When we began the move into our Progreso home one very, very hot day in July 6 years ago, we knew this was not our perfect match for a home but it was so much more than we could ever have asked for. Sent by God at just the right time. We were busting at the seams in an out tiny trailer house, tiny milk house, and even tinier soap room! Our customer base was growing, we were attending more farmers' markets and I desperately wanted to be able to make cheese, grow more meat, feed more families and most of all be able to share our gifts with the community through hosting and teaching classes. BAM! We were made aware that the house my grandparents had built the one my momma had been born in and the one my cousins grew up in was available. Now, this sounds dreamy and easy but it took us A YEAR and lots of hurdles to close on the house. All while I was pulling with all my might on the reins of my growing family, farm, and customer base. Willing it all to not burst out of the seams of our tiny world until we had the new space ready!
July began the move and one of the best friendships of my life when 18 year old Cassia moved into the apartment on our new farm. She became my best friend ( besides Jake) and togeather we ran EVERYTHING.
I finally got to bring the goats home in August. Our milk house , parlor and commercial kitchen were approved in March and we began attending three farmers market each weekend. Our traveling petting zoo service blew up with at least two events per weekend, and that next fall we opened the gates of the farm to our very first HUGE farm event where we could host and teach the community! I got to work with a LARGE team of wonderful women and it was such a bright happy time in my life.
Cassia, Nina, Jessica, Sophia, Eunice, Stephanie, America, Naomi, Madelyne and Izzy were a team made in Heaven. From cheese and soap making, event organizing, farm help, petting zoo and farmers market manning, school tours, photography, childcare, friendship- you name and they did it. I will always remember our 9am coffee meetings in my kitchen. The milking shifts where ending and the shifts for event planning and soapmaking where begining. We all stopped and made time to sip some Joe, pass off work assignments, and just enjoy community. These relationships made my life go round and made my successful business growth possible. What a time we had! We worked hard, built and met so many wonderful families through out farm!!!
As always though, with life comes the change of seasons. It was time for my summer to end in preperation for a new life phase. All within a three months span by the end of the summer. Cassia moved home to the Carolinas to be with family. Eunice went into the mission Field (in Ireland!), Sophia, America and Madelynne went away to college, and Nina got married and was expecting a new baby. Jessica also needed more time for her studies and an engagement. (to another farm helper Sam!!) Izzy finished her internship.
Stephanie and I alone where left to man the farm. It was hard y'all!!! There was no one else to be found that wanted to be a part of a large farm operation. Now we had to decide how to make that work. We started shutting down bits and pieces as I tried to wrap my head around this new schedule in my life. This shuffling and scrambling continued as I found a new groove and tried oh so hard to hold on to it all.
Cordie was born on New Years' Eve 2019 and when she was 6 weeks old, just as the baby goats began to arrive along with my hope of restarting the cheese. March 2020 hit. All our markets closed and even less help was to be found. We all know how that year went. No need to rehash that! For me, even in the chaos, it was a time of peace. We still homeschooled, gardened, baked bread, and preserved veggies just as we always had. Without external expectations, I got to enjoy my four little blessings oh so much more. The downside was every business I had suffered greatly. In December 2021 we ramped things up and opened a Vegetable CSA along with our milk and cheese offerings in a valient effort to bring back food for families. Then the very next week came the big freeze. The freeze that swept Texas and killed so many things. Including all the vegetables across the entire Rio Grande Valley at the height of our growing season.Too late to re-plant for a harvest before the heat would set in. So that was the end of that CSA.
The freeze along with 2020 changed a lot of things for the entire country.... it opened our eyes.. changed our priorities... and changed our prayers again. I was overworked with the milking, dairy, farm, homeschooling, soap-making, event venue, and so many more things. I began to ask the Lord to show me how to slow down, and grow even more food for my family, plus enough to share, and to be wise with stewarding what he has given me. This time without stealing my quiet and enjoyment of my children.
God hearing my momma's heart is the beginning of another Spring for me. A new season of hope and life. Big move Number Two!!! ( coming next week!)