Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bring Merlin Home and win my 1900's Fiddle

So, I have a few weeks to figure out how to come up with the down payment for Merlin. I've so far been able to handle the stable and boarding costs, lesson and training fees, vet bills and farrier. I am confident I can make him work and find a way to get him here on Cold Antler Soil in his own paddock by July 10th, my thirtieth Birthday. Riding him, spending time with him, all of it has been a dream come true. I felt strong on him, in control, and a member of a very special club of two. We go from a walk to a fast trot now without thinking. I know him, can move him where I want to go. The growing pangs aren't over yet, but the bond is formed. I'm gaining confidence, turning into a horse person, losing weight, and learning the pride of giving so much of your time and effort to an animal so dear to your heart. It is all magical. All of it.

...But it is a dream on loan. We are on a three-month free lease where I pay the boarding and training fees, and then on June 1, 2012 - I owe a down payment to make him officially mine. I thought my tax return would cover that, but it wasn't what I was expecting. (I actually owe money to the State of New York.) As the deadline looms I realize I need to get moving.

To help with the cost of Merlin and to secure him as my own horse I'm setting up this contest to help with that large down payment. .After that is paid off I have small, manageable monthly payments. I'm already preparing however I can to make that June 1 date, but I thought I would ask the community for help. And I don't want blind donations. I think such a gift deserves a proper sacrifice. So I decided to do a donation raffle and give away something so important to me, my dearest fiddle.

If you help, you will be in the drawing to win my early 1900's Guarneri-style Fiddle. It is German made, loud, proud and it means quite a lot to me. It is the one I play here at the farm. Your donation to help buy Merlin gets you a chance. Every ten dollar donation gets you a "ticket" so if you donate ten dollars you get a chance for the fiddle, if you donate 30, you get three names in the hat. I will also throw in a signed copy of Barnheart and a thank you letter.

WINNER PICKED APRIL 15th!

If you think this crass, well, that is your right. I hope there won't be any mean comments but I do expect some. If you don't wish to help out, please don't. If you can't manage to donate, well then a word of encouragement is a huge help as well. And if you can manage to toss a ticket in the bucket, then I thank you beyond words I can write here. Donate at the button below. The email address is an old one of mine I no longer use, save for paypal (Celticbonfires at yahoo dot come) but I think Celtic Bonfire are exactly what I need to make this black horse a part of the story. I give away my fiddle with an open heart, and exchange it for the possibility that I can make this due date and hand over that check to his current owner.







This is a donation-based farm gift to help with farm costs. No purchase necessary to enter to win the fiddle. If you do not want to donate, just leave a comment saying you would like to be entered as well.

106 Comments:

Blogger Catharine said...

Hi Jenna, I used to never ask for help but the people who love you are always willing to lend a hand. All you have to do is ask. Godspeed.

March 22, 2012 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Northwest Girl said...

Hi Jenna,

I donated - hope it goes through okay. Seemed to work...said your e-mail and CAF. I am wishing you luck - and me as well!

March 22, 2012 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Northwest Girl said...

Oh - and when is the drawing?

March 22, 2012 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

Good for you, Jenna! You're making a little of your own magic :)
-Jaime

March 22, 2012 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

April 15, I think!

THANK YOU ALL!

and Merlin just stomped four times in his stall!

March 22, 2012 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

That's quite a sacrifice, and a fine way to raise some money. I wish I were in a position to donate. Not for the fiddle(although I love the fiddle, I have one of my own, just not as grand as yours)but just to be able to help you secure your dream, and Merlins future at Cold Antler.

Without the inspiration of reading this blog everyday, I'd have probably given up on this little suburban homestead a long time ago. Hell, I'd may have never even gotten started. I wish I could do more than offer "words of encouragement", but for now it's all I have. For what it's worth, I'll be sending all the positive energy I can muster, to you and Merlin. In hopes that people with the means to help, will step up and help you make your dream a reality.

March 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Jenetta said...

Just curious about the fiddle. Is it an actual Guarneri or just one like it? My brother loves to fiddle! I'm absolutely in love with Merlin also. He's beautiful and looks so intelligent. I'll bet you guys will have so many adventures together!

March 22, 2012 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

It's a reproduction, not an original! It cost me, used, 450.00 so it is not a 5,000 instrument, but sweet and in good shape and dear. I'll post photos tomorrow morn

March 22, 2012 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Farmlady Wannabe said...

Are you able to provide an address for mailing a donation? Sorry, not able to use credit card presently.

March 22, 2012 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger E said...

I don't want/need a fiddle - but I wish you good luck!

March 22, 2012 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

What a wonderful idea!
A little magic coming your way!

March 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

What a wonderful idea!
A little magic coming your way!

March 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Donation made. Good luck!

March 23, 2012 at 12:05 AM  
Blogger TransFarmer said...

Not in a position to donate at the moment, but I wish you well.

March 23, 2012 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

It's worth skipping a couple of coffees to help make this happen.

March 23, 2012 at 2:21 AM  
OpenID cathmiller said...

If I win, I'll give you your fiddle back - it wasn't my favourite thing to play, loving the new dulcimer way more.

March 23, 2012 at 6:32 AM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

Crass? Not at all. . . . think of it as a cyber garage sale. And no one would blink if you had a garage sale.

March 23, 2012 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Meagan said...

This is not crass at all. Jenna, I read your blog everyday. I can't say that about anyone else. I owe a great deal to you (including my current bout of horse fever). So there. Keep your fiddle, too.

March 23, 2012 at 7:40 AM  
OpenID meatbagz said...

here's to making dreams come true!

March 23, 2012 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Jenna=
Not crass at all-a very smart idea. You also could do "futures". Like raffle a homemade hat from one of the sheep, to be mailed to recepient ...in the future. Same with a class...raffle a gift certificate for several classes/webinars. Good Luck. You are inspirational.

March 23, 2012 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Flartus said...

Holly's got a good idea. I'd totally enter a raffle for a Maude or Sal hat! I'm probably going to enter this one, too, but I don't really want a fiddle. So I guess I'd just have to let you keep it. ;)

March 23, 2012 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Nothing wrong with fund raising for what one feels passionate about. I would just suggest you barter your website, design or writing talents in the future as those are sustainable resources for you. It also might have a wider appeal for the musically challenged like myself. Wishing you and Merlin a long life of togetherness.

March 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Carole said...

Hi Jenna, I NEVER donate to these kinds of requests... except I just did. I received my dream pony as a gift from two incredibly wonderful friends this past Christmas, so I know just how you feel. Good luck with bringing Merlin home.

March 23, 2012 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Ruby said...

You continue to inspire me with your determination to live life your way.

March 23, 2012 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Dear Jenna,

I am making a donation because I believe every woman should have a big strong horse! I take my 11 year old niece for lessons weekly and it has made a huge difference in her life. Many years of happiness to you & Merlin!

Love & Peace,
Sandra

March 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger karental said...

I entered. We are sending positive thoughts and endess hope. Come home, Merlin.

March 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I could go for the homemade hat idea from Holly.

March 23, 2012 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I also LOVE the homemade hat idea...even could do a scarf.

Please think about that Jenna.

I'm going to donate also, but no need for a fiddle...I would bless you back with it.

Blessings to you Jenna,
Cathy

March 23, 2012 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Donation made! I would love to try out that fiddle (but also would think about giving it back if won). Hope all of this helps you bring Merlin home for good!

March 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Jamie Kalvestran said...

Jenna,
My donation is on it's way. Ride and listen with your whole body!

Jamie

March 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

also...I don't play fiddle so if I were to win, maybe you could keep the fiddle and play a song for me and allow me to feed Merlin a carrot??? LOL! Good luck Jenna!

Sandra ;0)

March 23, 2012 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

Jenna, like 'farm lady wannabe' I need some where to send donation, as I no longer use credit cards. I am more than happy to help you out but need somewhere to send it. Another idea for you is to sell more of your drawings. They were really cute. Best of luck making your goal

March 23, 2012 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger mommypie said...

I would buy another chicken drawing, too! I gave my mother the one I bought from you a few years ago--she loves chickens more than I do : ).

March 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger mommypie said...

I would buy another chicken drawing, too! I gave my mother the one I bought from you a few years ago--she loves chickens more than I do : ).

March 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger spike said...

Donated.
Good luck reaching that deadline. I enjoy your blog so much, it is the least I can do. Salud!

March 23, 2012 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Well I am just plain dumb! I made a donation on pay-pal and told you not to enter me in the contest - but now I see I could let you keep it! So!! Enter me in the contest (5 times) and if I win - you get to keep the fiddle!! I so love reading your blog everyday it is TOTALLY worth making a contribution to Merlin. He is gorgeous!

March 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Katiegirl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger CoffeeBreak Revolution said...

NPR asks for donations, why shouldn't you? You provide a service for free. I love your blog and your books. Just started up my own vegetable patch here in downtown Philadelphia in old wine boxes, naturally. Good luck!

March 23, 2012 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

why do you delete comments?

March 23, 2012 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger K. Jean said...

Entered - I can't wait to see the pictures when Merlin gets home!

March 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I don't delete any comments unless the person is being mean. That recently deleted comment wasn't deleted by me, it was deleted by the comment's author. If I delete a comment it says "removed by blog administrator."

It's confusing because this blog administrator is also an author!

But I will delete anything negative about me, my blog, or my farm if the person doesn't make their real name and email address public. No one is welcome to make anonymous comments here meant to jab, hurt, or scold.

March 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

You can do it though, if you use your real name and email address! Scold away!

Again, that comment above wasn't deleted by me. But I did read it before she deleted it, and would have if she didn't.

March 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

and all that aside...

THANK YOU ALL WHO ARE HELPING!

I rode Merlin this morning, best lesson ever! (we only had three!) I was able to put some money towards April's board, and will be mailing the first part of his down payment this Friday! We already raised 2/5th of it! THANK YOU!!!

March 23, 2012 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Lissa B. said...

Good Luck Jenna! I wish I could donate to help you out, but money is real tight right now, so my words of encouragement are all I can offer. I agree with some of the other comments that when you are raising money for the farm, especially if you are offering the chance to win something you are not "begging" or doing anything you should feel bad about! Plenty of people buy $100 a plate tickets to dinner auctions to raise money for politicians who don't bat an eye at lying about what they are going to do with it. You are telling us what you need the money for and how you will use it! I have no problem with what you do and how you do it, I only wish we were a little better off so I could help you out instead of just talking. Good luck!

March 23, 2012 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Helois said...

I don't think it's crass at all, I don't know how many times I have been asked to buy raffle tickets to win some tv or a gift basket or some such to benefit someone or someone's cause. I don't feel this is any different at all. That being said I am not able to join in this time but I wish you the best of luck, Merlin is a great looking horse.

March 23, 2012 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Katiegirl said...

It's frustrating to see posts like this, especially for those of us who are struggling to pay for our own way as homesteaders. I need some new pullets, but I was just debating whether or not it's worth it to spend the $32 to get them. I would never dream of asking for donations on my blog, because they're my animals. Instead, I sell products that I hand craft. I would love to have some new things around my place, but I have to save up and work hard for them (and I'm proud to do so).

Jenna, you blew people off when they cautioned you against getting Merlin. It wasn't because they wanted to you be unhappy, but because from what you posted it was clear you couldn't afford him. Most of us know the purchase price of an animal (especially a horse) is the cheapest part of owning that animal.

It's certainly up to each person to decide whether or not they want to continue to fund your purchases though. I'm just surprised you're able to get people to keep paying for things like this.

March 23, 2012 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Well said, Katiegirl!

March 23, 2012 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger sco_oter said...

Good Luck Jenna! I hope your dream of Merlin comes true. I know you will find a way.

March 23, 2012 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger AB said...

Don't enter me to win as I think the prize should only go to someone who can help support this part of your dream, but I did want to lend my emotional support for this contest as well as the entire Merlin endeavor. Jenna, you have more courage than I have in this 45yr old body. Reading your blog every day is a small indulgence, one that quietly nurtures small, hard-to-get-to dreams of my own. So, thanks gal.

March 23, 2012 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger AB said...

Don't enter me to win as I think the prize should only go to someone who can help support this part of your dream, but I did want to lend my emotional support for this contest as well as the entire Merlin endeavor. Jenna, you have more courage than I have in this 45yr old body. Reading your blog every day is a small indulgence, one that quietly nurtures small, hard-to-get-to dreams of my own. So, thanks gal.

March 23, 2012 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Not sure why my profile isn't coming up for the comment I left.

March 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Katiegirl, I would be happy to donate pullets to your farm. I got several in barter from a hatchery and could have them shipped to you. It costs me nothing and your readership is important to me.

March 23, 2012 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I would be happy to help, teach, support, and help raise funds for anyone I could help. I trust in my dream to keep me afloat, keep Merlin afloat. If no one wanted to kick in ten bucks for a chance at a fiddle and to help out, then I would figure something else out. I am grateful for all of you.

March 23, 2012 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Thanks, Jenna, but I think I may pass on that. I was hoping to get started pullets since I'm in need of more eggs now. Plus, I like knowing that I can provide what I need/want.

Although, if you wanted to direct people to my Etsy shop that would be cool too. :-) It can be found through my blog.

March 23, 2012 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Happy to Katie, why don't you host a giveaway on the blog? You get some exposure (at the cost of an item) and readers can help another reader out by supporting you? email me if you want to sponsor one.

March 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Katiegirl, I have funded a few projects by asking for donations from friends and family on "futures". That's how I just got a large blackberry patch and grapevines going. My chicken coop was bartered for and a few donations helped. Folks pitched in a few bucks here and there and they know they will benefit in the coming years with fruit and eggs.

I don;t keep up with a blog, but I need to one of these days. Asking for help is a hard thing to learn how to do, but it's amazing when you realize how many people don't have the space or time to do some of the things we do, so it works out very well as a community project. I also ask for sweat equity when tackling a big project like digging new beds. My help is paid in a good meal and canned goods.

I'm a crafter too, so I'll definitely check out your stuff and pass it along. We all in this together!

March 23, 2012 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

I donated. I read this blog everyday for free and I feel this is some compensation for the hours of enjoyment I've taken from it. Horses aren't really MY thing but everyone deserves for their dream to come true and if Merlin is Jenna's and it's already in grasp, I want to help make it happen if I can.

March 23, 2012 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 23, 2012 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

Jenna is there an address or po box we can send donations to?

March 23, 2012 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I don't give away my personal address, or my work address publicly. But if you email me I will send it to you. jenna@itsafarwalk.com

March 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I did donate, but I also agree with Katiegirl and Beth's comments.

I have donated for the story you are writing and now to this...I just have to stop, but I wish you the best.

March 23, 2012 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I see blog donations as Amanda does, as futures. The people who donate to this farm, come to workshops, antlerstock, buy books, read, etc...all of you are what makes this place possible. this isn't a traditional farm. I am not a traditional farmer. It is the blog, and writing about farming, the stories and the public life I have chosen to share that pays the bills. The blog is free, will always be free, but I am not scared to ask for help when things get scary or tight. I will continue to write about Merlin, this farm, and my life here working towards my dream. I hope people who donate find value not just in the farm but in the time and effort writing this blog. Some people seem to disregard writing as work, or the work put up front that is the cause for donations. It is work, and a dedication I made to the readership.

I am grateful to those who help, read, support, and check in. Thank you so very much.

March 23, 2012 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Also, if you don't want to donate or feel strongly about not donating, please don't!!!

March 23, 2012 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Also, if you don't want to donate or feel strongly about not donating, please don't!!!

March 23, 2012 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I am sorry to see that you've removed my comment. I did not feel that it was abusive, offensive, or hateful. Just a different opinion than your own.

March 23, 2012 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Jenna: IMHO, you are what's right with the world: helping each other fulfill our dreams in community. Merlin's your soul steed.

Today, there seems to be little to believe in, but you are proof that dreams can and do come true. Ya just got to believe.

I'm proud to be a part of that dream, grateful for your inspiration, and thankful for your encouragement.

Paypal on the way!

March 23, 2012 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

I love the debate about the "right"ness of this approach. And I see both sides. But I choose to think of your blog as a service, like public tv or radio. For those who don't want to or can't contribute, it's still there to enjoy and learn from. For those who want to show our appreciation monetarily, there are fundraisers. Just like PBS and NPR stations, you offer us something more concrete to help encourage donations.

Besides, this way I can say I have part ownership in a horse! A girlie dream come true. {giggle}

March 23, 2012 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

As a person who gives regularly to such fine organizations as PBS and NPR, I am happy to help when and where I can(despite my meager paychecks). Like so many of you other readers I have recieved many hours of pure joy from this blog for free. Jenna works very hard to keep this blog up to date with wonderful stories and information.....and I can only guess how much time and energy it takes. So I do not think it is crass to ask for a little help from those who are willing to give. Who knows, at some point she may clicking on one of our paypal links when we need a little boost for our dream or tragedy strikes. Thank you Jenna for all you do for us readers, it is my pleasure to help you bring Merlin home to CAF.

March 23, 2012 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

To me it's no different than Kickstarter or Indiegogo. I just donated funds to help send a journalist to a conference. I'll get no material benefit from that, but he will provide me with worthwhile content covering the event. Jenna provides me with lots of entertainment, but more importantly a sense of community and very good information since I'm toiling away 1000 miles South.

It's a whole new world out there with people able to reach out and... and be reached. I can't have a horse anytime in the near future, but I will LOVE the photos and stories about Merlin. I've been in love with fell Ponies since I first saw one. I'm so excited!

March 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I agree with Beth and Katiegirl. I know there are alot of things that I would like to have but cannot afford. I have to struggle and scrimp for every penny to feed my horses. Dreams are wonderful things but not at the expense of others. Each person has to do what they think is right regardless of what others say, but I am disappointed in the current direction your blog has taken. If you needed to put food on the table it would be a different thing all together. Good luck.. I hope it all works out for you.

March 23, 2012 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ok so I never ever even think to comment on things such as this. I keep my comments to myself. But not this time!! Seriously....i read every comment here and yep have an opinion of my own..but ya know what. What does it matter. Its my opinion so why share it. What pisses me off is that if you disagree with how Jenna has chosen to reach out for help you disagree...why do you feel you have to share it with everyone else. We all need a dream..we all need a focus...this is hers. Maybe yours is different. Maybe how you chose to attain yours is different. It doesnt make yours correct and hers wrong. I come here every day and am inspired. Oh and another thing I dont do...is donate to things...but not this time!! My donation is on its way. And not necessarily because I either agree or disagree with it but because the negative opinions made me angry enough to want to bless jenna with whatever I can. So well there you go Jenna...You get your horse and you keep on going with your head held high. And I will keep coming back here every day to be inspired.

March 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger ican said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM  
OpenID eileensbasement said...

Happy to help you out in what small way I can because you have helped me immeasurably in the short time I've been reading your books and blog. I've made big (amazing) changes in my life because of you and I'm happier because of it. I'm pulling for you lady!

March 23, 2012 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Elaine P said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 23, 2012 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Jenna, Although you say that you only delete abusive or negative comments from anonymous people I see that you deleted Beth's comment. This is your blog to administer how you want but if it were my blog I would leave all comments there and let the world see them. Who cares what people say? As long as you believe you are doing the right thing it never matters what others say. If heated debates occur, so be it. I never much liked censorship since it distorts things for me. Sorry for all the drama, I am a revolutionary at heart and have to voice my opinion. All opinions should have a voice if you allow comments. Or just disallow them all.

March 23, 2012 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger kristen tillotson said...

Jenna-

I have read your blog for a long time. I don't ever comment on blogs BUT I donated tonight for Merlin because I am a lady with a horse and homestead wish in my heart. Regardless of my small one bedroom apartment in Chicago and my 3 cats and 1 hound. I have been a horse girl since the age of 5 and if 1 night of my crappy job can bring you closer to that beautiful pony I am in. Never stop what you are doing. It is so appreciated.

March 23, 2012 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I hate to wade into this fray, and the last time there was a ruckus I swore I wouldn't read the comments anymore, but here I am.

There are lots of models for what Jenna is doing, including this one http://www.monfortedairy.com/ . The cheesemaker, Ruth Klahsen, wanted to start a dairy and she did. Then things got diffcicult and because banks don't fund cheesemakers (small ones anyway), she decided to raise funds for her business through the CSA model. She raised $400 000 and sold subscriptions for cheese to 899 people. It has been wildly successful and has allowed a woman, a business and a community to thrive.

Jenna's blog is a business. She is a writer. Content is not free - we all like to fairly compensated for our work. If Jenna charged a $1 user fee to read each post and then spent the money on whatever she wanted, we would have no idea what she was doing and therefore would be unable to comment on her financial situation. She doesn't charge for the readings but is teaching those who read CAF and writing and at some point, she has to make a living.

I share some of the other posters sentiments that the blog has shifted from straight how-to homestead approach to a more introspective place (I think in part because of the challenges of last winter) but I think that reflects Jenna's journey and a blog is supposed to reflect her life. There are lots of other places that you can find out the tenichal side of how to start seeds and how to raise rabbits.

Jenna made it perfectly clear when she first posted that no one had to feel they had to donate. And she also started the side bar to do the "sales" part so it wasn't always part of the blog.

We are all having tight times. We are all being creative with bringing in a little extra money. And all the while, we are all working towards our own dreams.

March 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I cannot figure out how to NOT be anonymous!!!

March 24, 2012 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Comments are only deleted if people Post things in argument withou their real name or email address. If you are going to go out of your way to criticize my decisions Then you should have the confidence to do it under your real full name and email address. Beths comment wasn't mean, but if you click on her name it goes to an empty profile with no information. If you click on suzannes you get her picture name and location, which to means she is convicted in what she has to say enough to put her real self out into it. That is my only rule for comments.

March 24, 2012 at 4:38 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

To those who feel the need to criticize: understand you are not filing a complaint to SEARS or a letter to the Editor at a local newspaper. You are a person sitting at a computer scolding another person sitting at a computer for her actions, publicly. You are talking to a woman standing next to a ten-year old computer in her kitchen while three dogs squabble in the next room waiting for dinner. I am not running for public office, I do not need to make this an open forum on my character. If I allowed every negative thing people said, emailed, or commented to be a part of this blog I would crumble. It's too much. It shouldn't bother me, but it does. So I allow one type of admonishment here, and that is people willing to be as open as I am.

I put my whole life out to the public, or most of it anyway. I expect anyone willing to speak up against me to do so with their true identity.

All that said... I am so amazed and grateful for the kindness and support people have emailed, commented, and donated with. I am honored to give one of you my fiddle. I am right now getting ready for a big workshop and bread is going in the oven and grass-fed cow is about to become chilli. Soon the farmhouse will be full of people excited to learn and share in this dream, start their own. That is why I do all this. I want this blog to support my living and my physical farm labor to pay the groceries.

As for this being different than it was when it started (the blog). It is. It started as a girl with an interest in homesteading and farming. It turned into a girl with a farm and growing up along with her dream. As it gets harder and harder to keep the place running, I am focused now on workshops and CSA model support. I need to be that way to stay here. As times get better, and more success comes, that panic of uncertainty and stability will fade and there will be a lot more about how to make seed starting containers out of newspaper. Right now, I ask that you be willing to grow with me, and see this blog not as a "how too" but a "how come"

time to make quiche.

all my love

-j

March 24, 2012 at 5:12 AM  
OpenID cathmiller said...

I am shocked that unsupportive people are spreading negative energy, if you don't support Jenna don't read her blog - or read it for free and appreciate it. I am thrilled to visit the site each day - it is usually the first thing I do after feeding all the animals. I just bought all her books to support her dream, as I feel she should be paid for at least some of her work. I feel close to the farm and activities even though I am 15,000 miles away in Australia. I have just donated another $10 each on behalf of Katiegirl, Becky, Beth and Suzanne. We have missed mortgage payments twice already this year, but we keep plodding on and things turn up when they need to. I have only just signed up to wordpress so I could donate/comment, so no picture yet, but I am a friend on facebook.

March 24, 2012 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger J.D. said...

What Jenna's doing is not unusual. Let me say this again, What Jenna's doing is not unusual.

Fornthe past four years I have contributed to an organizztion devoted to micro businesses...to enable people to start or expand their business through micro-loans...to allow people to follow their dreams...to allow people to survive...to make this world a better place.

Contributing to Jenna's dream pony allows her to clear those fields, move those boulders, and, at the end of the day, take a ride in a open field. Merlin has a job ahead of him and the sooner we get him home, the sooner he can get on with his work.

Yes, this isn't a micro-loan per se, but Jenna has and will pay us back by sharing her life with us, teaching us as she learns, and inspiring us to grab our dreams. So, a very small contribution to Merlin equals a small repayment to Jenna for sharing her life. How much would you charge to share your farm life? She does it for the bubble....zero...nadda.

Thank you, Jenna. You should see the basement. It's filling up with beautiful crops until shop lights that I wouldn't have dreamed possible in my situation.




P.S. I do not want your fiddle.

March 24, 2012 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Elaine P said...

My comment was clean and was neither abusive, mean nor hateful. It was an opinion that was not in fawning support or agreement with the money request thread. The majority of my post pertained to the selective and seemingly discriminatory method for allowing some posts to remain and others not. Case in point, nowhere in my post did I use any foul verbiage; however, this morning poster Lisa is allowed full liberty by the blog administrator to use the phrase "pi**ed off," and her post remains since yesterday, and apparently so because she supports the idea. I imagine, after this post is deleted, if I come back and post something rosey, my post will be "allowed" to remain. I'd be curious though....if I donate,and I'm not talking $5 either, but still disagree with the way some posts are allowed and others aren't, would that ensure that my post remains? As I stated in my original post, please consider putting a disclaimer up that all posts are really not welcome.

March 24, 2012 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Ok now for my positive comments to offset my negative ones !! Jenna, I think you are doing terrific things and helping many people to start their farms, no matter how small. You give others hope for a future and you inspire. You have ten times more energy than anyone I know and you have alot of courage to put your life out there for the world to see. I will be following along to see how the future of CAF unfolds. Just because I made negative comments about the donations I do see an incredible connection between you and Merlin. And why shouldn't you have fun sometimes. I guess that I can be too independent and hardly ever ask anyone for help. I was raised on doing everything alone. Anyway, good luck with your workshop this weekend. I never have money for your workshops but if I can ever help on a workday let me know.

March 24, 2012 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Lesa said...

Dear Jenna, I am inspired by all that you are doing and educating and this is certainly worth the donation, and if I win you keep your fiddle even though I want one. Keep all of these deep forms of interwoven energies up, and thank you for unselfishly sharing your creativity and inspiration. Merlin is a very practical reality for creating fields on your farm as well performing the most important role of being magician. Kinship mini-farm

March 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Mayleen said...

I am constantly inspired by Jenna, her way with words, and her dreams. In another place and time, we had communities where names and faces were connected with shared experiences, both good and bad. People helped out one another when they could, without expectation of reciprocity, because reciprocity was simply a way of life. Nowadays, most of us find community in a variety of ways: sometimes it's the neighbor down the road; sometimes it's a profile and username from across the country. We are in challenging times. Many of us sharing this blog also share a vision of self-sufficiency - the key is to remember that "self" sufficiency has rarely been a solo path. We need to be a part of a community, however distant the miles between the homesteads. In the spirit of the old ways, if you can help another, do so. If you cannot, do not fret or criticize another's need. Just let it be. If I were closer, I could offer Jenna horse trimming in barter for other things which would allow her to keep more of her cash for Merlin (or whatever). But I'm in AZ. So I will "barter" some cash in exchange for all the words and images she has given me for over 2 yrs.

March 24, 2012 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I have enjoyed the content on Jenna's blog for ATLEAST a couple years now, she has inspired me, and kept me inspired and now we're doing our own homesteading. I have no qualms what so ever with sending a donation now and again, and did so yesterday. IMO it's like paying for a magazine subscription that I really, really enjoy! Good show Jenna and Merlin!

March 24, 2012 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Black said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 25, 2012 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Black said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Black said...

this is just getting silly - sorry about all the false starts - donated $20, and best of luck to you and Merlin

March 25, 2012 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I am not trying to hide behind an "electronic curtain" here. The site lets me log in to post a comment with my gmail address and a name. My last name is quite evident when viewing my email address. I do not have a blog or website to link back to, nor do I have digital photos of myself that could be pinned up to a profile. I will admit I am not the most technologically savvy person out there; maybe I'm missing something. Further instruction is welcome, if that's so.

My intent was not to offend anyone, just to express my opinion. I thought I had done so politely. My apologies if I unintentionally pierced anyone's skin.

I read this blog because I enjoy your writing, Jenna. I have donated small amounts to the blog in the past because I'm sure this takes a tremendous amount of your time. Just because I don't fall exactly in line with your personal decisions does not mean that I don't respect your decisions or value a writer's occupation. A good writer, IMHO, is always going to stir the pot a bit. Otherwise it just isn't interesting. It's why I keep coming back here.

And while I'm on my shambly little soapbox...Folks, why on earth can't we express differing opinions without going at each other's throats?

March 25, 2012 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger downeast becka said...

whew, lots of posts--still stand by my donation for all you give us and share free of charge--Merlin is a dream...just because i brought my dream home and found him entirely too much at the time (insomnia and two small children tipped it over the edge) he is happily rehomed now and when the barn is built, we will get another! My post that didn't come through said if i win, please keep your fiddle!

March 25, 2012 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger k10 said...

Jenna,
way to be! I donated and if I win your fiddle you can keep it :) because we all have dreams and for the last couple years I've been silently following yours and cheering all the way. Its inspiring to see you go for your dreams and getting there. It's my daily inspiration and reminder to go for it. Thank you for that, you have no idea how much it means!

March 26, 2012 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger MIB said...

Re: comments being removed--People, please pay attention! Jenna said she will take down negative comments IF YOU DO NOT LEAVE YOUR REAL NAME, ETC., IN YOUR PROFILE.

Please don't say negative things using a blank profile and then come back later and complain that Jenna won't allow other opinions in the comments. She has made this very clear--SHE WILL, as long as you are as open about who you are as she is.

Having a small, struggling homestead myself, I am on the fence about the whole raffle/futures thing, personally. But that has nothing to do with the fact that there are people who are not listening and then complaining when their posts are taken down. I find it incredibly frustrating when people don't pay attention to the "rules" and then get all worked up when those rules are implemented. (End rant)

March 26, 2012 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger BaileyDog said...

Hi Jenna

Donation made with only good thoughts for you and Merlin.

A friend once said that being a horse girl isn't a passion, or an obsession, it's a wonderful incurable disease.

Annie

March 26, 2012 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

To those who say "we told you so" and are offended by her raffle, to what do you donate when you sign up and pay for a raffle at a carnival or bazaar or corporate event? Do you even know? Do you even care? Are you perhaps adding to the already swollen corporate coffers of an unknown entity? Jenna specifically stated that she is not asking for donations without offering a gift in return. That's what a raffle is all about. The difference between her raffle and a bazaar or corporate event raffle is that we know exactly where our money is going because we know Jenna and we know what she stands for. She is working her butt off just like any of the rest of us. She is sacrificing a prized possession to get what she wants and I see nothing wrong with her having a raffle to get her closer. How many of you would be willing to buy it from her outright for $450? How about $10?
Would you still be offended by her merely listing an item for sale? She's done it before. Lots of people do. Having a raffle merely makes it an equal opportunity for an otherwise unaffordable object.
Had she offered it for sale, how many people would have said, "I can't afford it, can you do a raffle instead to give everyone a better opportunity?"

March 27, 2012 at 1:01 AM  
Blogger Olli said...

Jenna!
How excited I am for you! I love your books and and am continually inspired by your words and success. I can only hope and pray that I will one day find myself in your kitchen, attending a workshop or lending a helping hand. I've had a farm in heart since I can remember - unfortunately I know no one personally who suffers from the same disease. So it fills my heart that you would share your experiences with a stranger so far away.

Yesterday I bought my first vegetable seeds ever for my garden-to-be I am planning on my back patio. Admittedly, a small part of me felt like this attempt is such an insignificant link in the dream I hope to attain some day. But you know what? I thought of you. And I smiled as I thought, "Baby steps."

To me, the eye opener in asking for help is realizing how many really WANT to help! When you ask for help, you're handing over your pride and gaining a community. At least that's what I've learned. Godspeed Jenna :) I hope to meet you & Merlin BOTH someday.

~Olli from Texas~

March 27, 2012 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Hi Jenna~ ~ ~I have been reading your blog for some years now and find you to be a shining example of going for your dream and not letting anything stand in your way. I enjoy reading about your farm but I also love it when you share your inner life. Your writing seems so spontanious, from the heart. Someday I would like to read your book.

I have wanted a horse since I was a little girl. In fact I do believe Horse was the first word I ever spoke! Here I am much much later in life with tears running down my face as I read about your dream to have the horse I never had. I am donating so you can live your dream. I fully intend to live it with you from my computer. I hope some day to meet both of you in person and have a walk around your farm. Pennsylvania is not so far away.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

March 28, 2012 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger 1believer said...

Jenna, A few years back I was strolling through the library when I spotted Made From Scratch in a display of books on homesteading. I think I read it in two days. That book brought about the beginning of a dream for me. Since then, I have bought and read all your books. I have baked bread and made jam using your recipes. I am a single mother and read your blog daily as encouragement. You give me hope that I can fulfill my dream even without the help of a husband. This will be my third year gardening and much to my delight, our first year with backyard chickens. I've looked into attending your workshops but the trip from Illinois is just too costly...one day! I donated what I could and wish I could give you top dollar for all you've given me. I will be praying that you raise what you need to bring Merlin home! Thank you so much for sharing your dream with all of us!!!!!

March 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

Hi, just wanted to let you know I just made a donation. Not interested in getting ur violin. I have my own old battered one that I haven't played in 20 years. I keep taking it out lately and running the bow across the strings every now and then. I think that I will start playing again soon. I miss making music

If for some reason I did win the draw I would love the copy of Barnheart. It's the only one of ur books I don't yet have so it would be a great addition to my library.

April 2, 2012 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger rsaunders said...

Hi Jenna,
This is a wonderful undertaking and I wish that I could make a donation, but I am unable to at this time. I am a young grandfather who has always dreamed of playing fiddle, but cannot afford one. Could I still be entered in the drawing?
R Saunders
vmsaunders@windstream.net

April 3, 2012 at 11:53 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I would love to win your fiddle! I have been teaching myself to play (using the Mel Bay books) on an old student fiddle. Maybe yours will bring some of your fiddling mojo with it!

April 13, 2012 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger tea4too0 said...

I wish I could be more like you. I just cannot seem to find the courage to start making my dream a reality. I would love to win your violin. Maybe I could barter it back to you for a collection of your books?
T

April 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

Hi Jenna,

I would love win your lovely fiddle... hope it's not too late! Heading over to donate now. Good luck to you!

April 15, 2012 at 12:33 PM  
OpenID lifeofalittlewoman said...

Jenna, you are a class act. I have never seen anyone respond to criticism with more grace. I'm already a dedicated reader and big Cold Antler fan, but rest assured I will also be a regular donor from here on out. I'm cheering you on from my tiny suburban duplex in the Bay Area (where I planted 5 tomato plants, 4 broccoli seedlings, and a big pot of mint just yesterday!).

April 15, 2012 at 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I consider it a privilege to give a little back, when you share your ups and downs so freely.

I grew up on a small freeholding (2-2/3 acres). We always had a truck garden of about half an acre more or less, and always a cow, and her name was always Annabelle; the last one was #9. Dad ordered 100 RI Reds every spring; he experimented with other animals from time to time, but these were basic. We usually had cats, too, to keep the vermin out of the feed. My sisters and I had our 4-H projects, usually foods, sewing and crafts.

I have my back yard garden now, but I live inside city limits, and cannot keep chickens. My small income will not allow me to move out to the county yet, but "Lord willing and the creek don't rise," I will change that in the not too distant future.

Regards, Myrrhlynn
mesnoke@gmail.com

April 15, 2012 at 3:44 PM  

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