If you’ve already read a little bit about us then you know that we’re not farmers born and raised. Sorin spent his childhood in (formerly communist) Romania, where he lived an urban farming lifestyle before it was trendy and cool. His family gardened out of necessity and there is a special place in Mr. C’s heart where home gardens will always be. Shaunna, on the other hand, grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and was privy to a very urban lifestyle of privilege and convenience. Our backgrounds make us outsiders in a way because the majority of families (if not all) in the area we’ve settled are generational farmers. It is definitely intimidating at times.
Regardless of how scary the prospect of starting our own farm and homestead is, we’re diving into it head-first. Now, I differentiate between farming and homesteading because there is most definitely a difference. We’re not trying to become a large agricultural farm. At all. Ever. Our goals are fairly simple – grow for us, earn a little extra, share the love. What does that mean exactly? Well, we’re finding out what works best for us in terms of gardening, growing specialty crops on a small scale, and raising livestock. There is a LOT of trial and error on our part but at the end of the day, we hope that we’re able to sustain ourselves and use our land to bring some profit in AND donate to some awesome charities and programs along the way.
And though she may be but little, she is fierce! – William Shakespear
We have had some success in growing a larger garden over the last couple of years but what we’ve realized is that we’ve tried to do too much, too fast, over too large of a space. The plan from here on out is to keep it simple and keep it small. I think our problem in starting our farm was that were WERE intimidated by how large and impressive our neighbor’s farms were. We thought we had to come in and start off with a larger spread for absolutely no good reason. There were a lot of wasted crops, from uneaten to not tended to. Now? We are building a series of raised garden beds to help us with drainage, soil fertilization, weed control, and pest management. In addition to that, we’re building much closer to the house, as opposed to over the 20 acres of property we have. Less is more and we’re focusing on the quality over the quantity.
Originally we thought that chickens would be a nice addition to the farm because who doesn’t love farm fresh eggs?! After raising a barnyard mix we started to research different breeds of chickens to add to our flock. Eventually, we settled on an array of Orpingtons, Ameraucanas, and & Marans. We occasionally bring other other breeds to see if we like them but we’re trying to keep a small flock that is focused on breed standards.
We’ve also raised Magpie ducks in the past that we’ve lost to one preditor or another over time. We’ll be adding ducks to the farm soon and there is no doubt we’ll enjoy baking with their eggs!
There is so much more to tell you about, from our awesome Tibetan Mastiffs to our tiny terrors (read: Dachshunds). There are recipes we want to share, plenty of DIY projects relevant to farm life, and experiences that shape us into being better farmers and homesteaders.
We have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep.