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, Wright Farms!
Today you get to visit Wright Farms, a 465 acre farm in hill country owned and run by a sixth generation farmer. He (aka Farmer) and his wife (aka Raising Crops and Babies) and their four children blog at … Raising Crops and Babies. Cute name. 😉 You're going to enjoy this farm tour — wisdom and funny stories ahead!
What is your name and the names of your family members?
I'm Raising Crops and Babies. My husband is Farmer. We have four children: Brave Boy, Bruiser, Farmer Boy, and Baby Girl.
What is the name of your farm/homestead?
We live in hill country… where drunk people built and mapped out roads. 😉
How long have you been farming/homesteading?
My husband is a sixth generation farmer and has been farming since birth. his first memory is riding in the cab of one of our big AC's. He was the first (and only) boy born in his family and I think his Dad and Grandpa unswaddled him at five minutes old, dressed him in some jeans and an Allis Chalmers hat and took him out on the tractor to help plant. We've been married seven years, so that is how long I've been at this. Though much of that time has been spent contributing to the farm kid population. While I knew I wanted to marry a farmer since I was 12 years old, living the dream is completely different in a lot of ways.
Share a brief description of your farm/homestead.
We own 465 hilly acres. Some woods, mostly fields and pasture. Lots of barns (animal, grainery, silos, meathouse, milk parlor, and others) and a lot of fence that needs fixed. There are two houses on it, one for us and one for Farmer's parents. We live in the house Farmer grew up in. We go down to his parents twice a day, so it feels like we live in both.
What are you raising, growing, and doing?
We raise Angus cattle (we are a cow-calf operation), Corriedale and Dorset crossed sheep, meat chickens, non-gmo corn, hay, and oats. Strictly for our family, we have jersey milk cows (and one Holstein) and some layers.
Right now, Farmer is busy mowing and baling hay every second he gets. He is also working on getting our gas/oil wells back to running (they fell into disrepair awhile ago). We just had some of our woods cleaned up and logged and are happy with the experience. I do the milking, tend the meat chickens, and garden… and help Farmer whenever I can (I'm in training). I also save farm kids' lives multiple times a day. And I do a lot of cooking, baking, and sewing.
How did you get into farming/homesteading?
I married into it! How did I actually get into it-want wise? Janette Oke's books during my preteen years painted a lot of rosy pictures for me to build my dreams on. However, she did not prepare me for a cow's head in my yard that the dog brought up after butchering or the amount of time I'd spend cleaning up manure from my house… Though I am thankful for the seeds she planted. Then I discovered (through my uncle) FarmersOnly.com where I met my Farmer and I was blessed to become a part of this sixth generation farm family. [Wardee: what a great story!]
Any future plans?
We are wanting to enter into the land of pastured hogs. The plans are made, pasture pens built… now we are waiting for them to come (a Field of Dreams moment here — hog style). We would like to expand our herds of cattle as well and start raising day old calves… we have the grazing available for it after they are bottlefed.
I dream of getting back into dairy as I love milking and I love jerseys… Farmer and his Dad used to run a small dairy (19 jerseys or so), but sold a lot of them off when the dairy company wanted them to upgrade their barn and increase their number of milk cows. Farmer says it would not be profitable, so it might stay a dream and I'll have to be content with what I'm doing now.
Do you have any funny stories to share?
I do a lot of shrieking and crying when driving the tractor on these hills of ours. Because of our farm's layout, my prayer life has grown much more strong. I'm a hoosier by blood, so hills and I have a complicated relationship.
When I was pregnant with my first son, not long after Farmer and I married, Farmer was teaching me how to drive a tractor. He set me out on my own to help him in the fields. As I drove down a steeper hill (read: mountain in my head), I felt like I was going too fast… it felt all wrong, I panicked. I pushed in on the clutch in hopes it'd slow me down… wrong. I careened faster and faster down this demon hill, screaming and crying. Farmer was at the bottom yelling as loud as he could to “RELEASE THE CLUTCH! RELEASE THE CLUTCH!” I could not hear him… all I heard were the voices in my head telling me my unborn child and I would be crushed as we fall off and get ran over. Finally, I heard my Farmer yelling. I released the clutch. The tractor slowed down. I pulled myself together. Farmer rushed over to me and I started sobbing… because he yelled at me. Pregnancy logic, I know.
What about a sad story?
Bottlefeeding un-owned lambs seems to be a lot more sad than happy. Those cute, little, unowned things live to die… whenever any opportunity arises. We had a good year as far as good mamas this year… some previous years were baaaa-d.
I feel like I've grown up a lot in my idealization of the natural world because of farm life. While I still believe it works beautifully much of the time, I've also come to the realization that it is still very much fallen, thus flawed. There is a lot of trauma that happens with the natural. I heard the word “brutiful” and think it does a good job of summing up this way of life. Maybe this knowledge isn't sad, maybe it's more bittersweet? I did kind of like living in ignorant bliss though.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Family farming can wonderful and can be rough. I think any family business can be. Though farming is not only a profession, it's your life… It dictates every single day and informs your decisions as a family and for the future… mix that in with generations, money, new ideas, tradition, a lot of pressure to keep it all running and thriving, and more. Remember to pray for and support your family farmers. We need it!
Let's Tour Wright Farms!
(Wardee: In the captions below, you're hearing from Raising Crops and Babies, as she tells you what is in each picture.)
One herd moseying about on a nice day.
Rosie and Bambam.
Planting with help.
Loading up the bull.
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 Raising Crops and Babies a warm welcome in the comments! Be sure to visit their blog here.
We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same).