I feel like I should go ahead and give sort of a mission statement for our farm, maybe even some history for you folks. Why am I doing this new project? Why do we live like we do? And most importantly in the online world, why would I think anyone would care?
I’ve asked myself these things since I officially launched our farm “name”. Everyone is doing it these days, so I thought we’d join the scene. J&R is the name we both agreed on and it is easy, because it is the first letters of our names. I also have a cute picture that goes back to when we were dating. John painted a J&R on his chicken coop as he was painting the whole coop. I always did like that picture. I thought it would be fun to start a blog and maybe I could help someone out along the way! I have enjoyed reading different blogs here and there, and I feel like ours may be unique.
Our family does things a little differently than others. We choose to be as old fashioned as we can! We know it’s pretty different from the popular culture. I’ll be real up front with everyone: we don’t even have an internet service at our house. That’s right. I have a blog that I write up ahead of time when I’m offline. When I bum wifi off the family, I post my stuff! That’s why I’ll post three or four things at once. We may be the only young family in the U.S. without it. The reason is this: we are too cheap to pay for it! Man, it’s so expensive! 😉 We are quite thrifty and I guess you could say we might be tight wads: You don’t even want to know how long I’ve had some of my clothes! We also use a wood stove instead of “bought” heat. John gets upset if I buy a zucchini or squash out of season, when we have oodles on the table during the summertime garden peak. We avoid debt like the plague. I could go on, but I won’t.
We raise our own meat and produce. My husband spends so much time, after his job, taking care of our livestock and garden. It is so much work for him but he loves it! He will get me any critter I want (– and that’s why we have goats). We don’t make a ton of profit but we do it anyway. It gives me great joy to know what I’m cooking for my family came from our own farm. In the summertime with fresh garden vegetables, our whole plate is from the farm. I love it! We will always point out what is ours during dinner. I guess you could say we are proud of that.
If you know us, we are about as East Tennessee, Appalachian-American as they come. Without going into too much detail (I’m a huge history and genealogy buff) both sides of our families have been in the same part of Tennessee for right at 200 years. Our heritage strongly influences us every day. I keep old photographs of all our great-great grandparents visible so my little boys will know who they were. Many were from Cades Cove, Walland, and Townsend. In fact, John’s great grandparents were the last to move out of Cades Cove after grandpa Kermit died in 1999. I strive to be more like my ancestors. They were godly, hard working people. They have to be remembered. Somehow I hope I can memorialize them in some way because they deserve it.
The main reason we do what we do is that our Lord has blessed us so richly in every way imaginable. The overflow of His goodness to us begs to be shared. Maybe someway I can encourage someone somewhere out there. We love what we do on our farm and we love Jesus. We fully acknowledge that He is the ultimate gift giver. He has given us far more than we could ever have imagined. We’ve had a few (very few) hard times where even then He has been so good to us. Every day on the farm is wonderful. All the glory goes to God, and I have to share it!
Thank you all out there for reading and following. It’s really cool to tell stories and share life. That’s why we do what we do.