Contributing Bloggers

Northeastern United States


Sonja Twombly from Lally Broch Farm 
On Facebook at Lally Broch Farm

If someone had suggested 5 years ago that I would own a single goat, I would have cheerfully provided them directions to the nearest "funny farm".

Goats???  Really???
Goats. Really.


Years ago, my sister owned a thriving goat farm in a small community in rural Maine. I must admit (and hope she does not read this) that I thought she was just a little crazy. I mean, goats are smelly, right? And, they are cute enough when in a petting farm environment, but there was nothing remotely interesting to me about owning one... and now twelve of the beasts own me. They are kind enough to share me with the chickens I wanted to add to our lives, the ducks I reluctantly agreed to keep (and became smitten with), and the geese I could not imagine our homestead without. Oh! And, of course, the cats, dogs, bunnies, Vietnamese pot belly pigs ... my daughter's aging Quarterhorse... and an occasional mad Llama thrown in for good measure.

These are our family's adventures returning to a more self-sustaining way of life; the chronicle of both our triumphs and the lessons we learn along the way in rural Maine. We are glad you stopped in for a visit and hope you will come back soon.









Gretchen Stuppy Carlson from The Backyard Farming Connection
On Facebook at The Backyard Farming Connection
I am a homesteading mom of three living on 2 ½ acres in Upstate NY. I am passionate about simple living and backyard farming and love writing and sharing what happens in our daily adventures. Currently we have chickens, a few goats, a farmyard dog, a hive of bees, and an ever expanding garden.
I believe that homesteading strengthens not only our connection with the earth and our community, but also gives us the opportunity to strengthen family connections. I invite you to join along with me at the Backyard Farming Connection where I dig deeper into the ideas, knowledge, and skills of the homesteader.











Lisa Lombardo from The Self-Suficient HomeAcre

I grew up on a farm in Western New York, learning to tend a garden, preserve food, milk a cow, and care for livestock. I helped my Dad butcher chickens and loved to hunt for duck eggs in the pasture. Foraging for wild edibles was a favorite part of my summers as a kid.
I left the farm to earn my Bachelors degree in Fine Arts, married, had my son, lived in suburbia, went back to school for horticulture, worked in too many jobs that were unfulfilling, and finally we were able to move out of the subdivision to a small agricultural property a few year ago. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to return to my roots and live more closely with the land.
I raise poultry for eggs and meat, butchering them myself. My garden gets bigger every year, and I can, freeze, or dehydrate the bounty for the winter. I belong to (or run) buying clubs so we can purchase organic and natural foods at better prices. We buy beef and pork from nearby farmers, keeping the money in our local economy and providing safer, higher quality meat for our meals. My husband, Tom, and I homeschooled our son, Joe, and raised him to question the status quo. He is taking college classes now and has learned to think outside the subdivision. We all love hearing the roosters crow in the morning, looking out over the sunny field behind our house, and having our own little slice of heaven to call home.

Blogging about our homesteading experience on The Self Sufficient HomeAcre has given me the opportunity to share our journey toward self reliance.

Mid-Atlantic United States

Janet Garman from Timber Creek Farm
On Facebook at Timber Creek Farm
I was born and raised on the east coast.  First in New Jersey then moved to Maryland.  I have a degree in Animal Science which in the recent past has been a great background to have.  My husband runs a family sawmill business that has been in the family for 65 years.  We farm our own land and raised our four children and now that the nest is becoming empty, we are spending more and more time on the farm enjoying the animals and growing vegetables. We raise and care for fiber goats and rescue goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, turkeys and black angus cows.  We grow vegetables and share and can the abundance.
 
I am half owner of a feed store that has been part of the community for decades.  My college degree and training and our lifestyle allows me to help my customers making decisions on feed and products to care for their animals.  I believe in God, Family and Country and being part of the community.  I believe in shopping locally and sharing ideas globally.  I believe in human relationships and family ties.  I believe we should be as self reliant as possible and being ready to help others learn to do this also.   Being Blessed by God, knowing it and sharing the blessings are what it's all about.  



Diane Hamilton Coe from   Peaceful Acres Farm 



Diane Coe is an empty nest, retired homeschool teacher and amateur farmer with many talents! She and her husband, The Hired Hand live on 5 acres in Central Maryland where they keep 21 woolly sheep and enough laying hens to keep her egg customers happy. Diane has gone from children to chickens, chickens to cows, cows to goats, and goats to sheep. She has most definitely kept life interesting and full of chaos! She has finally found her calling as a Shepherdess! Her sheep have been a constant reminder of her faith and her love for Jesus.
Diane grew up as a child of the forest in the 70's and has brought that love for the earth and all it contains into her adult life. She has been gardening organically for over 30 years and has been studying & applying herbalism for over 8 years and has created each of her salves to meet a need in someones life. She became a certified Aromatherapist in 2014 so that she would "do no harm" in her ever increasing knowledge of natural medicine. 

Diane's many talents include her most recent renewing love of watercolor, photography, reading, knitting, hand spinning and just about anything else she puts her mind to! Diane shares her joys and sorrows on her blog; Peaceful Acres Farm®. You can find her salves, wool and watercolors on her website; Peaceful Acres Farm Store.





Southeastern United States

Brittany May and Penny Ausley from Farmgirls Blog
On Facebook at Happy Days Farm In 2012, we introduced ‘Happy Days Farm.’ We both love our animals and Penny recently expanded her home to include a chicken coop in the backyard which houses our much loved chickens! We hand raised them from babies.  In addition to our coop, we have our security team, also known as, free-range guinea fowl, a precious bunny, and an ever expanding vegetable garden. 

A couple of years ago, we traced the source of migraine headaches that Penny has to sodium nitrite, nitrate, and MSG which is located in many foods that we eat. This led us to begin a semi-organic eating style. We learned to avoid eating out in restaurants which use these ingredients, and we also starting shopping in Whole Foods for some of our meats and cheeses. This led us to find a local farmer to purchase eggs and vegetables from, and eventually we decided a chicken coop was for us! Brittany started the blog while we were building the coop, and recently added a Facebook page to highlight daily life on our ‘farm.’  The rest is history.

Now, we both can cater to our love for animals, gardening, and cooking when we are not at work! We both work for Ausley’s Chevelle Parts, selling restoration car parts. Yes, Penny does own this business with her husband so we are extremely busy, but we have realized that even though it is a lot of work, our animals, especially our chickens, are a great stress-reliever and a source of much joy.


Sheila Menendez, the farmhousewife of Hope Farms (blogs)
On Facebook at Hope Farms
I am an un-schooler. Chicken, horse, pig, cow and goat whispering are on the top of my list of favorite things to do.

My family and I live in a old farmhouse in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Transplanted here, I've been blooming for almost six years - learning the hard way about gardening, homesteading, canning, solar-living, wood-cookstoving, animal husbandry and wearing out a lot of flip-flops along the way.  Join us on our journey as students of life!
On our small-timey farm we grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, and provide a CSE! (That's Community Supported Eggs) and more. Stop by anytime and share with us YOUR homesteading journey.











CENTRAL UNITED STATES



Tiffany Burchell
from
The Egg Basket
On Facebook at The Egg Basket
I am a happy, Christian Homeschool mom of 3 AMAZING kids and wife to my wonderful, hardworking, and kind-hearted best friend. We made a move last year from "Suburbia" to an older home in "the country." I don't think any of us ever expected we'd raise chickens or how much we would LOVE raising them. We started with four pullets from a homeschooling friend whose children had hatched eggs for science. We convinced my dear husband to build a coop and started our journey. Thank goodness he gets so involved in his building projects because we quickly went from 4 to 21. We're now raising, showing, and breeding quality birds and enjoying every minute! It's an awesome life education for my children and such a joy to our lives. We've found ourselves specializing in rare, threatened, and heritage breed chickens. We also found a niche with show quality silkies after one of our pullets became the star of our first poultry show.

I am one of only 5 people in this country with 2 chronic and life threatening illnesses that onset together yet I awake every morning alive and ready to be a wife and mother. It would not happen without the Lord - and it happens everyday! So -- I am BLESSED in each and every way. Being a cardiac patient with an ICD implanted at the ripe age of 28, the farm and country love has been a blessing for my health as well. My cardiologist is amazed at what our new lifestyle has done for my heart and I'm amazed at what this journey has done for my soul. I find solace and peaceful time in prayer while gardening, sewing, canning, cooking, baking, cleaning, chicken farming, and all of those other wonderful activities one is blessed with in a more organic, sustainable type of life. As my heart specialist commented, "It suits me." and I know it's where our family is suppose to be!



We homeschool with a conversion of the Classical Christian & Charlotte Mason style of education. I feel incredibly blessed each and every day - no matter what the day brings - I give all glory and honor to God. I can honestly say I am convicted by the Lord to home educate my children and we LOVE it. I have never felt more driven or more of a presence of the Lord in my life than I do when I'm teaching my children, whether in the classroom or the great outdoors.
I have an amazing husband that hangs in there no matter what we go through --- even 11 hour straight car rides followed up by 7 HOUR doctors appointments with THREE small kiddos in tow!! Just to see if there is anymore we can do for my health! What a man! :)

I enjoy natural light photography in my spare time. I love photographing nature, our pets and farm, and children as well in their natural activities. I find thier curiosity intriguing and I enjoy capturing that special and inquisitive moment! I have been interested in art and creative outlets since I was a young child, I remember drawing and painting the beach when I was only about 7. Teaching my children to love art, photography, and the natural world is a passion and it all comes together with our homeschooling, small farm, natural, christian lifestyle.

Blogging and sharing my experiences and stories on facebook and at Our Egg Basket & Homeschool Nature Study help me be creative while still happily engaging in my most important passions of being at home with my kids, husband, and animals. God is truly Good and I couldn't ask for anything more!!! :)

Mid-Western United States
Marlana Sokolovich from Handsome Homesteader

I’m Marlana, Mrs. Handsome Homesteader. The Handsome Homesteader and I left the military and our suburban life on the East coast to move to the family farm in the mid-west last winter. Until recently, we were living with my parents on the family farm with our two children ages 1 and 3. We are starting life over in our 30′s and enjoying the ride and all our blessings! Our hope is to have our own piece of land, animals to care for, a garden to eat from and a house to turn into our forever home. Right now I help my mom with her farm and 3 horses, work part time, raise 2 beautiful children, 1 crazy dog, 7 amazing hens and 2 disco ducks. Oh and did I mention The handsome homesteader just started his own company? We are busy to say the least! Happy Homesteading!



Lesa Wilke from Better Hens and Gardens
On Facebook at Bramblestone Farm
I write Better Hens and Gardens to help rural-minded folks transition to more self-sufficient, sustainable, lifestyles. As an engineer and manager for a large corporation, I was relocated ten times over a span of twenty years. During those years, I became increasingly concerned about our food supply; so with each move, I tried to shift closer to my vision of self-sufficiency, sustainability, and real foods. Then in 2005, I finally made it onto ten acres, and started a true rural journey.
Over the years, my partner (Randy) and I built homes, patios, decks, and barns; grew vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees; and raised chickens all while being employed full time. So, we started Better Hens and Gardens to help others deal with the sometimes overwhelming prospect of pursuing a rural lifestyle, while still being employed and living in suburbia. It’s meant to share all the “stuff” we learned, and follow our latest journey on Bramblestone Farm.

Bramblestone Farm is located in Northeast Ohio, so we experience a full range of beautiful seasons. We currently have a large garden, various fruits and brambles, 32 chickens, three goats, and two cats. The chickens and goats free-range on about four fenced acres, controlling the bugs or weeds, and supplying (hopefully) eggs or milk. We hope you enjoy Better Hens and Gardens, learn something useful, and share your insights or comments back with us!

My Photo









Emily Browning from On the Urban Farm
Emily resides in a small town in south west Ohio with her family and an entire cast of animal friends.  An avid flower gardener turned vegetable gardener, Emily started Rainbow Acres Urban Farm on an extra city lot in 2010.  What started off as a joke between neighbors has now become a reality and a way of life, as she supports her family and several others on her urban farm.  Join Emily as she learns to live a more sustainable life in the city, where you are sure to learn and laugh along the way.  From squash bug epidemics to "chicken drama", life in never boring on the urban farm!

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Courtney Johnson:  Milking Chickens

Two years ago, my family and I decided it was time to leave the suburbs behind and head to the country.  My husband had grown up in a farming community, raising vegetables and chickens with his family, but I was a suburban girl through and through.  After a trial run in Arkansas (his home state,) we made the move to Northeast Ohio (mine,) put on some muck boots and dug in.  

Now, we're just a little more experienced than when we started.  Rabbit Wing Farm consists of a lot of chickens, a few goats and ducks, a couple of kids, two parents, and a grandpa.  I'm still learning as we go, but I've never been so happy to move past my early career in IT and Web Design and throw everything I've got into becoming a homesteader.



Cheryl Aker Hubbard
On facebook:  www.facebook.com/KCFarms
On the web: www.pasturedeficitdisorder.com
Towards the end of 2011, we realized our dream of purchasing a small piece of land in central Texas to develop into our own little homestead! We live with six furry "kids": two dogs and four cats, thirteen chickens and three ducks (so far). Pretty quickly after buying our land, we realized we were starting to suffer from PDD anytime we were away from our pasture – Pasture Deficit Disorder!  Our pasture has felt like home long before we even had a house to live in there.

We are modern-day homesteaders learning to do as much for ourselves as we can:  we are learning about growing more food in our garden each year, preserving our harvests, cooking/baking for ourselves instead of using store-bought, taking advantage of great deals on foods and preserving those, building and fixing things ourselves, raising animals; keeping composting worms and bees.







Kathy~The Horseless Housewife

Just over a year ago, our family of one Husband, one Wife, two small children and two large dogs moved from our 900 square foot condo in Chicago, to a charmed small town life on the Illinois/Wisconsin border. With this move, I gladly left my career in Law Enforcement and haven't looked back. I now dedicate my energy into raising my children in their formative years, and with my Husband, we are now focusing on settling down into a simpler kind of life. With that being said, the horses were something that always had to be put aside for career, kids, time constraints, money. Eventually, the horses were sold, the tack was cleaned and put away for "future use", and the weekly lessons could never get rescheduled. Along with our 50 acres of Wisconsin farmland-patiently waiting for our future house and horse farm to be built-we are slowly connecting to our farm future by producing local hay, and honey on “The Farm”, and keeping a small flock of backyard chickens at home.





Heather Dreier from The Whimsical Feather

On Facebook at The Whimsical Feather

Greetings from the great Buckeye state, Ohio!  As a city girl that has deep farm ancestry running through her veins, I strive to live the simple lifestyle as much as possible. I am a wife to a wonderful, patient man. A mother to four children, and recently gained a daughter-in-law, who is actively serving in the United States Air Force. I am also a "Mom" to one dog, a cat, and our new addition, five chickens.  

My educational background is in Early Childhood Education and Development, but I decided that the most important job I could have is being a stay-at-home mom. It is not always easy, for my sanity or the bank account for that matter, but so worth it! I enjoy many things and have many interests. 

My "Bucket List" is large and continues to grow. Some of my favorite things are: getting my hands into anything creative, eating clean and organic, Herbs/Herbal remedies, Foraging, Gardening, Genealogy, reading, cooking, biking, jewelry making, felting, knitting...see the list can just go on and on! 


Southwestern United States


Marissa Carabin from Abundance Farms
On Facebook at Abundance Farms
I am a professional photographer, happy wife and critter breeder in the warm state of Texas.  The first time I saw a chick was when I was in a feed store (when I lived in Montana) buying dog food.  I thought "who in the world owns chickens?" and in an effort to be the only person I knew who owned chickens, I bought two Ameraucana chicks.A little more than a year later and a relocation to Texas, I got into the big world of breeding (chickens, ducks, peafowl, goats, and sheep) and have been loving it!
I currently raise several breeds of chickens including Red Shoulder Yokohamas,  Silver Laced Wyandottes, Ohikis, Malays, as well as other animals such as Jacob sheep, Angoras, Emus, Peafowl, and one beautiful Thoroughbred.






Cheryl Aker Hubbard
On facebook:  www.facebook.com/KCFarms
On the web: www.pasturedeficitdisorder.com
Towards the end of 2011, we realized our dream of purchasing a small piece of land in central Texas to develop into our own little homestead! We live with six furry "kids": two dogs and four cats, thirteen chickens and three ducks (so far). Pretty quickly after buying our land, we realized we were starting to suffer from PDD anytime we were away from our pasture – Pasture Deficit Disorder!  Our pasture has felt like home long before we even had a house to live in there.

We are modern-day homesteaders learning to do as much for ourselves as we can:  we are learning about growing more food in our garden each year, preserving our harvests, cooking/baking for ourselves instead of using store-bought, taking advantage of great deals on foods and preserving those, building and fixing things ourselves, raising animals; keeping composting worms and bees.









~Thank you for joining each of us in our journey - Farm Chit Chat~
email us at sonjatwombly@farmchitchat.com


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