This is going to be a hard blog post to write… Have you ever had a picture or image in your head and had a hard time communicating it in such a way that does the vision justice? That’s how I feel. I think part of the reason is because as much as I can communicate plans for barns, gardens, plants, trees, bushes, animals and events, that is all so surface compared to what I feel the real reason we wanted to travel down this agricultural road. So for now, I will try to describe what we want to build…
Then I will try to scratch the surface for how we want to use it.
The first step would be a barn. We need a place to store all the tools to maintain this land. The bigger the property, the bigger the tools, and our garage just won’t cut it.
I am also dreaming of building a little honor system farm stand out by the road. A place where we can sell the extras from this rich land and give our kids a way to make some extra money if they choose to put in some extra work.
We are currently selecting the varieties of fruit trees for the orchard. We are planning on having peaches, apples, plumbs, apricots, cherries, pears and mulberries to plant on the property. I can’t wait to get them in the ground!!! For the Berry patch, we’ve got blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and grapes planned.
We have a HUGE garden in the works and plan to fill it with tons of herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, ground cherries, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, lettuce, strawberries, asparagus, broccoli, onions, a ton of different kinds of peppers, and anything else we think we might eat. We also want to include hops, flowers and lots of lavender mixed in. We are planning on having a little guinea hut built to one side of the garden. Guineas won’t eat your produce like chickens do, but they love bugs and slugs, they are fantastic pest control and should help us save as much produce from the bugs without having to spray with chemicals. <3
Have I mentioned that I have 5 pounds of wildflower seeds that are going to get spread over my “photography field”??? Yup, that is happening!!!
Eventually, once we get everything humming along (we know this will take a good bit) we would love to use the big space in the barn to host and teach some classes. Flower arranging, bee keeping, photography, herbs for health, essential oils, gardening, small business training, and lots more…
I have a few ideas about teaming up and doing some local collaborations with other small businesses in the Huntsville and surrounding areas too! (I seriously have more ideas than I have time… haha.) If you have any ideas of your own, let me know! I would love to team up with other small businesses in our community, and I love hearing new ideas.
So that is what we want to DO with the property… But what do we want to accomplish? That is a completely different question. It’s simply answering our “why”.
We want to raise our kids in an environment that cultivates character building for our kids. There is something about physical labor that demands that character and consistency be formed. In this digital age of screens and technology, we wanted to give our kids a different kind of childhood, where they know how amazing the outdoors are, appreciate feeling the breeze on the front porch and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Yes, we still have a TV, and we enjoy a family movie night quite often, but if the sun is up, the TV typically is off.
We want the convenience of “working from home”. It’s a goal that we are keeping our eyes on, and are actively working towards. I am already able to do that. With my photography business, I am able to schedule my work around the demands of my family. Someday, we would love to have Michael work from home, even for just a few days a week.
I know we aren’t quite 40 yet, but we are very intentionally looking at setting up a sustainable lifestyle for retirement. I have struggled with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis over the past 15 years, and what I have found is that the quality and type of food that I consume makes a HUGE difference on how I feel and the severity of my symptoms. Growing our own food allows us to have confidence in its quality and the method of its cultivation. Even organic produce is often sprayed with “natural” chemicals to prevent bugs and pests from damaging it. Quality produce is expensive, and when you multiply that by 7 mouths to feed, it gets out of control quickly. Having a huge garden helps with that expense quite a lot. If it comes out of our own garden, we will know exactly how it was grown, my kids will know exactly where their food comes from, and I don’t think that is ever a bad thing. 😉
We are super excited about contributing to the community through education and food donations. We don’t want anything to go to waste, and we want to share it with those in need. Over time, we will be asking about the different places YOU know of that would benefit from fresh and healthy produce donations. We want our kids to grow up doing meaningful work and then helping us give back.
So there you go. Our dream… I am sure it will change over time, and some things will take longer than we expect, and some things will be better than we imagined, but this is where we are starting. This is our compass.
- Grow healthy, chemical free food
- Grow kind kids with character
- Build a sustainable lifestyle
- Teach others who want to learn, how to do the same
I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for Five Oaks Farm. Thank you for following along and supporting us as we pursue this dream. We appreciate it more than you know!