About Us

Laying Flock (370x277) (370x277) (370x277) (1110x831)

Our small farm is tucked away in the hills of northwest Michigan. Our  goal, with God’s help, is provide as much of our own food as possible.  Dual purpose fiber animals supply us with warm garments to keep us cozy during the long winters.

Of particular interest is the ethical raising of meat for our table. We  are aware of the horrors of factory and feedlot farming and believe that  livestock should live free from pain and fear.
In these  uncertain times, we hope to encourage others in growing food and frugal  living. Much can be done on small acreage or even in a backyard. High-density gardening and small stock such as poultry and rabbits can produce high yields in small spaces. Herbs are very expensive in the store but not so hard to grow and dry. Sharing information with like-minded people is a joy, and on these pages are the practices that have worked well for us. Please tell us what works well for you through our blog, Farming in My Fifties/The Frugal Homestead.

Our Philosophy
We raise our animals as humanely as possible. They have room  to roam and are not kept in small, dirty pens. Fly predators and proper  manure management keep flies under control. We do not dock tails,  castrate or vaccinate. Sheep are wormed five times/year using natural  wormers. In six years, there has only been one ewe and one lamb that  needed antibiotic treatment.

The animals end their lives here on  the farm without the fear and trauma of being loaded up and transported  60 miles to a processor. T.C. Butchering in Traverse City expertly  handles our custom processing needs.

For us, humane husbandry  extends to the nutritional requirements of each animal under our care,  and we strive to provide a species appropriate diet.

We have  become increasingly alarmed by the overproduction and seemingly  unrestricted use of Genetically Modified (GM) crops with little  knowledge of what the consequences may be to the humans and animals  consuming this Frankenfood. This has meant transitioning to specific,  more primitive breeds that do not require heavy supplementation of  grains (corn and soy in particular) to thrive and provide meat and  fiber.

In order to avoid the GM corn and soy that serves as a  base for most commercial feed, we are experimenting with alternative feeds. Since the unrestricted use of GM alfalfa has been approved, we are moved to the Shetland sheep breed that  thrives on pasture and grass hay and doesn’t require grain supplements. Our Alpine dairy goats are also on a non GMO diet. Fresh fodder sprouted from barley, wheat, oats or rye are a mainstay of our animals’ diets and has freed us from the need for commercial feeds.

What would a farm be without a good farm dog? We rely  on our English Shepherd dogs to help things run smoothly. Besides  being our devoted and constant companions, they perform the myriad  duties that have been the responsibilities of generations of their  ancestors.