(updated September 2018)
Welcome to Your New Homesteading Resource!
Hey! So happy you decided to take a minute to get to know Stone Family Farmstead and myself today!
The first thing I want you to know is that if you are wanting to learn how to garden, ferment and preserve food, raise small livestock, use herbs for medicine, raise the game on your natural well-being, or are a homesteader of any kind, urban or rural, this is the blog for you! These are the things I write about every week!
So what qualifies me to write about these topics? Here’s what:
- I started off an urban homesteader about 10 years ago, where I homesteaded our .18 of an acre. There, I grew food, raised chickens and rabbits, learned to can our garden bounty, and cook from scratch.
- I now live on a small 1-acre hobby farm where I do all of the above, plus breed Nigerian Dwarf goats as part of our income. The plan is to make our homestead our business as we move into our retirement years.
- I have been studying herbs and supplements in various forms to manage my anxiety and depression for the past 27 years. Over the past 4 years, I have taken 4 good-sized herbalism courses, and am planning to continue to learn and grow as an herbalist. I love to share what I know, but I am a stickler for safety and will never teach you unsafe practices.
- On the topic of course I’ve taken, I’ll list them here for you: Introductory and Intermediate Courses through Herbal Academy, The Confident Herbalist: A Complete Guide to Home Herbalism, and Foundations of Herbalism by renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. I love taking courses, so I’m positive I’m not finished yet!
My promise to you is that as you read my blog, you will learn from the ground up some very important components of homesteading. In short, you will become a HOMESTEADING HERO if you apply yourself! I also promise to be “present” with you–this means that you can contact me any time with questions or comments, and I WILL answer you. It’s how I roll!
About the Blog
This blog started out as a place where I could deposit general homesteading knowledge so that I’d know where to find it again. Kind of like a notebook, and if you know me at all, you KNOW I’m into notebooks (here’s one I’m working on right now)!
So this blog began as a digital notebook that I could put together and refer back to regularly, but I couldn’t let all this good info and web space go to waste, so I use it to share with people who ask me how I’m doing things here on our hobby farm, and occasionally, I make content that is specific to a family member or friend. (Here’s a post/video that I made for my son who wanted me to teach him to make our family’s favorite spaghetti sauce.)
The purpose of this blog has changed, and stayed the same. I still do use it as an online notebook, and I do share it with the world; but rather than just creating content on the topics *I* want to have information to refer back to, I often ask my readers what *they* would like to read about…and when our interests coincide, content is created! (Chime in with your opinions here, I’d love to know your thoughts!)
My mission with all the content I create is to make homesteading easy to understand and carry out in all its forms: gardening, food preservation, fermenting, raising small livestock and pets, and natural well being. I even throw in our family’s “keeper” recipes so that I will never lose them, but you are more than welcome to enjoy them too!
This probably won’t be your traditional “About Me” page, and perhaps it will even be more than you ever wanted to know about me and Stone Family Farmstead, but I’m a sharer. So if you are a reader and like to learn things about others, you will find it interesting. *smile*
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About Stone Family Farmstead
Stone Family Farmstead is just about the best and the biggest hobby that I’ve ever had. This is why I will usually refer to it as a “hobby farm”. With 17+ animals (not counting my youngest daughter’s two roach colonies), 300+ square feet of garden space, small fruit and nut orchard, I get to spend all day working on my hobby if I want to! It’s awesome.
But we weren’t always here. We moved here in 2014 after living in a nearby city for 19 years. We practiced urban homesteading on our .18 of an acre by gardening, growing fruit, and raising chickens for eggs. I practiced a lot of homesteading skills and wrote about my adventures for years on my previous blog. I failed at many of my endeavors, but that didn’t dull my interest in homesteading at all, it fueled it.
So when we bought this 1 acre property we now call Stone Family Farmstead, it felt like we bought a sprawling ranch in comparison, and we ventured into building what we needed to continue what we were doing at the old place. We also added a few things just to see if we liked doing them.
At this point in our journey, we have two Nigerian Dwarf goats. I only have ever milked Willow, and she produced enough milk this year to drink, and to use for some of our butter and over 5lbs of the most awesome mozzarella cheese. I’m hoping that this year Naomi will be more receptive to breeding so that I can milk her too. If that happens I can make most of our butter and cheese, including cheddar, for the following year. And let’s not forget the goat milk soap!
We are getting plenty of eggs from our girls, and plenty of veggies (though not a diverse enough amount for me), and not at all enough fruit that isn’t citrus. Despite any of these small negatives, this is the life, and we love it. And running this hobby farm is going to help us to live a more healthy life going into retirement in 10 years.
Speaking of running a hobby farm, I do this with my best friend and husband of 30 years, Todd. He’s my heavy-lifting hero, and is super handy, so I really have him to thank for all of my raised garden beds, animal pens, water sources, and fences that didn’t exist before we moved in. He works super hard at a job that keeps him from doing all he wants to here, but he still manages to get a lot done.
Together, we have three great kids, a son-in-law and an add-on boyfriend (not ours, but our youngest daughter’s *snicker*), and a fantastic grandson who just turned 5 and started Kindergarten this year. We love our family immensely, and like to connect with and enjoy them whenever we (and they) can.
Our family collects animals–two dogs, two cats, one rabbit–all of which live indoors, and whom I speak to multiple times daily. I mentioned before that I have two Nigerian Dwarf goats. I also raise baby goats for 4H kids and anyone who would like one of these little sweethearts.
As for our chickens and ducks, our flock consists of 5 chickens (shout out to “Debra Winger” who pecks my foot HARD until I pick her up and carry her around on my morning round of chores), and two achingly shy but very vocal Khaki Campbell ducks who like me, but from a distance.
We also have a really handsome rooster that moved in last year, and that we have grown to appreciate and love as a permanent part of our flock. His name is Prince, but I mostly call him “Roosty” because that’s what comes to mind when I see him.
I’m of average height and a little overweight. I’m ok with that inasmuch as it doesn’t hurt my health, but when you’re 50 years old, things hurt a lot more than they used to. That can be annoying, especially when you are trying to be active running a hobby farm.
Sometimes I have turquoise hair, sometimes it’s royal blue or purple, and other times it’s just plain old brown or black. It’s part of my self-care that I do for myself. That’s because I have suffered anxiety and depression for at least half of my life, if not longer, and all that time I always worried about what others would think about me. I’m done with that, and now I’m just being me. Sometimes this means I dye my hair a crazy color, and sometimes it doesn’t. 🙂
I was recently diagnosed with major depressive disorder and was on antidepressants for a couple of years, but decided it wasn’t for me and switched to handling it naturally. You can read about how I made that transition here.
This is the reason I post about anxiety on my blog, so that others who are going through can see anxiety doesn’t have to be as debilitating as it wants to be in our lives. I believe that eating right, exercise, herbs, supplements, faith, support from family and friends, and staying positive have all helped me immensely in kicking my meds. Having said that, I have nothing against using them, it’s just not for me anymore.
I love farm work. I love to spend time in the sun, either in the pool or in the garden. I love to go hornworm hunting, not because I’m cruel (though the hornworms may disagree), but because my chickens and ducks line up at the fence waiting for me to toss over tasty morsels. It’s a decent exchange for having to touch worms.
Other Miscellaneous Stuff About Me
The more I write, the more I love to write, and blogging fills the writing need for me. I answer all my email and blog comments because I love to hear from and connect with people of similar interests. I have pretty much always been a homebody, so my blog and the internet are pretty much my outlet and connection with the world.
I love to run, but have recently had to stop because of increasing joint pain. I walk instead, while I listen to geeky podcasts about blogging (not that Pat is geeky, just that I’m a blogging podcast geek) or true crime (shout out to True Crime Garage). I have recently returned to my love for horror movies, but only the super cheesy ones from the late 70s and early 80s, and especially the ones starring Jamie Lee Curtis.
I grew up in the 70s, so my favorite genre of music is classic rock, with an emphasis on Led Zeppelin and especially Queen. I like making wine and drinking it. I love pizza in almost any form, especially if it’s healthy and made from our home grown tomatoes, goat milk, and garden veggies. I hate doing dishes more than once every two days. And if a toilet needs cleaned, that gets done either when it’s unbearable to look at, or every couple of weeks (usually it’s unbearable to look at much more often than every two weeks, unfortunately).
I’m a Christian, though not a beat-you-over-the-head-with-the-Bible kind. I’m more of a kill-em-with-kindness kind. *smile* I probably drink too much wine and eat more crappy food than is good for me, and I don’t spend enough time seeking God. Healthy, natural living in all of these areas are my passionate pursuits these days, and that’s what I write about on my blog because I’ve got so much to learn, and to pass along.
If learning about homesteading and natural living, and how those things can teach you to be healthier, eat better, and all around feel better, stick around by subscribing to my blog (below).
I’ll send you a kinda-long-but-interesting newsletter every Saturday with links to new blog posts, tips, stories of what’s going on here on our farmstead, and lots of other things. I’ll also be including great deals on things I think you will like, and that can further your homesteading and natural living skills the way they have mine.
I also have a homesteading facebook group (which you can feel free to join) where I like to chit chat with my readers. I also do Facebook lives every week in there covering homesteading topics of all kinds. Members there *might* think I’m homestead-smarter than they are, but the truth is, I am learning from them all the time. I’d love to learn from you, too.
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