Why Farming Has to Work for Us



There’s no going back now. We’ve moved our family and 18 years of accumulated items on our .18 of an acre to live on our new one acre hobby farm. We’ve planted trees, built gardens, added animals to the farmstead, and accumulated more items to make the life we chose for ourselves–the life we believe God has blessed us with–possible. There’s no going back now.

Why Farming Has to Work for Us - Stone Family Farmstead

There’s no “It’s ok, I’ll get it from the store,” anymore. Not that we won’t buy things from the store until we no longer need them, but we need to get to the place where we either no longer need them, or learn to make do without them. Oh, there will always be things we buy, but the goal is to try to produce as much here as we possibly can so we need less each year from the local grocery.

Tending the Garden at Stone Family Farmstead

Farming has to work for us, or we moved for nothing. You see, the whole reason we saved and worked and prayed to get here was not because we grew out of our home, wanted to live in a quieter neighborhood, wanted more space to put our stuff, or any other reason except that we wanted to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. My desire developed years ago when I began learning about prepping (and feeling like it’s probably something we should be doing). That desire culminated in 2011 after losing my mother to breast cancer. My desire became a dream.

Tending the Rabbits at Stone Family Farmstead

I began voicing that dream to my husband, who had always had the desire to tend fruit trees and grow our own. We often spent evenings talking about all the things we would love to do, including buying a property and raising and breeding livestock, having large gardens and lots of fruit trees, producing much of our own food, and living out our twilight years doing all of these things. We did as much as we could on our .18 of an acre in the city seeking to simply be content where we were, when the doors flew open and we were able to move last October.

The View from the Planting Area - Stone Family Farmstead

Now that we are here and are knee-deep in many of those “evening dreams” we used to talk about, there’s no going back. There are animals to raise, gardens to tend, seeds to plant, buildings to maintain, trees to feed, and fences to build. It’s a constant list of to-dos, and it’s really up to us to make it work. I often call this property a “hobby farm” because it’s not really a money-making endevor (yet), but it’s really all but a hobby–it’s our live and we are hoping to grow it into our livelihood. There is no longer any excuse not to put in the hard work and study into this dream that I’ve carried into my heart for so long. It’s a funny thing about dreams, though…once they come true and it’s time for the work, it takes a lot of discipline to actually live the dream. No matter–I have disciplined myself before and I can do it again.

Chickens Chillin' at Stone Family Farmstead

What About You?

How needful is your farming endeavor? Are you farming as a hobby, or is it your family’s livelihood?

Shared at Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Weekend Blog Hop, From the Farm, Old Fashioned Friday, Front Porch Friday, Farmgirl Friday, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Tuesdays with A Twist, Maple Hill Hop, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Homemade Mondays, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Homestead Blog Hop



 
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Kristi Stone

Kristi Stone

Honestly? I'm the author of this blog...sometimes. My family and I live in Sunny Southern California on a one acre hobby farm where we are working diligently to one day produce our dairy, eggs, and produce. That takes A LOT of work, so if you don't hear from me as soon as you'd like, give me a shout out in the comments and I'll chat back as soon as I can between the garden, goat kids, chickens, husband, human kids, and playing with my grandboy, Kieran. And in the mean time, if you'd like to see more frequently what goes on at our farm, please feel free to join my Facebook group (see the right column) where I am more active. I'd love to get to know you! 🙂
Kristi Stone

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Comments

  1. carolin martens says:

    I can totally relate but on a much smaller scale. I probably have the garden space you had before moving but I am really relying on it this year. I will be out this weekend trying to save the potatoes from dying. We have had way to much rain. Going to get some peat moss, and mix in my cow manure, and built them up a bit more. Hopefully this can make the difference. Not to sure if the cherry, apple or peach tree are going to make it.

    Money is tight for the next 2 months, so I am willing to do all I can,I worked so hard to expand, it, add mulch, manure, just need to save it now.

    Thanks for the post, peace and prayers–Carolin

    • Thanks Carolin! Actually, our garden space is still a bit smaller than what we had before we moved! But the gardens seem to be in better shape this year, so we are hoping more will come out of them this year. I really can relate to all you are saying with your potatoes and fruit trees. I had a really hard time gardening at the old house and I’m not quite sure why. We lost a lot of trees to gophers, which was disheartening. They would look really good and start producing, then all at once they would just pull RIGHT out of the ground! Praying for your success this year!

  2. We refer to our farm as a hobby too. However if you think outside the box you can change that, supplemental income over replacement might be more realistic with one acre. Do you all plan to raise your own meat? We started with raising cows for meat, not fun but the meat was wonderful. We now just raise sheep, chickens and quail for meat. It’s my hope at our next property we can do more hunting than raising, this will free up some time for other projects. Love my fresh veggies and herbs and going to the store well I keep it to a minimum because there is peace in simplicity. We’ve enjoyed our small farm but it’s time to move further out for extreme quiet. Excited for you and this new experience. Looks like you all are having fun! -Carole

    • Our hobby farm is sooo small, I sometimes wonder if it’s fair to call it a farm! But seriously, I have definitely been thinking about how to supplement our income with what we are doing here. Some things, like produce, eggs and milk (which hopefully will happen next year) will just be for our family for a while, but there are other things we can do like selling small livestock that would really help offset some costs around here.

      I’m excited to see where life takes you guys, Carole! You guys do so much already where you are, it’ll be interesting to read about what comes up next for you all!

  3. Great post, Kristi! My husband and I talk about getting some acreage and having a little homestead. For the time being, I consider myself a suburban farm girl and try to grow as much as I can in my yard, preserve as much of the harvest as I can, in a place with a very short growing season, and a homeowners association that doesn’t allow farm animals. 🙂

    Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

    • Thank you Jennifer! I think you’ve got the right idea by farming where you are at, for sure! Never let where you live stop you from doing and learning things that will bring you closer to your goals!

  4. I can totally relate to trying to live that dream! Our hobby farm may never produce income (or a lot of it) but I am enjoying doing what we do each year!

  5. We aren’t on our acreage yet, but still call suburbia home. Our house is on the market, and we feel ready to make the move whenever God feels it is time.
    Blessings to you on your endeavor. It’s wonderful to see someone making their dream a reality.

  6. That’s so great that you packed up your life for a farm life! That sounds like an amzing life style change to me and you guys are so blessed to be able to do that!

    • You are so correct, Amber—we are very blessed to be able to have moved. It was definitely a God thing! We love it here—the quiet, the tranquility, and even the work that it takes to build this place up. It’s just been fantastic. Thanks for visiting! 😀

  7. Kristi you have no idea how happy I am to announce that you are a feature on this week’s Simple Saturday Blog Hop. Thank you for sharing your story with us there It was quite popular. I am thrilled to see a bit of your farm and catch up with you again

    • Oh wow, thank you, Janet! What a great honor, I’m as thrilled as you are, if not more! 😀 I am having a wonderful time reconnecting with all of my old friends as well, and seeing what you all are up to. It’s been really nice to see everyone’s progress and success!

  8. Kristi,
    I couldn’t agree with you more that farming is all about discipline. For the most part, no one is telling you when to get up, how long to work and how to prioritize. Although we farm over 1000 acres, I almost think it would be harder to do just one acre. The “small” (I say with a laugh) size would play tricks on your mind that something can “wait til tomorrow.” And then you have to plan so carefully how much area to devote to each project. I can’t imagine your stress level!
    Many blessings to you as we face this hot summer. Hope you have plenty of shade from those fruit trees! (And fruit!)

    • Ha ha, Deborah, yeah—guilty. One acre definitely affords the “wait until tomorrow” attitude–or at least seems to. The discipline comes in when you have to decide to sit or do, and that’s what I need to learn–to make sure to DO every day, because that’s what makes it all go round, you know?

      I couldn’t imagine having 1000 acres, I’ll bet that lights a fire under you! For us having come from .18 of an acre, we feel like we are living on 100 acres, ha ha, but I’m sure we’ll run out of space soon enough, the busier we get here.

      Are you in SoCal, or are you guys having HOT weather over there too? Our fruit trees are much too small to provide shade yet, unfortunately, but we do have some small pines that help! 🙂

  9. Praise God He opened doors for you to move. He did the same for us 7 years ago–after praying for 13 years. It’s a wonderful life filled with reward, exhaustion, heartbreak (a critter or two, probably foxes, came on Father’s Day to kill all our free ranging hens), and peace of mind to know that God provides all we need. It’s a life of journey and adventure. Enjoy it! Thanks for sharing. Stop by our homestead when you get a minute.

    • Oh Sally, I’m so sorry to hear about your hens, how disheartening. We haven’t had anything like that happen, but I can’t imagine we’ll escape the normal things that happen on a farm.

      God is so faithful, isn’t He? He puts the desires in our hearts, then fulfills them. 🙂

  10. Hi Kristi,
    I am so happy for you and wanted to share that my husband and I just sold our home and we are getting ready to move to our farm that we have had for over a year! It seems like it’s been forever since we first purchased the farm and have been waiting for our house to sell, but now I can see now why God has allowed everything to happen the way it did. We have been restoring the old farm and are looking forward to begin work on the old farmhouse as well as gardening, fruit trees and some chickens. We currently have 5 beef cows and it’s been amazing having them on our property. It’s so great to meet other like minded folks who are on the same journey! Best of luck to you!

    • Thank you Claudine! I saw your chicken coop restoration and it looks fantastic! What a treat to finally be able to move in, you all must be so happy. So glad to meet you!

  11. Cathi Taylor says:

    While many people dream of large, lush acreage, the reality is, that most of us are on 1 or 2 acres if we are lucky. So to me, blogs like yours are even more important as it shows (zoning laws permitting) what can be done where you are with what you have. Small farming, especially permaculture, will someday save the world 🙂 and it is wonderful to see people forging ahead. Congratulations and thank you for sharing!

    • I think you are right, Cathi. I’d love another acre and honestly that would be plenty for us! Still, one acre is a nice size for us to do most of what we would like. I like your outlook on small farming/permaculture. It’s been a fantastic journey so far!

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