Before moving to the tri-state area 11 years ago, we had a farm in Michigan. There we raised many animals, several breeds of chickens, heritage turkeys, cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, ducks, geese, rabbits and guineas. We have learned much throughout the years about raising livestock and while it can be challenging, the extra work is well worth the satisfaction of raising your own food. I loved preparing and sharing my home-grown food with our extended family and friends. I also sold my heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving to the public, supplying orders from Michigan to Chicago.
I ran a country store Jim built on our property. It was named, The Old Country Porch. I sold a variety of items: handmade silver jewelry from Mexico, Christian gifts, books, used household items, my hand poured candles, cookie/brownie mixes in a jar, etc. I'll always remember working in my little country store, especially with my mother. She was a wizard with her craftiness and was always making items to sell in my store.
Another area, I became involved with during the years was herbal gardening. We had several perennial herb gardens. They contained varieties of lavender, sage, lemon balm, mint, marjoram, catnip, rosemary, basil, yarrow, chamomile and hyssop. I have many varieties of essential oils I use to to make my natural products. I also make handmade candles. I've experimented with soy and beeswax in my candle-making using many different scents.
I have been a volunteer for all my adult life. I have coached AYSO, volunteered in both private and public schools, in churches and through 4-H. I'm a Navy veteran and served in Operation Desert Storm. Jim also has volunteered for our past churches, in school and has also coached AYSO.
From left to right: Ethan (who has since died), Steph (me), Elijah, Jim, Luke & Jacob
"It is impossible, I think to say that....a Christian agriculture [is] formed upon the understanding that it is sinful for people to misuse or destroy what they did not make. The creation is a unique, irreplaceable gift, therefore to be used with humility, respect, and skill."