The Path To Our Farm
In 2010 our family made the decision to begin eating better. We wanted more nutrient dense food, sourced locally. We started shopping locally at co-ops, local heath stores and visiting farmers markets. We noticed such a difference in quality of food, our health and the way we felt after meals. We stopped eating out as frequent and ate fresh!
In 2014 we decided that we were capable of raising meat and veggies for our own family. The only problem was, we were renting, and didn’t have the ability to raise and grow where we were. So, the hunt was on to buy our own farm! This was an adventure of its own and the process was long and hard. Finally, in 2016 we purchased our own farm on 3.5 acres. We began with goats for milk, and a small veggie garden. The Spring of 2017 we purchased our first laying hens. I was supposed to only get 8, but 16 came home with us. We increased our garden space significantly. The Spring of 2018 we added pigs and meat chickens.
By this time, our farm was really growing. We had always had Goat Herd Shares for people to get milk. This helped pay for the feed, and some of the farm expenses for the first few years. But once we started getting into the pigs and meat chickens, our farm expenses started to rack up. We decided we needed to start making some income on the farm. We sold pigs for meat, and partnered with another family to raise chickens for them which paid for ours. But the farm vision was just beginning.
The Winter of 2018 God put it on our hearts to use the farm as a ministry. We valued so much from learning, raising and eating our own locally sourced, nutrient dense food that we wanted to share it with those in need. While serving at local food pantries, we noticed the need for fresh, nutrient dense food. We decided that God had gifted us with the passion and abilities to help our community in this area.
In 2019 we raised 500 chickens for meat. 200 of those chickens went for donation. We raised 5 pigs for meat and continued to grow our garden. Of course, the goats have always been around.
For 2020 we are still finalizing our plans, but one thing is for sure, we are still growing! We are working on many of our efficiencies and working to expand our customer base. We love the life on the farm and all the new people we have connected with. We are excited to see what God continues to challenge us with in the future at Shafer Family Farm.