday. I must admit, though, that after a long day on the computer at work, I prefer your shorter blog entries. Pics are great too. It would be great to have more stories about your community and your neighbours. Your animal stories are priceless and I love your A Day in the Life of Jenna entries. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us. You are a real inspiration and I can live my farm life vicariously through you.

June 2, 2011 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Bountiful Roses said...

Hi - I am Dawn in Independence, MO. My husband & I have a large yard that used to be part of a dairy farm. Our son and daughter-in-law live in a cottage behind the house. The soil is wonderful. We have a large vegetable garden, raspberries,blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, 200 roses, and other flowers. Last year we got chickens. We will be getting bees next year. This fall, will probably get a goat and some meat rabbits. Our son gives a lot of care for the chickens and any goats we get will be his. I LOVE to play in the dirt.

June 2, 2011 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

My name is Mike and I live in Maryland. Originally from Michigan we've been bouncing from one rental to another with a bit of patio gardening where possible. We are finally buying a house and 1/2 acre with the hopes of raising chickens, bees, and garlic (amongst other edibles!). I love this blog and all you represent so please continue to inspire please. My wife and daughter go nuts over the pictures of Gibson since he reminds her of our late Aussie. BTW we went to the sheep and wool festival of Maryland and had a great time. Lots of sheep herds from around the country. If you want to bring your herd next year you can stay with us!

June 2, 2011 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

Hello, i'm Pixie from Ohio. Very happily married for nearly 30 yrs! We have 3 children & 2 grandchildren! I have always been an stay at home mom. We live on 6 acres with a large garden, this year we have planted green beans, melons, tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, broccoli and a nice patch of ever-bearing strawberries. I enjoy canning our garden blessings, cooking and taking care of my family. I now babysit our newest granddaughter, she's 4 months old, 3 days a week for our daughter & her husband and that is keeping me busy! We have 2 buff orpington hens in a very nice chicken tractor the husband built! I enjoy thrift shopping, making homemade cleaners/laundry detergent and saving the difference! We have one very precious yorkie! In my spare time I love making rag quilts, crocheting and sewing a bit. I enjoy your blog so much plus learning the banjo along with you and the group! It has been so much fun!!!

June 2, 2011 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

Hi! I'm Lee Ann, and I live in Fletcher VT with my husband, two kids, two cats, and sixteen chickens. I am a CPA, but want to be a farmer when I grow up :).

We have a large garden and berry bushes on our 1 acre lot, but recently purchased 52 forested acres nearby. We will eventually build home there (hopefully off grid as we have a brook that has been approved for hydropower), and will start with raising chickens and Highland cattle. We also plan to add Nigerian dwarf goats, ducks, turkeys, hopefully some draft horses.

Jenna - love the blog, especially the essays!!

June 2, 2011 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

Hi Jenna! I am Renee from right in the middle of the Michigan mitten! Hubby and I have five children whom we homeschool and we live on one acre just a few miles out of town. We started raising chickens about 8 years ago (my dream) and it quickly grew into angora rabbits for fiber (I am a spinner) and heritage breed turkeys. This year for Christmas Hubby suprised me with 3 pygora goats! Yes, you can do A LOT on small acrerage. I make most of our meals from scratch, we have a large garden and we can as much as we can. I bake all of our bread and am a cheese maker! My next step in this funny farm adventure is milk goats...not sure Hubby is ready for that yet! I love just reading about your life, good and bad! It creates a connection to others who share the same goals!

June 2, 2011 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Hi! I'm Jenny said...

WOW! I can't believe you have over 100 comments already! My name is Jenny & I live in SE WI, soon moving to two acres in W WI. I have three kids and am a stay at homeschooler. I'm really interested in starting up some homesteading ideas once we move as I think there are many benefits of farming life for creating responsible, empathetic and hardworking kids. Plus, I love to be outdoors and working on our homestead is a dream coming true.

I love the gamut your blog offers, Jenna. Truly, I love the range and different types of entries you post. Photos, essays, useful information. I've been following you for about a year, and while you love the farm whole hog...you don't sugar coat the experience either. It's like we're all on the ride with you!

Happy reading!

June 2, 2011 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Chestnut Farm said...

Hi, I'm Julie - Loving Life in Douglassville, PA, on 4 acres, in a 150 year old house, with wonderful hubby, Dave, our beautiful Yellow Lab, Layla, a barnyard of Chickens and racing pigeons. Have (2) 60 x 25 veggie plots, with loads of veggies planted. Love gardening, cooking, baking, canning and selling eggs, supporting local farmers and enjoying family and friends. Jenna, can you please put a link to all of your recipes so we can find them in one place! Please!!! Love reading you everyday!

June 2, 2011 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Im Lisa born 11/1966 married 26 yrs 2 kids 1boy 1girl Lived in Ma. moved to Me. to build "my farm"have 4 hens 1 bastard rooster, 1 PB pig. 1 bunny 2 minis and 2 Belgians. I want to wake up every morning and say what can I do to better my farm today.

June 2, 2011 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I love this!

June 2, 2011 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger BrightMeadow said...

Hi,
I live in Ohio in a quiet neighborhood which is technically within city limits, although, I'm not sure anybody around here knows that. I bought this house about three years ago, choosing this particular location partly because one of my neighbors at the time kept a friendly but vocal donkey. I figured if they could keep a donkey, I would likely be able to get away with keeping whatever I wanted. I had dreamed of a little homestead for several years before buying this property. It is technically only 2/3 of an acre, but it is enough room for my purposes. There was a well established grape arbor when I moved in. Since then I have added garden beds, some blueberry bushes which seem to be thriving but have yet to fruit, some volunteer raspberry and blackberry brambles which are looking very promising. I just got chickens a few months ago. . .I adore them. If the chicken thing works out maybe goats next year and someday bees. Hope to pick up some fruit trees on my next paycheck. I am interested in being self-sufficent as possible. I am single and happily so, but there are times I wouldn't mind having someone to share the load.
I discovered your blog just recently after reading "Made From Scratch." I returned it late trying to find time to copy some of the recipes. I enjoy your essays, and stories and I'm always happy to get a good recipe.

June 2, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Lilly said...

Hi Jenna! I'm Lilly, late twenties, and I live with my husband, Chris, on my parent's 20 acre farm in central North Carolina. We have four horses here (plus one at a trainer), Russian honeybees, peacocks, heritage breed chickens, two Labs, various barn kitties, and my husband raises guinea fowl and Bourbon Red turkeys to sell. Our turkeys are bought by an owner of a local restaurant and he also runs a sustainable farm and CSA program. Chris also has a beautiful vegetable garden, but I'm not much of a gardener myself (although I love the results!).

I have been a rider since childhood and grew up riding hunter-jumpers, moved on to equestrian team at UNC-CH, and then spent years showing the AQHA circuit. Now, Chris and I foxhunt with the Red Mountain Hounds out of Rougemont, NC and we're looking to buy another field hunter for him to ride this fall. We also have a Jersey cow, Molly, but she actually lives at a friend's dairy about three miles away and we pick up the milk weekly.

I've enjoyed your blog for several years and really enjoy following your adventures. Keep up the good work and if you're ever in NC, come by and see us!

June 2, 2011 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Lilly said...

Hi Jenna! I'm Lilly, late twenties, and I live with my husband, Chris, on my parent's 20 acre farm in central North Carolina. We have four horses here (plus one at a trainer), Russian honeybees, peacocks, heritage breed chickens, two Labs, various barn kitties, and my husband raises guinea fowl and Bourbon Red turkeys to sell. Our turkeys are bought by an owner of a local restaurant and he also runs a sustainable farm and CSA program. Chris also has a beautiful vegetable garden, but I'm not much of a gardener myself (although I love the results!).

I have been a rider since childhood and grew up riding hunter-jumpers, moved on to equestrian team at UNC-CH, and then spent years showing the AQHA circuit. Now, Chris and I foxhunt with the Red Mountain Hounds out of Rougemont, NC and we're looking to buy another field hunter for him to ride this fall. We also have a Jersey cow, Molly, but she actually lives at a friend's dairy about three miles away and we pick up the milk weekly.

I've enjoyed your blog for several years and really enjoy following your adventures. Keep up the good work and if you're ever in NC, come by and see us!

June 2, 2011 at 9:29 PM  
OpenID lifeofalittlewoman said...

Hi - I'm Ashley. I'm a 26-year-old lawyer for a nonprofit, and I live with my boyfriend, our border collie, and my very first (tiny) garden just south of San Francisco. What I want most of all is home, family, community - I want to grow and cook my own food, raise my (future) children, know my neighbors, and make a positive contribution to the world in my own small way. I'm figuring out how that vision fits within the limits of my commute, long work hours and student loans.

I like reading everything you write about, but I would love to hear more about how you manage both farm life and office life. There aren't a lot of people out there who talk about that balance and the sometimes struggles, and you seem to be a bit of an expert at it. Got any words of wisdom for a newbie?

I'd also like to read more about your thoughts on meat-eating. I'm slowly venturing out of 14 years of vegetarianism and am trying to figure out the ethics of eating meat and what I'm comfortable with. I think I like your approach, but would really like to learn more.

Thanks for sharing your life with the internet! It makes what I want from my life seem a little less nuts.

June 2, 2011 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi I'm Laura. My partner and I live in downtown Toronto germinating plants in our apartment windowsill to plant in our community garden plot. We have an old golden retriever and a ginormous tabby cat running around the place. We're saving up for a place in the city where we can have a big backyard garden and chickens. I love knitting and making things and this summer I plan to learn how to can and preserve.

I've only been following you for a couple of months, but I've actually been picking through your archives and its been awesome to follow your journey.

June 2, 2011 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Chad and Kristi said...

Hello! We are Chad and Kristi Sheeler. We are also in our late 20's and live on 160 acres in Alberta. We have embraced the farmer's life now for about 8 years. We have a garden the size of a playground and just brought home our second flock of 25 Rhode Island Red's and 25 Cornish game hens. In the near future we plan on raising a few sheep and a couple of cows. We have been canning our garden's bounty and love making salsa and anything pickled! The other night I used your bread recipe in Made From Scratch and it turned out absolutely perfect! Thanks muchly for sharing your stories. I would love to read more about how you came to be able to eat the animals you raise. We butchered for the first time last year...and I will say it was a rather eye opening experience!

June 2, 2011 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger marymurphynelson said...

Hi Jenna, Mary here in Southern California. Huntington Beach. but my husband and I own a 2nd home in Salem, New York so we are pretty close to you. We will be coming to Salem in a about 3 weeks to do a show at the Fort Salem Theater. We would love it if you could come and see us. I love your blog and I too long to just be in my house in Salem. I know one day I will be able to do it. I love flowers and I want to learn all I can about a veggie garden. I want rabbits and chickens. I would love to meet you when I am there in June & July. I love everything about your blog. I read it everyday because you are doing what I would love to do. I tried your email and it didn't work. Might have been my laptop.

June 2, 2011 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hi, I'm Karen, and I live in Philadelphia, PA. I'm 47, married (almost 6 months now), have an old Victorian house that I'm slowly fixing, too many cats, no chickens (yet) and a 20x20 back garden that can contain way more food than I ever imagined.

Right now, in addition to the roses that mask my mini-farm from the neighbors, I have 4 blueberry bushes, red and black currants, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, beets, carrots, a bean tepee, peas, and a potato tire. I've also got more salad greens than I'll ever need and a thicket of basil. Pesto, anybody?

My passion - other than wanting more ground and less house - is sewing. I make everything I wear, and almost all my husband's clothes, just because I can. It's a form of therapy from my day job as a legal secretary, and it keeps me out of trouble when I can't dig in the dirt.

I love the mix on your blog, and I wouldn't change a thing. I know how hard it is doing things on your own - and I hope you find someone before 46! - but it can be done if you want it enough, and you do.

June 2, 2011 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Homestead Mama said...

Hello. I'm Candace. A single ky girl who's living in Southern, IN now...miles from anywhere. I'm 25, single, and building a nice life here on the farm with my dogs, chickens, and bees. I pray that one day I'll be able to make a sustainable life here without having to drive to the city to work. You are an inspiration jenna. Looking forward to a donkey, goats, and a horse to join the family soon.

June 2, 2011 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger nese said...

Hello!
My name is Denise. I live in a small town in Ohio. My husband and I made a raised bed garden on an abandoned tennis court at a friends house. Last year we used mostly straw bales to grow on but this year built 10, 8x 4 boxes. We are trying to do it organically again despite being devestated by cucumber beetles and squash bugs last year. I am buying herd shares for fresh goats milk from a local organic farmer as well as eggs. We get
Our beef and pork from another local organic farmer.
I love reading about your experiences on your little homestead. You have inspired me to try an instrument. Maybe the lap ducimer or banjo. I am always open for garden tips, recipes or anything else you have to offer up on the homested life.

June 2, 2011 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger ladybughomer said...

I am KellyV. I live in Los Angeles (well close to it.) Definitely the Big City. And I love this big city and our mountains and our culture. The weather - well it is amazing. But I also yearn for the quiet of the countryside and had this in my life for twenty years when my mama lived outside of SLO (San Luis Obispo.) I don't want turkeys, chickens, ponies, or a bigger garden. BUT - I sure do like reading about it and Miss Jenna you have a way with words! So thanks from an aging, getting "pretty old there" citified speech therapist who is a serious quilter, to a young energetic farmer who is living her dream.

June 2, 2011 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I'm Karen and I have Barnheart. I've had it for as long as I can remember. My first lunchbox (which I still have) was a barn, with a silo for the thermos! I grew up in NH, but now live in RI, on a very small city lot. I have been gardening since I was fifteen.
My little garden provides veggies for my husband and me for the summer and into the fall. Not enough to can, but I do freeze some of the cilantro, jalapeno peppers and basil.
I want to get out into the country and have a much larger garden,berry bushes, fruit trees, and some chickens. Not sure I could "harvest" my own meat animals, except for the fish I catch.
I love your blog the way it is. It's a good mix of what you do, your thoughts, dissappointments and joys. More pictures are always welcome. :)

June 2, 2011 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi, I'm Diane from Savannah,Ga. I did not grow up on a farm, but I did LOVE reading the Little House on the Prairie series. I wanted to be a farmer when I was younger. Somewhere in my dreams that dream faded, but now that I am a stay at home mom that dream is back in full force. I live in a town house with an extremely tiny back yard, but I have managed to planted twelve tomato plants ( mostly heirloom), squash,zucchini, eggplant, 10 varieties of peppers, peas, snap beans, pickling and English cucumbers, mesculun,Bibb,and leaf lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, carrots,radishes,Cushaw green striped winter squash, strawberries, lemon balm, cilantro, oregano, chives, thyme, Rosemary,mint, basil and leeks! I also have two boys, ages 1 and 2! My dream is to farm 2 acres complete with a pig, ducks,chickens, rabbits, and a cow and maybe two goats.

June 2, 2011 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Eileen said...

Hi everyone! I'm Eileen, and I'm 33, happily relationshipized, and living...in an apartment in seriously non-farm-oriented Silicon Valley, CA. I have vegetables growing on the balcony, & do lots of home cooking, but that's about it. However, I am also just about to move into a little rental house (also in Silicon Valley) with a beautifully compost-heavy backyard bed, plus four fruit trees! I have many, many soon-to-be-executed plans for future tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, and tons of jam/marmalade. Hello!

June 2, 2011 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger Katou said...

Hi! I am Kathleen from North Western Québec. I live alone with my cat "Toutoune" in an old house on 200 acres that are mostly forest and mountains were I like to walk.

I'm 62, retired, mother of 1 son and grand-mother of two adorable little boys, 3 and 7.

I like to knit, crochet, read and I garden in three raised beds where I mix flowers with vegetables and that's enough for the energy I have.

I have been reading your blog everyday for several years now and I'm interested in everything you write about. You amaze me with all the work you do, your energy, your sense of humour; I also appreciate your great generosity in sharing your life with us, the ups and downs and all. Like some other people who commented here, I would love more photos/videos of the farm, all the animals (Jazz and Annie included).

If I where younger with better health, I would surely embark in an adventure similar to the one you are in. That's one of the results from reading your blog and the other one, for me, is to eat better and locally (when it is possible). Due to our short gardening season here, the farmer's market opens only in July. I'm looking forward to it.

There's a nice community of people who follow your blog, people that are dedicated to improving their environment by the way they live, their values and by doing that, are improving their lives as well.

Thanks for all what you do for us.

June 2, 2011 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Hi, I'm Stacey. I'm married to a man who wants chickens in the backyard and cooks better than I do. I work in history museums and so have done things like bake a bread pudding in a Dutch oven using coals created in a 300-year old fireplace. :)

My husband and I are buying my grandparents' 1934 Cape with a good-sized yard from my parents. This year, I'm doing my first-ever CSA and next year, we've got plans for raised beds. After that, who knows? :)

June 2, 2011 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

my name is Ben, and I live with my wife and 2 kids on 3 acres in Kansas city. We currently have 67 chickens, 6 ducks 2 goats, 2 rabbits and a lot of bees. I spend my time trying to make a go of the CSA we started this year and wishing desperately I had the room for draft horses. Love the blog. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Phantom-Chicken-Farm/296840292992

June 2, 2011 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Hi! I'm Julie and I live in Tsaile, Arizona which is located on the Navajo Reservation. I am a Pharmacist who wants to be a farmer :o) I have two mutts and a husband who is as happy to garden (and eat the harvest) as I am. We share 5 hens with our friends but want to one day have our own coop (or chicken tractor!), bees, goats for milk/cheese, and many acres for a garden and orchard.

June 2, 2011 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

Kara from Sacramento. Love your blog- we have raised beds, angora bunnies, renegade chickens, dogs and cats. Hoping for a farm someday.

June 2, 2011 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Joshua Tolley said...

I just got back from a day spent at a home inspection -- for the home we'll hopefully be buying soon. 20 acres, middle of nowhere, currently covered in a big old house and grass that's taller than my kids. We're city people, and hope to change that... and hope we're not going in over our heads.

June 2, 2011 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

Hi, I'm Jasmine, mid twenties... I live in interior Alaska. My husband and a dear friend and I are currently in the pre-closing inspection process of buying an entirely off grid solar home with a well on 4.66 acres (there may be future potential to grow with neighboring lots).... We currently rent out the small dry cabin I built by hand in the muskeg with it's raised beds and salvaged bathtub/sink/canoe flower beds. I weave and knit and spin and sew, and the combination of loom, fiber, people, husky, cats, woodstove, and life jut got too much for the little rectangle. So we're currently renting a larger dry cabin, and I just planted all my containers of herbs and flowers. We have a share in a local CSA this year for veggies... And a freezer soon to be full of salmon and halibut.
I can and preserve and dry both wild and cultivated herbs and fruit and berries.
Right now we all work in town, him at the university,her teahing kids theatre, and me at the domestic violence shelter. Ultimately, the goal is to live with as little impact as possible in the far, cold north and raise our future kids with
a stay at home weaving mother who grows and harvests the bulk of the family's food. There will be bees (learning from moms first year hive this summer), chickens, geese, rabbits, and either dairy goats or a small cow. There will be sheep, and I will have a horse. Raspberry canes and experimental apples, rhubarb, herbs, and huge gardens. Every day is a day closer...
Jenna- I love the blog. I love the essays and musings most, which is not to say I don't adore the day in the life posts. I miss hearing more about huskies. You are a true inspiration. Thank you.

Bunchberryfarm.blogspot.com

June 2, 2011 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Hi, I'm Sharon. A 59 yr old married farmgirl from Oakridge, Oregon. We live on our 10 acre farm. We raise Dexter cattle, and a large fruit and vegetable garden. I can many things from our garden. I too planted many potatoes, because we love our spuds. I have been keeping track of Jenna since she lived in Idaho. Jenna, your story is interesting to me....that at such a young age, you have a great start on your life goals. I love the country life!

June 2, 2011 at 11:24 PM  
Blogger Tess said...

Greetings, I'm Wendy. I grew up on and still live on a many thousands of acres ranch in Wyoming where my family and I raise cattle. We also have a few horses, chickens and bees and we started putting in our garden this week. I live 30 miles from a grocery store and the nearest town has about 100 people.
Tomorrow morning we are branding our calves the old fashioned way..roping with horses and dragging them to a fire for branding followed by a huge lunch and fellowship with the neighbors.
I'm always trying to learn more about living off the land and I enjoy your blog. What I enjoy most is that you post often, there is always something new to see and follow.

June 2, 2011 at 11:41 PM  
OpenID Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm Robyn.
Jenna, I love reading your blog. I was lucky enough to stumble across your adorable book at the library and quickly gobbled it up. I too am a single, twenty something dying to get a little piece of land to dig into. I think you already do a nice job of posting on a variety of topics, from music, day-to-day living, animal husbandry, and more. So all I ask is...keep it up! Can't wait to get your new book!!!

June 2, 2011 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger Lyssa Kaehler said...

I'm Lyssa. I grow tomatoes (or try to, at least) and keep chickens (much more successfully) a few blocks from Hollywood's walk of fame. I'm also a doula and a student midwife. I like hearing about everything small farm life, but I have a soft spot for homebrew.

June 2, 2011 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hi I'm Kate. I live in Boston with my candy-maker husband and our three sons. We have .5 acres and our first raised beds this year. I would like to have a big garden, fruit trees and grape vines. The previous owner of our home had grape arbors 35 or 40 years ago. If Boston would change the chicken law I'd have some for sure. Thinking of bees in the next few years.

I'm an avid knitter and came to this blog after hearing about your wool CSA on NPR. I am hooked. I love reading about daily life, making things and finding babies in the barn.

June 2, 2011 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

Hi, I'm Ruth. I was born and raised in Gold Beach, Oregon. I left for awhile and came back. I am married, with 4 kids (24, 23, 21 and 15), his, mine and ours. I was laid off last July from my county job, so am on unemployment right now enjoying working around the place. We have a small 5 acre "farm" that is the original homestead parcel of my great-grandparents 65 acres. We have a large garden, fruit trees, a greenhouse, chickens, a mini-horse who I hope to start to drive once I can afford a harness and cart, Mini-Rex rabbits, pigs and we just starting raising Suffolk/Cross sheep for our youngest daughter's 4-H projects. I love the feeling I get from eating a meal prepared from our harvest or spending time with my animals. I love your blog and wouldn't change a thing about it.

June 2, 2011 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

Hello, I'm Billy, mid-50s, single working "mom" of 3 border collies who works full time outside the home to make all of our ends attempt to meet. We have sheep in a co-op with a couple of other dog handlers so that we can train the dogs for work and trials. I joined a CSA for veggies/fruits a year ago and love that! Found your blog on another sheepdog person's blog and just kept coming back to keep up with the story! ;-) We are getting more Scottish Blackface soon and I do like them. In the past I have gardened a lot but now just have a few plants in pots in my suburban backyard. Horses, mandolins, guitars all a huge part of my past; now it's border collies! Would seriously love a farm now and have lived a lot in the country in lives past. Rock on! Summer is definitely the best.

June 2, 2011 at 11:55 PM  
Blogger CallieK said...

Hey all, I'm Heather and I live in Toronto Cananda, in a rental apt with my partner the Russian dancer and our 3 cats. I have a small garden in the backyard (growing potatoes, peppers, 6 kinds of beans, cukes, salad greens, onions and summer squash) more peppers and tomatoes in containers on the deck, and squash in bins on the roof! I'd love some chickens but don't have anywhere to keep them even if it were legal here. I do tons of preserving and I teach canning workshops for a local co-op. My blog is http://backyardfarmsto.blogspot.com/

Jenna I love everything about your blog, and even more so the diversity among your readers!

June 3, 2011 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Lissa B. said...

Hi All! I'm Melissa and I'm a stay at home mom to two lovely little girls, the older is going off to Kindergarten this fall and the younger is just 7 months. I married my high school sweetheart and will be turing 30 in just a month. I want so badly for a little land to raise a few chickens, some sheep and have a dog for the kids to play with, but right now we live in Southern California. To all of you that don't know what that means, it means SMALL yard and an HOA, which won't allow us to have anything but a small dog. However, I wouldn't even get a dog because our yard is so small, I think it would be kind of mean to give him just that tiny amount of room to romp around in! We are at the mercy of my husband's job and right now he is stationed down here, so that is where we have to be. But someday, I hope to have my little piece of land. Til then I'm learning and making do with what I have. In the past few years I've started so many "homesteading" type pursuits...knitting, canning, small gardening, perfecting pie, to name a few, and I recently got a book on tatting so I can learn to make my own lacey edging for the girls dresses.
I just love reading your blog, Jenna! I feel like we're just the best of friends, though we've never met. I wish I lived closer to you so I could come to some of your workshops or stop in for a work party! I'm so eager to learn the workings of a farm, I'd love to help out! I think the things I like the most in your postings are just the daily ins and outs of your homestead. I want to much to be on my own farm that it really is nice to be able to read about yours and feel like I'm kind of there, going through it with you. I like when you talk about books you're reading too, since I don't know anyone into homesteading I don't have anyone to chat with about good canning books! Not very popular in LaLa Land (LA). :)

June 3, 2011 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Hi I'm Maggie. I live in San Francisco and I work as a doctor at San Quentin. I wish I could have a little land, chickens and a big vegetable garden but my partner wants to stay in the city and our garden is very pretty but very shady - mostly ferns. I have two little kids. I love reading about just about everything that goes on, and I am so happy I finally got off my butt to learn the banjo after years of wanting to! So thanks!

June 3, 2011 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

Hi Jenna, wow do all the comments make for great reading! I can't believe how many "Jen's" there are too - I guess it really was a popular name for our age group (I would have been a Jen too but my dad's sister's cat was named Jennifer at the time...anyway). About me, I live in NW WI with DH and two little ones, dog (saw another nova scotia duck tolling retriever owner post above, whoohoo!), cat, 5 hens, 30 chicks, a large veggie garden and the dream of bees. We are venturing into fruit tree (apples) and berry growing (blueberries, and hopefully soon raspberries).
I love your blog, and check in almost daily, my friend (who I haven't seen comment, YET) and I both follow your posts. Love all the pictures, I don't think I would change anything from what you are doing. Thanks for writing, and letting us know "I'm not the only one thinking this xyz (fill in the blank) right now"! You have a great way of putting it all into words.

June 3, 2011 at 1:31 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'm Kristin, 37, West TN, engaged, no kids, two dogs, five cats, and seven chicks. Over the last two years, things have been changing for the better and I now have time for bread baking and chicken raising. I like sewing, reading, and art creating. I have four raised garden beds, and this year I'm growing a variety of tomatoes, okra, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, and a bunch of deliciously-scented herbs.

June 3, 2011 at 1:42 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Hi I'm Sam I'm from Orangeville Ontario Canada. I just helped my parents put in a 12x17 foot vegetable garden and 3 2x5 foot raised beds for strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. I have an herb garden, a blog, Cathartica Farm which isn't a physical place yet, but is the brand name I sell crocheted dishcloths, herbal teas, dog treats and preserves by. My 3 year goal is to have my own 5+ acres, chickens, quail, meat rabbits, 2 horses, a good dog by my side, marry the man who's always got my back, have a fiddle crooning in my hands and a baby on the way. I just graduated from the best massage therapy school in the province, and am months away from being an RMT. Some of my favorite clients have four legs and fur. I am also a doula, and considering midwifery.

June 3, 2011 at 1:43 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Hello! I'm Jenni, 31, living on the edge of an old industrial city in England with my partner, who's a musician (I'm a researcher). Our garden is probably smaller than your front porch, and I'm a lazy and ineffective gardener, but every year I hopefully throw in herbs, beans, strawberries, rhubarb etc in the hope that something will grow without mollycoddling - it usually does.

I love reading about your life, it's so different to mine, but has so many elements that I'd like... problem is, I'm not sure I want them *enough* to keep me going through the bad times, or to uproot my whole life and my partner to get them... so for the time being I'll live vicariously through you. Thank you!

June 3, 2011 at 4:00 AM  
Blogger jamberry_song said...

My name is Jacinta; I'm from a little island town in northwestern NY called Deferiet. I'm in my late twenties and am a writer, artist, and jewelry designer. You know my mother from some of your workshops; my family has been in the process of creating the Great Bend Bakery farm. I came back here to see if I can build a life close to nature. It's easy to do here; this place is teeming with plant and animal life and every day holds its own miraculous delights. I like to read your essays about how you handle the farm life. It takes a special sort of courage and humor to do what you do, and that's heartening to read.

June 3, 2011 at 4:29 AM  
Blogger dilidust said...

Hi! I'm Gail from Brisbane Australia, single, in my forties! Although I currently live in the city I have in the last 18 months bought 12 acres 3 hours out of the town where Im hoping to build a strawbale house, grow my own fruit and veg and have some animals and in general live a more sustainable lifestyle. In my little place in suburbia I have 4 chickens, raised garden beds, worm farm and I have "Barnheart" printed and stuck to the fridge :) it's my reminder that every day I'm getting closer to living on my land :) Love everything about your blog Jenna and I drop in every few days to catch up on your news! :)

June 3, 2011 at 5:15 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

wow, lots of folks outside the states!

June 3, 2011 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger Cheri said...

Good Morning! I'm Cheri, a 46 year old wife/mom/wannabe farmgirl in Florida. In 10 days we move to the Pacific Northwest to begin our dream of finding our little piece of heaven. I've been reading your blog about 2 years now, and you have been a constant inspiration to me to follow my dream. I just love your animal stories!!

June 3, 2011 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger mmgreenough said...

Hi, I am Megan. I live in a small town in North Easten PA. My husband and I, both 28, live on 12 acres with our one & four year old daugherts, a dog and a cat. We are RIGHT NOW building a new house here. I am a stay at home mom & wanna be backyard farmer! My husband works at a stone quarry not far from here. I grew up on a dairy farm, so farming is not foreign to me. We produced (dad still does) milk & beef and my dad has a maple syrup business on the side.

Last fall we built a beautiful pond and are currently stocking that with minnows & very much look forward to the day when that pond can feed us! Next spring we intend to start chickens, bees, & possibly a pig. Later when we can afford to build a barn, there are plans for goats & possibly a beef cow. I currently plant 10 4x10 raiseds beds of vegatables, a potato patch, pumpkin patch, and a few other random areas of our yard I have dug and filled with veggies. We have also started fruit trees & berry bushes!! I can & freeze all that I can find!

On the beginning of my quest to become more sefl-sufficient, I found your book Made From Scratch & fell in love! I am sick of being fed poision through the foods we buy today!!!!!!! I worry a bit about what is happening to our country & want to know that I am able to fend for myself, with the help of my husband of course! That is the goal I am working toward. Plus I am just a farm girl at heart & very much enjoy working with Mother Nature!

I very much love your blog & read everyday. I most enjoy hearing about your day to day adventures, challenges, surprises, & success on your farm. I LOVED the little video you shared the other day about your garden!!!! I am very proud of you & your accomplishments & for going it alone. I don't know that I would take on all that we have planned without a partner in crime!!!! You are one tough girl for taking it on alone & I ADMIRE you for that.

One day I WILL visit your farm (good grief, you are only 4 hours away! I should be able to handle that trip!). I am pretty much convinced that we are long lost sisters & would love to meet you! haha Until then I wish you luck & success in all that you do. Have a wonderful day.

June 3, 2011 at 6:50 AM  
OpenID barntalkblog said...

Hi, my name is Autumn. I'm from Pennsylvania. I'm a small-town country girl that dreams to own a herd of dairy goats and maybe a knitting shop. (I would also like to be able to teach life skills to intellectually disabled people) Since I'm 16, I live with my Mom, Dad, 2 sisters, and my little brother. I take care of a goat, 2 rabbits, and now 3 guinea pigs. Jenna, I LOVE your blog! Don't change it!!

June 3, 2011 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

Hi, I'm Sarah. I finally got over the fact that I live in a rented townhouse and not on a 50 acre farm and planted a garden in some pots and planter boxes. Woo! I live in Windsor Mill, Maryland - home of the largest sheep & wool festival on the east coast (or so I hear.) I'm married with two kids, ages 4 & 1, that I'm trying to teach to dig in the dirt and play their own music. (My son loves the harmonica!)
We're saving money right now. Our goal for owning our own land is not too far away. I can almost feel my own garden dirt between my toes, see the chickens pecking away and hear my very own bees humming in my ears!

June 3, 2011 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger karen said...

Hi Jenna, Karen from CT here. I live in a suburban town and have a community garden that I have been growing veggies in for many years. In my early years (50+ now) I wanted to have a small farm so I love reading about your life. I would love to have chickens someday if the rules change here in town. Right now I get fresh eggs from a part time farmer that works in the office next to mine. I am married with 2 grown children and 4 wonderful grandchildren. I will always have barnheart so I love your blog and all your stories. Thanks for sharing all that you do.

June 3, 2011 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger juliewondergem said...

Hi, I am Julie and I live with my husband and our four children ages 20, 18, 4, and 2 on a little less than an acre in Sioux City, IA. I would love to have a whole farm but for now we have 18 chickens (my chicken math started at 12 and ended up with 18.....thinking I may have over done it a bit...lol)I have a medium sized garden, three cats and am searching for a dog that will be a good fit. If I had my way I would also have a few milk goats but I am afraid that may stretch the limits of my acre to the max...maybe pygmy's...not sure yet. My husband does not wish to be a farmer but he indulges my craziness and for that I am eternally grateful....

June 3, 2011 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Snarled Yarns said...

Hi i'm Tonya. I used to live on Long Island, but now live on Omaha Nebraska. I live in a city so I grow flowers and veggies. I used to keep rabbits but it became too much. One day I hope to have land and shear my own sheep, but right now I settle for 3 kids, a dog, and one hairy husband!

June 3, 2011 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Drew Shiel said...

I'm Drew; I live in Maynooth, near Dublin in Ireland. I grow some vegetables - more this year than previously - and we're thinking of getting chickens. Day-job-wise, I'm an online marketing manager in a small consultancy. I play a lot of games.

June 3, 2011 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Hello, I'm Kathleen. I live in NB(Canada)on 15 acres. I have 2 kids(so far) 5&7, and a wonderful partner. We are working hard towards the dream of both of us working on this land.(For now just me.)We have 19 laying hens, 2 very large turkeys, 63 broiler chicks, and approx 60 more birds flying in to an airport for pick up in 10 days. (Several breeds of heritage chickens, bourbon red turkeys, guineas, Welsh Harlequin ducks, and Pilgrim geese. We have a fairly large garden/green house with lots of plans for expansion. Long term.. CSA, pigs, family dairy cow, donkey/work horse, orchard,Bees, yoga& meditation center, and teaching farm.( Be the change!)Every day is an adventure and reading Jenna's blog makes me less likely to complain about the not so glamorous parts. But most importantly it make me realize that we aren't alone in this dream of ours. We may be the only small farm around here but we are surrounded by farming/self sufficient people via this great thing we call the WEB. I love everything about your blog Jenna, keep up the great work.!!!!

June 3, 2011 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger DivaHick said...

I'm DivaHick, and I live in NorthEast Ohio. We have chickens and a garden (which is currently a swamp) and a border collie mix and two minions-I mean daughters that we homeschool. I make all natural cleaners and body care items that we sell at the Hartville Market. I desperately want some sheep and goats and my second grader wants pigs. Even more desperately...

June 3, 2011 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

I'm Margret near Tallahassee, FL. I have a small garden at home, but my ex husband & I have a much larger one at his house. We also have a flock (thanks to your inspiration) of 16 chickens and 6 guinea fowl which we got as day-old chicks this spring. We both want to farm full-time, but so far have to keep our day jobs--mine as an Operations Mgr for a labor company, and his as right-hand to the owner of a construction company, though he's also in the process of starting his own gunsmithing business, which has been his dream since...forever. I'm with Paula---please more pictures of your surroundings. I grew up in that area and still miss it so.

June 3, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Westfarm Goat Mom said...

Hi, I'm Lori. I live in the foothills of the Colorado mountains. I've had a goat farm for over 20 years, but still have to keep my day job as an Anthropology professor at a local community college. I have a goat milk soap business and sell eggs. I also keep chickens for meat. I hope someday, not too far in the future, to have the farm self-sustaining so I can retire from teaching. I'm married but my husband "doesn't do goats" - so I rely on a community of female friends to help with the farm. Jenna, I love your animal adventure posts.

June 3, 2011 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

Hi! I'm Matt, originally from Ontario but now living in beautiful Paradise, Newfoundland. My wife and I just bought our first house at the beginning of the year, and I've got ambitions to turn it in to a suburban food oasis. I'm also using my father-in-law's cabin to experiment with garlic growing. I read the blog because I've got a bad/good case of barnheart, and when my day-job starts getting to me, reading about the ups and downs on the farm makes my day a little better.

June 3, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

Wow!! Not sure if anyone is going to be reading this far down, but here we go...
I'm Angela. I'm 30 and five fifths years old and live with my husband (high school sweethearts) and our two sons (7 and 9) in a wooded, rural part of Wells Maine. We're considering homeschooling next year. We have a small flock of 20 chickens, a red siberian husky, a mutt and two kitties. I am very, very lucky to be a stay at home mom, and run a very small sporadic baking business "The Treehugger's Kitchen" where I make things the old fashion way, using as much local ingredients as possible. I have a small garden, wish it could be much bigger but because of all of the very, very large trees surrounding us, it's not do-able at this time. I like to cook, bake, sew, learning to knit, and anything else that can hold my attention for longer than 20 seconds. Love it Jenna! Don't change a thing. :D

June 3, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Hi I'm Kirsten and I live with my family in southern NH. Later this year we will be moving into our home with 2 1/2 acres and we look forward to next spring when we'll have a garden, chickens and hopefully Angoras. You've been a huge inspiration to us, Jenna. I keep thinking I will run into you at a sheepdog trial, my youngest daughter is obsessed with them and we've been talking to the shepherds about adopting a Border Collie... We also all ride and can't wait to be neighbors to 4 horses.

June 3, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger rebecca said...

Hi! I'm Rebecca. I live in Charlotte, NC with my husband and two young children. Our home sits on a little over half an acre in a suburban neighborhood. We have six chickens, a rabbit, dog and cat. I'm in my second year of vegetable gardening and LOVE it! Our neighbors think we are crazy but as long as everything is "pretty" they don't mind! Someday I would love to have a farm but for now I'm pretending with my little half acre.

I love your blog just the way it is - your stories, musings, struggles and joys. Thank you so much for sharing!

June 3, 2011 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Hi! I'm Jenn. I'm from Ontario, Canada and have been reading this blog for the last few years. We currently live in the city with a few backyard silkies, but have just signed the lease on our own acrage of land with a barn and a house. Couldn't ask for more! We're hoping to add lots more chickens, bees, fibre bunnies, a few alpacas, sheep, and a dexter cow. I'm in my late 20's and am married with four children 6 and under.

June 3, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Hi - I am Tammy and I live in Texas. We are part timers - split out time between downtown Fort Worth and 126 acres west of Fort Worth. I have a pretty nice sized garden but some years are better than others on production so I am always learning. No chickens yet but we do have the coop. I *might* be more ready to take the plunge to 'full time' than my husband, so I am working on him.
I love your blog just as it is.

June 3, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Victoria Strauser said...

Hello! I'm Victoria, and my husband and I currently rent a 2-acre farm and own 5 alpacas, 15 chickens, 3 house cats and 4 raised garden beds.

We're shopping for a farm (bare land) in western WI. We may end up living in a wall tent for awhile, as we save money to build.

Currently I have a software job that allows me to work via internet from home office (or pasture office!), but my dream is also to make a living as a farmer & writer.

June 3, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger alindner said...

I'm Amy, I live in a suburb of Milwaukee where I work as a lawyer. We do farmers markets and are considering a CSA but haven't yet done any of our own food prep. I love reading about the cycle of seasons and life on your farm and your connection to it all. Best wishes to you.

June 3, 2011 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger steak and eggs said...

Hi I'm Cynthia. My husband and I live just south of Fort Worth Texas. We are retired living on 17 acres with a few cows and about 40 chickens and we have a small garden.

Love reading about all you're adventures. You're site is the first one I read after turning on my computer. Can't wait to see what you're up to next. I would like to see more recipes, but not just recipes, the things you cook from your farm. Also love your pictures. Do you have any baby rabbits yet?

I just don't know how you do all you do on your own. My husband and do most of own work together. Like building chicken houses, barns, fences and gardening. Most of this is at least a two person job.

This would be a much better world if more young people were like you Jenna. I hope all your dreams come true. Keep up the good work.

June 3, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger ChickenCrazy said...

Hi All (:
I live on 1 acre and I have 3 pullets (1 rhode island red and 2 plymouth rocks) I'm 'renting' someone's garden cause I don't have enough sun where i live. One day I want to have 10 acres, 20 some laying hens, maybe meat birds, 5 goats (for milk) and my own garden.
I love your blog and check it everyday, Keep up the good work!!!

June 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Albert said...

Hi,
I’m Albert, single, 50+. Living in the suburbs of Kampen the Netherlands.
In my garden I grow; beans, carrots, onions, strawberries, Swiss chard, broccoli.
In my small greenhouse there is; 3 types of tomato, peppers sweet and hot, eggplant and salad. There`s also a small apple tree.
And now I stopped shift-working I think about some chickens.
Sometimes I envy you for having so much space around your place.
I love your optimistic look on live and follow your blog daily.

June 3, 2011 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

I am Patsy and I just turned 60 in March (an oldie but a goodie.) I live in Illinois and love to garden. I have one cat, Max, and wish I had chickens but don't think my neighbors would approve. I love reading your blog Jenna. I am so proud of you, I feel like a mother. I love hearing about the animals and the house. And of course the garden. Loved your video. Keep it up. God bless.

June 3, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Hi all!
I am Holly. I am a stay at home mom, the mother of two girls 4 and 3. I live on 27 acres, am married and am in my early (late) 30's. I have two of the best (untrained) border collies and now due to a 3 year olds birthday and potty training incentives went from 4 cats to 4 cats and a kitten. Oh and 1 horse and ummmmmmmmmm, maybe 50 something chicken's. Oh right, my older border collie has purchased 2 sheep for the fall so he can stop herding the ducks around. Damn I forgot the ducks. We have 2 peking ducks, Tootie and Quacky Quackerton and my cousin found a lone mallard baby in her cats mouth so I am rehabilitating that little guy so maybe he will stick around? I garden, play with my girls, and try to find more projects to get into. Right now my youngest daughter is climbing on my laptop so nice to meet you all, got to goooooooooooooo! Can we say chaos???? Holy Crap!

June 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Drummond Farms Alpacas and Woolens said...

I am Leslie and my husband and our five children live in MN. We currently have five acres, a huge garden and we raise alpacas. We are all learning how to work with these great animals and are loving the whole experience. I have a spinning wheel and drum carder, so I am learning how to process their fiber myself. This is a family business that we are trying to grow. We long for a larger farm and know that we will get there someday soon. I have had the dream of living in the country ever since I could remember. Dreams do come true! We have homeschooled our 5 children who range in age from 23 down to 8. This is such a wonderful part of our families life, I feel so blessed that I am able to stay at home and be with my children. Our family is very involved in all things Scottish. Our children are all involved with either the music or the dancing. Jenna, your blog is so wonderful, sometimes I tear up from the beauty of your writing and I think how lucky I am to get to share what you are doing and going through. I am so proud of all that you have done. It is nice to see that there are times, for you, like all of us when the days just seem to fall apart and that the next day is a bright new start. Thank you for sharing things so honestly. Blessings to you and everyone out there. It has been so nice to see who is out there and what their dreams are. Such a gift to everyone to have so much in common.

June 3, 2011 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Jessica McFarland said...

Jessica - 25, Midland MI. Married, no kids yet. We own a house on a good-sized urban lot and this year have put in our first farm-style garden... next year we are hoping to get some meat rabbits! Eventually we would love to have a good five acres and be somewhat self-sustaining. Your blog is my favorite - I think you have a perfect mix of stories, recipes, and information. Since we are potentially headed into rabbitry next year, more info about that on my end would be great! Thanks for doing what you do!

June 3, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Donna Lovesthe Farm said...

I am Donna, I live in Ontario, Canada and will be moving to a farm in Nova Scotia next month (hee hee!). I am happily married with 5 daughters, 2 dogs, one cat, one bunny and four Arabian horses. When we get our farm I will add chickens, sheep, pigs and a family cow to the herd. I am a beginner gardener, but I am learning more all the time. I love any kind of homemaker type thing, crochet, cooking, sewing, crafty stuff... When I was a kid I wanted to grow up and live on "Little House on the Prairie". I am getting closer every day!

June 3, 2011 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Hi, I'm Margaret and I live in Omaha, Nebraska. I am 47, happily married for 22 years, with two children, one in high school, and one out of the nest. I have a garden that gets larger every year. I don't have any livestock, but would love a fiber bunny and chickens.

I love to make things. I garden, cook, weave, spin, dye, knit, etc. My day job is as a legal aid attorney helping elderly people.

June 3, 2011 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

I love the fact that I had to scroll a long way down just to get to the comment box. That should tell you something Jenna.
I am Odie Langley from Halifax, NC and do not farm but I grew up on a farm so I can appreciate all the hard work Jenna does and basically I love to sit and read about what you did in a day on the farm. You have such a way with words that paints a picture of what is happening and I am always happy after reading about your activities. We love you Jenna and Cold Antler Farm as well.

June 3, 2011 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger mferre11 said...

Hi I'm Tracy and live in upstate NY near Rochester. I drive school bus. We have 1/2 acre and this year were able to utilized our neighbors garden that is 70x63 ft up from our 20x15. Last year we got our first chickens and my husband finally agrees its kinda fun to have them. I plan on getting bees next year (even if I can't find someone to mentor me). I would also like to get some boiler chickens. My dream is to eventually own at least 5 acres (more would be better) and live off what we can raise and grow.

June 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger jen said...

Hi! I'm Jen (yes, another one!) and live just outside of Puyallup, WA. I'm 43, married 21 years, and have two sons - 20 and 16. I am trying my best to become more self-sufficient, but I just don't have the green thumb! I can barely get lettuce to grow. It's quite frustrating. I have 11 chickens, 2 dogs, and 1 cat. I eventually want bees and goats, but we are on the go way too much right now. Hopefully in about 5 years, when our boys are established and on their own, I'll settle down and become a "real" farmer. I am slowly but surely making progress with my DH, who wants nothing to do with farming, but has come to realize that store-bought food stinks, and I can't do it all by myself. He recently helped me process 25 meat birds, and is quite proud of our stuffed freezer. We also went in on a side of grass-raised angus last year, and he WILL NOT eat meat anywhere else. It's pretty funny. Now he wants to install a solar panel on the chicken coop so we can have eggs all year long. I love your blog, Jenna - the first time I found it I sat down and read from the beginning to the end, and I've been here everyday since. Keep up the good work for us "wannabe" bloggers who have finally realized they can't write worth a lick and leave it up to those who can. ;)

June 3, 2011 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger mferre11 said...

Hi I'm Tracy and we live in upstate NY near Rochester. I currently have 1/2 acre that we have a few fruits on and 6 chickens. We are able to use our neighbors land for a garden this year 70x63 up from our small 15x20 plot. I plan on getting bees next year (even if I can't find someone to mentor me) and would like to own at least 5 acres within the next 5 years. My goal is to grow or raise all of our own food.

Absolutly love the blog Jenna. Thanks for all of your teachings!!

June 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Hi, I'm Bonnie. I live in Indianapolis and am 33. I'm a knitter and a gardener and work at a not-for-profit. I have a very small 48-sq. ft. garden in my little backyard.

June 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger darah said...

yay! I love reading all of these! I'm Darah. I live in Davenport, Iowa with my husband, daughter Guthrie son Laithe. I work full time for a hospice and love to come home and garden. We just converted our traditional vegetable garden into raised beds last week and now I can heave a giant sigh of relief that the garden is officially in. My dream is to have a few acres, a bunch of chickens and some sheep. I really love working with my hands, in the dirt, with wool, sewing, whatever; I just like to create.
Some days I heart living vicariously through you :) thank you for all the good writing and inspiration!

June 3, 2011 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Hey girl! I'm Melanie J. CT Yankee gone southern, currently in Jax, FL, but hopefully Charlotte, NC in another 4 months. Merging from rental apartment to rental home hopefully and craving a garden and some critters, because I can't keep anything except a cat and husband alive in our current circumstances.

June 3, 2011 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hi Jenna. I"m Michelle, in Western Mass *waves*. I'm 45, and a single mom with four amazing children. I live on 1.3 acres, which I call, optimistically, Blessed Acre Farm. I have 60 laying hens, 100 pullets brooding, 20 meat birds growing out, and rabbits. Lots of rabbits. I think there are about 150 here, counting yesterday's new litters. I have a huge garden, from which I can and freeze, plus a few (young) apple and peach trees, a bunch of raspberry bushes, some strawberry plants, some asparagus, two (new) elderberries, and two Hall's Hardy Almond trees (hoping!). I recently completed my MA in English Language and Literature, but have not found teaching work (yet) so I'll be teaching food preservation this summer, through the town's Adult Ed programs, instead. I also love to knit. Mostly I chase after my children, though - and love every second of it.

June 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger mardaa2 said...

Thought you and your readers might like to get acquainted with www.DirtDoctor.com, a natural and organic gardening website. This week's newsletter told how to tell if food was genetically modified. There will be a five number code with the first letter the number 8also the first number of organically grown will be 9. This is important to those of us who can't grown everything but don't want Frankenfood.

June 3, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger bdalward said...

Hi, I'm Brenda and I live on a farm on the Central Illinois prairie, with my 66 yr. old retired farmer husband. Our son is 21 yrs. old, married and a college student, living 20 miles away. I have several raised beds and we've been enjoying radishes, broccoli, green onions, peas and lettuce. The peppers (several kinds), cucumbers (several kinds), tomatoes (both grape and large size),green beans, and eggplant are doing nicely, so far. Oh, I forgot there are also potatoes out there. I bought 10 one-day old chicks March 18, my first foray into chicken-keeping. I love those girls and am hoping for some nice brown eggs later this summer. I'll look into getting a rooster, so I can enjoy the surprise of little homegrown chicks. I'm not interested in having large animals, since my husband doesn't share my interest in this venture, but would love to have some fresh milk for cheese-making. I am 59 yrs. old, but healthy as a horse and plan to keep planting (bluberries, gooseberries, strawberries already in the ground), and can't wait until I've finished my handmade pizza oven. My son will help me build the dome, but all the rockwork and excavating was done by me. I enjoy your essays and applaud your survival skills.

June 3, 2011 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger whitnjoey said...

Hi, I'm Whitney. I am 24 years old. My husband and I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and both worked on a 15 acre produce farm that was in the middle of the city. He went to school for agriculture and I got a degree in environmental studies and studio art. After graduation, we moved from the city with our (illegal) chickens and our black lab and bought a house built in 1908 on 4 acres in western Illinois. I work as a library director and he works in sales for John Deere. We are raising 9 Merinos and 2 Border Leicester sheep and we had our very first lambs this spring. I blog at farmboots.blogspot.com about our first year of marriage and life on our little homestead. I love reading your blog because it makes me happy to see other girls in their 20's living "the good life" as we like to call it! Especially since the lifestyle we have chosen is so different from all our friends back home!

June 3, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Hi, I'm Carol. I live in Downingtown PA on 6 acres. I have a large vegetable garden, many fruit trees, blackberries, raspberries & blueberries. I have extensive perennial gardens & am a Master Gardener. Over the years I have had goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, dogs & cats, all as pets, now I'm down to 2 spoiled cats. I plan to get some Buff Orps in the next year after learning about them here. I love reading about your adventures.

June 3, 2011 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Karen Smith said...

Dunno if anyone is still reading this far down but I'm Karen and I live in W.Mass (just up the road from your dog trainer, Jenna!) with the love of my life and 3 dogs. We're 48 & 49, respectively, and are finally realizing lifelong dreams of farming. It's slow going for us - we are building a house and temporarily living in a trailer (yes, with 3 dogs....) so conditions aren't ideal but, are they ever? We sometimes wonder if we are too old to be doing this, but we are keeping up so far. You can follow our little adventures at brandybrookfarm.blogspot.com. Keep writing, Jenna! You are an inspiration! I just love keeping up with CAF and am really looking forward to reading the new book.

June 3, 2011 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger jen said...

I'm Jen and I live in Bethlehem PA (and am currently a nontraditional grad student at Kutztown!) and would like very very very much to own a "farmette" as my mom called the one we had when I was 10-13 years old.

I would LOVE information from anyone (readers, you...) on changing urban homesteading laws, specifically chicken laws because while I'm waiting to get my little piece of land, I'd like to have a small flock to supplement what my tiny urban homestead already gives me.

June 3, 2011 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

My name is Andy. I live in Harrisburg, PA. I am 33 and single. I have small house with small yard in the suburbs. The last few years became a suburban homestead. I am growing various herbs, my garden is in the front yard same with 4 honeyberry bushes and I had a beehive. Plus I am raising redworms in my basement for my small vermicompost business.

My intentions in life someday have a fruit and herb 5-6 acre farm. Plus continue my vermicompost operation. As right now, I plan to raise honeyberry/haskap berries. Plus, I plan to raise sheep and poultry for pest and weed management. I am reading books on all types of farming. Jenna is very helpful with her blog and books. And I am taking farming courses through Penn State Extension.

June 3, 2011 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

Hi I'm Emma from Pappinbarra NSW Australia. We just bought a property with my family on 300 ac. We just got our first cows and we hope to start milking them in a year!!! I've got 2 Ayrshire cows right now, and six chickens and a duck. We've bought lots of fruit trees and today we are getting poles deliver to start construction on our covered orchard. I have a large vegie garden which is just stating to grow our winter vegies. My dream is to one day have a couple more cows to supply family and friends with milk and dairy produtcts, and also have a small free range eggs business.
I really like to hear about your animals. And I would love to see more and more pictures of your farm.

June 3, 2011 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hey, ya'll, I'm Dawn! My husband and I live in he central part of NC on 12 acres. We have horses (TB, Arab, and Belgian Draft), Nubian goats, chickens, guineas, bees, dogs, and cats. We arelife-long vegetarians so our garden is a central part of our homestead. We sell the extra produce to friends and acquaintances by word-of-mouth which we find is easier than packing up everything for the farmer's market. Many people juststop by andpick up their goodiesfrommy front porch. We also sell the extra eggs from the chickens. We have a small orchard with apple,peach,and plum trees which do well when the deer do not decide to dine on the new leaves. We are also fortunate to have some native black walnut trees and wild blackberries which I make into jam (if they make it into the house, that is!)
My goals for our homestead are to:
drive the draft horse for some chores; learn more about foraging for wild edibles; grow the best Cherokee Purple tomatoes possible (my favorite) and just enjoy getting dirty and real in this farm life.
I love your blog and he mix of "how-to's" and your own experiences with their raw and uncensored appeal.

June 3, 2011 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Sara Mack said...

Hi I'm Sara, proud friend of Jenna's from college. I live in Malvern PA, teaching hormonally insane middle school students art. Trying to survive. I have a husband, two spoiled cats and many unwelcome ants. I have a small garden. My hot pepper plant was just attacked by something. It was fine yesterday and today it is a stick. Ah well. And so some sugar snaps on a pyramid of bamboo sticks will replace it. Looks cooler anyway... though I will miss all that spicy potential.

June 3, 2011 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

I'm Joleen. I live with three kitty cats, one of the three is a 22-pound Maine Coone who's a great big sweetheart, in Salt Lake City. I have four grandchildren, two are girls, both named Olive! What are the odds of that! I'm a young 60. I live in a third floor condo with a great balcony that I grow tomatoes, squash, peppers, cucumbers, 10 kinds of herbs 4 lettuces and kale in pots on. I'm on a waiting list for a plot in a nearby community garden here. My homestead is a dream in my mind right now - but that's where it starts, right?! I've followed Jenna's blog from the start and it's my escape and makes me very happy to check in every day.

June 4, 2011 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Hi Folks, I'm Donna its been a crazy week made only worse with a 182 mile a day commute. I'm going to be 43 this year and I'm married. My daughter is 23 and gave me a beautiful grandson in January who I like to see as much as possible. My son is 18 and is currently in a snit because I've cut off his allowance, so now he says he is moving out. He'll be back, they all come back. My father's family is from West Virginia, but he meant my mom in California and so they settled out here. We did live in WV for two years while caring for his father and I lived another two years in Tennessee. My goal is to return to WV, not the best place for homesteading, but it calls to me. Doing the commute thing (driving a Prius) to make a better wage to pay down debt to make the homestead a reality, even if I have to go it alone. Hubby wants to stay in CA, but I don't. Costs and taxes are too high. My dream is to be a self sufficient as possible, currently have some containers planted. Can't do much more the back yard is in shade and DH won't cut down the tree LOL. We are planning on moving soon anyway. Knit, sew, and bake as time allows.

June 4, 2011 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger jennywren said...

Hi, I'm Jae. My family and I rent a nice size lot in Colorado. So far we have chickens (meat and layers)& quail. We plan to have angora rabbits and bees by next year. Our long term goal is to have an urban farm in walking distance of a library, a thrift store and a coffee shop. This year's goal is to produce enough salsa, pasta sauce and applesauce as to use all of the canning jars that have collected in our cupboards. And to get as much unwanted locally grown fruit as we can for the simple line "you gonna use that?" I loved Jenna's first book - it reminded me that I did not have to be in the country to have the life I wanted.

June 4, 2011 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

Hello, my name is Kimberlie. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon :) (we say it Ore"gun" :) I live with my family , 2 labs, and new this year, thanks to you Jenna, 6 hens! We have 1 acre and a 100 yr old mission style home, built by my dh's great grandpa. It was originally a 5 acre truck farm, so the soil is amazing for gardens and it has a natural spring on the land :) free water! We have fruit trees and hope to produce and preserve much of our own food in the next few years. I love your style of writing and your honesty! It has been an inspiration to watch you pull yourself up when life gets rough for you. Keep up the daily life posts, they make me laugh and sigh and keep me connected! Your a joy and I am looking forward to your new book! Keep up the good work!

June 4, 2011 at 1:56 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hi, I'm Sarah and I'm currently from a suburb of Hartford, CT. I live in a condo that is chosen more for its proximity to the hospital (I'm a medical student) than for its abundant backyard but I still grow my own strawberries, blueberries and tomatoes. For now, I hope to slowly expand my garden until I'm growing most of what my small family eats. The dream is to have a few acres of land for fruit trees, a huge garden and some chickens! Cooking is my passion so I'd look to hear about your recipes and successes/disasters in the kitchen. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

June 4, 2011 at 5:31 AM  
OpenID elnoradawn said...

I'm just someone with "barnheart" who has read your books, and loves your blog. I am hoping to start some sort of farm with my husband in the next few years. I've been a city girl all of my life, but believe I've always been a country girl at heart.

I'd love to see more posts about mountain music and chickens..as those are two of my favorite things. <3

June 4, 2011 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger shepherdkelly said...

Hi Jenna,
I just became interested in homesteading this year since I too became interested in where my food came from etc. After surfing online for more more more information I stumbled across you on mother earth news. I love your blog! I've discovered I have already been taking small steps towards my dream of owning a farm and being self sustainable. I'm planting more veggies instead of flowers this year, installed some fruit bushes last year. I'm working on the gardening part first but eyeing the bees and chickens as a next step. My last name is shepherd. Maybe that's suppose to mean some predestined thing? Lol!

June 4, 2011 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger shepherdkelly said...

Hi I'm Kelly from Illinois, I'm a newbie to this but so happy to have found this blog! I feel like a sponge trying to soak up any info I can on homesteading. I've planted more vegetables than flowers this year! I never thought I would do that but i want to live a self sustainable life as much as possible. I'm working on the gardening aspect but eyeing the bees and chickens as the next step. I want to learn how to can and store my veggies. I also planted a few fruit bushes as well. any advice on fruit bushes? Thanks for all your inspiration!!!!

June 4, 2011 at 9:04 AM  

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