Watch a video tour of our farm from 12/25/2015:
Our love for rescue animalsI, Shannon, have a background in working in animal rescue and welfare, working with our local animal shelter and fostering dog and cats for numerous rescue agencies along the way. After we adopted our children we continued to foster puppies and kittens and saw the kids grow in compassion, responsibility and empathy as they held and cared for these orphaned babies. Our kids only handheld entertainment is a baby animal, no phones or tablets here ;)
Our debt free journeyWe had a brand new home in the most beautiful, cookie-cutter neighborhood, we had new cars and well-paying jobs and we were just beginning to expand our family through adoption. We realized that the most important thing in this life isn't money or stuff but TIME. We wanted less time working to pay for our stuff and more time with the people we loved.
So we sold our cars and our big beautiful house in a pristine neighborhood. We spent a year in a 600sqft trailer on 4 acres and saved up every penny of our income. During that year there we fell in love with the outdoors, country living and farm animals! We knew we could never go back to the city! In December 2014 we bought a 7 acre trashed forclosure property and a 2000sqft repo mobile home. We have spent the last year fixing it all up and it is still a work in progress but it is OURS and we are mortgage free!
Reclaimed, re-purposed, recycled and rescuedTrash piles on the side of the road catch our eye as we search for reclaimed treasure! All of our farm buildings, structures and pens are made from recycled and reclaimed trash! Although it may not be the prettiest to the world it is functional and beautiful to us because it was broken and thrown away but now made into something new! Our farm is an eclectic bunch of animals who came to us when they needed a new home. Some are rescued pets and will be with us for the duration of their natural lives and some were purchased to be humanely-raised for their God-given purpose, to supply food for our large family.
We moved from our neighborhood onto 4 acres and we welcomed just one potbelly pig and a goat. Then 6 little ducklings and a bunny joined the gang. Then a couple more goats, a donkey, a mini pony and chickens. Finally we bought our first cow and we knew there was no turning back. We were city slickers and didn't know anything about what we were getting ourselves into. We read a ton of books, became friends with our vet and visited many local farms to learn their ways.
As our research continued we found out about Joel Salatin and his healthy, organic, pasture-based farming method. That is what we want to do! So our fun little hobby farm started to morph into a small homestead journey to grow our own organic, pesticide-free produce and raise happy, pastured animals that produce hormone-and-antibiotic-free and non-GMO meat, milk and eggs for our family the Polyface farm way!
We are living on 7 acres now and aren't there yet but daily striving closer to our goal! Now we have an eclectic menagerie of dogs, cats, cows, miniature horses, goats, sheep, rabbits, pigs, guinea fowl, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys that changes in number often!
A number of the animals on our farm have well paying jobs including:
- Protecting the farm from predators:
- Providing happy, humanely-raised, cage-free, free-range, hormone-and-antibiotic-free, farm-fresh, non-GMO meat for our family:
But having a heart for animals in need we opened our farm to non-producing farm pets also. And there are always those that creep into your heart and end up staying forever!
So what about the animals that cannot be productive or "earn their keep?"
Lo and behold, That is how our "petting zoo" idea was born!
Now being cute and get pet by children is a paying job with benefits (aka not becoming food) :)
- and ALL of the above animals!