Welcome back to another season of farm and homestead tours! I'm ready for more entries for 2013! Please read here for guidelines.
We're heading down home… to your farms! Urban, suburban, or rural — whatever you're growing and doing, we want to see it.
Welcome, Laurel Creek Farm!
Today you get to visit Laurel Creek Farm, a 21 acre farm in northeast Georgia. After talking about it for years, Anthony, Mandi, and their three young children left the city a year ago to move to their farm. You can visit the Laurel Creek Farm Facebook page here.
What is your name and the names of your family members?
We're Anthony and Mandi. We have three children under seven whom we homeschool.
What is the name of your farm/homestead?
Our farm name is Laurel Creek Farm, named for where we met on a Missions trip in southeastern Kentucky in 2001. We'll celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in September!
How long have you been farming/homesteading?
We moved from the city one year ago so we are brand new to the homesteading lifestyle but have adapted pretty well!
Share a brief description of your farm/homestead.
We have 21 acres of pasture and woodlands that also includes a small lake.
What are you raising, growing, and doing?
We currently have 4 cows. A jersey cow and her calf who we watched be born in December. and two heifers to start our meat herd with. We have 2 pigs we are pasturing and they are a blast to feed and interact with. We also have a bunch of chickens and have tried our hand at raising broilers but that isn't our favorite. LOL We had some pigs last fall that we penned up where our garden is this year and they did a lot of the tilling work for us as well as adding compost. We just started our garden and have potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and LOTS of tomatoes planted. We bought heirloom apple trees and blueberry bushes and got those planted, looking forward in a couple of years to a good harvest! We are blessed that the previous owners had planted muscadine vines (southern grape) and pecan trees and we also have lots of wild blackberries!
How did you get into farming/homesteading?
We talked about moving to the country for YEARS and then finally jumped in when we located this property last year. We started into the real food movement in 2006 when our oldest son was born. I wanted to make his baby food and when I googled directions first came across the term organic. It was a very short time later that we started buying raw milk and visiting farmer's markets; once we've decided about something we tend to jump in with both feet. 🙂
Any future plans?
Our future plans include getting bee hives (hopefully in the next couple weeks) and continuing to expand our animal diversity. We want to follow Joel Salatin's intensive grazing methods and really take care of our land. It's been such a neat experience to learn how to take care of our own needs, we definitely aren't self sufficient but would love to get closer to that as the years go by. I love hearing my kids call themselves farmers!
Do you have any funny stories to share?
A funny story about the pigs; when we bought our original pigs (they are now at freezer camp) the guy told us they were trained on electric fence and we had read that 2 strands of wire should keep them in… that would be a big NO! It was a disaster when we let them out of the trailer! One of the pigs went straight through the electric. It was just about dark and we realized that we had to keep them in the trailer overnight and then install fencing the next day!
Let's Tour Laurel Creek Farm!
(Wardee: In the captions below, you're hearing from the Mandi, as she tells you what is in each picture.)
This is our pathway from our front yard going towards the barn and chicken coop. We've done a lot of clean out to open up the view a little. We used manual labor for some of it, but then allowed goats access and then put pigs in the area to help root up some of the invasive ivy. While we want to allow animals to eat what they were created to eat and live in a natural way we also figure we might as well use them for yard maintenance at the same time.
Our muscadine vines. You can see some of our pigs in the background. They are under the pecan trees making sure we didn't miss any nuts last fall.
Our first attempt at creating a chicken coop. Feeder and waterer hanging with a rope from the ceiling beams, branches and old closet rods across 2×4's for roosting bars and old milk crates for nesting boxes.
In December we watched our Jersey give birth. Why she picked the muddiest spot in the pasture I couldn't tell you. LOL! We all stood outside in our pj's and winter coats, with our camera, watching as she gave birth. It was an incredible experience and she did fantastic without any help from us.
This past fall several people donated their decorative pumpkin from their porch to our pigs! These are Ossabaw Island pigs, a heritage breed that makes WONDERFUL sausage with lots of flavor.
Our lake is stocked with catfish. It is so peaceful to watch ducks swim across the pond. We can see the lake from our dining room where we do school.
We picked almost 100 pounds of muscadines last year.
Just a small portion of the pecans we collected last fall. We are so blessed!
Doing our school work out in the back pasture while Daddy fixes fence. [Wardee: this is awesome!]
Our kids LOVE living out here! Even with all the extra responsibilities!
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 Anthony and Mandi a warm welcome in the comments! Be sure to visit their Facebook page here.
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