caring for creation while caring for family

The Family Corner: Life on a Hobby Farm

Let me introduce you to my wonderful older sister (by 20 months), Ella.  Ella has been my best friend since the day I was born and I just love her and her wonderful family to pieces.  She has been so supportive of my blog and will be guest posting about her rural family life, family friendly recipes, and adoption regularly.  I live in the suburbs of a small town, but Ella lives in the country, with all the animals to prove it!  We are very alike (we even look alike) and spent our entire childhood correcting people as they mixed up our names and claimed we “must be twins” – actually, it still happens!  We both are Trim Healthy Mamas.  We both homeschool. We both are passionate about Jesus, our families, and living greener lives.  I think you will love her posts!


I have a farm. Five acres of gently sloping hills with trees scattered throughout, a castle farmhouse, three outbuildings, one pig, two dogs, two cats, 10 ducks, 25 sheep (though that number may change due to lambing season having started early this year), 50 chickens, four kids (and counting), one husband and me. I have fruit trees and a large garden and I rarely get enough sleep.

My husband (the Sheriff) and I did not set out to run our own small village. But there is something magical about owning land. It gets to you. Three sheep to help mow turn into twenty seemingly overnight. A few chickens become many more when you realize that fifty chickens are no harder to take care of then five. Gardening and growing your own fresh produce are addictive.

The Sheriff maintains order and does most of the heavy lifting, while I plot and plan. The kids are roped into feeding pigs and collecting eggs. Friends come by to pick fruit when the plums are ripe and abundant. We hire kids earning money for mission trips to help clear land and build garden beds. It is our own little community and we love it.

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Babies and baby goats!

It is lambing season currently and we are enjoying seeing the new colors of lambs produced by our new ram, a white kataden, out of our Barbados black-bellied ewes. We deal with disappointment when some lambs don’t survive, and we laugh at the antics of the twins who start butting each other at just a week of age.

Soon our pig will fill our freezer. It is the second we have raised and the kids love the bacon so well that they don’t mind knowing the pig personally. The Sheriff and I love the fact that we know exactly what went into the production of our pork and lamb. We know that our animals were happy and healthy with no added hormones or abnormal fattening agents. We rarely buy beef any longer and never any pork from the store.

My garden planning is already under way and I am combing seed catalogs to see what new and fantastic things I can add this year. (Did you know you can grow purple carrots?) Soon we will be out in the garden on each sunny day to dig and prepare the garden for the coming spring. Manure from all of our animals will be added to the soil to enrich it. Our compost pile will be mixed in to replenish the organic material from last year. New beds will be built and filled with soil. The automatic watering system will be set up. I will clear out my junk storage room just enough to make room for the new seedlings that will be started indoors. And I will enlist the Sheriff’s help to fight the battle against the encroaching blackberry bushes once again.

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A rainbow of carrots from my garden.

I have a farm. It is small. Just my size. But it is full of life and magic.

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Hi, I'm Ella!

I'm a mother of 5 and an adoptive parent and I live on a small 5 acre hobby farm.  I have a slew of children and even more animals and I love every minute!  I retired from the environmental education business to homeschool my kids, but I still cannot pass up the opportunity to teach anyone about the wonders of creation.  I'm Amy’s sister and live a little too far away, but not so far that cousins days are impossible.


  1. I look forward to seeing your additions to Amy’s awesome posts.

  2. Darling Granddaughters Amy&Ella, How delighted grandpa and I are to have shared your growing up years at Happy Hollow. Now we are enjoying your fantastic experiences as wives, moms, and amazing women in so many ways. Bless you both and those you have added to our BIG family.

  3. Loved reading your post Ella! Your family and your farm are growing together beautifully:)

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