We're heading down home… to your farms! Urban, suburban, or rural — whatever you're growing and doing, we want to see it.
Welcome, Amazing Graze Farm!
Today, I'm so pleased to share Amazing Graze Farm in rural Ohio. Mike and Marci have been farming for nearly 20 years! You've heard from Marci before as she's been a guest on my webinars and she gave away a Nutrimill to a blog reader. You can visit their blog and farm store here.
What is your name and the names of your family members?
Mike and Marci plus our son Joshua.
What is the name of your farm/homestead?
Amazing Graze Farm.
How long have you been farming/homesteading?
Share a brief description of your farm/homestead.
We live on 29 acres. We have about six acres of woods. The pasture is about 20 acres total. We don't currently use all of it, because we don't have perimeter fencing.
What are you raising, growing, and doing?
We have two Jersey Milk Cows and Jersey Heifer. One of our cows is 17 years old and is a pasture ornament. The other cow calved in May of this year. We raise grass fed steers for beef and have two Jersey steers. We have free range laying hens plus we raise pastured broilers and turkeys each summer. We also raise grass fed lamb and we do pigs about every other year. We have bees for honey. We have planted lots of fruit trees, grapes, berry bushes, strawberries and nut trees. We have a large garden each summer. We try to sell enough of the meats to make ours free.
How did you get into farming/homesteading?
We had health issues and started making dietary changes. We read and learned about what was being done to our food you buy and just started down the path. We really felt the Lord led us.
Any future plans?
We are starting to give classes on homesteading skills. We want to do more of that. We also would like to possibly do a herd share at some point.
Any funny stories to share?
Michael, Joshua, and I were all in The Back Forty working one day. Star, our dog, was not allowed back there because she would keep trying to herd the chickens. She could not stand being away from her human family, plus those chickens were back there and they seemed to be in desperate need of being rounded up.
We were out there working and under the fence she came. She started after the chickens and the three of us started after her. We were calling her very loudly and all trying to cut her off. She was too busy to listen to us.
Joshua saw an opportunity and dove for her. He missed and hit the ground and landed on his belly. We were laughing so hard, it was difficult to stay with the task at hand. When Minx (the goat) saw “her boy” hit the ground, she was sure that the dog had intentionally hurt him. She had no love for the dog anyway. She would try to butt Star or bite her fur whenever Star was near.
This time the dog had gone too far for Minx's liking… she had sent “her boy” flying. So, Minx CHARGED after that dog with the intent to kill. She had always been so lady like. Even when you tried to hurry her up, she just went at a gentle trot. We had never seen Minx run so fast or so furious. She was running like a deer being pursued by a pack of dogs. She was going to GET THAT DOG!!!!
So now, we were chasing the goat who was chasing the dog who was chasing the chickens. (Sounds like a song…) Then the cow who was VERY pregnant got all excited by the commotion and started in the chase as well. She was running and jumping and leaping.
We were beside ourselves with laughter over the whole situation, yet worried about Buttercup being so upset so close to calving. And we were full of frustration at trying to catch that dog!
Finally, Joshua caught Star and started leading her up to the gate. He was going to tie her up. I was holding onto Minx so that she would not charge the dog. All of a sudden, Buttercup went charging after Joshua and the dog. Michael and I hollered for Joshua to look out, and he got out the gate just in time. For twenty minutes Minx and Buttercup were very agitated. Minx was doing 360 degree jumps in the air.
Some people would have to pay to see that kind of excitement. The neighbors got it for free![Wardee: Oh, my goodness! That is hilarious!]
Any sad stories to share?
We have learned lots of lessons. Some of them were hard. One year, we had a couple of sheep die and another get sick. We were trying to figure out why they were dying. We were working with a friend and going over symptoms. After we lost the third one and another was acting sick, we finally figured out that they had been eating peach leaves.
We did not know peach leaves are poison to animals. (All the stone fruit leaves are.) They are poisonous in the drying or dying stage.
The people who lived here before us would throw their compost back by the chicken coop. We think that peach trees grew from peach pits they threw out there. That was the first year we had been able to harvest peaches from the trees. As we pulled peaches off, some leaves would fall.
We moved the sheep fence away from that area as far as we could and we cut down the peach trees. It was a very hard and sad lesson.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
This kind of life is a great way to raise your family. Do what you can where you are!
Let's Tour Amazing Graze Farm!
(Wardee: In the captions below, you're hearing from Marci, as she tells you what is in each picture.)
We raise grass fed beef. Here are a couple of our Jersey steers.
This is Star. Every farm needs a dog and she was the best.
Broiler chicks in the brooder.
Shetland sheep ready to be sheared.
Naked sheep after shearing. 🙂
Children and baby animals go together. Our neighbor's son and our calves. [Wardee: That is so true!]
Our barn against an incoming storm.
Lots of green pasture.
Turkeys out on pasture in their movable pens.
(Back to Wardee) Mike and Marci, thank you for sharing with us! We hope you enjoy your free thank you video, our gift to you. Plus, feel free to display the following graphic on your site. (Right-click and save to your computer, then upload to your site and link to this farm tour post.)
Would you like to be featured?
Are you a homesteader or farmer at any level? You don't have to live in the country, you don't have to be doing everything.
Being on the journey is the only qualification. We want to see what you're doing, no matter how big or small.
Click here for submission guidelines for the Down Home Farm Tours series. We're excited to hear from you!
If you're selected, we will share your farm/homestead pictures and stories in a dedicated blog post, plus you can add the featured graphic to your blog or website. And, we'll give you a free thank you video of your choice!
Please give Mike and Marci a warm welcome in the comments! They sure do a lot with their property, don't they? Be sure to visit their website, too.
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