The Grovestead

Farm, Family, Fun.

Category: Honey Bees (page 1 of 5)

Farm Camp 2019

Farm Camp 2019

Well it is hard to explain the joy and gratitude I feel for our first ever week of Farm Camp. This was a little dream of mine that combined all the things I love: camp ministry, farming, crafting and family. Way back in February Rory and I had a conversation about giving it a go. It felt a little crazy at the time, knowing that I would be 8-months pregnant, but it also felt very much like it was time to move forward with this dream.

That very afternoon we sat down in the living room and shot the little promo video. We had the four kids upstairs with a sleeve of club crackers to help keep them quiet. And I just began talking. That night Rory edited all of my thoughts together and by the next morning, we had posted the video to facebook. It was fast and we both felt the fun of throwing something out into the world.

It felt bold at the time, and looking back, I would still say it was bold! And I’m so glad we stepped out in faith like we did.

Baby chicks hatched

We had five awesome campers come to our first week of Farm Camp and They. Were. Awesome! So special to me, was that Elsie and Hattie were able to join in each day and be a part of the fun.

Kitten time!

And we did so much! I mean, so, so much! We made garden stepping stones, goat milk soap, butter, jam, strawberry pie, easter egg bread, rope rainbows, marble paper, flower head bands, wooden picture frames and personal art journals. And we had special guests come to teach us about honey bees, spinning wool into yarn, making bread and a session on the ways we can hear God’s voice.

Bread making lesson

Jam making

Homemade butter making

Soap making lesson

Bread, jam and butter

Our Bible studies each day were location specific: learning about the Good Shepherd while surrounded by the sheep, learning about God’s timing while holding baby chicks, learning about how sin can take root in our lives while weeding the garden. The week was full and fantastic. All of the campers had so much fun and asked to come back next year!

Devotional time

Quiet time

In the garden

In the garden

Beekeeping lesson

Wool-spinning lesson

Campfire lunch

farm camp 2019

Arts & crafts

Arts & crafts

We have lots of hopes and dreams for the future. Rory and I were filled with so much excited vision and have ideas for more camps, more ages and different themes. So we will keep you posted.

 

 


Wonder Woman

My wonder woman

Have you ever known someone that continually surprises you with newfound abilities? Who is always blowing past the boundaries of what you thought they could handle? And when you think about them, you are often left in a state of pure wonder?

That’s how I feel about my wife.

As I watched her expertly milk our Nanny goat this morning, after starting from scratch only a few days ago (both for her AND the goat), I was simply amazed. How did this suburban girl, elementary educator, and seminary graduate with no farm experience figure out how to do this? And she’s been doing it faithfully every day since we started, often giddy with enthusiasm.

Ready to milk

It’s not only the goats. She’s also the reason we have pigs this year (sometimes a point of contention), having researched and found a breeder, driving to another town to pick them up and bringing them home to their new stall in the barn. And then moving them two months later and 150 pounds heavier into their permanent home in another shed.

pigs

She has been relentless against the weeds in our oversized garden. It simply would not be possible for me to keep up this year without her dedication. (The beauty of Back to Eden gardening is that after the early spring weed-explosion, you don’t have much to contend with the rest of the summer. But you still have to weed or they can take over.)

She’s helped me chase broiler chickens into the coop at night and made sure the laying hens had enough water on steamy days. She fumbles with the electro-netting fence with me every few days as we try to move a herd of sheep into new pasture. When we had to shear the sheep early due to hot weather, she was right there with me in the stall, holding the ewes down or snipping off wool with the shears.

Shearing the sheep

She woke up nightly at 2am to feed our orphaned lamb. Something even I was unwilling to do.

Bottle feeding runs to the barn

After I dug the holes, she planted 25 pine trees with the kids (future Christmas trees).

Planting future christmas trees

She introduced beekeeping to our farm a few years ago.

Becca's bees

She was my only partner as we installed a 210-foot wooden-rail fence in only 2 days this spring.

Most recently she helped empty bedding from the animal stalls this week. Actually, she is the reason we got started at all. This is the worst chore on the farm folks, and she was knee deep in there with me pitching a winter’s worth of HEAVY manure.

Animal stalls

And let’s not forget, on top of all this, she also has an indoor farm to keep up with every day!

Indoor farm

She is one amazing woman. She is my Wonder Woman.

Farmwife

 


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