Land Preparation

When we showed up on the farm in August, it looked a lot different than when I had come up to check things out initially in early April. It was greener, flowers were blooming, and everything felt more alive in the dog days of summer. The land was also very overgrown, since the sellers had moved out and the place had sat vacant over a month. So I spent a lot of time mowing (with the deck set super high) and bush-hogging, but what really commanded my attention was the 20 acres behind the house that had 10′ tall weeds growing! By no fault of the seller’s, we went under contract for this property just as a neighboring farmer had started preparing the land for corn. He had tilled, picked rocks, and applied fertilizer in the form of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Then we signed the papers and shouted “STOP”, … Continue reading

Coming Up For Air

GAAAAAASSSSSSPPPPP!!!    Yup, that’s about what it feels like!! We are finally at a point that we feel like we are able to tread water and resume some of our normal routines, blogging included. There is so much to update, so I’ll try my best to keep things consolidated and to the point.    Our move was mostly uneventful, with some drama in Ohio. Between the moving van hitting a building and the light pole in front of the house, to the moving company thinking that 4 guys and a hand-truck were enough to handle unloading my 1100+ pound gun safe, then dropping it on it’s back, then abdicating responsibility for the damages because I jumped in to help… let’s just say I’ve had enough of them for a while. Our house is a disaster area, but is getting better every day as boxes continue to come out empty. Heather … Continue reading

Kubota RTV And Stock Trailer Purchases

In all the research, reading, and discussions I’ve had with farmers and ranchers who are doing something similar to what we envision, several common threads have surfaced. One example goes like this: “If I had to do it all over again, I would have waited to buy a tractor. I wish I had purchased our side-by-side UTV first… I use it every single day of the year!” I always try to gain as much insight as possible from those who are further along this path than we are, and make smarter decisions because of that insight. Hopefully that will keep me out of any major pitfalls, and assist the farm in becoming profitable sooner. With that in mind (even though I already own 2 tractors, one newly restored and the other I bought for a great deal), I’m ecstatic to reveal my two most recent farm purchases… a Kubota RTV … Continue reading

We Bought The Farm!!

We are excited and pleased to announce that Pastured Providence Farmstead finally has a physical place to call home… nestled in the hills just outside of Chillicothe, Ohio!! Last week we officially closed on the property, and couldn’t be happier with how things ultimately turned out.    Aswe mentioned here, the land is 111 acres total, mostly pastures and tillable acreage with approximately 10-15 acres of woods, as well as a pond and several springs. It has a beautiful house, 4-car detached garage, large pole barn, several smaller out buildings. The house and barns are located just about dead center on the property, with a long 1/2 mile driveway off a small country road. What we like most about the land is the availability of grazeable acres and apparent ease in setting up a rotational grazing system. When we were searching for properties, we were typically looking for more wooded … Continue reading

“Plan B”: Southern Ohio?

It is truly amazing how God works and moves. Barely 1 month ago, we were lamenting the train wreck that our dreams had come to in NY. Forced to pick ourselves up and move forward into the unknown, we began to consider other locations/states/options. Realizing that southern Ohio still held a lot of promise & natural beauty, as well as the strong pull of proximity to our generation of family, we began to explore that area and found several possibilities. We knew time wasn’t on our side anymore, so I took some leave and drove up there just 2 weeks later to check things out in person. I was excited to find a really nice place for sale by owner, a place that I could “see it” as soon as I drove onto the property.    The land consists of about 90 acres of tillable/pasture land, around 15 acres of … 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

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