Near Terre Haute, Indiana, you will find the Goat Haute/Adventure Farm, homesteaded by Tracy Houpt and her husband.
In her blog, Tracy plans to focus on their adventures in homesteading, with additional addition paid to homecrafting, dairy goats, and gardening and preserving food.
Regarding her current project, she says, "We recently added a Sable Saanen dairy doe to our small motley goat herd. I have been finding uses for all of that wonderful milk, including goat milk soap, soft cheeses, and cooking and baking."
On the Houpts to-do list are brooding new chicks, adding a new barn gate to keep buckling separate from females until breeding time, getting the garden planted, and trying new goat milk soap recipes.
Defining "homesteader," Tracy says, "I think this term applies to anyone, regardless of where they live, who strives to become more self reliant by growing even a small portion of their food, by learning and sharing new knowledge of homecrafting practices with others, and by acting in ways that do no harm to the plot of land one cares for, no matter the size."
When asked about what prompted their move to the country, she says, "I grew up on a small farm and had wanted to get back to the country for many years. Circumstances didn’t allow that until three years ago. Better late than never!"
She has a wide variety of plants in her garden.
"Our place has a nice garden site that had lain fallow for about six years. The previous owner did not use many (if any) chemicals in the area, so we felt fortunate to have such a 'clean' place to grow food organically." In the garden are heirloom varieties of cabbage, kale, chard, bunching onions, sugar snap peas, and Tracy says the will later add tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers, green beans, cooking beans, sweet corn, melons, herbs, squash, and assorted flowers.
Goat Haute/Adventure Farm is also home to … deep breath … 25 assorted chickens, including two types of Wyandottes, Partridge Rocks and Easter Eggers; seven goats: Shirley the Boer doe, her Boer/Saanen kids Opie and Ellie, two Saanen does named Focus and Moonpie, and twi ornery Heinz 57 wethers named Casper and Chomby; three dogs: Sam the Great Pyr who guards the livestock, Yodel the Lab mix who guards the yard, and Kaylee the aging Border Terrier house dog; two barn cats rescued from the shelter, named Stripes and Sage; and one rabbit named Mr. Pibb.
Tracy says her country skills include: "Mine: gardening, animal care, cooking, baking, canning, freezing produce, soap making, basic knitting and crocheting; my husband’s: basic woodworking, harvesting and splitting wood for our heat, basic home repair, animal care, prepping chickens for table use."
What is Tracy's philosophy on country life?
"I feel fortunate to live in a time when I can choose my projects and if I have some failures, I don’t starve while I get things figured out. I want to have balance in my life, not perfection, so I take time to hang out with the animals and enjoy the beauty around me. The phrase we use around here is 'half-ass hobby farming,' which conjures up images of cars on blocks, but really just means a willingness to prioritize projects, be patient for some things to get done, and enjoy the journey."
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