A New Journey

Reader Contribution by Jenna Tyger
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Late July in Ohio and green grass still covers my yard and pasture from rain. The rain has made the vegetables grow nicely in the garden, and we enjoy them daily. The horses stay in the shade of the barn to avoid the heat. Ducks and geese find sources of water to cool off, and chickens and guinea fowl find any shade they can.

If you pull into my driveway and explore my property, these are the sights you’ll see. I’m Jenna, and my husband, Chris, and I own eight acres of property outside of a small town in Ohio. For now, we hobby farm – that is, we don’t strive to make money from our farm, but keep animals and grow a garden mostly for our own enjoyment. However, in the future, we look forward to becoming more self-sustaining.

Jenna and Chris

We decided to make a lifestyle change a few years ago. At the time, we lived in a house on a small lot in a small town. After buying a horse and boarding her for a year or so, we knew a change inevitable. This began our journey into hobby farming. What started as a way to possibly save money and make our horse more convenient to us, turned into much more. First we found a pasture pal pony for our horse, and then we began acquiring all kinds of birds – chickens, guinea fowl, geese and ducks. We also brought more animals into our home – parrots, dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. With these different types of animals with their different personalities and needs, our lives sometimes feel chaotic. But, at the end of the day, we love our lives.

My horse, Cricket

Our chickens

After enjoying the fresh eggs we got from our birds, we wanted more of our food to come from our own property. This meant growing a garden in the summer. The garden provides food that not only we eat, but we share with our animals, friends and family.

Though my initial idea was a farm full of animals, this idea has continuously evolved over the last few years. Now we have a garden, and in the future would like to become even more self-sufficient, adding alternate sources of energy such as wind and solar. Who knows where this journey will lead us?

I’m excited to share more about our lives, the difficulties and rewards of owning a hobby farm, and various topics about animals, gardening and moving toward a self-sustaining lifestyle.

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