DIY: Rain Barrels

My wife loves me. How can I tell, you ask? Lots of reasons really, but one specific way is that she buys me nice things. Not expensive, rare, or the latest cultural rage, but things that she knows I will enjoy, use and cherish because she knows me inside and out. She puts a lot of effort into gift giving, a perfect example of which was my birthday two years ago. At the end of a treasure hunt, complete with clues to follow, was the subject of this DIY post: A “Raincatcher 6000” rain barrel (I assume the 6000 means how many ounces of water it will hold), which features a screen to remove debris and keep mosquitoes from laying eggs, an overflow pipe to route water through when it is full, and stubs that you can cut off and connect to other barrels to set up a series of them … Continue reading

We Bought A Tractor!

   Well, it’s official… we are now farmers! Well, not exactly, but we’re one step closer after purchasing our first piece of equipment for the farm. It’s not physically in our possession yet, since my dad and uncle actually found the deal near where he lives in NY, but the tractor and equipment is now parked in his front yard waiting to make the drive to our (eventual) farm. We bought a 19?? Massey Ferguson 50 with a 4-cycle gas engine, which produces 34 horsepower from the drawbar and 38 horsepower from the power take-off. Some other equipment was included along with the tractor: brush hog, utility trailer, rear box blade, 2-bottom plow and a set of snow-chains for the rear tires.     My dad and uncle were shooting the bull with someone they used to go to high school with when the guy mentioned that his father, who had … Continue reading

Did God Save Us From New York?

Several times during the past 5 months, we have looked at ourselves and said “Are we sure we want to live in NY State?” While we remained committed to what (we thought) God had in store for us, there were definitely some things we were having to get past to get to that point. Now that the property has fallen through and we are forced to start over, I wonder whether God has given us a 2nd chance regarding the location where we will start our farm and raise our children.    We had settled on upstate NY for several reasons. First off, I was born & raised in the Southern Tier of NY and both my parents still live in the general region… one on the old home place and one SE of Syracuse. Also, although most people I talk to don’t realize this, upstate NY is one of … Continue reading

The Demise Of Our (NY) Plans

One week ago, with tears in our eyes, we signed the “Cancellation and Release of Real Estate Contract” for the property that we had hoped would be the place to raise our kids and settle down for good. We were heartbroken… 5 months of precious time and over $1,000 in fees, inspections and tests wasted; not to mention all the mental effort, planning, dreaming and discussions we had as we looked forward with great anticipation to living in upstate NY. Now we are forced to start over from square one: looking at properties online, cold-calling realtors for aerial maps, begging for more information and spending money to travel and visit properties in person. Words only touch the surface of the emotions: frustrated, disappointed, angry.       How did it come to this? It all started with our bank’s appraisal, a normal and typically non-threatening formality towards the end of the … Continue reading

DIY: Raised-Bed Gardening

For the past 5 years or so, we have attempted to provide a little food for ourselves through a garden. We’ve learned some things, had some wonderful successes (us and cucumbers, we REALLY get along) and some abject failures. Unfortunately, once we feel like we’re getting one place really squared away, it seems like it’s been time to move to our next assignment and start over. One of the (many) things we’re really looking forward to on our new farm is the ability to have a much larger homesteading garden that we can nurture and put some effort in to for the long haul. So far we’ve grown lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, onions, shell peas, green beans, carrots, cucumbers (regular & pickling), tomatoes, yellow squash, and bell peppers.     Here in Mississippi, we made our first attempt at raised-bed gardening. There are several benefits to this approach: … Continue reading

Future Customer Poll

Below is the blog version of a questionnaire that we recently created. Please leave your answers in the “comment” section below, we’d love to have your input and opinions as our farm vision continues to take form.      Dear Future Customer, You are invited to participate in a poll from Pastured Providence Farmstead. Your answers will help determine the choices we make in order to better serve our customers. If you were to purchase meat products from us, which method would you prefer? A. Retail cuts like you would see in a grocery store B. Custom cuts, buying a 1/2 or 1/4 animal direct from us, processed to order C. CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) model, investing in our farm “up front” and getting a variety of meat cuts & other products monthly   We plan to sell farm-fresh eggs. Would you prefer our hens consume GMO-free (Genetically Modified Organism) … Continue reading

Thank You!!

A huge thank you to all our friends and family for the out-pouring of support we received after going public with Pastured Providence Farmstead! This is a massive leap of faith for us, and can be very scary at times. But because of folks like you, we feel like we’ll be taken care of whatever the future brings. Thank you for your kind words, your encouragement and your great advice. It was (and still is) wonderful to read all your comments on the blog, Facebook and email.   Please keep the conversation going as we move forward towards our goals of farm ownership, healthy food production, self-sufficiency and caring for our land and the animals entrusted to us. Visit, comment, question… all of that is important to us as we strive for transparency in our journey, so your input is both valuable and highly desired. You are a big reason … Continue reading

The Branding Of Our Farm

No, not kind involving a hot iron and a squirmy calf…   The branding I’m talking is the kind of business savvy that intentionally develops an image, message and target audience, and works to maintain a certain reputation within that audience. The kind of branding that has fostered the creation of brand management companies, branding agencies and a host of other associated terms/roles. While all of that may seem a little out of reach for us, we have committed to a certain level of branding for Pastured Providence Farmstead, starting with our name, logo and web presence.     We are very pleased with the name of our future farm, if I don’t say myself. It means something to us, and hopefully will to others as well. But it didn’t come easy, in fact it took months of discussion and brain-storming.  We had a general framework agreed upon, but as … Continue reading

Visions Of Pastoral Bliss

One of the comments we get a lot as we try to describe our dream to others is “You can’t make money farming these days”. Of course this comment comes equally from those who have no clue what they are talking about to those who are intimately aware of the challenges of farming in today’s food system… I guess it wouldn’t be a stereotype if it wasn’t at least part true. I’ll get into the money side of things in a different post, but hearing that comment always makes me want to detail why our vision is so different than conventional agriculture’s approach, and why I think that vision “clicks” with those who are seeking to source their food from somewhere different than the massive, inhumane, adulterated, ultra-processed, non-nutrative, industrial system. The centerpiece of our farm will be ruminants, those amazing animals that have been designed with a 4-part stomach … Continue reading

You’re Going To Do What?

We get that one a lot. Granted, lately we’ve noticed people’s reactions trending towards the positive and supportive, but we’ve been on the receiving end of our fair share of raised eyebrows. Most people assume that because I’m an Air Force pilot (I know, I know… the old joke applies: “Q: How do you know someone is a pilot within the first 10 seconds you meet him? A: He’ll tell you.”) that I want to go fly for the airlines after retiring with 20 years of active duty service. Not a bad plan for most, but we’ve got different ideas. So the obvious question is, what brought us to this decision to leave the Air Force after only 12 years in order to start a farm?   I’ve always had a love for the country, having grown up in the rolling hills of New York State’s Southern Tier. I left … Continue reading