Hey Hey Hey!!!
Welcome to Craftmade Manor’s new blog - Craftmade Life! I am super excited about this journey for us here at the farm. Being our first post, I thought I would start with an introduction; to us - the Clan of Craft, our farm, what you may find in the posts to come, and a glimpse into our way of life (as crazy as it is) :). If you know us, then, “Hey!”...if not, then let me tell you who we are.
I’m Katie, and I am the runner of all things operations on the farm and homestead. I am also a work-at-home-homeschool mom who does not function, AT ALL, without my coffee in the mornings. I can talk all day about business back-end systems and SOPs, anything techy, and don’t even get me started on art history! HAHA! I am always looking for new things to learn and at any given time there are 3 books with bookmarks in them and an online course I am half way through; anything from astrology to personal and business development. I’m a little crazy, a hefty bit of a pioneer, a smidge of an anarchist, really loud, and above all REAL!
My Hubs, Ron, is the maker of all things everywhere, but mostly on our farm. He is our family’s hero, doing what he does everyday allows us to raise our children in the way that we choose rather than how the “Powers That Be” tell us to. On the farm, he is known as the Keeper of all things Chicken. Aside from keeping chickens, he is extremely funny, down-to-earth, and hardworking! To enjoy his downtime from the chickens, he is a HUGE fan of reality tv! HAHA! (Me, not so much :)) Lastly, he fosters our relationship with our land and our lifestyle and leads our family, whether it is in the garden when planting, on our atvs traipsing about our land, or teaching our children to be more self-sufficient in a instant-gratification, I-need-my-mom-to-make-my-dentist-appointment-even-though-I’m-20-years-old type of world. :)
The other two peeps that make up our team are our two spawn, P, and Bubba; the farm helpers - We are the Clan of Craft! We started our small, homestead farm in 2014 and aptly named it Craftmade Manor, due to most everything our farm offers is “Craft” made, “Craft” bred, and “Craft” grown.
Our first step towards homesteading was in 2014 with chickens. Easy chickens too! The backyard variety, nothing fancy, haha! Fast forward about 2 years and after Obamacare hit the market as a “have to have”, I wasn’t joking when I asked the Hubs, “What’s next? We HAVE to buy broccoli on Tuesdays?!”. That turned into a rabbit hole of epic proportions on ways to make us more self-sustainable and self-sufficient as a family. Not quite Walking Dead self-sustainable (well, at least not yet :)), but more than having to rely on getting ALL of our food from the grocery store. That’s where our goats and fancy chickens (the Hubs breeds English Orpingtons) come into the story.
With wanting to be more self-sufficient, that meant we needed more on the farm than just the veggie garden and eggs from chickens. When I first trasped down the rabbit hole, I asked the Hubs for a Zebu...and he said, “No!” - HAHA!! So then I started looking at other dairy animals that would have enough room on what we had designated as the pasture, and came across Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats.
Aside from our garden, animals, and trying to be more self-sufficient, I wanted to be more natural in our food sources. Which for me, meant stepping back in time on my cooking recipes and techniques. I am not “crunchy” or “granola”, mine is more of reverting back to pioneer times - eating whole foods; making regular bread from scratch, canning vegetables from the garden, and trying to really live off the land in the truest sense of those words. While we haven’t figured it ALL out, we have stockpiled quite a bit of knowledge on starting this adventure.
We get asked questions all the time regarding what we do, what kind of animals we raise, how we came to be homesteaders; all kinds of questions. Most times these questions are just plain curiosity, a few times they are just to be polite, and sometimes they come from people who are wanting to move toward the same goals, but have no idea where to start. That’s kind of what this intro post is about. Learning from our starting-from-scratch mistakes will make your research and decisions a smidge easier now that you have some knowledge under your hat, which makes us extremely happy - We LOVE helping others! Some of the topics we will cover will be the homestead and farming basics that we have learned through trial and error; how to start, where to start, etc.
Our first post after this one is going to be a little unorthodox for my chronologically-anal nature because I’m not starting at the beginning of our journey with a “How To Start A Small Homestead” post, but we are going to start with our new adventure into Goat Artificaial Insemination and it’s first step of buck collection. :) I want to start with this one because it is where we are right now on our path, so it’s fresh in my mind and we couldn’t find a ton of information on how to start all in one place that was comprehensive, so I figured why not start there?
That’s really what this whole thing we are doing is about, being real, being kind; being INTENTIONAL and raising our children to be the same! Other posts you may see here will be my most favorite recipes, some of our adventures in homeschooling (yes, we homeschool too! :)), our treks into new experiences on this pioneer pilgrimage, and ALL the knowledge we gain along the way - basically you are getting a glimpse into the craziness that is our life - The Craftmade Life!