Sunday, June 22, 2014

This Is How We Came To Be "Farmers"

Have you ever asked yourself, "Where in the world did these two get the idea to switch from over-the-counter meds to herbal teas and tinctures, or to raise animals, along with their children?"

It was a bit of a journey; one that started back in 2008.

Fall 2012. Crazy how far we had come since 2008, when we first moved to our land!

I had been noticing more and more articles about what fertilizers and pesticides can do to people; along with a large push for local and/or organic foods to be purchased whenever possible. This came with tons of information about genetically modified wheat, corn, soy, and canola. There are more, of course, but these are the ones most prevalent in the U.S. [at this time].

The clincher, was when I read a book called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, that my dear friend Mrs. B sent me (along with the next 4 or 5 sequels).  Ms. Gabaldon is a wonderful historical fiction writer. She does so much research for her novels as to be almost tedious. I love her for this. In the first novel (of 8 now), we learn a lot about how people treated their ailments with herbs and spices.

Coinciding with my reading of the first novel, I was also working for a woman who would tell me all about the different herbs and spices she and her husband used to fix any bodily issues they may be having at the time. I would find myself skimming her herbal books while I was at her house, and finally broke down and bought my first herbal book, Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health.

While reading, researching and overall learning about herbs, my husband and I purchased the 40 acres of land we now live on and as we got ready to have a single-wide put on it, discovered we were pregnant. I don't know about most women, but when I am pregnant, I am even more in-tune with my body than normally (and I've always been very lucky to be well informed about what my body is up to, normally). I was also dealing with a 2 year old who had off-and-on eczema. It took several months to figure out what foods were triggering her outbreaks, but we did eventually figure it out when I removed most processed foods from our everyday diets.

I started reading the 2nd and 3rd books in Ms. Gabaladon's Outlander series shortly after my second daughter was born; luckily she does not seem to have the same allergic issues as her elder sister. Raising two young daughters, already delving into herbalism, and now reading a book that included a ship ride (or many) between England, Scotland, France and the colonies, I began to realize that a dairy goat may be just the thing we needed! I'd never really thought about how people eat on a ship for 6 months, especially back before technology as we know it existed. Once I got the thought into my head, I started doing research and discovered that raw goat milk has actually been shown to be very good for people with food allergies, and could possibly clear up my eldest daughter's eczema.

Of course, if we are going to contemplate a dairy goat, then we should definitely think about our own chickens too, right?

Around this time I discovered that one of my neighbors also used herbs and spices for ailments, and had a dairy goat at several different points in her life. They had also had chickens and ducks when we first moved out here (though I never saw any of them - I am slow to make new friends, being the introvert that I am). So now we had our Storey books that we had begun collecting and first-hand knowledge at our back door [so to speak]. What could possibly stop us now?

We began cleaning up the property in March 2012 [having spent the entire winter reading everything we could get our hands on], in the specific locations we'd chosen for the goats and chickens, and no sooner had we completed (okay, the goat pens hadn't even been completed yet) we had baby chicks arrive via mail and we had picked up our breeder pair of dairy goats from Colorado.

Our first goats: Tallia and Claudius

Our first hens discovering their brand new home when they were about 6 weeks old.

The rest, as they say, is history... All thanks to historical fiction introducing me to new things before it was even a possibility!

Except of course, in the Outlander series, Claire's pigs are NOT very nice... and ours are as sweet as puppies... The hogs were also my husband's idea, and not mine - so I cannot take credit, nor give credit to Ms. Gabaldon, for that particular venture.

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