Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The first

I always have an excuse not to start this, but I often find myself thinking a blog would be a great way to keep in touch with friends, and allow me to vent every now and then.

I don't have internet access at home, so this will be sporadic - maybe monthly. And these pictures are all months old now, but I had to start somewhere.

So, where are we at. I recently read a blog (which I NEVER do, but an acquaintance here told me I needed to meet this lady) about a woman who owned a restaurant in Seattle and relocated to central Oklahoma to farm. Her blog states she was abducted by aliens and placed on a farm in Oklahoma. When I read that I nearly died - that's how I feel sometimes, only I wasn't clever enough to come up with it on my own. I moved from the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina - the Cullowhee/Sylva area, which is really spectacular in both natural beauty and community. And this move would not have been for everyone I know out there. In fact, it might not suit anyone. However, the more I try to own this move and reconcile my choice, the more I realize this did actually suit us. We wanted to farm and have access to a bounty of locally grown food. And guess what - so many people around here farm! In the town closest to me I can get locally raised beef and pork. A man 10 minutes down the road sells raw cow's milk (cheap!), and we have enough land for our garden, a crop field for a market garden, pasutre for cattle, and woods for firewood. Plus our property includes a root cellar (aka storm shelter), a livestock pond, a spring-fed swimming hole pond, plus some really cold pools in the canyons, adjacent wild land that goes on for miles, and more. It really is good, affordable farming land. The only drawbacks are that I left a whole community of friends behind, and we drive 35 minutes to Tahlequah. But, this actually kinda suits us.

We really are better able to realize our life goals here. Hmm, what are those. Well, I think I've got a working draft:
1. Don’t go into debt.
2. Live close to nature
3. Don’t work full time
4. Have only one child
5. Home school your child(ren)
6. Minimize media exposure
7. Be energy independent

How close are we? Check out "About us" if you're really intersted. I moved this section there.

What else? I probably shouldn't write more in a blog - sorry. We have two cows who are growing well and nearly weaned. We harvested our first crop of spring wheat. It is still drying and awaiting threshing and winnowing. We are drying food, canning, fermenting, and making wine like mad. 33 pints of jam already, elderberry wine, rose blossom wine, and wild plum wine (5 gallons!). We've dried summer squash, herbs, greens, and cherry tomatoes. I'm making mullen flower oil, and tinctures of yarrow, St. John's wort, Passion flower, and dandelion root. We're growing all the garden produce we always have plus an heirloom Hopi Blue field corn for chicken feed, spring wheat, and okra. We planted over 100# of potatoes, and are storing loads of them plus some carrots. We sell eggs at the market plus produce. Our crop field is scaled way back - we are cover cropping to choke out the bermuda grass - thanks to a new tractor tiller from an OK Dept. of Ag grant that we were awarded. We hope to have the full acre in production next year, at which time we may have to give up sleep.

Ok, I'll stop and leave something for our next post. And maybe some new pictures too! Love to all!


  1. thanks for the blog, Karen. We all miss you 3 so much here in Sylva/Cullowhee.
    Your farm is lovely and so is your home. Calvin is as cute as ever. And the baby cow! Wow!

    I will be so fun to keep up whenever and however we can. Still planning to visit in Fall, but don't know how to swing it yet with Sam in first grade. Yes, public school first grade. Yikes!

  2. Great blog Karen! We miss y'all. It's terrific to see how well you're all doing. Wish Johnny was around to consult about the log cabin I'm building with hand tools.

  3. It was so nice to get to know you better this way! I look forward to learning more about you and from you!

  4. Thanks for starting this blog.....

    I like your life goals and I'm glad you have found a community of home schoolers. You were such a wonderful part of our Jackson County community - we miss you.

    Like Blair, I'm trying to figure out how to swing a visit. Oklahoma is a long way from here! The goal about not working full time is on my list too.... just a lot further away from attainment, but you've inspired me to try harder!


  5. Totally cool little blog! That watermelon was FANTASTIC!! Thank you for visiting yesterday, it had been too long! Best of luck to Barefoot Farm, you're doing a great job!!

  6. ROFL - "a local garden club run by this fermenting fiend who also homeschools and started a food buying club" Im glad to have met you too Karen. Love the pictures. DO post more. Its been a good year for gardening. Ive learned so much from Jessy as well. Im a transplant too ya know...first 42 yrs in KC. Couldnt pay me to leave NE Oklahoma though. Will look forward to following your blog.