Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And Then It Was...September?!?!

What an exciting summer it has been on Faithfulness Farm! It is hard to believe that soon we will be back to show season and submitting plans for a permit to build our new house.  There are several different avenues our summer has taken so this blog post will be a bit of a summary of our adventurous and productive happenings over the last several months.

First off, the girls move!! Although a tropical storm surrounded us, we were able to work with the county to get our deadline extended a few days so that the girl goats could be transferred to the new farm safely.  This resulted in "Nolle Prosequi!!!" That means CASE DISMISSED. It has been almost a year of working with the county about our goats on the old property and we are now finished! Praise the Lord!

The girls love their new pens, new shelters, and especially love the NEW TRAILS! We borrowed the neighbor's mower and Gabe spent some time carving out trails all around the eight acres.  The human kids, milking does, yearlings, and goat kids all enjoy walking the property enjoying fresh plants, checking out butterflies, and watching beautiful sunsets.  One family that joined us told us we could market these great walks!  It is a treasure to spend those hours with each other.

Kaleb watching us leave at
the corner of the property.

The chickens and Kaleb were also moved.  Kaleb LOVES the new property. You can see this is what God designed him for.  He patrols and keeps things safe and is slowly growing out of the crazy puppy stage.    The chickens are also happy is their new home although they prefer to lay their eggs in several different spots.  One Saturday, Isabel went on her own egg hunt and found 50 eggs!

 The last animals to be moved were the bucks! Although their structure isn't the permanent one they will eventually have, they are very content enjoying the fresh forage and the breeze of their new home. 

ALMOST FINISHED!  We have gotten almost everything complete to put the Wesley Chapel house on the market.  What a blessing it has been to simplify, simplify, simplify.  While it has been a lot of work, we are seeing the end in sight and looking forward to our next big step...COB!!  What is cob you say? It is a sand, clay, straw, and water mixture that we plan on building our new house out of!

Dawn and Gabe making bricks!
Gabe is busy working on the design and, Lord willing, the permit will be submitted in November.  Currently, the plan is that the house will consist of a wood frame and then have cob walls.  We have started experimenting already, making several bricks to find out which ratio of straw, clay, sand and water works the best.  Get ready! You mix the cob with your feet and then build it up...we are recruiting volunteers now!

Isabel and Melina stomping out the cob!
Two of the new bricks!

While this year has been one of the toughest years yet, we enjoyed the hard work and the Lord's blessing.  Next month, we will be starting school and are looking forward to seeing fruit from all of our spring and summer labor.  It is a beautiful farm life, stayed tuned to our blog to see how we enjoy it and press ahead!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Faithfulness Farm Goat Milk Now Available

We are pleased to announce that Faithfulness Farm once again has raw goat milk available for purchase! 

We are excited to report that in June we transferred most of our herd, including all the milking does, to the new farm.  The larger parcel will allow us to provide for our animals in ways that simply were not possible at our old location.  We are excited about the future of our entire household, which of course includes our animals, at our farm.  We invite anyone interested in learning more about our milking procedures and our animals to come by see for yourself and ask questions.

The does enjoy foraging on their new pasture.

For those who have purchased milk from us before, you will notice that our prices have increased.  The past two years have seen a significant increase in the cost of feed (primarily) and hay due to the severe drought in the central US.  Last year we absorbed these increases and chose to maintain the same price for a gallon of milk – hoping the costs would stabilize.  Unfortunately, the opposite has occurred and our costs have continued to rise as the persistent drought spreads.  As a result, we have decided to increase our prices to levels more consistent with our area’s market.

This year we were planning on transitioning from the Ball quart jars to much nicer ½-gallon glass bottles and selling milk ONLY in the ½-gallon bottles; however, since we are increasing the price of the milk and all of our previous customers have the Ball quart jars, we will offer the ½-gallon bottles as an optional item.  The price for each Ball quart jars w/ lid will remain at $2, and the price for the ½-gallon bottles w/ lid is $8.  As before, the container price is a one-time purchase (you purchase the jar/bottle) and then jars/bottles are traded during subsequent milk purchases. We will need to know your preference (jar or bottle) in advance so we can fill orders in the appropriate containers 

     Raw milk prices (sold for pet consumption only as required by Florida law):

·         $4 per quart (on-farm)
·         $7 per half gallon (on-farm)
·         $12 per gallon (on-farm)
·      Additional fees for delivery.
·         Predetermined drop-off locations for multiple customers w/o additional delivery fee possible, but none have been coordinated at this time

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to providing you with a quality product for your family.


Faithfulness Farm

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Bright Idea for a Bright Birthday Smile!

Today is the day! It is Isabel's birthday and a day to make her feel special.  In our house, that means two things are certain: she decides on which home made meal she is going to have mom make for her "birthday dinner" and an ice cream run to our favorite $1.20 a cone establishment will definitely be made!

I am always trying to think of ways to make them feel loved on their set apart day. Among my favorites things to do are to decorate all above their bed when they are asleep, block the top of their doorway with crate paper, or make big home made signs that hang from their ceiling. This way they know before they walk out of their room and see me, that I regard them and this day as a something to celebrate!

Thanks to a package Isabel received in the mail from her Aunt Kristin yesterday, we have another way to do this! Following a tradition set by her mother when she was little, Aunt Kristin sent Isabel a home made Happy Birthday Pillowcase! The instructions included to put in on her pillow the night before her special day this year and every year hereafter. This way she wakes up with smiles and a feeling of being special every birthday.

What a great idea and one that is easy to do and share! Pillowcases are simple to make and inexpensive to send.  Not only would these be great for your own kids but how about surprising your niece or nephew across the miles with a personalized gift?  Ideas for a baseball one for my nephew, Hello Kitty for my niece, and more are already swirling and Isabel hasn't even taken her head off her pillowcase this morning!

Follow these links to find instructions and a video on how to make a simple, beautiful pillowcase using the "hot dog" method.

Printed Instruction:

Video Tutorial:

May you be blessed with bright birthday smiles!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Garbage Man - I Am Your Number One Fan

One of the most important things we try to instill in our children is KINDNESS! Every day, repeatedly, you will hear in this house: "Is that being kind?" and "Are you treating your brother how you would like to be treated?"

I try to provide examples of being kind and sharing the love of Christ to others to my children everyday.  Things such as offering the cashier at the store prayer, buying the milk for the lady in line in front of us, paying for the coffee of the person behind us in line at the drive through, and more speak volumes to them when they see the responses from the receivers.

We have also been blessed to be on the other side of kindnesses. Oh how it fascinates the children when someone compliments us, someone shares something with us, and especially when someone randomly buys our dinner!

I try to stress to the children that it is not the size of the kindness that matters - it is the little things that may make someone's day.  This is where our garbage man comes in. Twice a week, that man drives down our street doing a job that many of us would dread in weather conditions that range from wet and rainy to one hundred degree heat with high humidity.  And every time he does, he takes the time to be kind and make someone's day.

In his big green truck, he pulls up, waves, and beeps twice in a row.  This results in a big smile and feverish wave from the one year old that is twenty feet away watching the truck intently.  After the other man loads all our trash into the truck, both workers usually wave again and the driver beeps two more times.  Oh what fun! This elicits even more smiles, faster waves from the one year old, and the yelling of the word "hi!" repeatedly.

It doesn't take much, but this man makes my little guy's day twice a week.  Nehemiah now waves at every garbage "tuck" we pass like they are old friends, consumes books with pictures of them, and sings songs featuring their skills.

Four beeps.  Imagine if we all just did a little kindness in what we did every day.

"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

One happy boy on garbage day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chugga Chugga Chi Chi!!

Chubby Cheeks "Chi Chi" that is! Isabel and Melina have recently embarked on an endeavor to help send two hundred knitted hats to a mission in Costa Rica. An outreach of Mission Challenge, Chubby Cheeks "Chi Chi" shares Christ's love with mothers who give birth in the social hospital of Heredia, Costa Rica.

In Heredia, the hospital provides the newborn with their first diaper, a hospital gown, and pediatric medical care while the mother is responsible for all other supplies during their stay.  Chubby Cheeks Chi Chi desires to equip moms with "new mother care packages" that contain basic mother and baby necessities needed during the hospital stay.  A basic kit includes a hat, diapers, a washcloth, baby soap, a collapsible water bottle, and Christian literature.  

This is where the girls come in! They are knitting hats and enlisting the help of friends and others who would like to join them.  A baby hat using a knitting loom can be made quickly and easily and the loom kit can be purchased locally for under ten dollars.  Isabel and Melina are also willing to teach anyone who wants to help! If you are interested in joining them, contact us and pledge to make hats today!

Want to help but not knit? They are also taking donations (wipes, washcloths, etc) to add to the kits and monetary donations to enable the missionaries to purchase materials for the kits in Costa Rica as well.  You can read more about this ministry at the Chubby Cheeks "Chi Chi" website.

Details for afternoon knitting meetings and fun will be posted soon! Blessings and happy knitting!