Our Year in Review: The Best of 2018!
What a year, what a life! 2018 went by too quickly for me. There was so much change that happened for our family and for me personally as well. We all grew as people and our business grew as well. We moved to our farm and realized how much this lifestyle of homesteading and living more off the grid means to us. In ways, I still cannot believe that all that happened within the span of a year for our family did not happen in a couple of years. For those of you that know us personally, I have had many a friend use the word “turbo” to describe our family work ethic, and maybe 2018’s word of the year is just that… turbo. It’s not exactly an eloquent one, or even a sweet or necessarily happy word. But I think it suits what all happened well. We moved quickly and established parts of our farm and business with lightening speed. We took on 34 chickens, constructed and opened a store, fed over 40 people specifically in our CSA program and countless others who purchased our food at the farmer’s market, hosted a farm-to-table meal, and more among other more personal things.
A lot of this year felt like, yet again, introducing many new implements to our business as well as establishing more security within the things that we already had created like our online sales, our blog, and our growing techniques. I absolutely loved expanding our produce. I had many moments throughout the season where I wished I could go back to our little backyard kitchen garden and glass greenhouse. There were times where I wondered if I missed out on something by diving right into farming in my second year of gardening, if the kitchen garden was more what our readers wanted. Was that what I wanted? Now that our first year of farming and selling produce is over… it was exactly what I wanted. I feel full of honor and humility and pride, all at once. I really like sharing our bounty with others. It means more to me. Is having a kitchen garden wonderful and beautiful and quaint and simple? Yes! I love a small garden, too. But I think now I know that I love being able to share and feed others more.
This next growing season, I plan to move our herbs out into the field and turn the small herb garden that we made last year into a sample home kitchen garden. It’s going to be a fun project to share with those of you that have limited space to grow in!
The blog this year I felt, in ways, was lacking. There were so many other aspects of our business that needed my attention, I lost my writing streak which left me feeling down, inadequate, and lost. I realized in the past few weeks that I need to become more focused in my topics now that we have grown ourselves. Our blog is a space where I want to share not only our lives but also to teach you how to live more simply. This year I plan to gather more focus on certain aspects of homesteading and share them with you; to establish better series on gardening, cooking, and creating herbal at-home remedies! There are more surprises to come that I am excited to share. Be sure to take a look at our 2018 Blog Survey and share your opinions with me so I can create the best content for you.
In 2018, I shared recipes that focused on the seasons, some herbal healing recipes and remedies, our life transitioning from growing in town to on a farm, more chicken tips than ever before, and answered your gardening questions. Here are our top blog posts of 2018! Take a look!
Looking back, I never would have moved our recipes to a separate area of our website meant to inspire our CSA members. While that was fine, I feel like it was confusing to our regular readers and a lot of you missed out on some really great food. I will be sharing those recipes on our regular blog throughout the year along with more new recipes I will be creating throughout 2019. It’s going to be a year full of delicious, seasonal, local food! I hope that you are excited for that.
This year also welcome the opening of our Country Store. We moved our handmade products from the world of online sales to a brick and mortar that my dad spent months constructing. He did a beautiful job! We have been open now for almost two months. I honestly feel like it has been a lot longer than that! We have a lot of big plans for the upcoming year, and we cannot wait to fill the shelves and tables with fresh, seasonal produce in the summer months. It feels a bit empty now, but I know that once we can start placing out the tomatoes we will be happy as clams.
We also started our Community Supported Agriculture program this year with our friends Cara and Shawn Slaubaugh of Wild Farm who raise pastured pork, chicken, and turkey. You can read about the start of our program in this post here! We welcomed on 9 families between 2-4 people and fed them generously with vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers grown on our little farm. They also received a weekly shipment of either pork or chicken and turkey in the fall. It was wonderful! We learned so much this last year and have big plans for improvement this season. We will be hosting CSA again in 2019 starting June 12th and ending in November! We’d love for you to join.
I hope that your 2018 was full and happy. I hope that we passed along some great content to inspire you further into leading a life of sustainability and simplicity. We finally found our business motto this year, which was really exciting! Living a more simple and wholesome lifestyle, seasonally. I love that! I am really excited to begin sharing the next step in our journey with you! Look out for some new content heading your way in the next weeks.